OpinionAntisemitism

The global lust for Jewish blood

I was not surprised by the great American feminist silence after Oct. 7.

The site of the Nova music festival massacre in southern Israel, June 9, 2024. Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
The site of the Nova music festival massacre in southern Israel, June 9, 2024. Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Phyllis Chesler
Phyllis Chesler
Phyllis Chesler is an emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at the City University of New York (CUNY).

Like all those who publish here, I too am a warrior and a wordsmith. I am driven by ideas. They rule my waking life. But some days are too hard. 

I’ve been writing about antisemitism and anti-Zionism rather intensely since 2000. I’ve been covering Oct. 7 for nine months around the clock and only now am I thinking that I need a break. Are soldiers allowed to slow down while a war still rages on and threatens to become even larger and more consequential?

Yesterday, after delivering a lecture on this subject, I became unusually irritable. I think that I may actually be somewhat traumatized by the non-stop Jew-hatred that has gone viral around the world. It’s not only the jihad-like violent riots, violent demonstrations and violent campus encampments that have persisted all across the United States; it’s not only the sheer vulgarity and barbaric aggressiveness of jihadists, both here against Jews and in the Middle East against Israel; it is also the non-stop individual attacks on individual Jews, the boycotts of Israeli diplomats, academics, athletes, artists, singers, scientists. But especially, it’s those hotel and B&B clerks in Kyoto, in Sjenica and in Paris who, on their own, recently refused to honor reservations when they saw that the guests held Israeli passports. 

This means that Iran’s army has expanded to include civilians everywhere, at any time, acting on their own, not just as part of a propagandized and orchestrated mob.

Yesterday, together with Prof. Amy Elman, I was privileged to deliver a lecture via Zoom to De Paul University’s Law School. Our host, Prof. Steven Resnikoff, was very well informed and most respectful. He asked us to address the weaponization of sexual violence by Hamas on Oct. 7.

That subject. I’ve written more than 30 articles about it, given interviews, delivered lectures and still the denials persist. Still the hostages remain in captivity undergoing torture. Still Israel is demonized for trying to rescue them.

Iran’s Hamas is ISIS on steroids. Hamas committed a pogrom meant to be viewed again and again. It showed Jews as victims, which has always functioned as incitement to genocide. For this reason, I do not think that showing any part of Oct. 7 is a good idea. The footage, the testimonies of eyewitnesses and survivors, best belong in a Jerusalem courtroom in an Eichmann-like trial.

That’s assuming Israel is finally willing to execute terrorists with blood on their hands.

For those who must know: Here’s an excerpt of some of what I said that is “new.”

What happened on Oct. 7 was unspeakable, but it was not unique.

It was a pogrom but on steroids, one in which the assassins recorded and photographed themselves. Public gang rape, torture, murder are all part of a classic pogrom. Filming and disseminating it constitutes genocide pornography. (This point was made again and again by Prof. Elman).

The focus on only girls and women is too limited. Boys and men were also genitally mutilated, sexually tortured, kidnapped and murdered. 

Rape was aways a spoil of war until it became a systematic weapon of war whose purpose was to ethnically cleanse a specific population. Only now is it considered a war crime. 

What’s unique is the utter silence among Western feminists (who claim to care about violence against women) in response to Hamas/Iran’s sadistic violence against civilians in Israel, some of whom were neither Jews nor Israelis.

What’s unique is that, instead of the world having sympathy for the victims, the sight of Jewish blood unleashed global bloodlust for more Jewish blood.

I was not surprised by the great American feminist silence after Oct. 7. I’ve been dealing with antisemitism/anti-Zionism on the left and among feminists since 1971. I’ve written books and hundreds, maybe a thousand, articles on the subject.

Thus, I may have been among a handful of people not surprised by the feminist silence about Oct. 7 and the ongoing denial of this atrocity.

Such a silence has deep roots in the politically correct academic world.

You are either a victim or a victimizer; you are oppressed or you are an oppressor; you are colonized or you are a colonizer. Israel has been designated as the world’s chief oppressor and colonizer. 

Some victims are more sacred than others. Men of color are more important than white men; Muslim men of color are even more important, unless they’ve been killed by other Muslims. Then, their deaths do not matter. The murders of women of all colors matters even less.

In addition, there is the belief in multicultural relativism—that all cultures are equal; that there is no objective truth. Everything is relative, subjective; everyone is entitled to their own narrative.

Here’s one reason my views are so different:

Most Western pro-Palestinian feminists, leftists and academics have never lived in a Muslim country or moved in Muslim circles or worked with Muslim dissidents as I do.

I wrote about this in An American Bride in Kabul.

They have absolutely no knowledge of Islamic gender and religious apartheid; Islamic imperialism, Islamic colonialism, or Islamic conversion via the sword; no understanding that Muslims practiced anti-black slavery and sex slavery—and many still do.

Demonizing Israelis as “worse than the Nazis” allows Europeans to continue the Holocaust against the Jews and feel that they are rendering themselves safe from radical Islamic hostility by appeasing the Islamist Muslims who live in their midst. It is also a way of scapegoating Jews and Israel for the crimes of European and Muslim racism and colonialism.

Like so many, I had assumed that the world’s hatred and persecution of Jews had ended; that Jewish history would never again repeat itself. 

I was wrong.

It was foolish to have thought that Jew-hatred would suddenly become extinct or that Israel would not remain under siege.

We must shed our illusions—permanently. We cannot expect that conditions will always improve, or that one country or another will always be a safe haven for Jews. 

One cannot win a war of ideas if one refuses to fight it.

I will take a step back, take a breath or two and return to my frontline post. 

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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