by Fern Sidman
Israel National News
May 10, 2015
Dear Friends and Supporters:
Here is the first QNA with me about my just released book LIVING HISTORY: ON THE FRONT LINES FOR ISRAEL AND THE JEWS, 2003-2015. Enjoy my words here and consider buying the book which is now available in paperback and should be soon available in a kindle edition later this week. Please post any comments at Arutz-7 and at amazon so I may learn from them. There will be another QNA with me coming out later this week. Enjoy!
"From 2003 through the early months of 2015, I wrote more than 200,000 words about anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism," says Dr. Phyllis Chesler in the introduction of her soon to be released book, Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015 (Gefen Publishers).
Regular readers here at Arutz Sheva should not be at all surprised by this admission. Since she arrived at Israel National News several years ago, Dr. Chesler has literally been churning out a veritable cornucopia of thoroughly researched, riveting, and, quite frankly, explosive op-ed pieces on a multitude of topics.
As she explores the scourge of nuanced anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism, the existential nature of radical Islam, the proliferation of Israel bashing on university campuses, the exposure of propaganda in films and books, the truth about the nefarious agenda of multicultural relativism and the role of the left-liberal media in creating the "perfect storm", Dr. Chesler throws down the proverbial gauntlet and debunks the Big Lies in a chilling and brutally honest manner.
In her collection of writings over the last 12-13 years, the reader feels the prescience of her words leap forth from the pages and into our collective psyches.
Arutz Sheva had the honor of sitting down with Dr. Chesler to discuss her latest book and why she decided to compile her corpus of work in non-redacted form at this time.
Q: Dr. Chesler, what served as the impetus for you to publish a collection of your writings beginning in 2003 until the present at this juncture in time? How did you decide which articles to use for the book?
A: I wanted to preserve a legacy that might otherwise get lost in cyberspace--a legacy that will arm both scholars and students, activists and historians as to what has happened and what, in my view, it really meant. Choosing which issues, incidents, cases, outrages to choose was challenging and time-consuming and I hope this volume will stand the test of time.
Q: In one of your essays from 2004, you wrote, "Today, the danger to Jews is far graver and more complex than it ever was before, including the 1930s." Have your views changed since you wrote that? Can you elaborate on the nature of your statement?
A: I feel more strongly about this now than before. In the past, a single shtetl or mellah could be destroyed; a single country could organize a machine that could kill six million Jews and five million others.
Now, given the sixty years of global and funded indoctrination that is anti-infidel, anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish, and anti-Western Enlightenment values--by now, a false charge against Israel is instantly believed by millions; a false charge of "racism" or "Islamophobia" against a Jew can lead to an immediate "killer bee swarm" of hate mail, death threats, and character assassination. We have just seen this happen in the case of Professor Andrew Pessin at Connecticut College.
Also, America and Europe's failure to successfully tackle Islamist Jihad both ideologically and militarily has led to a catastrophic meltdown in the Muslim Middle East, the American acceptance of a nuclear Iran, and the Western liberal-leftist denial that their own civilization and the Jewish state are in existential danger. Such denial is leading us all into a Dark Age.
Q: Your book included many selections on the media war against Israel. Can you tell us about the focus you placed on The New York Times and what role you feel such writers as Nicholas Kristof, Ethan Bronner and Jodi Roduren have played in making anti-Zionism respectable?
A: The NYT should be sued for inciting to genocide, for engaging in one blood libel after another on a daily basis. Often, the same issue might have three different articles about Israel: An op-ed article, a lead editorial, and a presumably breaking news story. This is true often day after day, year after year. The headlines are purposely misleading, the photos are sometimes wrongly captioned, the corrections, when they make them, are in small printthat few people read or absorb.
First impressions are what matter, not correcting the Big Lie. Their journalists are dreadfully conformist and are zealots in terms of political correctness. 'Tis a pity that so many well educated readers still view the Times as akin to the Bible. Literally.
It is tragic because some of their articles are well done and worth reading--just not those that are concerned with Israel, Jews, Islam, Muslims, Arabs, Palestinians Jihad, terrorism, and the scourge of radically Islamist gender and religious apartheid. I am always cheered when I pass by and see CAMERA'S billboard across from their offices accusing the Times of the latest bias attack.
Q: Concerning the alarming rise of ISIS, in essay # 14 in your book which was written in 2008 and years before ISIS emerged as a terrorist group you write, "Obama may refuse to call barbarism by its rightful name if that barbarism is practiced by Muslims." What do you think is at the core of his mindset in terms of his adamant refusal to label ISIS as Islamic?
A: What an important question. Psychologically, he seems to be invested in overly pleasing the Muslim father who abandoned him by giving every Muslim, including those who are radical Jihadist terrorists the benefit of all doubts. Obama, (as do I), knows many Muslims who are soft-spoken, charming, sophisticated, and peaceful and he absolutely, like so many others, refuses to hold them responsible for or to attribute any violent or anti-Western dreams to them.
Ideologically, he is a classic left-wing "politically correct" ideologue who believes that America's footprint has been disastrous for people of color everywhere and punishment/atonement is in order. He blames only Caucasians for the slave trade, not Muslims who played an equal and possibly greater role in the African slave trade.
Emotionally and spiritually, he equates the struggle of Palestinians with that of black men in America (he does not care as much about black women) and in doing so, hopes to :make his bones," so to speak, as someone who is genuinely "black" and not bi-racial.
Q: You write in your book; "If one tries to tell the truth about radical Islam, especially about Islamic gender and religious apartheid, one quickly finds oneself a pariah, scorned as a racist and "white supremacist." Can you elaborate on your personal experiences in this regard and how does it relate to the shooting of two men in Texas with ties to ISIS?
A: This question is best answered by reading this book. I do touch upon how high the cost is, personally, socially, economically, and in terms of one's reputation when one speaks about Israel, Zionism, Judaism, and Islamic gender and religious apartheid accurately. If one is lucky, one is not jailed or executed and does not have to live in hiding and under police protection. But, one is censored. One does lose many of one's former friends and colleagues; these are lesser prices, but also hellish as well as honorable.
Q: What would you personally like the reader to take away or glean after reading your book? Do you feel that your latest book should be required reading in Jewish schools, university campuses and synagogue discussion groups?
A: I hope and pray that this book becomes required reading on campuses, in synagogues, and in Jewish schools--as well as in the large Jewish organizations whose leaders no longer have Israel's back, whose main concern is with pleasing their increasingly left, liberal Jewish funding base. Of course, I hope that people of all faiths or of no faith read the book as well.