THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It

Phyllis Chesler, Author . Jossey-Bass $24.95 (307p) ISBN 978-0-7879-6851-9

This passionate, highly personal jeremiad by noted feminist Chesler (Women and Madness) addresses what she sees as a re-emergence of virulent anti-Jewish hatred cloaked in "political correctness," closely linked to anti-American attitudes, sustained by many liberal feminists, intellectuals and Jewish leftists, acted upon by Islamic terrorists and jihadists, and fueled by a "demonization of Jews" in the media. One of the main thrusts of Chesler's argument is that in our contemporary world anti-Zionism is nearly inseparable from anti-Semitism, and that while there are valid criticisms to be made of Israeli policies—for instance, she sees the West Bank settlements as an impediment to peace—many of these critiques are, she contends, rooted in a profound and socially accepted anti-Semitism. This is definitely not intended as a scholarly work, but it too often undercuts itself when its author intends to be provocative—"African-Americans (not Jews) are the Jews in America but Jews are the world's niggers"; "a politically correct madness seems to have hijacked most North American universities"; often her analogies shock rather than illuminate. At times Chesler's passion leads her to extravagant rhetoric—"today, Ghenghis [sic] Khan has megabombs, Attila the Hun has biological and nuclear weaponry." This is an important topic and open public discourse is vital, but Chesler's tone and lack of intellectual rigor will not help her ideas to be heard by those who do not already agree with her. Agent, Joelle Delbourgo.(Aug.)

Forecast:Chesler's topic is a hot one, and her views will resonate with many and alienate others. She should get much coverage in the Jewish and leftist press, and in the media in general.

Reviewed on: 06/23/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Paperback - 307 pages - 978-0-7879-7803-7
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-965-229-809-6
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