“Dare I say it? I must. I implore Jews to stop fighting with one another. Even if we disagree, we must try to do so respectfully, soulfully. I am psychologically very sensitive to Jewish self-hatred and anti-Semitism within the Diaspora. I fear it may very well function as a fifth column. I do not, however, think that other Jews are my enemies. It is important for Jews to remember this. Even if all Jews saw eye-to-eye on everything, we would still have real enemies whose goal in life is to kill us and to drive a Jewish presence out of the Middle East.” — Phyllis Chesler, The New Anti-Semitism
I saw Phyllis Chesler give a talk at a conference in St. Petersburg, FL, several years ago. It was a conference on Islamism; unfortunately, they haven’t held the conference again. Some great people were there, whose warnings were prescient, many of which have manifested in the years since.
Chesler is a feminist, which might make her appear alien to most conservatives. But Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman I greatly admire, said this about her:
Phyllis Chesler stands out among women in general and feminists in particular. In this dark age of identity politics, when the rights of millions of women are sacrificed at the altar of intersectionality, Phyllis Chesler keeps us all focused on universal human rights for all women.
At a time when the vast majority of Jews are on the Left, supporting anti-Semitic Muslims and condemning Israel, Chesler’s message is a serious one, even for non-Jews. How do we argue and disagree respectfully? Whom do we see as a friend or foe? Are we able to distinguish between those who are irritating and those who are truly dangerous to our country, to our people?Published in