Phyllis Chesler speaks out against Israeli Apartheid Week and other Academic Delusions

So-called “Israeli Apartheid Week” happened last week at University of Toronto. There are other universities and places worldwide now where it’s also occurring. I don’t want to give the thing more publicity here, so you can look it up on your own if you wish. There’s plenty online about the week of anti-Israel panels and “cultural work”, what it is, and why it is. I’ve certainly taken a good long look and listen. I’ve listened to more than a few panels online and even watched Judith Butler’s keynote at University of Toronto on youtube. You can’t say I don’t pay attention to the side I despise, although I must admit, sometimes — I wonder why I make myself sit through these things. Well, I’ve always been attracted to those I perceive to be adversaries, I’m eternally curious about the opposition, particularly since not too long ago, all things left were mostly not the opposition. Or, so I thought…

I have always been a bit queasy about Israel bashers though, even in my past. I have noticed an escalation of anti-Israel sentiment in the past few years and this has further pushed me away from some of my former comfort zones politically.

One of the people I started reading a few years ago who I have found immensely inspiring on this issue is Phyllis Chesler. I’ve read some of her work online and books, but never heard her speak. I figure since I’d listened to Butler, I should give Chesler her time, and of course, I was moved by her speech and informed. She’s been through a lot in her political feminist journey and if I have even half her courage, I’ll have a lot. She’s lost most of her feminist friends along the way, even being snubbed at funerals of friends in common who have passed away. She is privy to whispered calls from closeted Israel supporters who are also leftist feminists, who can’t dare to risk or give up the things that she has. And, what has Chesler lost? Not only almost all her friends but also grants and publishers and speaking engagements — and some sense of safety when she is actually invited and able to speak at public events. She now has body guards at speaking events due to real physical threats. Her friends now? Besides a few good and very, very few lingering friends from her more orthodox leftist past, she mentions here that she has Christian friends now, and Orthodox Jews. Yes, Christian… And ironically, she works mainly now with dissident Islamic feminists and not western feminists. All her values are absolutely as they always have been: freedom, human rights and women’s rights — but these she believes are no longer served predominantly by the left. And, unfortunately, I must agree.

Her speech here, more eloquent than anything I might say here, and well worth listening to inside this link to her site. An antidote to the Israel Apartheid week cant:

The New Anti-Semitism
When Middle East Politics Invade Campus

Note: The site has an audio recording and a video recording, and I found the audio recording more reliable and less glitchy. Although, YMMV.

Advertisements

One thought on “Phyllis Chesler speaks out against Israeli Apartheid Week and other Academic Delusions

  1. ecks why June 12, 2011 / 4:46 pm

    misogyny is one of many severe problems with islam which is dangerous no matter how it is packaged. muslims do not assimilate into western society because islam is a theocracy and demands supremacy.

    the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    see the links in the pdf version below for more accurate info about islam
    ==========

    islam is a horrible ideology for human rights

    5 key things about islam

    1. mythical beliefs – all religions have these (faith) because its part of being a religion: having beliefs without proof until after the believer dies. the problem is people will believe almost anything.

    2. totalitarianism – islam has no seperation of church and state: sharia law governs all. there is no free will in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests. there are no moderate muslims: they all support sharia law.

    3. violence – islam leads the pack of all religions in violent tenets for their ideology & history: having eternal canonical imperatives for supremacy at all costs and calling for violence & intimidation as basic tools to achieve these goals.

    4. dishonesty – only islam has dishonesty as a fundamental tenet: this stems from allah speaking to mohamhead & abrogation in the koran which is used to explain how mo’s peaceful early life was superseded by his warlord role later.

    5. misogyny – present day islam is still rooted in 8th century social ethics: treating females as property of men good only for children, severely limiting their activities, dressing them in shower curtains and worse.

    conclusions ??

    there really are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda.

    islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    graphics version

    1 page pdf version – do file/download 6kb viewer doesn’t show fonts well, has better fonts header footer links, great for emailing printing etc
    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_UyNP-72AVKYWNiNTFlYTEtMTA1ZC00YjhiLTljMDUtMDhhNDE0NDMzNmYz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s