by Neil J. Kressel
From the 1950s through the 1990s, antisemitism everywhere seemed to be on the wane. But as Neil Kressel documents in this startling book, the Muslim world has resurrected in recent decades almost every diatribe that more than two millennia of European hostility produced against the Jews, and it has introduced many homegrown and novel modes of attack. Though it is impossible to determine precisely how many of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims hold anti-Jewish beliefs, Kressel finds that much bigotry comes from the highest levels of religious and political leadership.
Compounding the problem, as Kressel demonstrates, many in the West refuse to recognize this issue. The growing epidemic of hate has been largely ignored, misunderstood, or downplayed, Kressel reveals, because of apathy, ignorance, confusion, bigotry, ideology, purported pragmatism, and misguided multiculturalism. Those who value human rights ignore antisemitism at their own risk, he cautions, noting that no antisemitic regime or movement has ever been otherwise reasonable or progressive. Kressel argues convincingly that Muslim antisemitism provides an acid test of the seriousness of Western liberalism. If the West fails to stem this growing tide, as now seems likely, future affairs will not go well for the true proponents of democracy. Kressel moves beyond sounding the alarm to explore the diverse religious, political, social, and psychological forces that have created and nurtured the new hostility to Jews in the Muslim world; he concludes with a bold and clear plan for what must be done to confront this hostility.
“A lucid, compelling, and much-needed account of how the crucial issue of antisemitism in the Muslim world is currently being minimized, downplayed, obfuscated, and in many cases completely ignored in much of the Western world. This book should be required reading for decision makers, opinion molders, and not least ‘experts’ in academia, who have been particularly complicit in this policy of silence.”—Robert S. Wistrich, director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism and author of A Lethal Obsession and From Ambivalence to Betrayal
“All religions and cultures suffer from sources that preach hate against the ‘other.’ Throughout history some have, tragically, practiced what their sources preached, while some have sought to dismiss or even counteract the hateful words of their sources. In this book, Neil Kressel shows how extremists within Islam, many in leadership roles, have exploited some of their hateful sources to preach and practice a virulent form of antisemitism. Read this book and judge for yourself.”—Alan M. Dershowitz, author of The Trials of Zion
“While parts of this book make me uncomfortable, I must admit that it represents, rather sadly, what many of my coreligionists think.”—Khaleel Mohammed, Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies, San Diego State University
“Kressel handles one of the hottest topics in the world carefully, calmly, and coolly. He explains the dangers of Muslim antisemitism while destroying the many excuses for it that are so often offered—and shaming those in the Muslim world or in the West who downplay these modern forms of the oldest, and one of the bloodiest, hatreds in world history.”—Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
“Kressel presents undeniable and yet long-denied information about the pervasive and insidious nature of Islamic antisemitism—and he does so with a pained sensitivity that is both admirable and heartbreaking. Reasonable, patient, and nonemotional, Kressel is antiparanoid and utterly fact-driven.”—Phyllis Chesler, emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies, City University of New York, and author of The New Anti-Semitism
About the Author
NEIL J. KRESSEL, who holds a PhD in social psychology from Harvard University, has taught at Harvard, New York University, and elsewhere. Currently, he directs the Honors Program in the Social Sciences at William Paterson University. In 2008 he was visiting associate professor at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism. He is the author of four previously published books, including Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror, Revised and Updated (Westview Press, 2002). He lives in northern New Jersey.