Sunday, May 07, 2006

Phyllis Chesler on Holocaust denial

A wise man once said, "We must aid a gallant man if we perish," and that goes double for gallant women. In a moment of danger, nothing is more important than to aid those who courageously battle against that danger, even if the giving of such aid exposes us to peril.

At great danger to herself, Phyllis Chesler has dared to speak the truth about radical Islam and about those on the Left who act as supporters or appeasers of this vicious evil. Some years ago, I encountered Ms. Chesler's book The New Anti-Semitism and immediately recognized her as someone who "gets it." She has given further confirmation of this in her latest book, The Death of Feminism, which points out how some feminists have exposed themselves as liars, by tolerating radical Islamicists who are by no means pro-woman.

Here is what Ms. Chesler had to say recently on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day:
In the Islamic media, Israel and Jews are labeled and portrayed as vermin and child-eating monsters. Islamists see no contradiction between caricaturing Jews in the vilest way and yet protesting, often violently, the fairly innocuous Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.
Appeasers in the Western intelligentsia are quick to sympathize with Islam's injured "honor" in this matter. Western leftists use the Holocaust to suit their own political purposes. Some say that the Jews are exploiting the Holocaust in order to collect reparations money and that they have used the Holocaust to justify the creation of a “apartheid” state.
They have also put forward their own version of Holocaust denial. Jews, the claim, are worse than Nazis, and Israel is perpetrating a "Holocaust" upon the Palestinians – the same Palestinians who send human bombs to murder Israeli civilians.
Exactly. The Left's slow, and largely unnoticed, embrace of this sort of PC anti-Semitism is shocking to anyone who remembers how, for years, the accusation of anti-Semitism was slung promiscuously at Cold War conservatives. This was one of the favorite tricks of the pro-Soviet Left.

Ronald Radosh and David Horowitz, among others, have written about how the Communist Party USA used the death sentences against the Soviet agent Julius Rosenberg and his wife to mislead a generation of Americans into thinking that all anti-Communists were anti-Semites.
Similarly, the Left now claims that anyone who opposes Islamofascism is a bigot, warmonger, racist, imperialist, etc. While both claims are clearly illogical -- and in some sense contradictory -- the Left is nonetheless consistent in its purpose and intentions: Any enemy of America is a friend to the Left; any opponent of the Left is evil.

But just as they once airbrushed Trotsky from Soviet history, the Left expects us to forget every fact of history that contradicts the Left's propaganda. I am old enough, however, to remember crying when Bobby Kennedy got shot, and to remember who shot him and why. I am also old enough to remember the wars of 1967 and 1973, to remember which side was flying MiGs and using Soviet-made weapons, and to remember cheering the courageous victors. I remember who perpetrated the 1972 Munich massacre, who was behind the 1973 oil embargo, who held Americans hostage in 1979-81, who bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut, who killed Leon Klinghoffer ... need I continue?

One of my first assignments as a journalist, when I was working for a 6,000 circulation paper in 1986, was to cover a speech to a women's club in Austell, Ga., by a representative of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta. The diplomat pointed out the Soviet alliances of Israel's enemies and that Israel was the only capitalist democracy in the Mideast. This added realpolitik reinforcement to the pro-Israel sentiment that is very common in the South, where nearly everyone is raised on the biblical history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Suggested bumper sticker: "What part of 'I will bless them that bless you' don't you understand?")

People of good will can, of course, disagree about American foreign policy, and the Israelis themselves are quite divided over how to deal with the Palestinians.

But to the likes of al-Qaeda? NO QUARTER!

So, before returning to the usual mean-spirited partisanship, I wanted to urge everyone in the blogosphere to consider linking Phyllis Chesler, buying her books, or doing whatever else you can do to help and encourage her.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled Ambien jokes ....

UPDATE 5-12:

Our old friend Clayton Cramer, one of the first guys to add us to his blogroll, has added his "amen" of support for Ms. Chesler.

And now look: Right, Wing-Nut joins the Chesler blogburst. He says he was "turned on" to Ms. Chesler by these folks, who seem to be French, of all things! Here comes Jerry Gordon at Israpundit, and — holy cow! — an Islamic studies professor in Scotland!

If you're a pro-Chesler blogger, just send us an e-mail, and we'll try to get you linked up here.

-- McCAIN

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