A very gallant Dr. Charles Asher Small just delivered an important lecture at the 92nd St Y. in New York. Yes, this is the same Dr. Small who, in 2004, founded the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), which he housed at Yale University from 2006-2011—until the Yale Corporation decided that the Center's work on Islamic Judeophobia and specifically on Iranian genocidal Judeophobia threatened Yale's "scholarly commitments" in the region.
Who could make this up?
This was the first time that Dr. Small spoke about this publicly.
Dr. Small is Canadian and grew up in Montreal. He speaks in a restrained and reasonable way about outrages and injustices. He is a gentleman and a scholar. I was privileged to have met him in 2003 and to have worked with him while he was at Yale. I have also written about his work and its tragic demise at Yale.
This time, Dr. Small named names.
But, he first wondered why Israel, which is blamed for every conceivable wrong, is also to blame for whatever problems American Jews are having in terms of communal identity or renewal. He wondered how different American Jews and Jewish leaders are today when compared to the American Jewish leaders in the 1920s and 1930s, as economic problems worsened and a virulent antisemitism arose. "Sound familiar?", he asked. "Were the American Holocaust-era leaders trying to save European Jews? Or were they nervous about bringing over shtetl, Yiddish-speaking people who might increase anti-Semitism in America?" Were their efforts too little and too late and were their efforts also met with great resistance?
His point: Is Israel the new shtetl? Are Israelis the new "Yids" who will ruin it for the American Jews? How can so many academics, journalists, human rights activists—and American Jews blame Israel for its imperfections while refusing to even note how dangerously totalitarian, intolerant, and religiously extreme its Muslim neighbors happen to be?
DR. SMALL NOTED THAT ANTISEMITISM is different from all the other 'isms' such as racism and sexism. "It is inherently genocidal," he said. It was "genocidal during the religious era when Jews were the wrong religion" and were accused of holding back the Messianic age by both "refusing to convert to Christianity" and for having committed "deicide." And it is genocidal today. But there is a taboo today at work that impedes any rational search for the truth.
In an era of rising nationalism and ethnicity, once again, European Jews were suddenly seen as strangers. In order to save one's nation, the Jews had to be exterminated.
Finally, in our "contemporary context," Israel is the Jew of the world, the scapegoat for the world's ills. Now, the entire world wishes to annihilate the Jewish state—in order to save the world.
"No one is looking at radical Islamic ideology." Everyone (that means all the educated Ivy League professors and their students who grow up to become senators and presidents) is a "postmodernist," a "cultural relativist," a non-judgmental "multi-culturalist." By definition, anyone who has been formerly colonized and anyone who is a person of color is a victim whose customs and traditions cannot be "judged."
Charles and I agree that this is really a rather new and rather clever form of racism and paternalism. Universal rights for me and thee—but not for the female victims of honor killing, forced child marriage, female genital mutilation, and forced veiling. Religious rights for Muslims in the West but the lethal persecution of Christians, Hindus, and Jews in "Muslim lands."
MEANWHILE, CHARLES' INSTITUTE AT YALE WAS VIBRANT, dynamic and thriving. About 3 ½ years into Dr. Small's Institute at Yale, a philanthropist offered five million dollars if Yale would raise 15-20 million dollars. Dr. Small delivered a strategic business plan. The Development Office said it was "wonderful."
But the Iranian regime suddenly listed Yale as an "enemy of the revolution." People—powerful people—on the Yale Corporation blamed Small and his Institute for having gotten Yale in trouble. He was told to cease, desist, and recant, so to speak.
Charles thought: Not bad if our work has gotten the attention of the genocidal Iranians who are busy devouring their own people too.
One of the members of the Yale Corporation who is in charge of Ethical and Financial Investments for Yale is CNN correspondent Fareed Zakaria. Dr.Small played a CNN tape titled "Hizbullah Supports Beirut Synagogue." Zakaria presented Hizbullah and Lebanon as "open to religious expressions" and the power behind the reconstruction of the Magon Adom Synagogue in Beirut. Zakaria chided the American state department for having classified Hizbullah as a "foreign terrorist organization." We watched the CNN clip which Charles showed us.
Hizbullah was behind the heinous bombing of the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but its mastermind leader could not be prosecuted because Amadinejad had appointed him Defense Minister of Iran. As such, he has diplomatic immunity. I listened to this Argentinian prosecutor who presented his careful documentation at the 2010 global conference at Dr. Small's Institute and it was chilling. Hizbullah was definitely behind this murderous atrocity.
IN AUGUST OF 2010, CHARLES CONVENED the largest academic world conference on global antisemitism ever held, Radical Political Islam was part of the discussion. It couldn't be ignored. It was not the focal point of the conference. It wasn't even mentioned by most of the speakers. But it was included in some presentations by a few of the 107 speakers from 23 countries who made up the program.
What was to come was signalled when the assembled conference attendees were welcomed rather sourly by associate Yale Provost, Frances Rosenbluth. Before a word was spoken or paper presented, she warned that the scholarship to be presented needed be constrained and she pre-emptively labeled outcomes when she said presenters were "not to engage in Islamophobia."
This was the kind of faculty, administration, and Corporation that Charles Small was up against. Charles was actually told, point blank, that if he would only stop dealing with radical Islam, radical Islamic Judeophobia, and Iran that he could enjoy a long and happy career at Yale. But Radical Political Islam, not Islam the religion, not the Muslim people, but Radical Political Islam, the genocidal movement, is a key part of the irrational hatred against Jews and Israel in today's world.
A young Palestinian actively blogged throughout the conference and in real time characterized speakers as "racists" and "Islamophobes." Instead of measured analysis, dialogue and prudent deliberation, his name calling reverberated across the internet kicking off a firestorm which resulted, three days later, in the newly appointed PLO "ambassador" in D.C. writing to Yale President Levin charging Yale with "racism."
Tell the truth about Radical Political Islamism and you will be branded a racist. Dare expose the Muslim practice of slavery, imperialism, colonialism, religious intolerance, and gender apartheid and you will find yourself branded a "conservative racist" and therefore demonized. It happened to me early on, between 2003-2005. It has happened to every single truth teller ever since, including Dr. Charles Small.
This was the first time that Yale had evaluated a Research Center and kept their Report "confidential." Dr, Small has not seen it to this day. Yale "confiscated the film of the conference. Yale also forced Dr. Small to work only with their own PR person, rather than the firm he had hired. Yale's PR person said: "I don't have to take directions from you and I am friends with a faculty member in Middle East Studies at Columbia and I don't have to do anything I don't want to do." And he walked out.
SMALL WAS ATTACKED ON NPR. The stellar gathering of the world's scholars on anti-Semitism was likened to "the equivalent of having the Black Panthers run an institute on racism." As Small put it: "The leading scholars were viewed as a bunch of murderers."
Soon, Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt attacked Charles and his entire Institute as unscholarly, as having crossed the line into "advocacy." Three weeks later, President Obama appointed her to a special position at the U.S. Holocaust Museum which is part of the State Department.
At another public meeting, Hannah Rosenthal, another Obama appointee and former J Street honcho, ran across the room to publicly condemn Small for daring to criticize American policy makers for their failure in terms of looking at anti-Semitism.
Several Yale scholars attacked Dr. Small for not being "nuanced enough" about the Muslim Brotherhood, (Hamas in Gaza), whose program is the destruction of Israel. The Hamas Charter is modeled upon the forgery known as the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
The White House just happily hosted the Muslim Brotherhood. No human rights groups raised an outcry. Neither did the ADL.
President Obama chose to appoint Stephanie Powers the head of a new American initiative to combat genocidal atrocities. Powers is the very woman who, in an interview, did not recommend an American military invasion of Syria, Sudan, Rwanda, or Bosnia—but she wanted American boots on the ground in Israel/Palestine to enforce…what? The world view that Israel should not exist. (That is not how she said it but in my view this is exactly what she meant).
On the very day President Obamas appointed Powers, he also appeared with Elie Wiesel at the Holocaust Museum.
With some pain, Dr. Small noted that Wiesel had also come to Yale. "He said that the times are urgent—no it is an emergency." Wiesel was talking about Iran's genocidal intentions towards Israel, towards Tel Aviv, not merely towards the "settlements."
And what was Wiesel most concerned about? That another six million Jews (G-d forbid) might be murdered? That Holocaust survivors have lived to see the possibility of a second Shoah, one that I predicted in 2004 and which Guilio Meotti has since pursued with valor and determination. No. Wiesel was bothered most by the silence of the human rights community, and by the Jewish community most of all.
In a quiet voice, Dr. Small said: "We thought that at Auschwitz, anti-Semitism has died, but no, only the Jews died."
And yet, if, as Wiesel has said, "we are facing an emergency," we may also need advocates, activists, soldiers, a cyber-defense team, a black ops team, and much more along these lines.
Charles Small challenges us all to start holding risky conversations with liberal-left Jews, even in our own families, conversations that are considered "beyond the pale." We must ask: "Is Obama the best or the worst president for the Jews and for democracy? (He who has not intervened in Iran or Syria). Will Obama every really stop Iran's bomb?"
DR. CHARLES SMALL WISHES TO REMAIN A SCHOLAR and in an era of Big Lies and the demonization of the truth that is a laudable goal. True scholarship has now been exiled entirely from our universities which are mainly indoctrinating our students into anti-Semitism and America-hatred.
But it is now a year later and this quiet talk to a hushed audience at the 92nd St. Y marked the beginning of a new chapter in the struggle to tell the truth and expose the deception that is going on behind the curtain in academia today. The whole episode at Yale was instructive and underlines the urgent need for an independent institution that studies antisemitism in real time, and not merely as an historical artifact and novelty. Antisemtism is as virulent, threatening and genocidal as it has ever been and the need for a Charles Small and an organization like ISGAP, that is not afraid to seek the truth, is more pressing than it has ever been. If not now, when.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and
Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is an author and
lecturer She is the author of fifteen books, including Women and
Madness (Doubleday, 1972), The Death of Feminism: What's Next in the
Struggle for Women's Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and most
recently, The New Anti-Semitism. She is the co-founder of the still
ongoing Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's
Visit her website at http://www.phyllis-chesler.com.
This article appeared April 27, 2012 in Israel National News
It is archived at: http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/1085/studying-antisemitism-on-campus.