Psychologists Hope to Combat Antisemitism as an Illness

Although I'm a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), and a pioneer feminist psychologist, I stopped attending professional meetings a long time ago. There are many reasons why, including an increasingly toxic view of Judaism and Israel by academics who were in no way experts in these subjects. This led to the formation of Jewish Women's Caucuses within the professions which were often viewed as mimicking or trying to steal the thunder from women of color.

After I published The New Antisemitism in 2003, I received a flurry of emails from professors whose reputations, funding, friendships, even jobs, were in jeopardy given that their views of Israel were too-positive because they were fact-based. I found a New York Times education editor who was interested in interviewing these endangered academics. But within weeks, she told me that she'd "been stopped at the highest levels."

Many Jewish psychologists, both academics and clinicians, tend to be highly assimilated progressives, often leftists, proudly non-religious, "culturally" Jewish. About 10 years ago, as a favor to two psychoanalyst friends, I delivered a lecture on antisemitism to a large group of New York City analysts. I barely escaped with my dignity intact. The disbelief, anger, accusations, rejection of what they perceived as a too-Zionist point of view, one which almost rendered trendy little me as a dangerous oustjuden, an embarrassing greenhorn, was something amazing to experience.

The American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives did pass a resolution on antisemitic and anti-Jewish prejudice in 2005, and amended it in 2007, which resolved to "encourage research," "take a leadership role," and "include appropriate information on antisemitism in its multicultural and diversity training materials and activities." However, nothing much changed within the ranks.

Despite all their social justice work, most psychologists – professors, therapists, psycho-analysts, etc. rarely noticed something that their colleague, psychologist Neil Kressel, had already documented in 2012, namely, that virulent antisemitism also exists among Muslims; that American text books on prejudice and racism do not include Muslim antisemitism, and for that matter, rarely include antisemitism itself as a form of racism. In 2016 and 2017, Kressel published a series of studies which documented the lack of scholarly anti-racist interest in antisemitism. "There is not a single reference to any of the books published in the last two decades that focuses on recent antisemitism," he wrote. "In addition, there is not a single reference to antisemitism coming from Muslims, Arabs, or the Muslim world."

Thus, antisemitism does not seem to exist in the academy, is not important, not even a unique form of prejudice. But false concepts such as "Islamophobia," peddled by the Muslim Brotherhood and by Hatem Bazian at Berkeley are accepted as divine truth. Anti-Zionism, which today is a current form of antisemitism, is hotly debated and denied as such. The chancellor at Rutgers University just apologized to the school's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter for condemning antisemitism. The SJP explained to the Rutgers administration that anti-Zionism was core to their identity as Palestinians and as such, condemning it was tantamount to erasing them.

At such a time, we need another kind of academic warrior, one who fights for facts, not narratives. A hero, willing to risk quite a lot for the sake of the truth.


# Anti-Semitism # Culture War # Islamic Hatred of Jews
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