Phyllis Chesler married an Afghan and went to live in Afghanistan when she was not much more than a teenager. She wrote a remarkable book about her experience, but also learned a lifetime worth of insight that we ought to be able to learn from in the West but won’t and do not. Bad luck for us. But this latest article of hers, The Truth-Teller’s Gulag, is about the chill that fell on her work and her friendships when she joined those who defend Israel.
I am an intellectual and a writer and I live in the West. I have not been physically beaten, imprisoned, or tortured, nor have my books been burned. However, I have been cast into a peculiar kind of Gulag. After a long and successful career, my work—both past and current—has been “disappeared” by those who once praised it.
It is like with everything that is disapproved by the left. It might as well not exist. Read the whole story of the fate that befell a clear-headed woman of courage who tried to talk sense and honesty to a world that doesn’t want the truth to be heard and will do everything it can to stop it. You don’t go to the gulag; where you go is into Coventry which turns out to be even more effective because you still have your right to free speech. You only no longer have a right to be heard.
Phyllis Chesler is by a long long way my favourite feminist. She has written an article on the traison de clercs which she has titled, J’Accuse whose significance and historical roots will be missed by the dumbed down members of the academy today. This is how it begins:
J’accuse every single Western academic, each intellectual and journalist who has ever circulated and signed a Resolution against Israel and in favor of Hamas is a supporter of Islamist barbarism against Western civilization.
They are the West’s equivalent of suicide (or really, homicide) bombers.
These are the professors and activists who are, essentially, anti-American in their point of view and who, like President Obama (who studied with them), want a de-militarized and diminished America. The 21st century manifestation of this sentiment in academia is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, whose aim is to starve the Israeli government by bullying even further already indoctrinated academics, artists, and businessmen into not working in Israel and/or into covering the news in only a pro-Hamas and pro-Palestinian way.
Support for Hamas is merely a particular instance of this hatred of our civilisation, not just the most prosperous in history but also the kindest and most open. That others hate us is how things happen. That so many within the citadel hate us as well may yet doom us, but if they are successful they will be responsible for the dark age that will be the successor civilisation to what we have now.