A little late for Chanukah, but just in time for Christmas…


Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence

By Neil J. Kressel



video56From 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 billion-plus Muslims hold anti-Jewish beliefs, Kressel finds that much bigotry comes from the highest levels of religious and political leadership.


Shocking examples are seen in the widespread antisemitic political articles and images published frequently in government-run media throughout the Muslim world.  In addition, Saudi Arabia continues to spend millions of dollars publishing and distributing antisemitic textbooks globally despite pressure from the U.S. State Department.


  The Palestinian media regularly target children with antisemitic programming including “Tomorrow’s Pioneers” which features actors dressed as beloved Western cartoon characters.  They talk about killing Jews and attaining martyrdom.  When the Mickey Mouse clone and Bugs Bunny clone were ultimately killed by the Jews, it was hard to calibrate the impact on the minds of the next generation.  But the show – a big hit – continues. 


And the danger goes far beyond media attacks.  For example, the Iranian leadership – steeped in a culture of Holocaust denial – is bent on using whatever means they can acquire to destroy the millions of inhabitants of the Jewish state.  Moreover, and contrary to conventional wisdom, the hostility that Kressel documents is as much a cause as an effect of the Arab-Israeli conflict with its roots going far back into theology and history. 


And most recently, worldwide attention was focused on an Egyptian reality television program called, “Alhokm Baad Almozawla,” or Judgment After a Prank, based on the American program Candid Camera features popular Egyptian celebrities unwittingly being pranked—they are told that they are on an Israeli-Jewish program and films their reactions which resulted in violence against the host and producers.  “I hate the Jews to death,” said one guest, Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Ghaffar, after slapping and violently shaking the interviewer. 


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.


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 three previously published books, including Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror, Revised and Updated (Westview Press, 2002). Kressel lives in northern New Jersey. 


“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 

 “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

“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 

“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, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of The Trials of Zion