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March 8, 2017 3:07 pm

Leading US Jewish Feminist: Anti-Israel Messaging of International Women’s Strike Part of Ongoing ‘Poisoned Propaganda Effort’

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Interview
Author Phyllis Chesler. Photo: Facebook.

Author Phyllis Chesler. Photo: Facebook.

The anti-Israel messaging promoted by organizers of Wednesday’s International Women’s Strike marks a continuation of a “poisoned propaganda effort” that began after the young nation won the 1967 Six-Day War in self-defense, a leading American Jewish feminist told The Algemeiner.

The goal of that campaign, which was initiated by the Soviet Union, Arab League and the Palestinians, was to “infiltrate an already receptive Left with the view that Israel was an imperialist, colonialist enterprise,” Dr. Phyllis Chesler — an emerita professor of psychology at City University of New York and a best-selling author — said.

“In the academic world, it became very trendy and politically correct to champion the purity of tyrants, terrorists and barbarians and women’s rights and women’s issues started being used to inflame hatred of one state only, the Jewish state,” Chesler noted.

“With this fake focus on Palestinian rights, what’s being completely forgotten are the honor killings, forced face-veilings, child marriages, female genital mutilation and polygamy — not to mention the arrests, torture and murders of feminist and gay rights activists, both male and female — in the Islamic world,” Chesler went on to say. “America and Israel are far from perfect on women’s rights. But compared to countries where women live under sharia law, they are shining cities on a hill.”

Furthermore, Chesler said, “To have a strike with leaders like [anti-Israel activist] Linda Sarsour and [convicted Palestinian terrorist] Rasmea Odeh, it is beyond the pale.”

“There are real issues that are women’s rights issues,” Chesler stated. “And many of the women who marched as grassroots soldiers in Washington after [President Donald] Trump’s inauguration were genuinely concerned about reproductive freedom, economic parity, gay rights, a whole host of issues. But liberal feminist Jewish women are being driven out of progressive movements, and this is very dangerous.”

In a New York Times op-ed published on Monday, Emily Shire — the politics editor at the Bustle online women’s magazine — wrote, “Increasingly, I worry that my support for Israel will bar me from the feminist movement that has come to insist that feminism is connected to a wide variety of political causes…More and more frequently, my identity as a Zionist places me in conflict with the feminist movement of 2017. I will remain a proud feminist, but I see no reason I should have to sacrifice my Zionism for the sake of my feminism.”

As reported by The Algemeiner on Monday, the platform written by organizers of Wednesday’s International Women’s Strike says, “Against the open white supremacists in the current government and the far right and anti-Semites they have given confidence to, we stand for an uncompromising anti-racist and anti-colonial feminism. This means that movements such as Black Lives Matter, the struggle against police brutality and mass incarceration, the demand for open borders and for immigrant rights and for the decolonization of Palestine are for us the beating heart of this new feminist movement. We want to dismantle all walls, from prison walls to border walls, from Mexico to Palestine.”

Odeh — who served time in Israeli prison for her involvement, as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in a pair of 1969 terrorist bombings in Jerusalem — was a co-author of a Guardian op-ed published last month that called on American women to join the strike.

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