From Publishers Weekly
Although it has since been retracted, in 1975 Arab leaders introduced the "Zionism equals racism" equation to the United Nations. Wisse views this move as part of an Arab propaganda campaign against Israel, which she believes the predominantly Arab states seek to annihilate. This ongoing campaign, Wisse writes, has caused Americans on the political left and right alike to reflexively blame Israel for Middle East problems. As a result, American liberals' support for Israeli rights has weakened, and Jews in the Diaspora can no longer seek refuge behind the banner of liberalism, she cautions. A professor of Yiddish and English literature at McGill University in Montreal, Wisse has produced an impassioned, hard-line polemic. Calling anti-Semitism "the most durable ideology of the twentieth century," she judges liberals' perennial hope that Arabs will turn friendly and tolerant of Israel to be misguided. She chides modern Israeli writers who, ambivalent about Zionism, "deliver up the image of the ugly Israeli." Her contentious essay is framed by a personal letter to an ex-lover who emigrated to Israel.
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