How could so much rabid and vulgar Jew-hatred suddenly erupt everywhere? Did someone flick a switch that unleashed millions of haters programmed to disrupt public meetings, graduation ceremonies, legislative sessions, and singing and athletic contests? To block streets, schools and bridges? To smash windows, deface synagogues and kosher or Israeli restaurants, and publish false narratives about Israel and the Palestinians all over the world? 

I’ve been asking myself this question ever since Oct. 7. Today, I may have something of an answer. 

Diaspora Jewry was seen as safe because Israel was militarily, economically, culturally, scientifically and technologically strong. Israel led the world in counterterrorism and was the only country in the Middle East that protects all religions, not just Judaism. 

Israel’s strength meant that left-wing Diaspora Jews who loudly criticized Israel’s every imperfection and failure, and right-wing Diaspora Jews who kept supporting Israel no matter what, were safe because Israel existed. Israelis who excel at dissenting politics and are geniuses at criticizing their government were also kept relatively safe because Israel was and was seen as strong. Without this, we would all be subject to the historically endless pogroms and persecutions that have characterized Jewish existence in both the Muslim and the Christian world. 

Things have changed. Israel looks vulnerable and the Jew-haters have been emboldened as a result. 

So, if Diaspora Jews and our Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim friends the world over want to help both the Jews and the West to defeat barbarism, they must strengthen the IDF in every way. These precious young men and women are on the front line fighting for civilization. However imperfect Israeli and American leaders and political systems may be, they are far better than those of Iran, China, Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan and North Korea. 

Now is the time to act. I am urging you, imploring you, to do so. 

Send money to the IDF and Israel’s ambulance and medical services. Volunteer as physicians and physical therapists, nurses, harvesters, fruit pickers and compassionate caregivers. Stand with pro-Israel demonstrators. Attend your local city council meetings, write articles for and letters to newspapers. Sue schools for harassing and chasing Jewish students away. Work to end the poisoned curriculum that has turned students into Jew-hating zombies. 

This work may take decades to complete. Begin it today. And whatever you choose to do, never stop. 

This article originally appeared in Jewish News Syndicate (JNS). 

Dr. Phyllis Chesler, is the author of 20 books, including the landmark feminist classics Women and Madness (1972),  Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody (1986, 2011), Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman (2002),  An American Bride in Kabul (2013), which won a National Jewish Book Award. In 2003, she published  The New Antisemitism (reissued in 2015), and in 2016,  Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews. She is a founding member of the Original Women of the Wall (1989). Dr. Chesler spent 2021-2022 as part of a team which rescued women from Afghanistan.