21st Tikkun Olam Award to Dr. Neil J. Kressel

(Click on certificate to enlarge)

Neil J. Kressel, who holds a Ph.D. 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 (YIISA). He is the author of four books, including Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror, Revised and Updated Edition (Westview Press, 2002) and Bad Faith:  The Danger of Religious Extremism (Prometheus Books, 2007).   

His book on Muslim antisemitism will be published by Potomac Books in August 2012.  This work establishes that dangerous antisemitism exists today not only among Islamist extremists but also among more moderate Muslims.  The book also explains the reluctance in the West to discuss this disturbing trend, and offers suggestions for healing the rift between Muslims and Jews 

Kressel argues that 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 1.2 billion Muslims hold anti-Jewish beliefs, much bigotry comes from the highest levels of religious and political leadership.  Yet, Kressel maintains, many in the West refuse to recognize this growing epidemic of hate; instead, it has been largely ignored, misunderstood or downplayed due to apathy, ignorance, confusion, bigotry, ideology, purported pragmatism, and misguided multiculturalism.  Muslim antisemitism as 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 plan for what must be done to confront this hostility.

Kressel’s research on antisemitism dates back to his undergraduate days in the seventies at Brandeis University where he wrote an honors thesis on nineteenth-century French antisemitism.  His doctoral dissertation at Harvard dealt with “American Public Opinion and Mass Media Coverage of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-1982.”  Over the years, he has published many articles on Jew-hatred and related topics in scholarly journals and popular periodicals.  His work has been widely cited and reviewed.  He has also been a guest on many broadcasts including: NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, the History Channel, Voice of America, ABC-TV, and elsewhere.  In addition to his work on antisemitism, Kressel is an expert on the American Jury system; he and his wife, Dorit F. Kressel, are the authors of Stack and Sway:  The New Science of Jury Consulting (Westview Press, 2002).

To read the Jerusalem Post review of Dr. Kressel’s new book, “The Sons of Pigs and Apes” (Potomac Books 2012), click HERE.



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