Today we’d like to introduce you to Charles Asher Small.
Charles Asher, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
ISGAP was created after being inspired by Professor Elie Weisel, who was a great scholar, the most known survivor of the Holocaust and Nobel Peace Prize Laurette. I attended the first United Nations conference ever held on antisemitism in 2003 organized by Elie Weisel and UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan. I started ISGAP the support of Dr. William Prusoff and Elie Weisel was the first President of ISGAP.
As a young scholar in Israel, I began to read and study the regional and global influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East, Europe and in the United States. I was shocked to learn the Muslim Brotherhood’s intellectual affiliation to European antisemitism, white supremacy and Nazi ideology. I also became alarmed of how the Iranian Regime, Hamas and Hezbollah also used antisemitism to gain support, and the central role it plays in their ideology and political agenda.
This combined with the fact that this threat was not being studied in US universities, makes this scourge even more dangerous. I knew something had to be done to confront this “longest hatred.” If our students – future leaders – were not aware – I knew this threatened our democracy. As Professor Elie Weisel always taught “antisemitism begins with the Jews – but never ends with the Jews.”
Once unleashed – this hatred affects others – and challenges our very basic democratic practices. After Charlottesville and the massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue by an adherent to a radical antisemitic and racist ideology — we know too well that even in the United States we need to be vigilant against all forms of hatred.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a difficult path. There is a Chinese proverb that states “you can not wake up a dog pretending to sleep.” Too many people had vested interests in “engaging” the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Revolutionary Regime.
Now more people understand that reactionary antisemitic forces need to be confronted. I think after Charlottesville and the Pittsburgh massacre – more people realize that antisemitism and white supremacy anywhere must be confronted.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) – what should we know?
The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) is the only entity fighting antisemitism from within the Academy, i.e., the classroom, “on the battlefield of ideas.” ISGAP is a high-caliber international research institute with a focus on the interdisciplinary study of antisemitism, with an emphasis on the contemporary context.
ISGAP’s mission is to break the taboo of engaging in the study of mapping and decoding contemporary antisemitism in the university by creating a safe space for faculty and students to study, research, publish, debate and combat contemporary antisemitism at the highest levels of scholarship.
Universities are at the front lines of this political warfare campaign against Israel and the Jewish people. By trying to change the present state of academia, which often inhibits and silences the voices of those who speak out in support of Israel, we believe that we will be able to influence future generations of policymakers, scholars and community leaders.
ISGAP is an intellectual grassroots movement within the academy aimed at fighting antisemitism and the demonization of the State of Israel and Jewish Peoplehood by conducting strategic research and providing intelligence that will guide the fight against contemporary antisemitism, including the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Founded in 2004, The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) is a non-profit 501c3 organization in the United States. It has obtained charitable status in Canada, Europe, and Israel. Headquartered in New York City, ISGAP maintains a presence in Montreal, Tel Aviv, Rome, Kiev, Paris, Athens, Vienna, Russian Federation, Santiago and Oxford, United Kingdom.
ISGAP has carried out academic programme and research projects at prestigious universities and research centers including, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Stanford University, McGill University, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, La Sorbonne and the CNRS (Paris), La Sapienza University in Rome, The International Research Center at Yad Vashem, and others.
ISGAP has been invited to open programs at top tier universities in Moscow, Nanjing, China, Delhi, India, Vienna, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia and more.
How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc.?
Success is preparing students and faculty to combat antisemitism and other forms of bigotry – and to promote democratic principles. We are living in times where basic democratic principles must be defended.
- Website: www.isgap.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 2122301840