An excellent interview of Dr.Gerstenfeld by Gerry Gordon at NER, I wholeheartedly recommend reading it in its entirety.
Gerstenfeld: The main theme in Demonizing Israel and the Jews is the explanation of the essence of the process of the demonization of Israel. I have tried to simplify it. It consists of three elements: a perpetrator, a demonizing message and a communication medium to transmit it. We live in post-modern times, thus there are many demonizing messages against Jews and Israel. There was one single major message in classic Christian anti-Semitism which claimed that the Jews committed deicide. Nazi anti-Semitism also had one central message: the Jews are subhuman. The transmission outlets through which you can communicate these demonizing messages include newspapers, TV stations, the internet and the United Nations.
The second major theme of my book is exposing how far the demonizing of Israel has progressed in the European Union. The third major theme is showing the multiple facets of contemporary anti-Semitism. They are expressed in the 57 interviews. The expert interviewees discuss perpetrators such as NGO’s, media and governments. They also analyze Christians, Muslims in Muslim countries and Muslims living in the West. The book illustrates the broad range of demonizers. It also exposes the great variety of demonizing messages as well as how they are communicated through the transmission channels.
Anti-Israelism is Anti-Semitism: an Interview with Manfred Gerstenfeld
by Jerry Gordon (September 2013)
Manfred Gerstenfeld, the former Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a noted author and commentator on European and World anti-Semitism. He recently published a book of interviews, Demonizing Israel and the Jews. The book presents important themes on how prevalent anti-Semitism, anti-Israelism and what Gerstenfeld terms “humanitarian racism” are in the West today. See our review in the current edition of the New English Review.
Vienna-born Gerstenfeld is a Holocaust survivor who grew up as a child of Jews hidden in Holland not far from Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam. A product of a strongly Zionist and Orthodox Jewish family he left Amsterdam for Paris in 1964 to become a premier pharmaceutical industry stock analyst for Eurofinance – a consortium of 16 international banks. That subsequently led to an illustrious international strategic and financial consultancy career in both Europe and Israel. Making Aliyah with his family in 1968 to Israel, he served in the IDF as a Reserve Officer in Economic Intelligence.
In 1999 following the passing of the founding chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, he assumed that post which he held from 2000 to 2012. While there he established a program of Post-Holocaust and anti-Semitism studies specializing in the continuing problem of European and global anti-Semitism. Near the close of the 20th Century he returned to Dutch problems, advising on the matter of restitution for Dutch Holocaust survivors on behalf of Dutch Jewish immigrants in Israel. His demand for an apology by the Dutch for the failure of the Government in exile in London during World War Two to recognize the destruction of Holland’s Jews during the Holocaust drew wide international attention.
Gerstenfeld has frequently commented in books and articles about the Dutch attitude towards Jews following the Nazi occupation that witnessed the murders of over 100,000 of his Dutch coreligionists in Nazi death camps. In 2012, he was given a Lifetime Award by The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. Gerstenfeld’s latest work draws attention to one reason why Israel and Jews are demonized, “humanitarian racism,” meaning the attributing of an “intrinsically reduced responsibility to people of certain ethnic or national groups regarding their criminal acts and intentions.” He has developed an estimate based on several studies and polls that approximately “150 million Europeans have extreme negative views about Jews and the State of Israel.” In an email exchange, Bat Ye’or suggests that Palestianism is the root of “humanitarian racism.” Note how Bat Ye’or defined Palestinism in our interview with her:
Palestinism is a world policy initiated and imposed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its Western allies that aims to transfer to Palestinian Muslims the history, the cultural and religious heritage of the Jewish people. . . . Palestinism encompasses all Western-Muslim relationships.
Please read the rest of the interview here at New English Review.