Daniel Killy has published a review of Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld’s book “The War of a Million Cuts in German“, in the widely read Jewish German paper Jüdische Allgemeine. Republished here in English with the author’s consent.
The War of a Million Cuts
The common hatred of Jews in modern times, in particular in Germany, likes to cloak itself in the stealth mode of ‘censure of Israel’. This is its newest ploy, just one aspect of a worldwide anti-Semitism in its innumerable facets and forms, which has not only survived, but constantly seeks to expand further. In his most recent work, The War of a Million Cuts, Jerusalem-based anti-Semitism researcher Manfred Gerstenfeld assembles and analyzes the categories of current anti-Semitism and the defamation of Israel, all in one book.
The book’s title, The War of a Million Cuts illustrates the huge array of manifestations of enmity toward Jews. “I created this expression,” says Gerstenfeld, “in order to represent how radically the fight against the current forms of anti-Semitism is different from that against classic anti-Semitism. There the hatred of Jews concentrated itself in one particular message – the murder of Jesus, for instance, in religious anti-Semitism, or the genetic inferiority of the Jews in ethnic anti-Semitism.”
Nowadays the “cuts” are mainly directed against Israel. In 21 chapters and more than 500 pages, the 78-year-old author portrays and analyzes the individual facets of hatred toward Jews and Israel. This is the first complete collection and analysis of the unfortunately daily, worldwide propaganda attacks against Israel and the Jews. Be it Muslims (whether in dictatorships or as migrants in the West), politicians, classic media, social media, NGOs, church leaders, academics, trade-unionists, right wing extremists, social democrats or radical leftists – they all make up the essence of a new anti-Semitism which is apparently unstoppable in its relentless march forward.
Gerstenfeld meticulously describes the individual motifs and categories of this hatred, and presents an erudite exposition of how it constantly poisons societies, and how much damage it causes to Israel and the Jews. It is interesting to see that historical hate motifs such as the Jewish lust for blood survive in modern mutations. Gerstenfeld depicts the case of the Norwegian physicians Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse who helped wounded Hamas fighters during the 2008 Gaza campaign – financed by the Norwegian government. In their book Øyne I Gaza (Eyes in Gaza), they claim that Israel only marched into the Gaza strip in order to kill Palestinian women and children. In numerous interviews, these two compared the Israeli defence policy with the Greek Hades, the god of the underworld. Their reward for these defamations: repeated praise from the Norwegian Prime Minister at the time, Jens Stoltenberg, currently Secretary General of NATO, and the Order of St. Olav – from the hand of King Harald V himself.
Theft of Organs?
The Swedish journalist Donald Böström published an article in the daily Aftonbladet entitled “Our sons’ organs were stolen”, claiming that the IDF kills Palestinians in order to ‘harvest’ their organs – with the approval of the Israeli health authorities.
It would be premature to find such nonsense merely amusing. The vast number of such incidents, which Gerstenfeld details by country and methodology, shows how perniciously effective they are. For this reason, one cannot value Manfred Gerstenfeld’s work enough, in that he has brought together an entire cosmos of hatred against Jews and Israel in one compendium. The same is true for his core thesis: that for decades, Israel has not taken these attacks seriously enough, and prefers to counter them in a purely reactive way. Gerstenfeld vehemently demands the creation of an anti-propaganda agency.
The author asserts that it is possible to conduct a structured well organized battle against anti-Semitism, if it is done so with strategic, cool precision. Against the backdrop of so many intolerable incidents, Gerstenfeld’s book, graced with a preface by the former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, should be obligatory reading – in particular in Germany!
Manfred Gerstenfeld: »The War of A Million Cuts: The Struggle
Against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the
Growth of New AntiSemitism RVP Press, New York 2015, 501 pages
Originally published in German under the title “Millionen Nadelstiche”, in the Jüdische Algemeiner, November 5, 2015.