This is Dr.Gerstenfeld’s latest article first published at Israel National News, and republished here with the author’s consent.

Image result for bds propaganda


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe battle against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is fought in a wide variety of ways. Yet the most direct argument is underrepresented: BDS activities which exclusively focus on Israel are in and of themselves anti-Semitic.

One only has to read the definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Assembly to understand the anti-Semitic character of BDS.1 It cites specifically: “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” The fact that BDS activities are usually aimed exclusively at Israel expresses such a double standard. The acceptance of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism required the agreement of 31 democratic member countries. These include the United States, Canada and 24 members of the EU.

One inciter against Israel, the Canadian Jewish author Naomi Klein wrote “The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.” Klein added, “Why single out Israel when the United States, Britain and other Western countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan?” Her answer was: “Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.”2

Klein thus openly asserts that she promotes aggression against Israel in a way different from attacking any other democratic nation. Her statement is a text book example of IHRA-defined anti-Semitism. It singles out Israel for negative treatment in the same way classic anti-Semites apply double standards to Jews.

Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs concluded that the movement’s goals go beyond expressing anti-Semitic attitudes. He states: “BDS is not meant merely to pressure Israel toward a two-state solution. Instead, BDS is being used as a platform to advocate ending Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”3 This is indeed the goal of part of the BDS promoters.

The list of those promoting BDS against Israel, its suppliers or the settlements is long. In the United States these include organizations, academics, student councils and pension funds. Some examples are the student councils of seven out of ten University of California campuses. These have voted to divest from American companies that supposedly profit from the settlements, such as Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard. The pension board of the United Methodist Church blacklisted Israel’s five major banks which have branches in the settlements.4 The US Presbyterian Church passed a series of resolutions at its general assembly in support of BDS, and called on Israel to leave the territories.5 In an environment that promotes freedom of speech, these people seem to think that freedom to be anti-Semitic is included.

Over 70 American intellectuals and academics recently published an open letter calling for a “targeted boycott” of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as of products and services from the settlements.6 The American Studies Association, and the National Women’s Studies Association have voted to boycott Israeli universities.7 Other American academic associations that have joined the boycott include the African Literature Association, the Association for Asian American Studies, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Associations.8

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Their hatred of the Jews (antisemitism) stems from canonical Islamic texts, which are chock full of classic anti-Jewish tropes, hate mongering and open calls for their genocide.

mohameds fruits

This article was first published in Israel National News and republished here with the author’s consent.

Dutch Muslim Curses of Peres and other Muslim-related Problems

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldA great number of problems are created by parts of the Muslim communities in Western countries. Many Westerners try to minimize this situation, often out of a dishonest political correctness. They argue that Muslims are weak and even victims of society. Therefore one should be more tolerant with them than with others. The whitewashers falsely claim that the difficulties associated with this part of the Muslim community are connected only to a small group of fanatics who have very different attitudes and behaviors from the huge majority of mainstream Muslims.

In actual fact, the problems caused and the hatred emanating out of parts of Western Muslim communities go far beyond the fanatics. While this also leads to many challenges for society in general, Jews and Israel are particular targets. One recent example, the expressions of hatred on the occasion of the death of Shimon Peres, again illustrates that we are not talking about a marginal phenomenon.

The following example, though small, is very revealing. The Dutch site “Trots op Islam” (Proud of Islam) reports 10,000 followers and claims it is the largest Islam-promoting site of the Netherlands and Dutch speaking Belgians.1 The site explains in detail how to live as a religious Muslim. When Peres died on the September 28th, Trots op Islam carried a news item about his death. This led to almost one hundred talkbacks of which a substantial percentage contained extreme hate speech. One could still view these talkbacks on this religious site more than a week later.2

As it is not our habit to fill articles with hate statements, here are only a few examples of these abhorrent talkbacks: “A pity he died, he should first have lied in coma for 8 years”; “One dog less, now the other garbage Netanyahu should follow him, that would be even better”; “What a pity, as far as I am concerned he should have suffered more!, but good enough, a piece of fire wood goes to hell; “Hamdullah, how glad we are that this dirty pig has died” and “Super-great news, Hamdullah, now the rest of the Zionists should follow.” It is yet another testimony that the most extreme verbal abuses often come from Muslims.

Another common dubious statement of whitewashers is that Muslim hate speech comes mainly from males. Among the authors of these talkbacks Muslim women have at least an equal share.

The above hate mongering among religious Muslims is just one of many highly problematic Muslim-related phenomena in the Netherlands. When a Dutch non-practicing Muslim, Yasmina Haifi, tweeted that Israel was behind ISIS, she was suspended from the main Dutch counter-terrorist body NCTV. In reaction, more than 11,000 people joined the Facebook site, “We are behind Yasmina Haifi.”3

There are several other highly problematic issues with the Muslim community, once again with the Netherlands as an example. In September 2014 it became clear, rather suddenly, that Islamo-Nazism there has become substantial. Rob Bertholee, head of AIVD – the Dutch general intelligence service – said in an interview that the Dutch jihadi movement has hundreds of adherents, while the number of sympathizers in the Netherlands of violent jihad is in the thousands.4 In July 2014, dozens of Islamic State supporters held a demonstration in The Hague. On other occasions ISIS and Hamas flags were displayed at anti-Israeli demonstrations. Until then, however, the official story had been that there were 130 jihadis who had left the Netherlands, 30 had returned from the Middle East and about 15 had been killed.5

In the Netherlands another new development has taken place. There is now a new minorities’ party, which in fact is largely Muslim. This party, Denk, is headed by a Turkish-born parliamentarian, Tunahan Kuzu, who was the focus of some publicity in Israel because he refused to shake hands with Prime Minister Netanyahu during his recent visit.6 Kuzu and another Turkish-born parliamentarian Selçuk Öztürk were expelled from the Labor Party in 2014, on whose ticket they had been elected in 2012, because they did not share the opinion of the party about integration of foreigners. Denk has since repeated that foreigners do not have to integrate.7 According to the polls the party is like to get two seats in the 2017 parliamentary elections.

People often ask me how important is the Netherlands and why choose examples from there? The numbers do not seem to warrant this. The population of the Netherlands is less than four percent of the EU’s total. Its GDP represents less than 6 percent of the EU’s GDP. The Netherlands’ military is sometimes a subject of ridicule. Because of lack of ammunition training infantry soldiers have had to shout “pang pang” instead of shooting.8 Recently, a leading general announced that the Dutch Air Force may not be able to replace Belgium in Iraq next July because its planes need maintenance and lack smart ammunition.9

What makes The Netherlands important, however, is its pioneering role in issues concerning civil rights. The Netherlands was in the forefront of legislation allowing abortions and later also euthanasia. A recent proposal, already passed in the lower House of Parliament, allows the state to use body parts of dead people for organ implants, unless these people have declared before that they object.10 This means that while people have control over their body during life, after their death control may pass to the state without their express consent.

Many of the Muslims who came to The Netherlands are from countries where anti-Semitic opinions are held by the great majority of the population. Morocco is supposedly one of the more progressive Muslim countries. A major study by the Anti-Defamation League found that 80% of its adult population believe classic anti-Semitic concepts.11 The other Muslim country from which large numbers of Dutch Muslims originate is Turkey. There the same study found that 69% of adults hold anti-Semitic opinions. 12

If there were an organization which systematically analyzes attitudes of Muslims in Western society, one would have many more statistics about problems originating in these communities.13 Many politically correct parties will however do their utmost to make sure that the truth does not become known.

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This is Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld’s article “remembering Shimon Peres with ambivalence”, it’s slightly longer than the original version published in Israel National News and republished here with the author’s consent.

Image result for shimon peres in norway

Remembering Shimon Peres with Ambivalence

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldMy personal memory of Shimon Peres consists of a few meetings and a number of speeches which I attended. I first met Peres in 1965. He was at one of the lowest points of his career. Peres was then the Secretary General of the Rafi Party created by Ben-Gurion which had broken away before that year’s elections from the Labor Party. Despite its impressive list of candidates, including besides Ben Gurion two former chiefs of staff, Rafi was resoundingly beaten in the elections and received only ten seats. It was forced into opposition.

Peres came to speak at a Conference of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) near Paris. I was the organization’s chairman at the time. After his speech a number of the Union’s leaders sat down with him for a fascinating conversation. We realized that he was different from the other Israeli leaders of his generation: charismatic, intelligent, open minded.

Yet today thinking back about Peres I am very ambivalent about his attitudes and behavior after the 1993 Oslo agreements, of which he was the main Israeli architect. Have these agreements done more good than damage to Israel? It is difficult to assess.

Was the Nobel Prize for Peace given to Rabin and Peres together with Yasser Arafat justified? Most probably not, but quite a few other Nobel Peace Prizes have been unjustified. That includes the one given to U.S President Barack Obama. We now know that Arafat personally signed checks to reward terrorists who killed Israeli civilians even after receiving the Prize. Did Peres ever fully expose the criminality of Arafat? I doubt it.

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Like I have stated before on prior occasions, Islamic canonical Jew hatred has been around for over 1400 years, and in many areas, it dovetails with it’s European/Western variant derived from classic Christian understanding if its ancient texts. That said, Islamic texts make it brutally clear of its enmity with the Jews, which of course predates the rise of Nazi Germany.

What I fear is happening inside Europe, is the supercharging of these classic Christian Europe anti-Jew tropes by already antisemitic Muslim settlers who find a kindred spirit with some on the Left and Right of the socialist aisle. What we are witnessing in an identity politics/group rights /statist (divide & rule) driven Europe, is the choosing of Muslims over that of Jews (and over other discriminated minorities as well) which has led to a staring at the problem through visibly shaking fingers.

NOTE: This is a much extended version of Dr.Gerstenfled’s article on Israel and ISIS, that was first published in the Jerusalem Post and republished here with the author’s consent.

psychoanalysis couch sick EU


Manfred Gerstenfeld and Leah Hagelberg

The libel that Jews are absolute evil is the core accusation of anti-Semitism for close to two thousand years. Since 2014, the Islamic State, the cruelest of the major Muslim terror groups, has started to replace Nazism as the symbol of absolute evil. The genocide by the Germans and their allies is many decades ago, while ISIS murders brutally today. In line with the tradition of anti-Semitism, a wave of accusations associating Israel with ISIS has rapidly sprung up.

This defamation has a number of variations including that Israel has helped to create ISIS, Israel is behind ISIS, Israel is comparable to ISIS, and Israel is the reason for ISIS. The short time during which the image of ISIS has developed in the public domain enables us to follow closely the genesis of a new version of the old core calumny that Israel is absolute evil. Most, but far from the only, promoters of this hate come from the Muslim world, the extreme left and the extreme right.

Some of the earliest propagators of the new hate motif were Iranian. Its Islamic Republic News Agency, published a story accusing America of mounting its offensive against ISIS as a means of destabilizing the region to protect Israel. This story cited a supposed interview with Edward Snowden that a U.S., British, and Israeli plot to destabilize the Middle East, code-named Hornet’s Nest, was the force behind the creation of ISIS.1 Another rumor attributed to Snowden, but which he has claimed is a hoax, is the one that IS leader Al Baghdadi is really a Jewish Mossad Agent named Elliot Shimon or Simon Elliot.2

In June of 2014, shortly before ISIS proclaimed itself a caliphate, Iranian Army Chief of Staff Gen Hassan Firouzabadi stated, “ISIS is Israel’s cover up for distancing the revolutionary forces from Israeli borders and creating a margin of security for the Zionists.”3 Iranian Deputy Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian claimed in November 2014 that Israel helped to create ISIS.4

Another Muslim group to jump on the bandwagon was The World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates, an umbrella organization for scholars connected to Al-Azhar University. It is the leading academic institution of Egypt, a country which is at peace with Israel. In June 2014 this association published a statement on its website claiming that ISIS and other extremist groups were “[a] Jewish product under various names that change every now and then.” The statement also quoted the head of the association’s Pakistani chapter Sheik Sahab Zadeh Aziz, who said, “the terrorist organization ISIS is a Zionist plot which aims to murder Muslims, shed their blood, and rape [their] women and girls.”5

Ayatollah Sayed Mortada Al-Qazwini, a popular Shia cleric in Iraq gave a sermon in summer 2014 declaring ISIS a “Jewish Israeli organization, established to tear apart the land of Muslims.”6 In February 2015 Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide – referred to ISIS and Boko Haram: “I said CIA and the Mossad stand behind these organizations. There is no Muslim who would carry out such acts.”7 Al Jazeera’s Arabic website, published in August 2015 an article claiming that Israel was behind ISIS.8

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Dr.Gerstenfeld’s article on the definition of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism was originally published in Israel National News and has appeared also in Italian, German, French and Dutch, and republished here with the author’s consent.

psychoanalysis couch sick EU


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in May 2016 mentions, among its various illustrations, several examples of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism. Yet the definition mainly focuses on anti-Semitism against Jews, not Israelis. The more one applies the original IHRA definition, the more one realizes that a special definition for anti-Israeli anti-Semitism is required. The following text may be used as a first draft for organizations or countries who wish to adopt such a definition.

The definition of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism, in line with the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, could read:

“Anti-Israeli anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Israel which may be expressed as hatred toward Israel and Israelis, or discrimination against them. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism are directed toward Israel or Israeli individuals and or their property, and toward Israeli facilities.

The following examples may serve as illustrations. Manifestations might include targeting the state of Israel in a way that is not aimed at any other country, such as by labeling policies of products from Israel or the disputed territories. However, criticism of Israel, similar to that leveled against any other country, is not anti-Israeli anti-Semitism. Anti-Israeli anti-Semitism frequently charges Israel, Israelis, or Zionists with conspiring to harm humanity and it is often used to blame Israel for why things go wrong in other countries or parts of the world. It is expressed in actions, speech, writing, visual forms, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism in public life, media, universities and schools include but are not limited to:

– Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Israelis. This comprises support of anti-Israeli terrorist organizations in any way, including providing them with weapons and finance as well as promoting their legitimacy.

-Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Israelis as such or the power of Israel or what is often called the Israeli Lobby as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Israeli, or Zionist conspiracy or of Israel, Israelis or Zionists controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

-Accusing Zionists, the state of Israel, or Israelis as a people, of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by individual Israelis or even for acts committed by non-Israelis.

-Accusing Israelis as a people, Zionists, or Israel as a state, of inventing, exaggerating, or abusing the Holocaust.

-Denying Israelis their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel should be abolished, lacks legitimacy, or is a racist endeavor.

-Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other nation. This includes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, when it is exclusively targeting Israel. It also includes moral relativism by applying to Israel different moral criteria than to other countries, and in particular its enemies.

-Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism such as comparisons with the killing of Jesus, the blood libel, and contemporary mutations of it to characterize Israel or Israelis.

– The use of false moral equivalences against Israel or Zionism, including but not only those between Zionism and racism or colonialism/imperialism or fascism, comparison of the Holocaust and the Nakba, considering as equal the targeted killings of terrorists with intentional murder of civilians, and equivalencies drawn between the kidnapping of soldiers and imprisoning terrorists, as well presenting moral equivalence between Israel’s actions as a legitimate sovereign state and the illegitimate actions of terrorists.

-Inversion of the Holocaust, i.e drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy and behavior to that of extreme criminal bodies such as the Nazis as well as comparing Palestinian locations to Holocaust locations, such as Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto or Auschwitz. Additionally, likening Israel or Israelis to others who commit genocide or aim to do so as well as the Islamic State movement, and the South African apartheid regime. This can also be done indirectly, for instance, by claiming that Israel conducts a war of destruction against the Palestinians.

-Holding all Israelis collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel or its government.

– Organizations appointing commissions with biased mandates to investigate alleged-Israeli criminal activities while ignoring the acts of its enemies. Furthermore, the accepting to serve on such biased commissions.

Anti-Israeli acts are criminal when they are defined as so by laws in the specific country. Criminal acts are anti-Israeli anti-Semitism when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, and places of worship – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Israeli or linked to Israelis.

Anti-Israeli discrimination is the denial to Israelis of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in a number of countries.


This article was originally published in Israel National News and republished here with the author’s consent.

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The Letter Netanyahu Didn’t Write to Dutch Prime Minister Rutte

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your reception in the Netherlands. I appreciate your offer to enhance the relations between our two countries.

During our conversations, I offered you Israel’s help in your fight against terrorism. You know well that we have great experience in this area due to decades of enduring extreme Palestinian and other Arab violent criminality against us. And you could sure use our help. Your main counter terrorism body (NCTV) reports that the threat level to Holland is substantial.1 Earlier this year, your then police chief said that a terrorist attack in the Netherlands is unavoidable.2

During my short visit in the Netherlands, I met an unintegrated Dutch and Turkish national, a parliamentarian called Tunahan Kuzu. When I put out my hand to him, he refused to shake it.3 This immigrant is apparently so poorly integrated in the Netherlands that he has not even adopted basic Dutch manners: that one shakes hands even with people one disagrees with. If one does not want to do so one should stay away from a meeting with that person. Mr. Kuzu was elected in 2012 on the list of your coalition partner, the Labor Party. It took them until 2014 to expel him because of his views on integration.4 As I said in a video afterwards, his refusal to shake hands was indicative of who wants peace in the Middle East and who does not want it.5

Image result for Tunahan Kuzu netanyahu

I heard with interest about your reaction on TV, when Turkish Dutchmen harassed a journalist during a demonstration in Rotterdam. You used an expression for which ‘shut up to Turkey’ can only be called a euphemism.6 After I left you called another group of young Turkish hooligans in Zaanstad, “scum.”7

You, several of your ministers, and also coalition parliamentarians have been quite annoyed by Turkish interference in Dutch affairs.8 You and your predecessors however, have interfered much more profoundly and far more frequently in Israeli affairs, and have been for many years. You did so even with your statement about the settlements which you made during my visit.9 Dear Mark, this is both bias and bad manners.

Dutch governments have also been funding anti-Israel organizations which promote Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel with perhaps more than a billion euro in the last ten years. Your Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bert Koenders has tried to fool us by saying that your government is against BDS, but failed to mention all the money the Netherlands has poured into BDS promoting organizations.10

And as far as interference is concerned: How bad is it if the Turkish government press agency publishes a list of Gülen supporters in the Netherlands?11 It is insignificant compared to the many ways that your government and its agencies interfere in Israel’s affairs. Either stop inciting against us, or do not mind Turkish interference in your country. I take the liberty to remind you that as a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the Netherlands has agreed to the acceptance of its definition of anti-Semitism.12 That definition considers double standards against Israel as anti-Semitic.

One of your predecessors, former Prime Minister Dries Van Agt, called me a war criminal when I came to the Netherlands. He is not only an extreme anti-Israeli agitator.13 He has also legitimized Hamas, a movement which in its charter calls for the murder of all Jews.14 Mr. Van Agt has not only a pitch-dark present but also a deep dark past. When he was Minister of Justice, this current promoter of the interest of a Palestinian genocidal movement wanted to free the greatest German criminals of the persecution of Dutch Jews from jail.15

That happened in a country whose wartime government in exile in London showed no interest whatsoever in the persecution of its Dutch Jewish co-citizens, of which close to 75% were murdered by the German occupiers. How can a mainstream Dutch party like the Christian Democrats maintain this man as a member? All the more so, as they put so much emphasis in their program on “norms and values.”

I promise you Mark, that I will not retaliate. When you come next to Israel, I will not ask you why the Dutch government is the only one in Western Europe which has never admitted the dramatic failures of its wartime predecessors with respect to the Jews. On parliamentary questions about this subject you have given absurd answers by referring to then Queen Beatrix’ statement in the Knesset. I had that checked in the records. Her statement on the issue was simply hot air.16

During my stay in the Netherlands, I was shocked to hear that a journalist who visited the Schilderswijk neighborhood in The Hague, was stopped from carrying out her work by shouts of “Death to the Jews” and “Jews are not welcome.”17 You are no longer a country occupied by Germans, so first put your own house in order before telling us what to do. I have also read that a Jewish journalist had to leave that same neighborhood because of problems with radical Islamists and sexist remarks that were directed at his wife.18

As you criticized me when I came to the Netherlands, I assumed that you had heavily reprimanded Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas when you invited him to lunch in October 2015. It was not long before his visit that he had incited violence, terrorism and bloodshed in Jerusalem saying: “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah.”19 I thought that at least you would tell him to stop the incitement of violence toward civilians. My staff checked and to our surprise, you criticized our settlement activities and did not mention anything about Abbas’ incitement.20 Mark, once again you applied double standards.

I am all the more astonished about this because I am offering to help you to deal with the substantial terrorist threat in your country. All Mr. Abbas can do for you is to teach you how to glorify the people who may murder your civilians, for instance by naming public places after the killers. I guess you are also not interested in his people teaching you how to train suicide bombers and undertake other terrorist acts, of which the Palestinians are world leaders?

I am all in favor of your suggestion to enhance relations between our two countries. As a first step I suggest the establishment of a joint Dutch-Israeli committee to see how to get rid of all your double standards against Israel.



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Dr.Gerstenfeld wrote with Leah Hagelberg on Galloway. It was first published by Israel National News


The Anti-Semitic Slurs of George Galloway

Manfred Gerstenfeld and Leah Hagelberg

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism in May 2016 has many important aspects.1 These include that it greatly simplifies the teaching of anti-Semitism. One way to do this is through case studies of people who make anti-Semitic slurs. One such IHRA-definition based analysis has already been published about Lady Tonge, a former Liberal MP and now an independent member of the House of Lords.2

A second natural candidate in the U.K for such an analysis, is the former parliamentarian George Galloway. He represented Labour in two Glasgow constituencies from 1987 until 2005. In 2003 the party expelled him. In 2004 the Respect party was founded of which he became the leader. He was elected on behalf of Respect as an MP in Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005 and as an MP in 2012 for Bradford West.

The IHRA definition document includes as an example of anti-Semitism the making of demonizing allegations concerning the myth of a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institution. Galloway makes such accusations frequently. In a 2008 broadcast by Al Jazeera of an address he gave in Amman he said: “There is a conspiracy in this region all right – but it’s an American-Israeli conspiracy.”3

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Manfred Gerstenfeld

At the beginning of September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the Netherlands. A succinct summary of anti-Israel incitement there may help him and his staff to better understand how the current Dutch reality differs from the distorted positive image many people still hold: the one based on the much publicized story of Anne Frank and her diary.

The Anne Frank story has entirely overshadowed a far more important one: the total disinterest of the Dutch government in London during the Second World War in the fate of its Jewish citizens under the German occupation. Three quarters of the 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands were murdered in the German death camps in Poland. The Netherlands is now the only Western European country which has never admitted to the wartime failure of its government’s attitude toward the Jews. Even Luxemburg and Monaco have recently done so.1 Furthermore, though archives contained the information for decades, it has only recently been published that Dutch SS volunteers participated in mass killings of Jews in Eastern Europe.2

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It was first published in the Jerusalem Post, and republished here with the author’s consent. This version has the footnotes.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe acceptance of a working definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in May 2016 was a major event in exposing this ancient hatred. In order to be accepted, the IHRA required the agreement of the 31 member states of the organization, among which 24 are members of the EU. One can now analyze statements and publications of a person or organization for anti-Semitism by comparing them to the definition and the examples of anti-Semitism mentioned in the IHRA document.1

One can apply this definition for instance to the frequent anti-Semitic slurs by Lady Jenny Tonge. Tonge is an independent member of the UK House of Lords and was previously an MP of the Liberal Party. Over the years, she has accused the Israel Lobby of conspiracies,2 Israel of being responsible for suicide bombings in Iraq,3 as well as the treatment of Palestinians by Israel as “the root cause of terrorism worldwide.”4 Tonge has also said that “Israel is not going to be there forever.”5 Other statements she has made include that the Jews should be “ashamed of themselves” for not stopping Israel.6 All of these are anti-Semitic slurs which are included in the examples of anti-Semitism accompanying the IHRA definition.

Yet, when analyzing Tonge’s statements, one realizes that the definition of anti-Semitism, like any other definition, has its limits. This has two major aspects. The first one is that the definition cannot list all examples of anti-Semitism. For instance, the definition says that it is anti-Semitic to draw “comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” It does not, however, mention comparing Israel to ISIS. This Islamic terror organization is currently a model for absolute evil.

Jeremy Corbyn, the extreme left leader of the British Labour Party, has indirectly made such a comparison during the official presentation of the Chakrabarti Report on Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and Racism in the Labour Party.7 It is not clear that Corbyn’s remark meets the definition of anti-Semitism. Yet former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks rightly called Corbyn’s statement, “demonization of the highest order.”8

The second aspect outside the IHRA definition concerns a large number of other acts and other statements on its periphery. For instance, Lady Tonge brought the Palestinian Muslim cleric, Raed Saleh, to the British Parliament. He has propagated the libel that Jews use the blood of non-Jews to bake their Shabbat bread.9

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Dr.Gerstenfeld’s latest article on: The Letter to President Hollande Netanyahu Did NOT Write. It was originally published by INN and reposted here with the author’s consent.

The Letter to President Hollande Netanyahu Did NOT Write

Manfred Gerstenfeld

After the Nice terror attack by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who identified with ISIS and murdered 85 people, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement saying, “Israel strongly condemns the terrible terror attack. Israelis stand united with the French people. Israel is willing to help the French government fight this evil until it is defeated.”1 2 He did not say that Israel stands united with the French President and the government.

Had Netanyahu not followed diplomatic niceties, he might have written the French president the following text:

President Hollande,

I would like to extend my condolences to the wounded and the families of the murdered in the Nice terror attack perpetrated by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.3  

In writing to you, however, I am not expressing my solidarity with France or its government. Several countries, including France, directly support organizations that engage in anti-Israel incitement, calls to boycott Israel and do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. It is my intention to have this investigated.4

French ministers, and in particular Prime Minister Manuel Valls, have done their best to say the right words to the local Jewish community regarding the fight against anti-Semitism. Responding to the increasing anti-Semitic environment in France, Mr. Valls has stated, ‘I said with my words, with my heart, and I will continue to repeat it because it is a profound conviction: without the Jews of France, France would not be France.’5

Sympathy for terrorism is, however, expressed at lower levels of French government. In Aubervilliers, Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti has been awarded honorary citizenship.6 In Valenton, both a street and square have been named after him.7 By glorifying Barghouti, the municipalities of these towns are legitimizers of Palestinian murderous terrorism against Israeli citizens. Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences for the planning of three shooting attacks that killed five people. After he was convicted and imprisoned, he was re-elected as a member of the Palestinian Authority parliament. In addition, the Palestinian Authority and the PLO have recently launched a campaign to nominate Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize.8

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She’s no lady, she’s a Jew hater…..

Here is Dr.Gerstenfeld’s latest article on Jenny Tonge, which was published by Israel National News (and reposted here with the author’s consent). Its importance is obviously that we have now a model of how one can lay an anti-Semitic text next to the IHRA definition in order to substantiate why people are anti-Semites.

NOTE: Tonge is pictured here, next to her Norwegian Jew hating colleague, Mads Gilbert, how fitting, a pair of bookends to a shelf full of antisemitism.

Lady Jenny Tonge – A Leading British Anti-Semitic Inciter

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldMuch attention has recently been given to the incitement against Israel and the Jews by elected officials of the British Labour Party.1 Yet, probably, the main anti-Israeli hate monger in the British Parliament is Lady Jenny Tonge. This former Liberal parliamentarian is nowadays an independent member of the House of Lords. Her so-far latest anti-Semitic remark in the House of Lords is “The treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and Daesh [ISIS].”2

A few months ago the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has accepted a definition of anti-Semitism. This required the agreement of the 31 member countries of the IHRA, among which is the UK.3 The definition has greatly facilitated identifying this and other statements of Tonge as anti-Semitic.

Tonge said in 2004 that if she were Palestinian, she would consider becoming a suicide bomber.4 This fits an example of anti-Semitism from the definition – “calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.”

The IHRA definition includes among other examples of anti-Semitism, “making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective.” Tonge did so when in 2006, while still a Liberal MP, she alleged that the “pro-Israeli Lobby has grips on the Western World, its financial grips. I think they’ve got a certain grip on our party.”5 – as well as other similar remarks in 2012 about the power of the pro-Israel lobby in the UK and US.6

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Here is Dr.Gerstenfeld’s major essay on Jewish identity which has been published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and republished here with the author’s consent.

Jewish Identities in Postmodern Societies

  • Jewish identity is determined in three ways. How do Jews see themselves? How are they viewed by other Jews? And how are Jews seen by the outside world?
  • Several methods can be used to analyze contemporary Jewish identities. One is to collect information about what people write regarding Jewish identities, either in general or with respect to their own. A second, more scientific method is to analyze sociological and demographic studies of Jewish communities. A third method is to examine various examples of Jewish outreach.
  • Elements of Jewish bonding can include religion, holidays and customs, ancestry, secular Jewish culture, ties with the Jewish community, reactions to anti-Semitism, experiences of the Second World War, and attitudes toward the state of Israel.
  • Studies by the Pew Research Center show that self-identification by American Jews differs significantly from generation to generation as well as that Israelis and American Jews differ on several issues concerning what they see as essential to their Jewishness.

If one searches “Jewish identity” on Google, many millions of entries appear. Is being Jewish a matter of culture, religion, belonging to a nation or to a community? Or is it also something else? For most of the past three millennia, it was relatively simple for Jews to define their identity. Nowadays it has become more difficult than ever before. One among many reasons is the fragmentation of Jewish identities, insofar as Jews define themselves.

We live in an age that cannot be defined properly. The term postmodernity indicates that the current period is described by referring to the one before, which was called “modern.” This inability of definition is one among many manifestations of the overall contemporary crisis. Yet, if one cannot define postmodernity, one can at least explain its main features. Fragmentation is a prime one. Another characteristic is globalization.

This major fragmentation includes the breakdown of structures and the dissipation of authority. With this also comes the disintegration of norms and values. All these lead to increased individualism. Other features of postmodernity are relativism, subjectivism, and pluralism. Political correctness is an effort to establish – often distorting – norms for conduct in a postmodern society. Two characteristics of globalization are the growth of international mass communication and an overload of frequently distorted information. In such a complex and opaque reality, doubts about one’s identity flourish. Many contemporary Western societies are now undergoing an identity crisis. This heavily influences individuals, who, in turn, influence the societal reality.

Jews in Postmodern Societies

This overall environment affects Jewish identities. The main characteristics of postmodernity are also significantly present in the Jewish world.

However, one should first define what identity means. Views on this vary. For the Cambridge Dictionary, identity comprises “the qualities of a person or group which make them different from others.”1

But Steven Cohen, a leading sociologist of American Jewry, says, “There is no accurate word for the complex of Jewish belief, behavior, and belonging. As a result, we employ the term identity for lack of a better one.”2 Those features – “belief, behavior, and belonging” – are the ones mainly used in this analysis.

Threefold Identity

What does it mean to be a Jew in postmodern society? Jewish identity is determined in three ways. How do Jews see themselves? How are they viewed by other Jews? And how are Jews seen by the outside world?

In the past, answers to these questions came relatively easy. Jewish identity was derived from beliefs, behaviors, and belonging that were distinctly different from those of surrounding societies. Jews practiced specific religious commandments. They were frequently physically separated from others and lived mainly – forced to or not – in Jewish neighborhoods. They were often voluntarily or involuntarily identifiable by their clothing.

In the Middle Ages and until the Enlightenment, the Jewish leadership usually had the authority to enforce a well-defined behavior. In the autonomous Jewish communities, Jews were under the control and law of their religious and lay leaders. This mainly resulted from the policies and attitudes of the external Christian or Muslim world toward Jews. One relevant example of how Jewish law determined Jews’ expected attitude in extreme situations was how they had to behave toward mortal threats. The most common Jewish-law opinion was that at such times a Jew could transgress all commandments except three – the prohibitions on idol worship, murder, and incest.

As an example of a frequent Jewish position toward belief, Maimonides maintained that in order to be a Jew one had to believe in 13 principles of faith. Before the autonomy of Jewish communities ended in the 19th century, it was thus relatively simple to define how Jews behaved and what most of them believed.

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This was first published in Israel National News, and posted here with the author’s consent.



In memoriam Elie Wiesel

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldElie Wiesel’s life means different things to different people. US President Barack Obama said, “Elie Wiesel was one of the great moral voices of our time, and in many ways, the conscience of the world. He raised his voice, not just against anti-Semitism but against hatred, bigotry and intolerance in all its forms.” 1 Former Israeli President Shimon Peres said in his memory, “Wiesel left his mark on humanity through preserving and upholding the legacy of the Holocaust and delivering a message of peace and respect between people worldwide. He endured the most serious atrocities of mankind – survived them and dedicated his life to conveying the message of `Never Again.” 2

My few meetings with Wiesel were very short. Before we ever met he had been kind enough to write a very positive back cover comment for my book, The Abuse of Holocaust Memory; Distortions and Responses.3 Another bond, however slight, between Wiesel and myself, was a common close friend, Ted Comet. In his nineties he is still active in Jewish life in the United States. It was Comet, a postwar American volunteer helping survivors of the Holocaust who found Wiesel in an orphanage in Paris. This exceptional person was a major inspiration for Wiesel’s lifelong devotion to the Jewish people.4

ted comet

Some persons become symbols during their lives through how they live and what they do. The Talmud says it is not the place a man occupies that gives him honor, but the man gives honor to the place he occupies.5 That was the case when Wiesel was nominated for president of Israel in 2007.6 Would he have been a good president? I doubt it. A representative function like this requires many formal duties, including shaking the hands of thousands, sitting at long dinners, and listening to all too often uninspiring speeches. These requirements stymie creativity. Wiesel, like Albert Einstein – another Jew who became a symbol during his lifetime who refused Israel’s first presidency when Ben Gurion offered it to him – wisely turned the proposal down,

One of the many things a person who has become a symbol of morality can do is to influence policy and opinion with his statements. In Romania, the country where Wiesel was born, there had been many post-war efforts to distance the country from its responsibility for the Holocaust. An important step to expose this deflection process occurred when the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, chaired by Wiesel, released a report in November 2004 that unequivocally points to Romanian culpability. It declares: “Of all the Allies of Nazi Germany, Romania bears responsibility for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself.”7

The increasing abuse of the term Holocaust pained Wiesel. In 1988, earlier than many others recognized this issue, he stated with emotion, “I cannot use [the word Holocaust] anymore. First, because there are no words, and also because it has become so trivialized that I cannot use it anymore. Whatever mishap occurs now, they call it ‘holocaust.’ I have seen it myself in television in the country in which I live. A commentator describing the defeat of a sports team called it a ’holocaust.’ 8 Since then the abuse of the Holocaust has multiplied many times.

As the distortion of the Holocaust and the falsification of its memory are subjects of particular interest to me, I want to mention Wiesel’s role in fighting the Bitburg scandal. In 1985, U.S. president Ronald Reagan visited the German military cemetery of Bitburg. When his visit to Germany was announced, it was also specifically mentioned that he would not visit a concentration camp. Initially the impression was that only soldiers and officers of the German Army (Wehrmacht) were buried in the Bitburg cemetery. This visit, planned by the German government, was a clear act of whitewashing part of its past. The Wehrmacht, however, gave support to the SS, which carried out most of the mass murder of the Jews. Only years later would it become more widely known that the Wehrmacht itself had played such a major part in the murders.

Shortly after the visit was announced, it transpired that members of the Waffen SS were also buried in this cemetery. This led to huge protests against the visit. Reagan had agreed to go to Bitburg in order to show that the United States now had normal relations with Germany and its pro-American chancellor Helmut Kohl, but because of the protests he later decided to visit the Bergen Belsen concentration camp as well.

In his memoirs Wiesel devoted an entire chapter to the Bitburg affair. He summarized the essence of the whitewashing: The German tactic in this affair was obvious; to whitewash the SS. He wrote, “It is the final step in a carefully conceived plan. To begin with, Germany rehabilitated the “gentle,” “innocent” Wehrmacht. And now, thanks to Kohl, it was the turn of the SS. First of all, the “good” ones. And then would come the turn of the others. And once the door was open, the torturers and the murderers would be allowed in as well. Bitburg is meant to open that door…. Officials in the State Department tell me that Kohl bears full responsibility for this debacle; he convinced Reagan that if the visit were canceled it would be his, Kohl’s defeat, and hence that of the alliance between the United States and Germany.” 9

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Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe outcome of the 23 June referendum on Brexit, i.e whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union, will have consequences for Israel, whether direct or indirect. Polls indicate that the result will be very close.1 If the majority of the British vote to remain, the EU will get a boost. It is unlikely that there will be a new British referendum on the subject for several years to come. Furthermore no other member country is likely to consult its citizens whether to stay in the EU or to leave.

Israel has a vested interest in the continued existence of the present EU membership, albeit greatly weakened internally. Like several other supranational bodies, the EU scandalously discriminates against Israel. It regularly incites against Israel and interferes in its internal affairs. The EU applies double standards in its relations with Israel, such as its requirement for labeling of products from the West Bank and the Golan. This is an anti-Semitic act according to the IHRA definition of this hatred which was accepted by many countries.2 No such demands are made of other countries dealing with a similar territorial reality. In its stance against Israel, the EU’s actions have more to do with imperialist law than with the precepts of international law which, it claims, govern its attitudes.

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The Journal for the Study of anti-Semitism has published a lengthy review on Dr.Gerstenfeld’s book The War of a Million Cuts.

Pragmatic, Prudent, Prolific

Manfred Gerstenfeld’s The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle Against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism (RVP Press 2015) 504 pp. $29 paper

Sheri Oz* One small paper-cut on a finger is painful and distracting; a million of them inflicted onto one’s entire body surface would be unbearable. With growing virulence, this is what Jewish people face today observes Manfred Gerstenfeld.

Manfred Gerstenfeld has a singular ability to tackle this topic in a way not many others could. He has academic degrees in chemistry, economics, the environment and Jewish Studies. With such a broad interdisciplinary background, he brings both scientific and goal-oriented processing to a number of contemporary problems. Perhaps its his pragmatic problem-solving approach from years as a corporate consultant mixed with holism that allow for creative new solutions and thinking “outside the box.”

Defining the Problem

The first step in solving a problem is defining it. Is the problem growing antisemitism? Is it reawakening of antisemitism that has lain dormant, in at least part of the world, for a few decades after World War II? Is it the metamorphosis of antisemitism into anti-Israelism? Or are these just facts of life whereby the problem should be defined as the lack of an effective approach to combating antisemitism/anti-Israelism? Why does this make a difference?

If the problem is antisemitism, then we are going to spend a lot of time studying the issue of antisemitism. If the problem is lack of an effective approach to combating antisemitism, then the focus of our attention is directed toward studying alternative pathways for fighting it. This may seem like a small distinction but given the fact that there has, to date, been no coordinated effort for confronting global hatred toward the Jews and demonization of Israel, it seems the time is ripe for a focus on action.

I can make this clearer with a specific example. Defining the problem as antisemitism per se results in forums with recommendations such as those summarized in The Action Plan for Combating Antisemitism in 2013 and Beyond. 1 In this report, distinguished faculty and experts offered recommendations for fighting global antisemitism but to my knowledge, no action was taken. A recipe 2 ripe for inaction–there was no overall strategy and no evaluation procedures for assessing positive and negative results. Success in the anti-Israel propaganda war will not emerge from working groups such as these. What is required is a sustainable program that has been provided with the budget necessary for mobilizing all the resources that can be brought to bear in the international arena in which the war is being waged.

Recipe for Action

We can look at Gerstenfeld’s The War of a Million Cuts as a collection of small volumes on a shelf, the Introduction and the final chapter serving as bookends holding it all together. In his Introduction he defines the problem when he states:

It is the responsibility of Israel’s government to defend its citizens from all types of attacks. This should be true for the propaganda war – also called “political war” – as well. However, despite the great intensity of this major battle against Israel in the current century, no comprehensive and systematic approach has yet been undertaken by the Israeli government to fight it. (14)

The final chapter is entitled: “How to Combat Demonization of Israel.” Contained in these 35 pages, is a counterpropaganda blueprint detailing what needs to be done and how to do it in order to successfully overcome the war of words on Israel. Gerstenfeld points out that no other nation has been globally demonized as has Israel. And the need to invent something out of nothing, is something Israelis can do–they did it with a desert–they can do it with words.

The substance of the book is a treatise on a modern history of antisemitism and conflation of open antisemitism with anti-Israelism, symbols easily recognized as antisemitic have been transformed and used in the demonization of the Jewish state. The material covers the playing fields in which Israel’s legitimacy is attacked: national and international bodies, academia, the media, faith groups and more. Its impact on Jews in Israel and the Diaspora are examined as is the phenomenon of Jews joining the fight against the Jews. It is a well-researched and documented compendium of the contemporary situation.

For many Jews involved in either Jewish community life or some form of pro-Israel activism, the material will not be totally new and will perhaps trigger, as it did for me, memories of personal encounters with antisemitism, making it heavy reading; at the same time, the wealth of information provides a depth of understanding and a wider context within which to comprehend the nature of Jew hatred and battle being waged against us.

Each chapter addresses a key issue in the propaganda war and each stands on its own merits. In fact, I was unable to read more than one chapter at a time. While I am no stranger to the phenomenon of antisemitism in both its pure and its recent anti-Israel form, I needed time to digest each chapter separately before going on to the next.

Fighting Contemporary Antisemitism: The Gerstenfeld Proposal

In contrast to extant approaches to fighting antisemitism which can be characterized as responding to events of the past and present, Gerstenfeld puts forward a structure that would also promote strategy and planning future developments. His proposal resembles military strategizing. In fact, he suggests that the body in charge of the anti-Israel propaganda war approach it in the same way as the Israeli security forces are now tackling cyber warfare.

While it may seem natural that the Foreign Ministry and the diplomatic corps engage in this war, our diplomats cannot be involved, according to Gerstenfeld. They have a distinct role to play on the international stage and cannot participate in anything that may negatively affect the relationships they 3 need to build in other nations. The anti-propaganda efforts must be run by professionals who are expert at dealing with an enemy and not with making friends.

The structure of the body fighting antisemitism/anti-Israelism would include three branches, each with its own personnel and tasks, as listed below:

1. Research Branch

  • a. Identification of:

i. Key motifs of demonization

ii. Origin of these attacks

iii. Main perpetrator categories in detail and interactions among them

iv. Means by which hatred is transmitted

  • b. Create profiles of leading anti-Israeli media and other actors
  • c. Anticipate medium and long-term societal and global developments in order to anticipate their impact on Israel and on the Jewish people as a whole

2. Monitoring Branch

  • a. Follow and document:

i. Incitement and aggression against Jews in specific countries (for example, had this been done, the antisemitism among the previous left-wing government in Norway could have been fought more effectively before it reached the extremes it has because there would have been a powerful Israeli agency to work together with local allies)

ii. Specific hate generating organs, such as media, extreme leftists, Muslim countries, Muslims in the west, Christians, NGOs, trade unions, fascists, academics, lawfare operators, etc

iii. Specific types of incidents, such as boycotts, divestments, sanctions, false accusations, application of double standards, false moral equivalence, scapegoating, and more. b. Establish a database of enemies into which to record the above

3. Operations Branch

  • a. Identify bodies best suited to respond to incidents and threat of incidents: government, NGOs in Israel or abroad, or even individuals (this was done successfully for Durban II, but not generally applied)
  • b. Devise campaigns for each case

Gerstenfeld also describes broad strategic principles that should underlie the anti-Israel propaganda war. I will list but a few of the twenty ideas:

–No more free lunches
– Every attack will be met by a counter attack.
–Sunlight is the best disinfectant
– Establish local blogs that would make valuable material available and facilitate exposure of anti-Israeli inciters in each locale.
–Use clear language
– Stop referring to the land beyond the armistice lines as “occupied territory” and call it “disputed territory”
— call the armistice lines just that, and not borders, refer to Jordan as the first Palestinian state and the current negotiations as considering giving rise to the second (Palestinian Authority-ruled) Palestinian state and possibly a third (Hamas-ruled) Palestinian state. Expose the lies and manipulations of a small number of big players (journalists, media outlets, politicians, NGOs, church leaders, academics) with the aim of destroying their reputations and many others will think twice before attacking Israel.
–Use resources efficiently
– Select the battles wisely.
–Encourage promising individual activists.

4. Is the Government Ready?

In May 2015, Gilad Erdan was appointed Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information. In December 2015, Mr. Erdan appointed Sima Vaknin-Gil as Director-General of the Ministry The retired brigadier general brings 30 years air force intelligence and ten years as the IDF chief military censor to this endeavor. Together with a staff of eleven and an annual budget (2016) of approximately 100 million new shekels (23 million EUR/$26 million US) Dr. Gerstenfeld might have hand picked her to lead the campaign against demonizing Israel.

Erdan recently stated that every time Israel has been threatened in the past “we knew how to come together and fight it and we will do so now as well.” He was proud to announce that all government ministries are cooperating with the efforts of his office and that they are in the advanced stages of designing a working strategy. It even felt to me as if he was paraphrasing Gerstenfeld when he said: “Until now those who delegitimized Israel got away with it. That is about to change – there will be a price to pay.”

At the same conference, Vaknin-Gil addressed coordinating the activities of all organizations, government and otherwise, so that each contributes what it does best. “We have not succeeded yet in getting our [Israel’s] message across because we do not yet have a unified message.” As a first step in gathering together a team over and above ministry staff, she said that 300 people came forward when a call went out asking for volunteers.

Vaknin-Gil said that antisemitism cannot be overcome if we deal with it on an emotional level. Those who demonize Israel, “operate experientially and emotionally and we will work cognitively.” The statements I heard from Erdan and Vaknin-Gil offer new hope and encouragement in that they are strongly committed to take a stand on the international stage, both overtly and covertly.

We may eventually find out that Erdan and Vaknin-Gil have patterned their recommendations along the lines of Gerstenfeld’s final chapter in The War of a Million Cuts. His notions are simple and clear. Israel has taken a global lead in cyber warfare and intelligence. Using the experiences gained from our increasing cyber warfare capabilities, Gerstenfeld notes that “offensive” and “defensive” operations are now redefined while formerly disparate anti-Israeli groups are interlinked and cross-fertilizing. The same must occur if we are to succeed in the global war against Israel.

I can think of no better way to conclude this review than by quoting Gerstenfeld, himself in his penultimate page of this weighty tome:

If the delegitimization process with its million cuts [is successful,] it will have an additional consequence. Except for those committing the actual murders, few will feel responsible for what has happened. Not the many enemies who can claim that their individual contribution to the million cuts was insignificant, not the false friends who will say that they did not attack Israel, nor the many bystanders who looked away from the clear genocidal intentions proclaimed in parts of the Muslim world. At the same time, Israel will be accused of being responsible for its own fate because it turned the Palestinians (in reality a crime-permeated populace) into victims. All these lies together may flourish in an increasingly opaque society. (406)

None of this has to happen. There is no reason to be fatalistic unless the present Israeli incompetence in the propaganda war endures. It is not too late to turn the tables on Israel’s enemies. It requires, however, an effort that is radically different from what is taking place at present. Let us hope that Erdan and Vaknin-Gil are making just that effort.

*Sheri Oz is Haifa based author and psychotherapist who blogs on www.israeldiaries.com. oz.sheri@yahoo.com 1 Action Plan for Combating Antisemitism in 2013 and Beyond (accessed April 13, 2016)

http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutTheMinistry/Conferences-Seminars/Documents/AntisemitismBooklet2013.pdf 2 Erdan lecture (accessed April 13, 2016) http://stopbds.ynet.co.il/english.aspx


Dr.Gerstenfeld’s interview with Ambassador Emeritus (ret.) Freddy Eytan on French-Israeli relations under President Hollande.  It was published in Israel National News in anticipation of the visit of Prime Minister Valls of France to Israel in the coming days, and republished here with the author’s permission.

Freddy Eytan1


Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Freddy Eytan

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld“Prior to his election, François Hollande, President of France, had not developed close ties with the Jewish community, in contrast with the two previous right wing presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac. As far as Israel is concerned, Hollande follows a basic policy line similar to that of previous socialist leaders such as Leon Blum and François Mitterrand. Their guiding principle is support for the existence of a Jewish state in secure and recognized borders. At the same time, the Palestinian people should have self-determination in a state alongside Israel.”

Freddy Eytan is a journalist and former diplomat. He was Israel’s ambassador to Mauritania and also served in Israel’s embassies in Paris and Brussels. He is an expert on France’s Middle East policy and has published twenty books, among them Sarkozy, the Jewish World and Israel, published in French in 2009 by the Alphée publishing house in Paris.

“One key element of Hollande’s foreign policy is that he wants a strong France closely bonded with Germany in the European Union. He is suspicious of the United States and was furious with Obama for his second thoughts on overturning the Assad regime in Syria, reversing his position on the issue at the last minute. Since then relations between Paris and Washington have remained tense. In military operations, such as in Mali, Hollande prefers that France should go it alone.

“In his program for the 2012 Presidential elections, the Palestinian-Israel conflict only figured in 12th place. In the Middle East, apart from his desire to get rid of Assad, Hollande saw the rise of ISIS and in particular that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a strategic menace. In contrast to Obama’s actions, Hollande has reinforced France’s relations with the Egyptian President General El-Sisi, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. He was also far less conciliatory toward the Iranian nuclear project than the Americans, who sought an agreement at any cost.

“Hollande keeps the Palestinian-Israel conflict separate from bilateral French-Israeli relations. Bilateral French-Israeli relations have significantly improved and are currently the best they have been since Israel’s honeymoon with the French socialists in the 1950s. Both countries now have more interests in common. The wave of Muslim terror in Europe requires collaboration and exchange of information between their intelligence services. Military relationships have improved, together with economic interactions. Nowadays several major French companies are represented in Israel including the EDF energy group and the Alsthom transport company.

“At the same time however, France maintains its ‘automatic’ favorable attitude toward the Palestinians. Chirac offered the PLO a diplomatic office in 1974. Mitterrand received Arafat in 1989 at the Elysee Palace in Paris, and under Sarkozy, France voted in favor of the Palestinians joining UNESCO.

“In line with this automatic stance, under Hollande’s leadership France supported a scandalous motion ignoring the Jewish connection with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent a strongly worded letter to Hollande to protest the motion. In Hollande’s somewhat bizarre reply, he explained that there had been a technical error and a misunderstanding. French Jewish leaders, including the Chief Rabbi Haim Corsia reacted far more forcefully than the Israeli foreign office, which limited itself to the publication of a communique on the matter.

“Another negative development is the almost obsessive French plan for an international conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. France sees here an opportunity to insert itself in the vacuum left by the Obama administration.

“The French parliament, with its socialist majority, voted in favor of the recognition of a Palestinian state. This was an important, albeit symbolic vote. Only the government can formalize such a decision, something it has not done. Hollande had to take into account here the power of the pro-Palestinian left wing in his socialist party, as well as the Green party. As Hollande is the least popular post-war French president to date, he will need all the support he can get if he wants to have a chance in the 2017 presidential elections.

“Under Hollande’s presidency, France has known a number of murderous terrorist attacks by Muslims, both against non-Jews and Jews. Since last November a state of emergency has been declared. Since the murders of four Jews in Toulouse in 2012 the security around Jewish synagogues and schools has been greatly reinforced.

“France’s current Prime Minister Manuel Valls, has on many occasions expressed great admiration for French Jewry. Both Hollande and Valls have come out strongly against anti-Semitism. Yet they viewed Netanyahu’s calls urging French Jews to move to Israel in a bad light, seeing this as interference in the country’s internal affairs.

“All deadly terrorist attacks against Jews have been committed by French Muslims. Despite the state of emergency and the massive presence of police and the military in the streets, there is still a feeling of insecurity in the country. This feeling is particularly strong among Jews.

“The first round of the French presidential elections will be held in April 2017. The political campaigns have already begun. It is already apparent that this will be a rude and noisy battle, which will strengthen extremists in both the left and right camp. What that means for the Jews remains to be seen.”


This was first published by INN, and republished here with the author’s consent.

phyllis chessler

The Demonization of Israel by Anti-Racist Activists and Feminists

Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Phyllis Chesler

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld“It is important to understand that it is not only feminists who demonize Israel. They are merely part of a global phenomenon in which the world media, academics, government leaders and human rights organizations drive this madness.”

Prof. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies. She lives in New York City. She is the best-selling author of 16 books including “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003, 2015), “The Death of Feminism” (2005) and “American Bride in Kabul” (2013) which won a National Jewish Book Award. Her latest book is “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015” (2016).

“In 2003, after a rather successful lecture about a feminist topic to an African-American feminist audience at a free-standing conference at Barnard, I was asked –completely off-topic– where I stood on the issue of the women of ‘Palestine.’ I responded: ‘I think you are asking me where I stand on the issue of apartheid and I oppose it. Islam is the largest practitioner of gender and religious apartheid in the world.’

“I began talking about forced veiling, arranged marriage, polygamy, honor-based violence and honor killing. A near-riot broke out. I was hustled out for my safety. These feminists did not care about ‘Palestine’ but about demonizing Israel. As women of color they identified with Arabs whom they thought were all people of color. They ignored the existence of Arab Jews or Jews of color. Neither had they any idea of the anti-black prejudice and history of slavery that characterizes Arab and Muslim history.

“By the mid- to late 1980s, feminists began to speak — like many others — more about colonialism than about women’s rights. Under the evil spell of Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Jacques Lacan and so on, they became cultural relativists and abandoned their original belief in universal human rights. They became more concerned with racism than with sexism. They became more obsessed with the occupation of a country, ‘Palestine’ — that has never existed — than they were with the occupation of women’s bodies in the Muslim world. Faux anti-racism trumped real anti-sexism every time.

“Major feminist organizations, such as The National Women’s Studies Association have had plenary panels about ‘Palestine’ and have voted to boycott Israel–not Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, or ISIS. Feminists at Brandeis University were the force behind withdrawing an offer to honor Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an anti-Islamist ex-Muslim dissident. She is a dark-skinned African, yet her critique of Islamic practices is seen as a ‘racist,’ rather than as a theological or feminist critique.

“Once people, including feminists, are infected with a fake but lethal narrative, reason alone cannot prevail. They fear that by criticizing barbaric behavior when committed by formerly colonized men of color, especially Arabs, in particular ‘Palestinians,’ they themselves will be demonized as racist ‘Islamophobes.’

“I have stood against anti-Israeli petitions and boycotts from the mid-1970s on, but am a lone voice– in terms of Second Wave feminist pioneers. Younger, pro-Israel activists may also hold feminist values. It gives me no pleasure to critique feminist leaders of my generation. Once we did hold certain beliefs in common about women’s rights and the universality of human rights. However, classical liberals have increasingly become totalitarian-like leftists. Those who were in favor of free speech and academic freedom now condone hate speech, blood libels and junk social science.

“Feminists who once understood that sexist images have a profound effect upon living beings, refuse to view the incitement against Israel as being related to anti-Semitism, or a world Intifada against the Jewish state as constituting racism. The burden of telling the truth is too punitive for many who will be unfunded, un-invited, shunned, censored, and effectively written out of intellectual and feminist history.

“Unbelievably, institutional, academic, and activist feminism today stands with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, not with Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and Hindus who are being massacred by Muslims—or with the women who are being kidnapped into sex slavery by ISIS and Boko Haram.

“Having lived in Afghanistan I was both an eyewitness and a survivor of the gender apartheid that is indigenous to many tribal cultures. Barbaric customs including the savage subordination of women, have not been caused by Western imperialism or colonialism. They preceded the rise of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, and ISIS.

“Most Western thinkers do not comprehend that Islam has a long history of slavery, anti-black racism, religious apartheid, gender apartheid, colonialism, imperialism and conversion via the sword. They also do not realize that Muslims have been persecuting Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Ba’hai—and the ‘wrong’ kind of Muslims—for fourteen centuries. This understanding should be easy to achieve given our daily, horrendous headlines. But no one wants to be the first to say: ‘The Emperor is naked.’”


This was first published, without footnotes, in the Jerusalem Post, and reposted here with the author’s consent.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe upcoming Yom HaShoah is an appropriate occasion to review the many ways in which anti-Semitism has changed since the Holocaust. Identifying the current forms of anti-Semitism is all the more important as they are in continuation of the extreme hatred of Jews in much of Europe which provided the infrastructure for the genocide of six million Jews.

Such an analysis is a complex matter. The basic motifs of anti-Semitism have remained unchanged for almost two millennia, yet their manifestations have mutated and continue to do so. The outrageous idea that the Jews are absolute evil was introduced by Christians many centuries ago and holds sway in some circles until today. This demonization is based on the false blame attributed to all Jews, past, present and future, for the death of Jesus.

Nazism, the most extreme movement of ethnic/national anti-Semitism, transformed this core motif of Jews being absolute evil into a pseudo-scientific classification of Jews as subhuman. Currently the motif of absolute evil has been assigned to Nazism. This has mutated into perceptions of Israel as a Nazi state. Polls have shown that beliefs such as “Israel conducts a war of extermination against the Palestinians” have the support of at least 40% of the European population.1

Similar mutations have occurred concerning major sub-motifs. “Jewish conspiracies” have morphed into “Zionist conspiracies.”2 The blood libel, an invented medieval defamation accusing Jews of using the blood of Christian children to bake matzot, has also mutated within the context of anti-Israelism. Several years ago the largest Swedish paper, the social democrat Aftonbladet published an article stating that Israel kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs for Jews.3

Besides mutations in ancient hate motifs, there have been significant other innovations in post-Holocaust anti-Semitism. The most obvious is the emergence of Holocaust denial. Its underlying concept is simple: the evil surviving Jews invented a genocide of 6 million of their co-religionists by the Germans and their allies. They thus assumed the false position of absolute victims and dishonestly accused many Europeans of a non-existent mass murder.

Apart from the Holocaust, a number of other factors caused changes which greatly influenced post-war anti-Semitism. One of these was the creation of the State of Israel, which permitted anti-Semites to aim their hatred at the Jewish state rather than to target the surviving Jews. The aforementioned labeling of Israel as a Nazi state is the clearest example of this.

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Dr.Gerstenfeld’s article on Europe’s neglect of terror first appeared in INN, now republished here with the author’s consent.

psychoanalysis couch sick EU

Europe’s Decades-long Neglect of Terror

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldAmerican authorities expect additional terror attacks in Europe. The State Department has alerted US citizens to potential risks of travel throughout the continent writing: “Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation. This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.”1

However, many European countries still do not take the risks of random mass terror attacks seriously. This form of terrorism reared its head again in the Paris attacks of November 2015, and in Brussels in March 2016. After the Brussels killings much information on the failures of Belgium’s intelligence community came to light, together with the neglect of its security infrastructure. The feeble structure and inadequate equipment of Belgium’s law enforcement bodies contributed significantly to Belgium’s failure in this crisis. Following the Paris attacks existing terror databases were not even updated concerning local terrorists,.2

Europe’s counter-terrorism apparatus needs still major improvement. Many in the political system seem to believe that better intelligence services and more adequately trained police forces may largely resolve terrorism. It is indeed true that some European countries are gravely lacking in these areas. In the Netherlands, for example, the special police units deployed to protect that country against terrorism and serious crime are understaffed and have a conflict with the top management of the Dutch police.3

Over the past fifty years, terror attacks in Europe aimed mainly against specific targets. Attacks were directed against Israel, for example, or Israel-related targets. This “targeted” form of terrorism also emerged in the murders of prominent people by the German Baader-Meinhof group, the Italian Red Brigades and the French Action Directe. Targeted terrorism was also practiced by the Muslim murderers of Charlie Hebdo magazine staffers in Paris, and Jews in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen.

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Dr.Gerstenfeld’s writes about Bernie Sanders being a strong promoter of antisemites. The article was first published at INN and republished here with the author’s consent.


Bernie Sanders, a strong Promoter of extreme anti-Semites

Manfred Gerstenfeld

In 2014 the Anti-Defamation League undertook a study of anti-Semitism in a hundred states and entities. The leading ten, each with at least 80% of the population holding anti-Semitic views, all come from the Arab and Muslim world. The West Bank and Gaza, headed the list with 93%.1 Yet US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has gone on record saying that positive relations between the United States and Israel hinge on Israel improving its relationship with the Palestinians.2

Sanders also stated that the United States should not limit its friendship to Israel alone, but should also be friendly toward the Palestinians.3 In other words, if he is elected his country will seek friendship with the most anti-Semitic entity in the world. He furthermore stated that Palestinians need to be treated with “dignity and respect.”4 Perhaps interviewers should ask him why genocide promoters and inciters to murder deserve to be treated that way. An American Jewish leader once said privately to me “Sanders doesn’t have a gram of anti-Semitism in his body.” That may be true, yet he is a strong promoter of extreme anti-Semites.

Much attention has been devoted to Sanders’ being Jewish. This while avoiding any mention of his wish for friendly relations between the US and an entity whose majority party, Hamas, has publicly declared its genocidal intentions against all Jews. Perhaps Sanders should first ask them whether, in view of his desire for this friendship, Hamas will agree not to murder him if it succeeds.

Another much discussed subject is Sanders’ inflation of the number of Palestinian civilian dead in Israel’s 2014 Protective Edge campaign against Hamas in Gaza. He mentioned “10,000 innocents” when in reality it was a fraction of this number.5 But this remains a side issue in comparison with his affinity for extreme anti-Jewish hate mongers. Sanders calls this a “balanced position.”

What is far more important to understand about Sanders is his self-definition as a socialist. Americans, including American Jews, are not very familiar with what many socialists stand for nowadays. For a better understanding of contemporary socialists, one has to look at Europe.

Sanders is a great admirer of the Nordic countries.6 It is there that anti-Israelism, the newest form of anti-Semitism, has been frequently promoted by socialists. Sweden is the most populated Scandinavian state. Its best known social democratic Prime Minister Olof Palme was one of the first mainstream European leaders to call Israel a Nazi state.7 Under its social democratic mayor Ilmar Reepalu, the third largest Swedish town Malmö became Europe’s capital of anti-Semitism.8 Not surprisingly in Sweden more Jews than anywhere else in Europe conceal their identity in public.9

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