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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Actually, it has been the US taxpayer (through NATO) that has kept Europe safe from the Soviets, as well as from fighting with each other.

The EU itself, is the single catalyst to the start of any internecine fighting between member states, due to its highly corruptive nature in the centralization of concentrated power. It never has attempted to foster individual liberty, and limited (truly representational) governance in the member states because it doesn’t believe in it, the mindset that created it and maintains it rejects the civil society, in fact, it’s constantly at war with it.

Considering that there are 57 Muslim countries in the world, some of them extremely wealthy, and 1.5 billion Muslims, the problem of the refugees should have been resolved among their co-religionists, Gerstenfeld maintained. The EU should have made a financial contribution to that end, rather than waiting passively until the massive wave of migrants crossed its borders. He compared the unwillingness of the Muslim world to take care of the refugees of today with the way it has perpetuated the refugee status of the Palestinian refugees through their offspring.

Europe, refugees, Jews and Israel

Where is Europe headed? And how will that affect its Jews?
By Rochel Sylvetsky
First Publish: 4/12/2016, 11:16 PM

Migrant in front of burning shelter in the Calais 'Jungle'

Migrant in front of burning shelter in the Calais ‘Jungle’
Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

The massive influx of refugees into European Union countries and the resulting problems can have very problematic consequences for European Jews. As far as Israel is concerned it opens up new challenges and opportunities in its relations with Europe. This was the theme of a lecture given to a capacity audience that included former Amb. Alan Baker among other known diplomatic and academic figures, at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, by its Emeritus Chairman Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld. Arutz Sheva was there.

Dr. Gerstenfeld, world renowned expert on anti-Semitism whose frequent Arutz Sheva columns are widely read, opened his PowerPoint presentation with the iconic picture of the dead three-year-old Syrian Kurdish child Aylan Kurdi on the beach of the Greek island Lesbos. This event and the picture which appeared at the beginning of September 2015 triggered many emotions among Europeans which led to what he called a “Welcome Euphoria” in Western Europe.

This euphoria would shift rather suddenly after New Year’s Eve. On that night massive sex attacks were perpetrated against women in nine German cities as well as other cities in four European countries, led by recent immigrants from Muslim countries. The press unscrupulously hid the facts for nine days, but the truth eventually emerged, leading to great concern among many European citizens about both the short and long term impact of the refugee influx.

In fact, the atmosphere in Europe can best be described as a general feeling of angst, using the evocative word once reserved for European Jewry’s anxious trepidation.

Not even the number of people who have come into Europe with this latest wave of immigrants is known. It is certainly over one million, but some sources claim that there is an additional half a million immigrants about which the authorities know nothing as their entry was not recorded anywhere.

Gerstenfeld  compared EU successes with the much longer list of its blunders, explaining why the migrant issue has made a much stronger impression on European citizens than the many other significant EU mistakes in the decades since its founding. To its credit, the EU has prevented wars between its member countries. This is in contrast to the many tens of millions who were killed or died in the two World Wars. Furthermore the Customs Union enabled Europe to be far more competitive, especially in industry, and thus contributed to increased wealth for EU members.

More here.


Dr.Gerstenfeld’s latest article was published today in Israel National News, and republished here with the author’s consent.

Gerstenfeld report

Netanyahu’s rise in the Public View since the 2015 Election

Netanyahu’s success versus Herzog’s failure: From a 1% lead over Herzog before the elections, Netanyahu now leads him by 31%

Manfred Gerstenfeld

One year has now passed since the last Knesset elections. Several polls have been published recently which engaged with the Israeli public on issues such as the popularity of possible candidates for Prime Minister, voting regrets in last year’s elections and anticipated votes for each party if new elections were to be conducted at the present time.1

A review of the now largely forgotten electoral campaign for the 20th Knesset is useful, both in order to gain perspective on the current political situation, and also to highlight the significant change in Netanyahu’s ranking in the public view over the last year.

The 2015 elections ended with the Likud, under Netanyahu’s leadership, gaining 30 seats and the main opposition, the Zionist Union, gaining 24 seats. That the Likud would win however was not even clear from the exit polls on election day.

The early elections were called after Netanyahu fired Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, respectively Finance Minister/Yesh Atid party leader, and Justice Minister/Hatnuah party leader, at the beginning of December 2014. Netanyahu claimed that Lapid and Livni had conspired to overthrow him by attempting to form an alternative government together with some of the opposition parties.2

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As I have stated earlier;

Political Islam is in fact, post-hijra Islam (if you will, Islamism) a defacto evolvement of Islam from it’s Meccan period. There is no hijacking of Islam taking place whatsoever, just the implementation of that period of Mohamed’s life which began the Islamic calendar.

Yes, in theory, the theological debate should be left to Muslims, but we in the West should be armed with the facts about Islam, discerning wisely that it is impervious to change. Benefiting with the hindsight of history, scholarly muslims are well aware what awaits Islam if they embark upon the same path of enlightenment which led to the reformation of the Catholic church (not Christianity).

They open the doors (which I believe can never be opened) to the same type of modernity, tolerance and social/political plurality enjoyed in the West. They will consistently reject it, because they will have to, it’s entirely un-Islamic. I posit the same conundrum with ”experts on Hamas”:

“How can you ever hope for a recognition of the Jewish state of Israel by Hamas, when doing so strips any form of legitimacy from the Islamonazi terror organization itself, whose existence in predicated upon the entire destruction of the Jewish state?

I have never received a reasonable response from any of them, nor do I expect a reasonable response from those who hold out that Islam can change/reinvent itself. Death for apostasy has always acted as a successful deterrent against such hopes.

NOTE: This book review on Mitchell Bard’s “Death to the Infidels” was published in Israel National News, and republished here with the author’s permission.


Mitchell Bard: Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War against the Jews (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) 282 pages

Reviewed by Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld

The violence emerging from many parts of the Islamic world is barely matched elsewhere. It has gained an increasingly religious character. The title of the fourth chapter of Mitchell Bard’s new book sums this up well: “From terrorists to Jihadists.”

Dr. Mitchell G. Bard is Executive Director of the non-profit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). One of his main achievements is the establishment and directorship of the Jewish Virtual Library, a large encyclopedia on the web. Bard has published over twenty books. An important one among many is The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East. In it he exposes the many heterogeneous components of this alliance, the main one of which is the Saudi lobby.

Developments in the Middle East continue to unfold rapidly. They are impossible to understand without possessing an infrastructure of knowledge about the area’s history, ideologies and conflicts. Bard’s new book makes a major contribution to this knowledge even though the book focuses on the religious war against Israel and the Jews furthered by a variety of violent streams of Islam. The book can be characterized as an overview of the background of Muslim anti-Jewish incitement and criminality, with focus on the past decades.

One might wrongly think that a book of this nature would inevitably lose much of its value as major new events unfold. However, even though these have occurred since its publication, the book remains valid because it highlights the context and structure in which these events take place.

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With added emphasis on sycophancy……

The mainstream (legacy) media has acted as Obama’s personal praetorian guard ever since he ran for the presidency. It’s the only explanation for the rise of a backbench jr.senator with a background that would have impaled any Republican candidacy in its tracks. In Obama’s last (lame duck) year, some of the media has finally begun to cast a more critical eye on him, stalwart sycophants of course plow ahead with course unchanged.

NOTE: Dr.Gerstenfeld’s article on how Jeffrey Goldberg avoids asking the right questions to Obama was first published in INN, and republished here with the author’s consent.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldWhen Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Obama he zigzags between journalism and sycophancy. It is indeed an honor to be the media confidant of an American president. However, unless one is extremely careful it compromises one’s journalistic integrity, as it is crucial to sharply question doubtful presidential statements.1

Recently Goldberg allowed again some of Obama’s shaky statements to dominate the facts. This trend was already apparent in Goldberg’s interview with the President last year, published in the Atlantic.2 “The Palestinians are not an easy partner” said Obama then. Goldberg should have confronted this caricature of a statement. In 2006 the only Palestinian elections took place. The genocide promoting terrorist movement Hamas, received the majority of the parliamentary seats.

In light of such an extreme understatement, Goldberg should at least have challenged the President and demanded that he explain himself. He should have said; “Mr. President, this largest Palestinian party wants to murder all Jews, including myself. They say so in their charter, and repeat it regularly. Why do you believe Israel can reach an agreement with people ideologically committed to annihilating Israel and all Jews?”

The same occurred in Goldberg’s recent lengthy interview-cum-article about Obama’s doctrine, again published in the Atlantic.3 One can see that best if one focuses on relatively few examples. Besides some indirectly related remarks the Palestinians are mentioned directly only twice in the article, which runs to almost 70 pages. They first appear in Goldberg’s description of the 2008 Cairo speech4 when Obama “expressed great sympathy for the Palestinians,” and “complicated his relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister—especially because Obama had also decided to bypass Jerusalem on his first presidential visit to the Middle East.” The second mention is when Obama explained his intentions in the Cairo speech about what he wanted to accomplish: “We want to work to help achieve statehood and dignity for the Palestinians.”

This remark should have raised a number of tough questions by Goldberg, which might be grouped together as follows: “Mr. President, if there were a Nobel prize for innovative terror and hate mongering the Palestinians would be prime candidates. Their criminal track record is impressive – including hi-jacking and blowing up of airplanes, murdering athletes at the Olympics, placing explosives in coffee cans on the shelves of a Jerusalem supermarket killing two students, booby-trapping a refrigerator and exploding it in a major Jerusalem square with 15 dead and 77 wounded and more. As you like to give a Passover “seder” for your Jewish employees. I would suggest you add seats round the table in memory of the 29 people killed and 65 wounded in the 2001 Palestinian suicide attack on a seder in Netanya.5

“Mr. President, you know that this is only a very small selection of the broad range and diversity of Palestinian terrorist activities and other crimes. Before and especially since the 1993 Oslo agreements, the Palestinians have indoctrinated a new generation with hate. Their leaders, both Hamas, and Fatah promote a culture that glorifies martyrdom. Palestinian media and children’s textbooks are filled with extreme anti-Semitism. Psychologists say it can take decades to turn such an evil-permeated society around.6 Please explain how all this will be part of the dignity which will grace the Palestinians, when they have a state.”

As an aside: Obama is not the only one to mention the buzzword “dignity” in relation to the Palestinians. At this year’s AIPAC meeting Hillary Clinton said “Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state, in peace and dignity.”7 As she still has to campaign in a number of states this offers an excellent opportunity for journalists and others to ask her to explain how statehood will give dignity to a Palestinian leadership which prides itself on its glorification of murderers and other criminals, and to any future state under its helmsmanship.










The following is a book review of the War of a Million Cuts by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It appeared originally in Justice, the journal of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.

war of a million cuts

NOTE: This review is republished here with the author’s consent.

The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism

by Manfred Gerstenfeld RVP Press, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (2015). ISBN 978-1-61861-341-7

Rabbi-Abe-CooperBy now, many Jews and other supporters of Zion have experienced one or more of the million cuts inflicted by Israel’s enemies in their burgeoning and multifaceted asymmetrical war against the Jewish state.

I recall vividly the first of many painful blows I experienced myself, as one of the spokesmen for Jewish groups at the ill-fated United Nations World Conference against Racism that was held in Durban South Africa just before September 11, 2001.

I was speaking with a veteran Egyptian journalist who accompanied Anwar Sadat on his historic visit to Jerusalem, when a younger Arab journalist from Jordan happened to pass by. “Ahmed, come here, I would like to introduce you to someone from America.” In the middle of our handshake, the Jordanian abruptly pulled back. “Are you a Jew? Had I known you were a Jew, I never would have shaken your hand,” as he reached to “clean” his hand on his jacket. Throughout the next week, and in full view of over 3,900 NGOs from around the world supposedly united by the goal of “Civil Society,” we Jews were taught a brutal lesson: Israeli policies were not the issue—Israel’s very legitimacy as a state was under assault, led and validated by the official caretakers of global human rights.

Ever since, similar scenarios have played out in leading Protestant denominations, on university campuses, and throughout the media.

How did we get to the point where the memory of Kristallnacht in Germany generates more support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement than remembering the innocent Jews who suffered the Nazis’ pogroms, where Israel’s Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) is desecrated by “Israel Apartheid Week,” when First Amendment supporters of free speech in the U.S. can call for total boycotts of Israeli schools and academics?

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld’s definitive analysis of the current war on Israel and the Jewish people is a must for anyone who has suffered the indignity of such attacks and wants to develop strategies to defeat the haters.

Gerstenfeld begins with a historic overview of post World War II antisemitism and the mutation of medieval anti-Jewish motifs, and how they help sustain and legitimize highly discriminatory anti-Israel attitudes. The pivotal roles played by United Nations agencies, Arab and Muslim states, Muslims in the western world and the media are documented in a vivid and compelling way. Others include extreme leftist and extreme rightists, many social democrats, NGOs, trade unionists and a variety of mainstream politicians.

A short but critically important chapter provides an outline of one of the most insidious threats—“Lawfare”— where legal institutions and international law are manipulated to demean and delegitimize Israeli officials and cripple the Jewish state’s ability to defend its citizens from terrorist attacks launched by Hamas from literally behind the skirts of civilians in Gaza.

Gerstenfeld also touches a raw nerve in discussing the impact of the tsunami of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish campaigns. Jews have a heightened fear of antisemitic hate crimes. Some Jewish leaders in Europe caution their constituents not to walk in public with a “Chai” necklace or a kippah. Few synagogues in Europe can function without security. Meanwhile, many heavily biased media rarely give a platform to defenders of Israel. In Europe and in particular in France and in Scandinavia, many Jews have opted to hide their identities in public; many thousands in France and the UK have opted for Aliyah.

In covering a multiplicity of many other fronts of the newest forms of the world’s oldest hate, Gerstenfeld does not shirk from detailing the especially painful and harmful incitement by Israelis and Jews against the democratic state that is home to the world’s largest Jewish community. For these critics, the Jewish state can do nothing right and the Palestinians can never be held accountable for any atrocity, however heinous.

Throughout the book, Gerstenfeld asserts that he should have never had to be the one to write it; that it is the responsibility of the Jewish state to formulate proper strategies and tactics to battle and ultimately win this war.

We at the Simon Wiesenthal Center agree with the author that the State of Israel must create a single address to effectively counter the many fronts of this war. The toxic propaganda left unchallenged will not only weaken the Jewish state but also poison attitudes towards the Jews the world over. Gerstenfeld provides the overview of the enemies’ game plan. It is time now for Israel to approach this war as creatively and effectively as it has done in combating its enemies on the military front. The coherence of Gerstenfeld’s analysis and the compelling, if sometimes depressing, narrative of this definitive work, makes it a must read for Israeli officialdom and all lovers of Zion.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a founding member of The Global Forum on Antisemitism.


The Islamic world hasn’t forgotten this sign of weakness, reinforced by the crying EU minister Federica Mogherini. 

Dr.Gerstenfeld’s latest article on how various European countries in the past made deals with terrorists, even if these had killed their own citizens. It was published in the Jerusalem Post without footnotes published here with the author’s consent.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldEurope is once again being held hostage by Muslim terrorism, following the lethal attacks in Brussels. Politicians and public figures have made the usual nebulous comments. To pick one out, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, said: “it is an attack on our democratic Europe. We will never accept terrorists attacking our open societies.”1

For Israelis, the terrorist attacks in Europe bring back to mind a period several decades ago, when Israel and those in any way connected with it were targeted by global Palestinian terrorism. Several European democracies then tried to come to an understanding with the terrorist organizations: they would not prosecute murderers of Israelis, or even their own citizens. In return, their own countries would not be attacked.

A clandestine agreement between the Swiss government and the terrorists of the Palestinian Liberation Organization made 45 years ago was recently disclosed in a book by Swiss journalist Marcel Gyr.2 Switzerland had been the victim of three Palestinian terror attacks. In 1969, a Palestinian terrorist shot at an El Al plane at Zurich airport, killing its Israeli pilot. The Swiss arrested the terrorists. In 1970, a bomb on board a Swissair flight to Tel Aviv exploded outside Zurich, killing all 47 passengers and crew. Later that year a Swissair flight on its way to New York was hijacked. It was redirected, together with two other hijacked planes, one British and the other American, to an airfield in Jordan where all three planes were destroyed.3

From Gyr’s book we learn that the then Swiss foreign minister Pierre Graber, who died in 2003, made a secret agreement with the PLO shortly after the 1970 hijack. The intermediary was Jean Ziegler, a notorious anti-Israel inciter and self-proclaimed human rights activist. He was a Swiss parliamentarian at the time, and is currently still active as a member of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Ziegler has recently admitted his role in this obstruction of justice and apologized to the family members of the victims.4

As a result of the agreement the murderers of the Israeli pilot were released, and the investigation into the attack on the Swissair flight was halted. This is a prime example of a democracy deliberately assenting to the betrayal of justice for its own murdered citizens. In March this year Gyr revealed that Europe’s top international terrorist Carlos, now imprisoned for life in France, had told his lawyer that he always considered himself very secure when he was in Switzerland.5

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Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld’s interview with Monique Schwarz was first published in INN, and republished here with the author’s consent.

Schwarz Monique


Interview with Monique Schwarz

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld“Recently my new documentary Beyond Paranoia was released. It tells how close anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are. My original observations on this similarity go back to 1987 during the first Intifada. I was then living in Australia.

“I noticed that there were consistent terms being applied in describing Israel. These were often pejorative and emotional. They included expressions such as that Jews control the world and that the Israel Lobby controls the American President. I then became very aware that anti-Israel and anti-Zionist comments and attitudes were getting increasingly stronger throughout the world.”

Monique Schwarz is an Australian filmmaker who has been involved in the production and distribution of independent documentary films for the last thirty years. One of her movies Mamadrama – The Jewish Mother in Cinema, released in 2001 had very wide international television, theatrical and educational distribution, and is still being screened today.

Schwarz says: “This initial awareness gradually made me want to make a movie about how comments made about Israel and Zionism overlapped with the old traditional anti-Semitism, something I had experienced myself. I was born in Switzerland during the Holocaust to survivor parents and immigrated to Australia in 1950 from France.

“To expose the hatred of Israel I wanted to make a documentary which, in addition to pictures, would include interviews with experts. They could describe and analyze the various aspects of the overlay of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism. They could illustrate how the main classic hate motifs have mutated and are then used against Israel. That seemed to me the best way to address both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.

‘At the time, and still in many circles today the conventional wisdom is that anti-Zionist and anti-Israel comments are common criticism, which in an open society is acceptable. I approached people for funding the proposed film which elucidates the connection between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Yet both Jewish and non-Jewish funding bodies commented that this view was extreme.

“They would thus not fund this outlook, however much it is based in reality. No one said ‘We won’t fund you because the idea is not interesting, or because we already have a film like this.’

“After the release of Mamadrama I started to work on Beyond Paranoia. I wanted this movie to send the key message that dangerous anti-Semitism is very much alive in the form of anti-Israelism.

“My co-producer Benzion Tidhar and I planned for a film shot on 16 mm film with a full crew. We realized however that money would not be forthcoming, and thus could not afford that budget. Yet I found the way Israel was portrayed in the world increasingly intolerable. Benzion and I decided that we had go ahead with the film at our own expense. It was almost a moral imperative. We sacrificed many things that make daily life a little more comfortable.

“I bought a Professional Video camera. We decided that we would do the production work ourselves, which video cameras allow you to do. Benzion did the sound, and I did camera and direction. Previously on my films, I had always worked as a director and sometimes I had also done some camera work, and as the producer/writer. This would help us as we could keep the costs down. Despite our economies, we have received many compliments on the film’s professionalism.

“The editor and I decided that Beyond Paranoia had to be visually shocking. It includes harsh Holocaust pictures. The music is tense and disturbing, almost like a horror movie soundtrack. This was deliberate, because we wanted to jab viewers out of their complacency,

“The interviewees gave a broad picture of how anti-Semitism developed, what its key motifs are and how these return in anti-Israelism. All people I wanted to interview for the film agreed, with one exception. A Muslim Israeli Arab decided for his own security that he could not be in this documentary. A number of interviewees did not end up in the final cut of the film. That is uncomfortable for me and probably disappointing for them. Yet it is the nature of filmmaking.

“The Israeli premiere was screened in February 2016 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. We made it as a memorial tribute to the leading anti-Semitism scholar Prof. Robert Wistrich, who suddenly passed away last year. I found him very inspirational in our conversations and he is an important interviewee in the film.

“From the various interviews I learned several important things. The most dramatic was that the similarity in anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, which I had observed more than ten years ago had increased even further. I also had never before seen clearly the common elements in Christian, Muslim and Nazi anti-Semitism. Nor did I realize the degree to which important elements of Nazism are inherent in the ideology of many Arab countries.

“Many people have told me how courageous I was for making this film. Most disturbingly these reactions underline the constraints on the freedom of expression in contemporary society.”

Disclosure: the author is interviewed in Beyond Paranoia


Everything that this street organizer-in-chief does is flawed.

netanyahu and obamination

Here is Dr.Gerstenfeld’s new article on Obama’s flawed doctrine. It was first published in Israel National News and republished here with the author’s permission.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe lengthy description of “Obama’s doctrine” recently published by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, reflects the confusion of the American President’s behavior.1 Israel occupies a minor place in the article. Yet an analysis of Obama’s positions on Israel and Netanyahu as presented in this text reveals more than the President’s stance on these issues. It also serves as a prism bringing various flawed elements of Obama’s doctrine into focus.

One can begin a review of the article with Goldberg’s description of Obama’s admiration for Israel’s resilience in the face of constant terrorism. He added that “it is clear that he would like to see resilience replace panic in American society.” Such an American response is unlikely. A sizeable minority of Americans agree with Donald Trump regarding his proposal to temporarily prevent foreign Muslims from entering the US.2 3 This indicates that resilience, a more passive stance, is probably not on the cards, especially if more crimes are committed in the US motivated by Islamist views.

Obama stated that there are only a limited number of moral issues, not directly concerning the United States, where he would feel the need to intervene. Israel’s defense in extreme circumstances made the shortlist, supported by Obama’s words that “it would be a moral failing for me as president of the United States” not to defend Israel.

Yet Goldberg writes that Obama has “long believed that Netanyahu could bring about a two-state solution that would protect Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority democracy, but is too fearful and politically paralyzed to do so.” This view is bizarre. It is highly improbable that a lasting ‘peace’ agreement could be reached with Abbas and Fatah, who glorify murderers of Israeli civilians. Such an agreement with this Palestinian minority group would encourage the anti-Israel genocide efforts of the Hamas Islamo-Nazis even further. Goldberg would have done well to ask Obama what he meant when he said he wanted to help the Palestinians achieve “dignity,” a warped concept given that the Palestinians’ main “contributions” to humanity to date are their innovative terror and hate mongering techniques.

Obama also mentions that Netanyahu was publicly condescending in giving him “‘something of a lecture about the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives.’ Finally, the president interrupted the prime minister and said: ‘Bibi, you have to understand something … I’m the African American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.’” Obama’s words can be easily exposed as a non-sequitur, as it is not clear what the relevance is of Obama being the African American son of a single mother and having made it to the White House, as proof of understanding the Middle East.

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There is a trend I’ve been observing by some in the anti-Islamization / mass muslim settler migration movement, towards blaming Jews for the curse of multiculturalism. I address it in the link above. The following article by Dr.Gerstenfeld is a timely addition to help shed light on this growing phenomenon.

NOTE: This is an article by Dr.Gerstenfeld on how to teach antisemitic stereotyping, where a remark by one Jew is picked up by antisemites who hold all Jews responsible.  It was first published in Algemeiner.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThere is major confusion about the nature and range of anti-Semitism today. Most people recognize anti-Semitism when presented in simple statement form, such as calling someone a dirty Jew. Accusing all Jews of killing Jesus, while anachronistic, also falls into this simple, easily recognizable category of anti-Semitism. Jesus lived 2000 years ago. He was killed by the Roman rulers, the only ones empowered to do so, not by the few Jews supposedly present at his crucifixion.

However, it is much harder to identify the essence of some of the anti-Semitism disseminated through social media, a major channel used for this purpose nowadays. It is important to note examples illustrating this particular form of anti-Semitism, which frequently uses stereotyping as its modus operandi. This may be defined in this context as blaming all Jews for the actions or statements of one or a few Jews.

News items, speeches and articles, frequently taken out of their own context are shared on anti-Semitic social media platforms. This snowballs, drawing a host of inciting and violent talkbacks. One extreme case demonstrates the use of stereotyping in social media-disseminated anti-Semitism in recent years. Barbara Lerner Spectre is an American Jew fairly unknown in Europe outside Sweden. She is a founding director of Paideia, The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden.

In 2010 Spectre said in a rather minor broadcast: “I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive.”

Few, if any, European Jewish leaders will share her views, but the relevance of her judgment is not the issue here. Hate promoters picked up the broadcast and shared it en masse, presenting it as proof that Jews intend to take over Europe. Over recent years this broadcast has attracted a barrage of at least fifty, if not many more articles and postings on hate sites and blogs including Stormfront, a large white-supremacist site. Anti-Semitic hate reactions have overwhelmed Google, making it difficult to find any other statements by Spectre using the search engine.

There is a huge need for teaching materials on how to discern anti-Semitism once it goes beyond the direct curse or insult. Stereotyping, double standards, false moral equivalence and the like can only be taught on the basis of case studies, which are both plentiful and easy to find. Recognizing anti-Semitism in all its tactics and strategies is the indispensable first step toward fighting it. Incorporating it into teaching materials is the essential second step.


The following interview with Stephan Steinmetz about a forgotten ghetto during the second world war in Amsterdam. It first appeared at Israel National News and republished here with the author’s consent.



Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Stephan Steinmetz

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld“During the German occupation of the Netherland, the small Asterdorp village in the northern part of Amsterdam served as an open Jewish ghetto. It existed as such for only a little over a year, during 1942-1943. In my recent book about Asterdorp’s history, the war-time covers less than a full chapter. Yet, I hope that the book and the resulting publicity will preserve the memory of that ghetto for all time.”

Dr. Stephan Steinmetz was born in 1956 in The Hague. He served as an independent advisor to municipalities for many years. In February 2016 he received his PhD at Amsterdam University for his dissertation presenting an in-depth study of Asterdorp’s entire history. His book has since been published commercially.1

“In the 1920’s Amsterdam municipality transferred inhabitants of condemned slums to new subsidized housing projects. However, the municipality’s officials considered some people too anti-social for the new housing. They then built Asterdorp where these transferees were to be reeducated. A supervisor checked that the new inhabitants kept their houses clean and used the public bath. In total 3,000 people lived there in the 1920s and 1930s, of which a third were poverty-stricken Jews. There was no organized Jewish life. The development failed, and by the time the Germans occupied the Netherlands in May 1940 almost all the houses were empty.

“In February 1942, the German occupiers told the Amsterdam mayor Edward John Voute, a Nazi collaborator that they needed Asterdorp for Jewish families, whom they would designate for transfer to the village. The Germans had just started persecuting stateless Jews. These were mainly German Jews who had fled to the Netherlands. Seven hundred of them had been living in Westerbork, a remote location assigned to them by the Dutch Government, prior to the war. The Germans intended to expand Westerbork and to make it the transit camp in the Netherlands for deportation of the Jews mainly to the German death camps in Poland.

“As Westerbork’s expansion wasn’t yet ready, the Germans wanted to move stateless German refugees to Asterdorp from several towns near Amsterdam. The first Jews who arrived there in May or June 1942 almost all belonged to that category. By the end of 1942, or in January 1943, all these inhabitants of Asterdorp had been transferred to Westerbork or had already been deported from there to the East.

“In the beginning of 1943, a second group of Jews came to Asterdorp, mainly mid-level employees of the Jewish Council. They had a Sperre, a stamp which exempted them from deportation. In May 1943 several of them went into hiding after they realized that their Sperre had become worthless.

“Asterdorp’s last remaining Jews were forced to move again in June 1943, this time to another open ghetto in Amsterdam. Their further stay there was short, and they were then transferred to Westerbork. During that ghetto period, 305 Jews lived in Asterdorp. I have not been able to trace any one of the deported. In the past year, I have however interviewed four or five people who as children went into hiding.

“Asterdorp was not guarded. A Jewish school and synagogue functioned in the ghetto for a short time, in the village’s gatehouse. After the war, the Amsterdam municipality tried to turn Asterdorp into a normal village, but nobody wanted to live there. In 1955, it was torn down entirely, with the exception of the gatehouse which is the only building still standing today. There are now efforts to turn it into a memorial for Asterdorp’s entire history.

“One disclosure in my book has raised much indignation. Amsterdam’s municipal housing service managed Asterdorp during the war as well as housing projects in another open ghetto, the Transvaal neighborhood. The Dutch state paid Amsterdam a subsidy for housing projects. The municipal housing officials said ‘perhaps some Jews have too much income to live in subsidized housing projects.’

“This was both morally reprehensible and factual nonsense. In January 1942, Jews had been forced to transfer all their money and valuables to LIRO, essentially a robber’s bank. Jews had no work or income. The Amsterdam officials should have been well aware of this. They said, very bureaucratically, that ‘We cannot refuse anyone, including people who earn too much. If we do, we may lose part of our subsidy.’ They consulted the Germans in charge of the persecution of the Jews who said that their only interest was that the Jews should live in the ghettos. The level of rent paid was of no importance to them.

“Thereupon the municipality decided to raise all rents in Asterdorp by 25%. The same happened less systematically in the Transvaal neighborhood. The Jewish Council rented rooms and paid for them from the LIRO money. This is one of several dubious practices against the Jews by the Amsterdam wartime municipality. The Jews who lived in the subsidized housing were also required to pay a security deposit, which was probably never returned.

“The survivors I interviewed were children during the war and could not tell me anything about the rent paid. Now that they know they were overcharged, some of them plan to ask for the money back.

“The filmmaker Saskia van den Heuvel is currently making a documentary about the Asterdorp ghetto. It will be shown around 4 May, Dutch National Memorial Day.”

Steinmetz concludes, “I will meet Amsterdam mayor, Eberhard van der Laan. I intend to raise the issue of the inflated rents charged to the Jews during the war. It is one of a number of stories about highly problematic behavior by the municipality toward the Jews. Another concerns charging Jews who returned after the war for long leases for the period they were in camps or in hiding. This money will now finally, seventy years after the war, be returned. There are similar stories of outstanding electricity and gas bills from the wartime period, which the returning Jews were made to pay. I have never been able to find proof of that. I intend to propose to the mayor that he should initiate a detailed investigation into the actions of the Amsterdam municipality toward the Jews during and after the war.”

1 Stephan Steinmetz, Een Amsterdamse geschiedenis van verheffing en vernedering published by Atlas Contact.


A book review by Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld on a very interesting book by Michelle Mazel, the wife of former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel, on her often unpleasant experiences in Egypt.  It was published in the Jewish Political Studies Review. The review is republished here with the author’s permission.

With such media and social climates, the possibilities for Egyptians to form independent opinions on Israel is minimal. In this context, Michèle’s stories become understandable. One sad example recalls that in the garden of the ambassador’s residence garden grew a large number of succulent mangoes. The lady of the house wanted to give them away to the Egyptian soldiers guarding the perimeters of the villa. Egyptians warned her not to do so, because if a soldier were to get sick it would be claimed that she had poisoned them.

Michèle Mazel, La Maison du Pacha; Souvenirs d’une Israélienne au Caire [The Pacha’s House – Memories of an Israeli Woman in Cairo], (Jerusalem, Editions Elkana, 2014) 250 pages.

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld

In the early 1980s, The Jerusalem Post occasionally published articles by a then-unknown writer Michèle Mazel about her impressions of Egypt. Michèle is the wife of the since-retired Israeli diplomat Zvi Mazel, who at the time was the counselor at the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The articles drew public attention because of Michèle’s interesting observations and pleasant writing style.

Michèle went on to publish novels. Her latest book proves that her articles were but a preview of her poignant impressions of Egypt. The Pacha’s House relates a wide range of issues the Mazels dealt with while residing in Cairo. They lived there from 1980, when the embassy first opened, until 1983, and then returned for another five years, from 1996-2001, when Zvi was the Israeli ambassador to Egypt. His assignment ended a few days before the mass murders of 9/11 took place, about which the author writes that they were celebrated in Cairo with “explosions of joy.”

Michèle mentions a particular characteristic which may perhaps best describe life in Egypt. She recounts an anecdote in which an Egyptian salesman comes to Madrid and explains the meaning of the Arabic word “bukra” to his Spanish host, which can be translated as “if God wills it”. The Egyptian continues, “it’s a bit like ‘mañana’ in Spanish, but without the urgency of that word.” As the word “mañana”, to Spanish psyche, means “never”, one can only imagine what can possibly be less urgent than that.

The house of the Pacha, which gave the book its title, was the residence of Israeli ambassadors for many years – from the time of Israel’s first ambassador to Egypt, Eliyahu Ben Elissar, until the Mazels departed. It was a villa built by a former minister in the Cairo suburb of Maadi and had large gardens. This allowed the Mazels to entertain many other diplomats and members of the local elite, as well as visiting and local Israelis. The small Jewish community was also invited during the Jewish holidays.

Most of the stories in the book take place during the political terms of President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, who succeeded President Muhammad Anwar El Sadat after he was assassinated in 1981. Mubarak’s period of leadership may be one upon which many Egyptians now look back upon with nostalgia.

The differences between the two periods of the Mazels’ stay in Cairo are evident, mentioned throughout the book and described in detail. In the 1980s, the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was still fresh and there was hope on many fronts. That did not mean, however, that all Egyptians were friendly or even polite to the Israeli diplomats. Yet Michèle was hired to teach French at the American school in Maadi, where children from around the world were enrolled, including those from countries extremely hostile or even at war with Israel.

Many Egyptian friends she had made and other contacts from her first stay avoided her when the author returned as the Israeli ambassador’s wife. In a number of cases this was due to fear that after meeting her — let alone visiting her in the ambassador’s residence – the Egyptian secret services would ask them for explanations. Michèle could not find a private teacher to help her improve her Arabic. Those who initially agreed to tutor her found a futile reason to cancel before the first lesson had even begun. This would occur even after Michèle had agreed to their exorbitant prices. When the Mazels accepted invitations to stay over with Egyptian friends, this led to embarrassment for their hosts in front of their neighbors or with the intelligence services. The Mazels rapidly gave up on these attempts at socializing.

Michèle devotes an entire chapter to the Egyptian press. It could well have been entitled the “Egyptian Hate-Israel Press”, but that is not her style. Michèle is an acute observer, but does not use radical language. She mentions that Egypt’s three largest dailies, Al Ahram, Al Gomhuriya and Al Akbar are owned by the government. This fact, however, did not restrain them from launching extreme attacks on Israel. All other Egyptian papers were subject to government censure as well.

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psychoanalysis couch sick EU

In response to Soros’ speech, the late Elan Steinberg, senior advisor to the World Jewish Congress at that time, gave the correct answer: “Let’s understand things clearly: Anti-Semitism is not caused by Jews; it’s caused by anti-Semites. One can certainly be critical of Bush’s policy or Sharon’s policy, but any deviation from the understanding of the real cause of anti-Semitism is not merely a disservice, but a historic lie.”6


Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldA widely-held belief that Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism has been entrenched in the Western world for many centuries. In 2015, Isaac Bachman, Israeli ambassador to Sweden, exposed this perverted idea when invited for a rare state radio interview. The female interviewer asked him if Jews were responsible for the rising anti-Semitism in Europe. The ambassador rejected the question entirely.

However, the interviewer insisted. Bachman then answered that “the question of how a woman contributes to the fact of her rape is irrelevant altogether. I don’t think there is any provocation that Jews are doing–they just exist.” Afterwards, Sweden’s state radio took the unusual step of publicly apologizing and even deleted the question from the recording of the interview in its digital archive.1

A recent French poll has again brought this ever-simmering belief into the limelight. Seventeen percent of those interviewed among the general public responded that Jews are significantly responsible for anti-Semitism. The percentage among Muslims was much higher, 31%. An additional forty-two percent of both general and Muslim respondents answered that there is Jewish responsibility for anti-Semitism, yet it is minimal.2 The majority of the French thus adhere to this false accusation whose beginnings go back more than fifteen centuries.

Jewish responsibility for what much later was called anti-Semitism is an ancient core idea of Christianity, usually used together with two other extremely evil concepts; collective responsibility and scapegoating. The Jews were perceived as responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, which was in reality a sentence decided on and executed by the Romans.

Few Jews, if any, were present at the crucifixion. This did not prevent the collective blaming of all Jews through all generations for an evil act that even those few had not committed. This is another example of a typically rabid discriminatory attitude: that of stereotyping an entire group of people for the evil acts supposedly perpetrated by a small number of its members. On the contrary: responsibility for the innumerable anti-Semitic attacks, expulsions, pogroms and the like carried out by Christians throughout the centuries rests exclusively with those who ordered and committed such acts.

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All who do so are immoral letches deserving the loudest of condemnations.

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk’s newest collaboration was first published at the Algemeiner, but with the footnotes included here, with the authors’ consent.


Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldIsraeli military operations in the past and its reactions to the recent wave of individual Palestinian terrorism have come under frequent criticism from Western pseudo-humanitarians. One often hears false moral equivalence is that of Israeli actions intended to kill only terrorists comparing them to premeditated cold-blooded murder. Sometimes such comparisons are made by prominent officials. In some cases they even abuse the memory of Jews murdered by terrorists by using such equivalences. Two classic cases among many will illustrate this

Possibly soon an agreement may be reached between Turkey and Israel over the Mavi Marmara affair. In this context it may be recalled that U.S Secretary of State John Kerry compared the three killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing to the nine killed on the Mavi Marmara flotilla that attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2013.1 Kerry falsely mischaracterized the passengers on the Mavi Marmara as innocent activists and bystanders, much like the actually-innocent Boston Marathon victims, killed by bombs hidden in backpacks.2

However, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs demonstrated that the passengers on the Mavi Marmara had planned all acts of violence prior to the Israeli navy boarding the ship. In addition, video footage shows an Israeli soldier being thrown overboard, and other soldiers being attacked with metal pipes and chairs immediately after boarding, leaving no time to negotiate with passengers.3

Another outrageous example of such false moral equivalence is that of then European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton who compared in 2012 the deaths of innocent people by serial killers and brutal dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli actions in Gaza. In a speech to Palestinian youth in Brussels, she abused the memory of the four Jews intentionally killed by the Muslim terrorist Mohamed Merah in Toulouse, France by saying:

“When we think about what happened today in Toulouse, we remember what happened in Norway last year, we know what is happening in Syria, and we see what is happening in Gaza and other places – we remember young people and children who lose their lives.”

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Lies about the founding of the modern state of Israel need to be debunked time and again, and as often as they are manifested.

The truth be told, Jewish development of the land purchased from Turkish landowners, created an economic boon for the region, and acted as a magnet for Arab/Muslim migration to the area. There are just as many Arab migrants to the Palestine region at the turn of the century, as there were Jewish ones.

NOTE: This article Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld wrote with Jamie Berk on “False Moral Equivalence: Zionism Equals Colonialism and Imperialism” which was published in Israel National News. This is republished here with the author’s consent.

“The Zionist project of colonization worked in a markedly different manner. Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors. Granted they had no ability to conquer, and granted they built up their defenses against predatory attacks from both Arabs and Bedouin inhabitants of the land, but they nonetheless made peace with most of those who dwelled there by offering the benefits of civil society: hard productive work made everyone better off.”

False Moral Equivalence: Zionism Equals Colonialism and Imperialism

By Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldFor centuries Christianity promoted the idea that Jews were the epitome of absolute evil, because they supposedly were responsible for the murder of Jesus. With increasing secularization, perceptions of all-encompassing malevolence gradually changed, together with the purported role of Jews in that characterization. For the self-styled superhuman Nazis, Jews were by definition subhuman, vermin and bacteria, the ultimate Nazi version of absolute evil. Nazism in turn became the benchmark for demonic behavior after the Second World War.

Nowadays, the West fixates on Israel in its characterization of absolute evil. French linguist Georges-Elia Sarfati summed this up saying that the equivalences used against Israel “attach the four major negative characteristics of Western history in the last century – Nazism, racism, colonialism and imperialism – to the State of Israel. They relate to a collective memory and are easily memorized.”1

All four false equivalences have been used by the Palestinians and their allies as part of their total anti-Israeli war. Israel has been demonized and labelled a Nazi, racist, colonialist and imperialist state. This comparison is a false equivalence that undermines Israel’s right to exist.

The claim that Zionism and Israel are inherently imperialist, representing a colonial power in the Middle East, is largely present in the world of intellectuals and academics.

A new academic discipline, post-colonial studies, suggests that current trends in former colonies be viewed through the lens of their colonial legacy, in particular in terms of the power structures and Western influence on these nations. A distorted version of this discipline however includes the false claims regarding Zionism and Israel’s imperialist and colonialist nature within its sphere of investigation. In practice, much of modern postcolonial studies is built on the warped concept of the discipline presented in Edward Said’s book Orientalism. He argues that nearly all Western influence on the developing world has been negative and destructive, with Western colonizers imposing their culture and attitudes on colonized populations while treating them like primitive peoples.2

Proponents of the distorted version draw a parallel between the Palestinians and indigenous people of color colonized by Westerners for centuries. These hate mongers argue that Zionism justifies the colonization of people of color in their own land by white people, who then rule the entire population and exploit their resources.

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Most of the individuals participating in PEGIDA rallies are just mom & pop types worried about the direction of their country, in a political environment that can be accurately characterized as being, more ideologically bound than reason based.

They (EU elites) have an utopian project to promote and to defend, the ultra-and inter-nationalism of the EU, and damn the people that get in the way of it. They are to be opposed, maligned and cast into the outer darkness with the wailing and gnashing of teeth, especially the gnashing of teeth.

Are there ultra-nationalists milling around on the fringe of the anti-Islamization movement? you bet there are, being opportunists as much as their ideological (yin-yang) cousins, the ultra-internationalists, who are riding the tailcoats of the open borders EU political class who are presently ruling Europe.

It is all the more reason to back, solely, the people who are opposed to the complete disintegration of their societies that were based upon the classical liberal philosophies of the enlightenment. The EU and it’s henchmen, a political class of socialist regressives are solely responsible for the mess that has engulfed the European continent. How it finds its way back will be of extreme importance for all its people, both minority and majorities.

NOTE: This article first appeared at the Israel National News and republished here with the author’s consent.

Pandora’s SuperBox: The Rise of the German Right

21 February 2016

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe German open border policy for refugees has led to a significant rise of forces on the right of the political spectrum. This affects both German society at large, and the Jewish community. Salomon Korn, the deputy head of the Central Council of Jews said that “children in Arab countries are indoctrinated like children in Third Reich. We should not accept the illusion that we can integrate these people into society.” Korn added however that he fears the drift of the center to the right and the increasing right-wing violence even more.1

So far the most extreme violent attacks have taken place in Leipzig. Two hundred and fifty masked hooligans destroyed almost all the shop windows in a street in the predominantly left-wing Connewitz quarter.2 In the federal state of Saxony, unknown assailants attacked four asylum seeker shelters over a period of several days, according to the police’s Operative Defense Center. (OAZ). One of these attacks, which took place in Leipzig, concerned a group of an estimated seven perpetrators who had prepared a do-it-yourself explosive charge which failed to detonate.3

Bernd Merbitz, the head of the Leipzig police, said that in Saxony there was an increasingly intense “pogrom atmosphere.” He added that “we are going toward a situation where inciters knowingly use the fear of people to provoke hysteria against the asylum-policy and justify violence against the refugees.”4

The Amadeo Antoni foundation, a body bearing the name of an Angolan worker murdered in 1990 by a group of Neo-Nazi skinheads, chronicles violence against refugees. It collaborates with another organization for this purpose, Pro-Asyl, Germany’s largest pro-immigrant advocacy organization. The Antoni foundation is also active against anti-Semitism. In 2016 alone, tens of cases of attacks on immigrants have already been recorded.5 In a number of these cases, refugees were injured.

According to these organizations, asylum seeker centers were subjected to 528 assaults in 2015. 126 of these cases involved arson attempts, on average a bid to set a fire in a refugee center every three days. The organizations also recorded 141 attacks on refugees outside the centers. All in all, 205 people were injured. The Federal Criminal Police office published that 2015 had had the highest number of criminal acts against asylum seeker centers in this century, 924 in all, as opposed to 199 such acts reported for 2014.6

In the past the German establishment has tried to cover up crimes committed by refugees. The large-scale overt sexual attacks and thefts by refugees in nine German cities and in various other countries on New Year’s Eve have made this much harder to do.

We have not been able to find statistics for crimes committed by immigrants. One recent case, where a woman and several pensioners were attacked by four immigrants on the Munich underground, received much attention after a passenger filmed the attack and uploaded it directly to YouTube.7 The attackers were reported to be Afghans who had been living in Germany for four years even though their asylum applications had been rejected. They could not be sent back to Afghanistan in view of the dangerous situation there. This is true for many migrants, who remain in the country for the same reason after their asylum requests are rejected. A Munich police spokesman admitted that this situation is highly problematic.8

The concern felt by many in German Jewish communities from the start of the refugee influx has since spread to German society at large, as evidenced, for instance, in the major increase in pepper spray sales following the New Year’s Eve attacks.9

Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes) is a far-right German movement, founded in Dresden in 2014. Pegida demonstrations draw thousands of participants. Its main aim is to fight Islamization. It also opposes German membership of the EU and NATO. Somewhat surprisingly it aims at better relations with Putin’s Russia. Following the massive influx of refugees, similar movements have emerged in other countries which have adopted the same name.

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