Anti-Israelism is Anti-Semitism: an Interview with Manfred Gerstenfeld

by Jerry Gordon (September 2013)

Manfred Gerstenfeld, the former Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a noted author and commentator on European and World anti-Semitism. He recently published a book of interviews, Demonizing Israel and the Jews. The book presents important themes on how prevalent anti-Semitism, anti-Israelism and what Gerstenfeld terms “humanitarian racism” are in the West today. See our review in the current edition of the New English Review. Vienna-born Gerstenfeld is a Holocaust survivor who grew up as a child of Jews hidden in Holland not far from Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam. A product of a strongly Zionist and Orthodox Jewish family he left Amsterdam for Paris in 1964 to become a premier pharmaceutical industry stock analyst for Eurofinance – a consortium of 16 international banks. That subsequently led to an illustrious international strategic and financial consultancy career in both Europe and Israel. Making Aliyah with his family in 1968 to Israel, he served in the IDF as a Reserve Officer in Economic Intelligence. In 1999 following the passing of the founding chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, he assumed that post which he held from 2000 to 2012. While there he established a program of Post-Holocaust and anti-Semitism studies specializing in the continuing problem of European and global anti-Semitism. Near the close of the 20th Century he returned to Dutch problems, advising on the matter of restitution for Dutch Holocaust survivors on behalf of Dutch Jewish immigrants in Israel. His demand for an apology by the Dutch for the failure of the Government in exile in London during World War Two to recognize the destruction of Holland’s Jews during the Holocaust drew wide international attention. Gerstenfeld has frequently commented in books and articles about the Dutch attitude towards Jews following the Nazi occupation that witnessed the murders of over 100,000 of his Dutch coreligionists in Nazi death camps. In 2012, he was given a Lifetime Award by The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism.

Palestinism is a world policy initiated and imposed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its Western allies that aims to transfer to Palestinian Muslims the history, the cultural and religious heritage of the Jewish people. . . . Palestinism encompasses all Western-Muslim relationships.

Large parts of the Muslim world are willing to commit a Holocaust in the sense of exterminating Israel.

Gerstenfeld argues that leftist social democratic parties in Europe are aligned with Muslim extremists engaged in demonizing Israel and Jews.

“Norway and Antisemitism”, Gerstenfeld wrote:

Against this background we invited Manfred Gerstenfeld for this New English Review interview.

Another problem for Jews with such parties is that one should stay away from stereotyping all Muslims. There is no other major religion involved in so much violence and other crimes, as Islam. Blaming all Muslims for it is false however.

Irrational discrimination of Muslims exists in Europe. At the same time, one should clearly state that there are rational reasons to have a negative opinion of many major developments in the Islamic world as well as in parts of the Muslim population in Europe.

The West Speaks.


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