Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld (Ph.D. Amsterdam University) is former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He specializes in Israeli-Western Europe relations, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism. Email: [email protected]

Confirmation Bias and Antisemitism

| February 9, 2020

Antisemitism has fragmented into many subcategories in the postmodern era, which has made it ever more confusing and opaque. One concept that can shed new light on contemporary antisemitism is confirmation bias: the idea that people are often receptive to information, even if dubious, that confirms their existing opinions.


How Labour’s Antisemitism Changed the Attitudes of British Jewry

| January 27, 2020

Jeremy Corbyn was elected Chairman of the British Labour Party in September 2015. Ever since then, elected representatives of the party have expressed a steady stream of antisemitic invective, a problem that has never seemed to concern Corbyn or his associates to any great or genuine extent. Labour’s antisemitism eventually prompted public expressions of dismay from Jewish organizations, rabbis, parliamentarians, and individuals—a radical departure from the previous behavior of British Jewry, which has long preferred to keep a low profile.


How Israel Should Fend Off the ICC

| January 16, 2020

The International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague has an abysmal record. It has few convictions, yet in the 17 years of its existence has spent more than $1.5 billion. The ICC’s decision to investigate supposed Israeli war crimes is a largely political ruling. Israel should confront the court by exposing that its multiple deficiencies far exceed its merits.


The Soleimani Killing and Left-Liberals

| January 14, 2020

Many in the West have expressed great dismay at the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. Such responses to the removal of perhaps the world’s leading terrorist seem to suggest that the democratic West has descended into decadence. If that is the case, it is worth examining the extent to which the liberal-left dominance of much of Western public discourse is undermining the stability of democracy itself.


Fighting Antisemitism: Three Strategic Priorities

| December 25, 2019

If antisemitism is to be fought effectively, three priorities have to be set.  First, the Israeli government should establish an anti-propaganda agency. Second, an effort must be made to achieve a broad recognition that antisemitism is an ancient and integral element of Western culture. Third, there should be a consistent exposure of Jewish masochists who claim that Israel alone has to be perfect while others do not.


Climate Change Fears and Polarization

| November 29, 2019

The surging interest in climate change intermingles science, ideology, politics, and religion and is likely to lead to increased polarization in Western societies. By analyzing the key characteristics of environmentalism and trying to assess societal developments, we can monitor the impact of climate change awareness and the inciting of fear.


The Failed Halle Synagogue Massacre Reveals the Dysfunction of German Law

| November 7, 2019

The failed attack on the synagogue in the German town of Halle on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, once again exposed the dysfunction of the law in the German liberal democracy. Efforts were made to draw attention away from the shortcomings of the police and authorities by blaming the German right-wing party, AfD. This backfired when an AfD parliamentarian exposed huge government shortcomings in the battle against extremists as well as anti-Israelism in mainstream German society.


Antisemitism Is Woven into Western Culture

| October 24, 2019

It is not difficult to prove that antisemitism is an integral part of Western culture. To be clear: this is radically different from saying that all Europeans are antisemites. Yet Western politicians and leaders almost never admit this evident reality about their societies’ cultures.


Berlin: Capital of European Antisemitism

| October 3, 2019

Berlin has surpassed Malmö as Europe’s antisemitism capital, with a wide variety of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes on display. They include dozens of cases of physical aggression against Jews, including rabbis. Jewish pupils have had to leave public schools. Thirty-five percent of Berliners view Israelis as analogous to Nazis. An Al-Quds Day march takes place annually that calls for the destruction of Israel. Both the municipality and the federal government are two-faced  about the problem of antisemitism.


“Smokescreening” – Anti-Israel Sentiment Expressed Through False Friendship

| September 24, 2019

Smokescreening, the false pretense of friendship toward Israel, is a common practice. Practitioners include US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, former US president Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and German FM Heiko Maas. There is also a mirror phenomenon in which Israeli leaders identify smokescreeners as friends, as when Israeli president Reuven Rivlin called German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier a “true friend of Israel.”