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]

The Broad Array of Belgian Anti-Semitism

| February 11, 2019

Two issues are drawing attention to the broad range of Belgian anti-Semitism, a problem that usually remains under the international radar. One is the trial of Mehdi Nemmouche, the alleged murderer of four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014. The other is the prohibition against unstunned ritual slaughter in the Flanders and Wallony regions. These cases are just the tip of the iceberg of Belgian anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. There are also extreme cases of Muslim, political, academic, and trade union anti-Semitism. One can even find anti-Semitism in school textbooks.

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Anti-Semitism Is Deeply Woven into the European Fabric

| January 28, 2019

The anti-Semitism that is so integral to European culture developed in a dominating hostile Christian environment over more than a millennium. This provided much of the cultural infrastructure of the Holocaust, which was executed by Germans with the help of many allies. During the Enlightenment and thereafter, many leading European thinkers expressed hatred towards Jews. In recent decades, the hatred towards Jews found in European societies mutated partly into anti-Israelism, which targets the Jewish state.

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The Netherlands’ Profound Hypocrisy on the Jews

| January 20, 2019

The Netherlands’ attitude towards the Jews reveals Dutch society to be profoundly hypocritical. The Dutch government remains the only one in Western Europe that consistently refuses to admit, let alone apologize for, the massive failures of its predecessors towards the Jews during WWII. Ignoring the truth of its past enables the Dutch government and parts of the political system to act as moral judges over others, with Israel a prime target.

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Extreme Anti-Semitism at Berlin Schools

Jewish pupils at German public schools are particularly vulnerable to the country’s greatly increased anti-Semitism. A number of extreme anti-Semitic incidents have been publicized in recent years, of which several of the most severe occurred in Berlin. German authorities are only slowly waking up to the problem. In many cases, the alleged perpetrators are children of Muslim immigrants – in particular in Berlin, which has the largest Muslim and Jewish communities. 

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Angela Merkel’s Legacy and the Jews

| January 3, 2019

Angela Merkel’s tenure as Chancellor of Germany is drawing to a close. While she has always shown great empathy for Germany’s Jews, her 2015 decision to open the country’s gates to migrants led to the influx of approximately a million and a half people (so far), mainly from Muslim countries, which has in turn strengthened Germany’s longstanding anti-Semitism. Helmut Kohl, who was CDU chancellor from 1982-98, enabled the strengthening of the German Jewish community through major immigration from Russia. Merkel’s legacy, by contrast, may well be a substantial diminishment of the German Jewish community through emigration.

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Anti-Semitism Is an Integral Part of European Culture

| December 20, 2018

In December 2018, the Fundamental Rights Agency released a major survey on anti-Semitism in 12 European countries. Though flawed and not statistically representative, it draws many important conclusions. It confirms once again that anti-Semitism remains an integral part of European culture. While the findings do not mean the majority of Europeans are anti-Semites, they are nevertheless an indictment of Europe’s hypocrisy, pervasive anti-Semitism, non-selective immigration policies, widespread anti-Israelism, and huge discrepancy between the rhetoric of European leaders on fighting anti-Semitism and their actions.

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Louis Farrakhan: America’s Foremost Anti-Semite

| December 12, 2018

The best known and most virulent full-time anti-Semite in the US is Louis Farrakhan, the long-time leader of the Nation of Islam. He attacks the Jewish religion and people as well as the State of Israel, using a broad array of classic anti-Semitic motifs, and has called Adolf Hitler a “very great man.” Though Farrakhan has spent decades inciting anti-Semitism, he is legitimized by his many interactions with prominent Americans. The First Amendment of the American Constitution does not allow for this hatemonger to be brought to court, a limitation that not only enables but even strengthens his anti-Semitism.

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Sweden’s Ugly Ultraliberalism and the Jews

| December 4, 2018

For anyone curious to see just how ugly ultraliberalism can get, Sweden is the ideal case study. The deep presence of anti-Semitism in Sweden reveals that the country’s image as a near perfect liberal democracy is false.  So serious is the problem that the country is in dire need of a national anti-Semitism commissioner who can point out the threats coming from neo-Nazis and Muslims, the flaws of the police and the justice system, and other failures of the authorities to deal with anti-Semitism. But Sweden’s purported love of free speech is unlikely to extend so far as to give a mouthpiece to such a person.

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Jewish Dual Loyalty: The Classic Anti-Semitic Stereotype

| November 28, 2018

Accusations of dual loyalty are the main anti-Semitic hate motif worldwide, as well as in the US. Extrapolating from poll data, it can be inferred that up to seventy-five million Americans might believe their Jewish co-citizens are more loyal to Israel than to the US. If that were true, the great majority of American Jews would likely have voted for Donald Trump, who is proving so far to be one of the most pro-Israel presidents in history. Yet only 24% of US Jews supported him in the 2016 elections, and in the newly elected Congress, a host of Jewish Democrat committee heads are expected to attack the president.

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An International Jewish View on the Pittsburgh Murders

| November 13, 2018

The killing of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh is the next in a series of lethal attacks targeting Jews and their institutions for decades around the world. In killings outside the US, the murderers of Jews are often Muslim, while in Pittsburgh the murderer was a white supremacist. The First Amendment of the American Constitution enables hate speech, which is a deficiency in any society. The Pittsburgh killings demonstrate that Jews are subject to threat all over the world, including in the US.

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