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]

Omar, Tlaib, and Israel’s Nonexistent Anti-Propaganda Agency

| September 9, 2019

The clumsy manner in which the Israeli government handled the non-visit to Israel of US Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar was not a mere mishap. It resulted from a structural problem. The government’s refusal to establish an anti-propaganda agency has led to repeated public relations failures against vile verbal aggression.

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Israel Must Remain Vigilant in Its Relations with Poland

| September 1, 2019

In view of Poland’s historical treatment of Jews, Israel must remain ever-vigilant that there be no falsification of history as Polish-Israeli relations develop. There is a strong desire in Poland to whitewash or otherwise minimize horrible events. Provided the Israeli authorities calibrate their statements and stick to the facts, they will maintain the moral high ground in the relationship.  

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Contemporary Jewish Academics and the Masochist Tradition

| August 20, 2019

There is a strong trend of masochism in the contemporary Jewish world, the origins of which can be found in the Tanach [the Hebrew Bible]. The tradition of Jewish masochism continues through Talmudic expression and into later Jewish literature, and can also be found in the prayer book. One of many recent examples is a letter by 240 Israeli and Jewish scholars to the German government rejecting the parliamentary motion equating BDS with antisemitism.

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Dissent in Labour Rises Following BBC Revelations

| August 7, 2019

Dissent inside the British Labour Party has increased following the recent broadcast of a BBC Panorama documentary on antisemitism within the party’s ranks. One-third of Labour members of the House of Lords published an advertisement attacking Corbyn’s position on antisemitism. A great majority of Labour staff members accepted a motion against the party leadership’s attitude toward employees. As many of Corbyn’s opponents prefer to fight the ineffectiveness of Labour leadership on the antisemitism problem rather than leave the party, this internal battle is unlikely to go away any time soon.

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The BBC Revelations: Holocaust Promoters Inside the Labour Party

| July 24, 2019

One of the most sensational revelations of the recently screened BBC Panorama documentary on antisemitism within the British Labour Party is the presence there of actual Holocaust promoters. The documentary did not address every element of Labour antisemitism, but did provide much new information on “smokescreening” by the leadership: the practice of falsely claiming that it took determined action against antisemitism when in fact it took only partial, lukewarm action.

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The Berlin Jewish Museum Scandal

| July 14, 2019

The recent resignation of Peter Schäfer, Director of the Berlin Jewish Museum, follows a series of missteps by the museum that have led the German Jewish umbrella organization to declare that the museum has lost the trust of the community. Schäfer, a respected scholar, resigned from a position that requires an experienced manager with profound political understanding and instincts who is able to operate in what is for German Jews a highly problematic reality.

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Sweden Is a Perplexing Location for an Antisemitism Conference

Sweden’s Social Democrat PM Stefan Löfven has announced that in 2020 his country will host an international antisemitism conference to commemorate the Holocaust. This is perplexing in view of both Sweden’s and the Social Democrat party’s abysmal records on antisemitism and anti-Israel incitement. Jewish organizations should make an effort to prevent the Swedish government from turning this conference into a PR stunt.

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Did Dutch Jews Go Like Lambs to the Gas Chambers?

| June 19, 2019

Retired Dutch general Toine Beukering – a candidate for chairman of the Senate – said earlier this month that the Jews were “chased like docile lambs into the gas chambers.” This remark, for which he later apologized, once again raised the issue of the huge historical distortion of the Dutch role during WWII. The Dutch, who collaborated massively with the German occupiers, now exaggerate Dutch wartime resistance and underemphasize the disproportionately large role of Jews in it.

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What Hiding One’s Kippa Says About Europe

| June 11, 2019

Germany’s national antisemitism commissioner, Felix Klein, recently said, “I cannot advise Jews to wear kippot everywhere all the time in Germany.” Klein’s words, which prompted strong responses from the German authorities, revealed that the German legal system and police cannot guarantee Jewish freedom of expression in the public domain.

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Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party: An Ideal Case Study

No organization in Europe can rival the British Labour party for the promotion of antisemitic hate, rendering it an ideal case study. As soon as the picture of Labour’s antisemitism appears reasonably complete, massive stores of new data emerge. The forthcoming investigation of Labour by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is likely to provide one of history’s most profound analyses of antisemitism within a single organization.

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