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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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What To Do When 150 Million Europeans Hate Israel: An Interview with Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

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These are all blatant anti-Semitic ideas which Catholicism and Lutheranism, for instance, have for hundreds of years pumped into western society – in particular Christian societies. And these motifs are part of European culture.

What would you say to people who might react to your book by saying: “Yes, we know all about anti-Semitism; it’s a tired subject and there’s nothing we can do about it”?

These are lazy people – that’s what I would say. There are many ways of fighting anti-Semitism. There are many ways of embarrassing anti-Semites. There are many ways of exposing anti-Israelis. But if you are lazy, you don’t do anything.

What, for example, can a person do?

First of all, you can show how the Durban conference of the NGOs was a racist conference. You can show what they said about Israel and then show the criminality going on in the Muslim world which they said nothing about.

If you apply a double standard to things, you are an anti-Semite. If you treat Jews and Israel differently than you treat Saudi Arabia or Syria then you are structurally an anti-Semite because according to the United Nations’ Human Rights Declaration, all people are responsible for their acts. If you say that Palestinians who want to commit genocide are not responsible for their acts, then you are treating them as animals and you are a racist.

So expose anti-Semites…

Expose them, attack them. You should take away their mask. There are all kinds of liberal organizations and NGOs that attack Israel and are much less aggressive toward very criminal states. You should expose them and say, “You are not human rights people; you are racists masking as anti-racists.”

And if you do that a sufficient number of times, then you will get them off your back.

What’s your background? How did you get involved in this line of work?

My background is that I have been a business analyst and adviser to some of the largest corporations in the world, at the highest levels, for decades. So when I became, by chance, chairman of a leading Israeli think tank – the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs – in 2000, it so happened that I gradually got into the emerging explosion of anti-Semitism, and I applied the same analytical techniques which I applied to complex business problems.

I have advised in mergers of billions of dollars. I have investigated highly complex issues such as corporate environmental policies. I have a Ph.D. in environmental studies and a Master’s degree in chemistry. And if you do analytical work for very large multinational corporations at the highest level, you get a certain skill after a few decades.

How about your upbringing? You’ve written books in Norwegian, Italian, and Dutch…

Look, let’s just get that clear: Some of my books, I cannot read. I speak Dutch, German, French, Italian, Hebrew, Yiddish and English, but I don’t speak Norwegian or Greek in which I’ve published books.

I was born in Vienna in Austria. As a baby I came to the Netherlands in 1938. My parents and I were hidden [by a non-Jewish family] in Amsterdam for two years, and I lived and studied there until 1964. Then I lived for four years in Paris, and in ‘68 I came to Israel.

Out of Zionistic reasons?

I was always a Zionist. I was the chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students from ‘63 to ‘67. I was the chairman of the Zionist student organization in Amsterdam, and I was the chairman of one of the Zionist youth movements in the Netherlands.

What was your aim in publishing this book? What did you hope to accomplish?

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About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and holds a Masters degree from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies.


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2 Responses to “What To Do When 150 Million Europeans Hate Israel: An Interview with Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

  1. Zmira Cohen says:

    This is a person who speaks with knowledge, clarity , dedication.One should read his book and heed his words.One should in every possible way, encourage others to read and inform themselves… the consequences of being complacent are too hideous to contemplate

  2. Zmira Cohen says:

    This is a person who speaks with knowledge, clarity , dedication.One should read his book and heed his words.One should in every possible way, encourage others to read and inform themselves… the consequences of being complacent are too hideous to contemplate

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