Skip to content
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism: Common Characteristics and Motifs

Filed under: Anti-Semitism, Israel
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review 19:1-2 (Spring 2007)

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Anti-Semitism’s core theme is that Jews embody absolute evil. It has been propagated intensely for many centuries. This extreme fallacy and its principal submotifs have remained largely the same over the ages. Their representation, however, has evolved according to circumstances. The three main permutations of the core theme are religious anti-Semitism-one might call it more precisely anti-Judaism, ethnic (racist) anti-Semitism, and anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.

These three permutations have a number of common characteristics. There is an ongoing, powerful promotion of a discourse of Jew-hatred. The main motif of the Jew constituting absolute evil manifests itself according to the prevailing worldviews at a given time. Verbal or physical attacks are common against both Jews and Israelis. Jews and nowadays Israel are judged by standards applied to them but not to others. In its extreme form, the anti-Semitic process has three stages: demonization, isolation, and elimination.

The anti-Semitic character of anti-Israelism can be proved through the analysis of cartoons, opinion survey findings, statistical analysis, and semantics. During the summer 2006 war in Lebanon, further proof emerged that anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism go hand in hand.


Anti-Semitism’s core theme is that Jews embody absolute evil. It has been propagated intensely for many centuries. This extreme fallacy and its principal submotifs have remained largely the same over the ages. Their representation, however, has evolved according to circumstances. The three main permutations of the core theme are religious anti-Semitism-one might call it more precisely anti-Judaism, ethnic (racist) anti-Semitism, and anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.

Large parts of Christianity have propagated hatred of the Jews for close to two millennia. In the past decades this has changed, though there are still substantial parts of the Christian world that continue to demonize the Jews. When powerful institutions or elites promote ideas over a very long period, they usually become an integral part of cultures.

The Christian Theological Foundations of Jew-Hatred

In the 1960s, James Parkes analyzed the conflict between Christians and Jews during the first eight centuries of the Christian era. Concerning that period he concluded: “there was far more reason for the Jew to hate the Christian than for the Christian to hate the Jew-and this on the evidence of Christian sources alone.”

Parkes also came to the conclusion that the Christian theological conceptions of the first three centuries created the foundations for the hatred, on which an “awful superstructure” was built. The first stones for this were laid at “the very moment the Church had the power to do so, in the legislation of Constantine and his successors.”

Regarding modern anti-Semitism, Parkes asserted: “if on the ground so carefully prepared, modern anti-Semites have reared a structure of racial and economic propaganda, the full responsibility still rests with those who prepared the soil, created the deformation of the people and so made these ineptitudes credible.”[2]

The ongoing diffusion of this extreme loathing of Jews by Christian churches made it very powerful. These churches kept defining absolute evil in theological terms, suggesting that because, supposedly, tens of generations ago some forefathers of Jews had killed God’s son, Jews were capable of all things wicked. This without wondering how Jesus, if he were God’s son, could be killed against his will.

The severity of the anti-Semitic propaganda differed between various societies. The infrastructure laid by Catholicism, Lutheranism, and so on was responsible for a large part of the European mindset that made the Holocaust possible. Nineteenth-century European nationalist movements adopted the same core motif of the Jew’s ultimate wickedness. Hand in hand with the religious variant, ethnic anti-Semitism developed as a second major form of extreme Jew-hatred. German and Austrian Nazism and its many supporters elsewhere took this anti-Semitic worldview to its genocidal consequence.

The Holocaust Changes the Jew’s Image

The Holocaust led to a gradual modification of the negative image of the Jews. In part, this now slowly mutated into the symbol of the ultimate victim. Hence for several decades a taboo emerged in many, though not all, European democracies concerning public anti-Semitism. This taboo was particularly strong in Germany even though there, too, it has been fading in recent years.[3] In its latent form, however, anti-Semitism remained present in all European countries.

Many Europeans continue to hold classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.[4] Several opinion surveys show that tens of millions of Europeans are hard-core anti-Semites. A 2002 poll conducted on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands found that one out of five respondents “harbor strong anti-Semitic views.”[5]

Mainly starting from the Six Day War-when the magnitude of the Israeli victory shattered the image of the Jew as victim-and intensifying after the Lebanon War in 1982, a third category of anti-Semitism emerged that targeted Israel as a Jewish collective. Since this type does not encounter the resistance of the previous two types, which many consider to be politically incorrect, in recent years it has grown rapidly.

Common Elements

The three main permutations of anti-Semitism have a number of common characteristics. These include:  

1. There is an ongoing, powerful promotion of a discourse of Jew-hatred. This demonization has developed major subthemes over the years that recur in various disguises and gradually permeate society’s narrative. With time the accusations become increasingly complex and difficult to disentangle. On this substrate the Jews’ enemies build further when circumstances are suitable, when they wish to attack a specific person or group, or when they seek a scapegoat in a given situation.

2. The main motif of the Jew constituting absolute evil expresses itself according to the prevailing worldviews at a given time. The Jew is denounced as the quintessential other as perceived at that moment. When Christianity dominated the mindset, the Jew was presented as the killer of God, the Antichrist, and Satan. In periods of strong nationalism, Jews are portrayed as radically alien elements. When the societal emphasis is on race, Jews are depicted as an extremely inferior one. When ideological currents promote universalism, the state of Israel is demonized as nationalist, racist, and colonialist.

3. The core accusation of the Jew being evil splits up into submotifs. A central one is desire for power. This is seen first and foremost in the promotion of conspiracy theories-the prime one being The Protocols of the Elders of Zion-but also in many other variants. Other permutations include thirst for blood, infanticide, having a subhuman nature, and lust for money. These originated in the worlds of Christian or racist anti-Semitism. Many have been rejected and discredited but have not disappeared in the West, or are now recurring with respect to Israel.

4. One recurring fundamental accusation is that Jews have a severe genetic deficiency. Christian teachings said the Jew was born guilty because the forefathers of some Jews were reputedly responsible for the death of their religion’s originator. Christian anti-Semitism, however, had an escape clause: Jews could convert and thereby, if all went well, rid themselves of the birth defect.

Yet when Jews converted massively in medieval Spain, a new genetic criterion to discriminate against the converts and their children was introduced: the purity of blood. Nazism went further and said the – supposed – severe genetic defects of the Jewish race, which made them pathologically dangerous, could not be repaired. The logical conclusion of this hate propaganda was that Jews had to be eliminated. The “Final Solution” envisioned the mass murder of all Jews, as implemented to a substantial extent in the Holocaust.

In our days the genetic motif has mutated further. Mainly in Arab and Western left-wing circles, one hears the anti-Semitic accusation that Israel was born in sin, that is, by driving out the Palestinians. This is not the sole attack on Israel’s original legitimacy. The Holocaust denial by Iranian president Ahmadinejad is based on the fallacy that Israel’s establishment was the direct result of the Holocaust. He thus thinks that if one could undermine the European narrative about the mass murder of Jews by saying it was a fabrication, then the basis on which the state of Israel was created would disappear.

Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri remarked ironically about Israel’s birth in sin: “This is in contrast to the Arab states having been immaculately conceived.”[6] The anti-Semitic character of the accusation becomes clearer when one considers that if a second Palestinian state should arise in addition to Jordan, its origins will be in genocidal propaganda, terrorism, war crimes, and corruption.

Another regularly recurring motif is that some Jews or Israelis can escape condemnation provided they publicly oppose Israeli policies. This sometimes happens in selective academic and similar boycott campaigns against Israel where those Israelis who are willing to denounce their government are sometimes excluded from the boycott.[7]

An example of the latter occurred when in March 2006 a British dance magazine, Dance Europe, refused to publish an article on Israeli choreographer Sally Ann Freeland. The editor said she would publish the piece only if Freeland condemned “the occupation.” She refused and the article was dropped.[8] Economic boycott campaigns against Israel, on the other hand, leave no room for exceptions.

5. As circumstances changed over the centuries, the main anti-Semitic motifs were dressed up in different ways, often according to the local situation. As time passes, the central subthemes fragment and mutate, though rarely are major new ones added. In postmodern times, anti-Semitic mutations and fragmentations increase rapidly. This is what makes contemporary anti-Semitism such a many-sided, complicated challenge.

6. Verbal or physical attacks are often against both Jews and Israelis. This merging of targets is the strongest among many current proofs of the substantial overlap between anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism. It again emerged in many European reactions to the summer 2006 war in Lebanon.

7. Jews and nowadays Israel are judged by standards applied to them but not to others. As former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler observed: “Traditional anti-Semitism denied Jews the right to live as equal members of society, but the new anti-Jewishness denies the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations.”[9]

Former Swedish deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark pointed out:

Anti-Zionism today has become very similar to anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionists accept the right of other peoples to national feelings and a defensible state. But they reject the right of the Jewish people to have its national consciousness expressed in the State of Israel and to   make that state secure. Thus, they are not judging Israel with the values used to judge other countries. Such discrimination against Jews is called anti-Semitism.[10]

A typical, more recent example of such double standards is the new UN Human Rights Council, which, according to the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Itzhak Levanon, “has focused on Israel to the exclusion of other pressing human rights needs.”[11] The council, for instance, has not passed a resolution condemning the over two hundred thousand deaths in Darfur, nor dealt with major human rights violations in countries such as China, for example.

8. Although current demonization of Israel and the Jews comes mainly from the Arab and Muslim world, the same sorts of motifs and semantics are also expressed in extreme left- and right-wing Western circles. This also pertains, be it of lower intensity, to the Western mainstream. This can best be demonstrated by analyzing anti-Semitic cartoons, which rely on familiar and immediately grasped stereotypes for their effectiveness.

9. In its extreme form, the anti-Semitic process has three stages:

  • Demonization
  • Isolation
  • Elimination

The latter can be implemented by expulsion or destruction.

Joshua Trachtenberg summed up in one sentence how medieval Christendom demonized the Jew. It “saw him-sorcerer, murderer, cannibal, poisoner, blasphemer, the devil’s disciple in all truth.”[12]

How far today’s demonizers have already succeeded emerged in a report on Israel’s international image by the Anholt Nation Brand Index. The report concluded that: “Israel’s brand is, by a considerable margin, the most negative we have ever measured in the NBI, and comes in at the bottom of the ranking on almost every question.”[13]

10. In recent decades, improvements in communications have accelerated the spread of anti-Semitism worldwide in all its permutations. The internet has added a new, rapid means of transmitting prejudice, including anti-Semitism.[14] This is termed “cyberhate,” and it plays a major role in the postmodern global war against Israel and the Jews.[15] Nazism used mass media effectively to demonize the Jews. The internet plays a similar role and is much faster.

In its September 2006 report, the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism recognized the impact of today’s communication technologies: “Anti-Semitism can now [be] disseminated faster and further than ever before. Egyptian and Syrian state television broadcast anti-Jewish propaganda to millions of homes, including in the UK, and far right and radical Islamist organizations are using the internet as a key component in their campaigns of hatred.”[16]


The late-twentieth and early-twenty-first-century explosion of anti-Israelism, a hate phenomenon that had existed for decades at much lower levels, caught the Jewish world and Israel by surprise. Certain authors, however, had already described several aspects of the anti-Zionist permutation of anti-Semitism.

In 1979, in the original French version of his book The Anti-Zionist Complex, Jacques Givet wrote: “The anti-Zionist becomes an overt anti-Semite as soon as he goes beyond criticism of the policies of the Jerusalem government (a favorite activity of the Israelis themselves) and challenges the very existence of the State of Israel.”[17]

In France-where new mutations of anti-Semitism are frequently pioneered-the overlap of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism occurred at an early stage. It was partly linked to the large number of communist intellectuals. This came to the fore, for instance, during the so-called doctors’ plot in 1953. Jewish doctors in the Soviet Union were accused of having caused the deaths of leading political figures by incorrect diagnosis and treatment. This was accompanied by a campaign against “cosmopolitanism” and Zionism.

French communist intellectuals organized a major solidarity meeting in Paris. Many of the speakers explained that it was normal practice to suspect doctors of poisoning people, as Mengele had done in Auschwitz. A Jewish physician publicly stated, adducing German behavior during World War II, that one could not rule out that Jews or Zionists had decided to poison Soviet personalities.[18]

A retired Israeli diplomat, stationed in the early 1980s at the Israeli embassy in Oslo, told how he had been invited to speak at the General Headquarters of the Norwegian army on Israel’s military strategy. During question time, one of the generals asked why the Jews had “crucified our Lord.” The Israeli diplomat asked the questioner what that had to do with the topic. The general replied that he had taken this opportunity for the question because the diplomat was the first Jew he had ever met and presumably could give an answer, since his ancestors were probably responsible. The diplomat then suggested that he call upon the ambassador of Italy as he was likely to be a descendant of the Romans who had pronounced the verdict.[19]

It took many years until it was more widely accepted, with many provisos, that anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism overlap. Human rights expert Jean-Christophe Ruffin, in a 2004 report he prepared for the French interior minister, explicitly linked anti-Semitism to the anti-Israeli mood prevailing in the country: “It is not conceivable today to fight actively in France against anti-Semitism in its new mutations without going all-out to try and balance anew the public’s view of the situation in the Middle East.”[20]

In a 2006 report titled “Campus Anti-Semitism,” the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found, among other things, that: “Anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist propaganda has been disseminated on many campuses that include traditional anti-Semitic elements, including age-old anti-Jewish stereotypes and defamation.” A second finding was that “anti-Semitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.” The report also stated: “substantial evidence suggests that many university departments of Middle East studies provide one-sided, highly polemical academic presentations and some may repress legitimate debate concerning Israel.”[21]

The abovementioned Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism also observed:

Anti-Zionist discourse can be polluted with anti-Semitic themes in different ways and with different levels of intent. It can be used deliberately as a way to mask or articulate prejudice against Jews. It is difficult to counter because one must first identify and explain the anti-Semitism behind the language and imagery. For instance, a far right party may use the terms of “Zionist” and “Zionism” instead of “Jews” and “Jewish.”[22]

A major handicap in exposing the racist anti-Zionist permutation of anti-Semitism was the lack of a generally accepted contemporary definition of anti-Semitism. An important attempt to define the “new” anti-Semitism was made by Cotler. He already drew attention to several of the points later included in the definition of the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), such as calling for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, “Nazifying” Israel, and discriminatory treatment of Israel by denying it equality before the law.[23]

A Rapid Test

Natan Sharansky, when he was the Israeli minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora affairs, developed a simple formula that he called the “3D” test for distinguishing legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism: demonization, double standards, and delegitimization.

He wrote:

The first “D” is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel’s actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz-this is anti-Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.

The second “D” is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored; when Israel’s Magen David Adom, alone among the world’s ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross-this is anti-Semitism.

The third “D” is the test of delegitimization. When Israel’s fundamental right to exist is denied-alone among all peoples in the world-this too is anti-Semitism.[24]

After several years of a high rate of anti-Semitic incidents, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted the Berlin Declaration in April 2004. This document recognized that anti-Semitism, “following its most devastating manifestation during the Holocaust has assumed new forms and expressions.” The document also asserted “unambiguously that international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism.”[25]

The EUMC Working Definition

The abovementioned EUMC, in its 2004 report on anti-Semitism, noted the lack of a common definition for this term.[26] It requested a small group of Jewish NGOs to prepare one. Subsequently the text they drafted has been increasingly accepted. For example, the delegates to the OSCE Cordoba Conference in May 2005 constantly referred to this definition. In another example, the Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism recommended that “the EUMC Working Definition of anti-Semitism is adopted and promoted by the Government and law enforcement agencies.”[27]

The working definition reads:

Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Anti-Semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

The document that contains the working definition gives a series of contemporary examples of anti-Semitism. One of these is: “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”[28]

The document also states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.” It lists examples of how anti-Semitism can manifest itself concerning Israel:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.[29]


The EUMC definition is gradually becoming a significant tool in identifying the anti-Semitic character of anti-Israelism. Yet the latter’s complex manifestations remain difficult to analyze because of their almost limitless permutations. The most efficient way to show how anti-Israelism uses the same core and submotifs as religious and racist anti-Semitism is by analyzing contemporary anti-Israeli cartoons.

Those who create cartoons for the mass media must appeal to widely existing and easily recognizable stereotypes in their society. (At the same time, they strengthen these typecasts further.) As the mass audience is unsophisticated, this limits the cartoonist to a few recurrent subthemes in depicting Israel, Israelis, and Jews as the absolute evil. These are then packaged in many diverse ways. Analyzing such cartoons enables systematically identifying these basic themes. Clarifying this, in turn, enables pointing to the same anti-Semitic motifs appearing elsewhere in society.

Arieh Stav has undertaken an important analysis of anti-Semitic imagery in cartoons. He mentions that he mainly focused on “how Israel and the peace process have been reflected in the mirror of Arab caricature, which is a direct, authentic and highly influential expression of views in the Arab world, where nearly half the population is illiterate.”[30]

The Illness of the Century

Meanwhile many thousands of additional anti-Semitic Arab caricatures have been published. The analysis of anti-Semitic cartoons has been further developed by the Belgian political scientist Joël Kotek in a book so far only available in French.[31]

The core motif of the Jew embodying absolute evil is expressed, for instance, in a cartoon published by the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida in December 1999, before the second Palestinian uprising.[32] Kotek describes it: “It depicted an old man in a djellaba, symbolizing the twentieth century, taking leave of a young man wearing a tee-shirt symbolizing the twenty-first century. In between them stood a small Jew with a Star of David on his breast, above which an arrow pointed to him saying, ‘the illness of the century.'”[33]

At the time of the Israeli siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002, in a cartoon by the well-known caricaturist Giorgio Forattini in the leading Italian liberal daily La Stampa, a contemporary permutation of the Christian deicide motif appeared. He drew a tank with a Star of David on it standing outside the Church of the Nativity, and inside the child Jesus, with a halo, saying: “Are they going to kill me a second time?” The cartoonist’s intentions, however, misfired as his caricature was even more insulting to Christians than Jews. It easily lends itself to the interpretation that the Palestinian murderers who had sought refuge in the church were the contemporary equivalents of the founder of Christianity.

Among the many examples of cartoons using the deicide motif was a 1991 Jordanian cartoon showing Jesus on the cross, the nails through his hands dripping with blood forming the Star of David.[34] Somewhat surprisingly, the deicide motif also appears recurrently in the Arab world, which is overwhelmingly Muslim. In Islam, Jesus is a prophet but not the son of God.

The Devil

The Jew depicted as the devil is yet another incarnation of absolute evil. In a Syrian paper, the Zionist devil is presented as a hairy creature with a tail. He has a black kippa (skullcap) on his head and a black beard, which are Jewish stereotypes and not Israeli ones. On his forehead is a Star of David, in his hand a pole with a seven-branched candelabrum.[35] This is one of many examples of the blending of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli themes.

In today’s secularized European society, God-killers and the hairy devil are considered old-fashioned images. Nazi images are the contemporary representation of absolute evil. A cartoon in the Greek daily Ethnos in 2002, close to the then-ruling Pasok socialist party, showed two Israeli soldiers dressed as Nazis with Stars of David on their helmets, stabbing Arabs. The text read: “Do not feel yourself guilty, my brother. We were not in Auschwitz and Dachau to suffer, but to learn.”[36] Again, anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism overlap or merge.

The image of the Jew as Nazi recurs frequently in Arab and other anti-Semitic pictures. A cartoon in the Egyptian paper Al-Akhbar in 2000 shows then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak dressed as a Nazi with a Hitler moustache, blood dripping from his hands.”[37] In the third largest Norwegian daily Dagbladet, both Israeli prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert have been depicted as Nazis.[38]

At the beginning of 2006 the important Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri, launched a Holocaust-cartoon competition.[39] The caricatures that were collected also cover most of the above motifs.

The presentation of Israelis as Nazis goes back to the communist world. Simon Wiesenthal, in an article in 1968, found in particular that East Germany’s news service was far more anti-Israeli than that of other communist countries.

Wiesenthal noticed that the words used in the DDR’s press and propaganda deviated from the commentary of other socialist countries. Some utterances even corresponded literally with remarks in former National Socialist newspapers and journals. Very soon it became evident that the anti-Israeli articles in the East German press had been written by the same persons who, during the Third Reich, had published articles about the “Jewish peril.” On 14 July 1967, for example, a cartoon appeared in the Berliner Zeitung, depicting a flying Moshe Dayan, with his hands stretched out toward Gaza and Jerusalem. Next to him stood Adolf Hitler in an advanced state of decomposition. He encouraged Dayan with the words: “Carry on, colleague Dayan!”[40]

Jews and Israel behind All Disasters

The core motif of the Jews and Israel as extreme evil manifests itself in writings and declarations in many other ways. The Jews and nowadays Israel are made responsible for all disasters in the world. The Jews were blamed for the transmission of various plagues such as the Black Death in the fourteenth century. From the Christian to the nationalist world, the core motif mutated. Germans invented the “stab in the back” (Dolchstoss) legend, which held the Jews responsible for Germany’s defeat in World War I. It was subsequently used by the National Socialists in their murderous anti-Semitic campaigns.

On a local level, when Christian children disappeared and were found dead, Jews were regularly accused of having murdered them, often out of religious motives. This was the classic anti-Semitic version. A modern anti-Israeli variant occurred when mass hysteria broke out in the northern West Bank in March 1983. A number of girls at a middle school in the Arab village of Arrabeh fell sick. The symptoms included fainting, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, stomachaches, and vision disturbances. Almost immediately afterward, Palestinians, in a modern variant of the blood-libel motif, accused Israel of responsibility.

During the following weeks the number of patients, mostly young women, rose to nearly a thousand in the West Bank. Investigations carried out by both Palestinians and Israelis did not find any traces of poison. Gradually, it came to light that many of the later “patients” had faked their illnesses, often at the prompting of Palestinian leaders.

In one of its initial articles on the event, the Israeli daily Haaretz implied that there were indications Israel had used nerve gas. The secretary-general of the Arab League accused Israel of using poison gas against Palestinian pupils. The Israeli authorities called in experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, a world leader in epidemiology. They concluded that most of the patients’ illnesses were of “psychogenic origin and induced by stress.”[41]

The Murderers of 9/11

The mass murderers of September 11, 2001, were Arabs belonging to Al Qaeda. The organization has declared responsibility for this act. Yet perhaps a majority of the Arabs and other Muslims in the world believes the Israeli secret service Mossad was behind the attack. The prejudice in its various forms is much more widespread. Twenty-seven percent of all Canadians outside Quebec and 38 percent of Quebecers think “Israel’s actions were a ‘primary cause’ of 9/11.”[42]

Also on this matter accusations against Jews and Israel are interwoven. The chairman of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism noted that he “held a meeting with prominent Muslims in Yorkshire shortly after the 9/11 attacks. He recalled his surprise at hearing professionals of high status claiming that ‘no Jews reported for work in the Twin Towers on 11th September’ and that ‘Mossad faked the attack to cast Muslims in a bad light.'”[43]

A Pew poll found that 56 percent of British Muslims do not think Arabs carried out the attack, and only 17 percent think they did. The respective figures for Muslims in France are 46 percent and 48 percent; for those in Germany, 44 percent and 35 percent; and for Spanish Muslims, 35 percent and 33 percent.[44]

Other recent versions of Israel as responsible for all evil derive from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the world’s leading genocidal anti-Semites. He said the Jews were behind the Danish cartoons satirizing Mohammed, and declared: “They [who insult the founder of Islam] are hostages of the Zionists. And the people of the U.S. and Europe should pay a heavy price for becoming hostages of Zionism.”[45]

In February 2006, the Syrian state-controlled paper Al-Thawra asserted that Israel was responsible for the expanding bird flu phenomenon. It said Israel had spread the virus in the Far East to mislead the world while aiming to attack the Arabs.[46]

Later that month, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khameini claimed that Zionists and foreign forces were behind the bombing of the gold-domed Shiite mosque in Samarra, Iraq, on 22 February. His words were echoed by Ahmadinejad, who said that “these heinous acts are committed by a group of Zionists and occupiers that have failed. They have failed in the face of Islam’s logic and justice.”[47]

The mutations of the core motif are almost endless. Rory Miller, an academic who has studied Irish attitudes toward Israel, mentions that Aengus Ó Snodaigh, the Sinn Fein party’s international affairs and human rights spokesperson in the Irish parliament, described Israel as “one of the most abhorrent and despicable regimes on the planet.”[48]

The facts on free and unfree regimes can be found in the Freedom in the World publication of Freedom House, which every year ranks countries according to their political rights and civil liberties. In 2005, Israel was in the upper third and among the eighty-nine free countries. Of the eight countries in the lowest, unfree category, five were Muslim ones: Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Turkmenistan. (The other three were Cuba, Myanmar, and North Korea.)[49]

Dominating the World

The core theme of the Jews and Israel as the world’s main evil ramifies into partly overlapping, principal submotifs. One is that the forces of evil, namely, the Jews and Israel, seek to dominate the world.

Again an Arab cartoon expresses the motif succinctly. The American caricaturist of Algerian origin Bendib “designed a monkey with a Star of David on its breast sitting on top of the globe on which small figures of the Pope and an Arab are drawn. The monkey [i.e., Israel] says: ‘Jerusalem: from New York City to Kuala Lumpur, undivided eternal capital of Israel; everything else is negotiable.'”[50]

The conspiracy accusations found their culmination in the czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It recurs in Arab television programs, a mode of communication far more effective and encompassing than the written book. This fraud is also widely reprinted in the Arab world. But it has also been published in recent years in many Western countries, Norway again being one of the examples.[51] The truth regarding contemporary conspiracy is different: now that Nazism and communism have failed, the jihadi current of Islam is the only major movement actively conspiring to rule the world.

Lust for Money

The second submotif-a derivative of the first-is that the Jews have a lust for money and through it corrupt the world. Kotek says:

Bendib draws God holding a fat bag of dollars. On it the names of major Jewish organizations are written: ‘ADL, AIPAC, ZOA.’ God outstretches his hand to [President George W.] Bush, who slaughters a child on the altar of the Holyland Foundation for needy Muslim children. The caption reads:

“And the Almighty dollar [represented by God] said: ‘Sacrifice me a Muslim son or else.’

And George W. said: ‘You’ve got it Lord, if this improves my chances for a second term.'”[52]

In other contexts, however, the Jews are regarded as mean and miserly.

The conspiracy motif also appears in multiple forms and in many circles. This emerged in an incident in September 2006 (shortly after publication of the Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, which noted: “We were told that Jewish conspiracy theories have been applied to many contemporary issues”).[53]

At a session of the Liberal Democrat Party Conference, former MP and now member of the House of Lords, Baroness Jenny Tonge asserted: “The pro-Israel lobby has got its grips on the Western world, its financial grips. I think they have probably got a certain grip on our party.” She also repeated her earlier expressions of sympathy for Palestinian suicide bombers. More than twenty members of the House of Lords from the major parties condemned her language as “irresponsible and inappropriate.”[54]

Jews and Israel as Subhuman: Zoomorphism

Often cartoons embody more than one principal anti-Semitic submotif. This is true of the aforementioned cartoon by Bendib that shows Israel as a monkey. In addition to the conspiracy motif, it also expresses a second one: that Israel or the Jews are subhuman. Kotek mentions that Jews are often represented as spiders, bloodthirsty vampires, and octopuses, and notes that he has not found any other nation besides the Jews being systematically depicted as vampires.

He adds:

Zoomorphism is a very common theme throughout the world. To abuse one’s adversaries, one dehumanizes them by turning them into animals. In Nazi, Soviet and Romanian caricatures, the Jew is often depicted as a spider interrupting the peace process. [The Lebanese cartoonist] Stavro portrays [former prime minister Ehud] Barak, with a star of David on his breast, as a spider interrupting the peace process.[55]

Nazi propagandists often claimed that Jews were like rats and cockroaches. This demonization was the first step on the road to extermination, the word that is applied to vermin and was used by the Nazis as a euphemism for systematic murder. These dehumanizing semantics comparing people to insects also continue to be deeply embedded in German culture.

For instance, in 2005 Franz Muentefering, then chairman of the German Socialist Party (SPD) and currently the country’s deputy chancellor, called some foreign financial investors-among them Jewish ones-“locusts” who graze companies bare and move on.[56] Oskar Lafontaine, a former SPD chairman and now leader of the left-wing party agreed, adding that then Socialist chancellor Schröder and Muentefering were also “locusts” since they had demolished the German welfare state.[57] Around the same time the major German metalworkers union (IG Metall) published a cartoon on the cover of its monthly Metall comparing American investors to (bloodsucking) mosquitoes.[58] Since then the expression “locusts” for aggressive investors has also seeped into the Dutch media.[59] [60]

The locust motif was entrenched in National Socialism. Many years before Hitler came to power its ideologist, Alfred Rosenberg, wrote about Zionists: “Some of the locusts which have been sucking the marrow of Europe are returning to the promised land and are already looking for greener pastures. At its best Zionism is the impotent effort of an unfit people to achieve something constructive, but in the main it helps ambitious speculators as a new field in which to practice usury on a world-wide scale.”[61] Nazis regularly called Jews vermin.

Bloodlust and Child Murder

A fourth permutation of the core motif of Jews and Israelis being evil is bloodlust and cannibalism. Although the origins of this permutation are often seen in the blood libel, the Dutch scholar Pieter van der Horst, in his 2006 farewell lecture that was censored by Utrecht University, pointed to a straight line from Greek pre-Christian anti-Semitism to current Muslim anti-Semitism.[62] The Christian libel that Jews use the blood of Gentile children for religious purposes originated in England during the Middle Ages.

In 1994, the Jordanian paper Al-Dustur showed a caricature of the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin pouring blood on the carpet of peace.[63] The bloodlust motif also recurred in a drawing by Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell showing Conservative leadership candidate Michael Howard-a Jew-with a glass of blood in his hand saying, “Do you drink what I drink, vote Conservative.”[64]

This submotif overlaps with a fifth one, the Jew as child killer. This theme reemerged in its anti-Israeli form in a cartoon in the British daily The Independent by Dave Brown showing then prime minister Sharon as a child-eater. When solicited, the UK Press Complaints Commission cleared the drawing. Subsequently it won the Political Cartoon Society’s Political Cartoon of the Year Award for 2003. The competition was held on 25 November 2003 on the premises of the well-known weekly The Economist, and the award was presented to Brown by Labour MP and former minister for overseas aid Claire Short.[65]

This infanticide motif emerges in the accusation that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intentionally kill Palestinian children. Its symbol in Palestinian society is the death of Muhammad al-Dura. There are many indications, however, that it was caused by Palestinian gunfire.

Statistical Approach and Polls

Cartoons lay a structural basis for analyzing the major overlap of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism. There are also tools for a more precise assessment. Researchers at Yale University analyzed an ADL opinion survey of five hundred citizens in each of ten European countries. They found that anti-Israeli sentiment “consistently predicts the probability that an individual is anti-Semitic, with the likelihood of measured anti-Semitism increasing with the extent of anti-Israel sentiment observed.”[66]

This also emerges from various other opinion surveys. In 2004, the University of Bielefeld undertook a major poll of over 2,600 Germans. Thirty-two percent agreed or largely agreed with the statement: “Because of Israel’s policies, I have increasing antipathy toward Jews.” Sixty-eight concurred that: “Israel undertakes a war of destruction against the Palestinians.” Fifty-one percent shared the opinion: “The way the state of Israel acts toward the Palestinians is in principle no different from the Nazis’ behavior in the Third Reich toward the Jews.”[67]

An Italian poll by Paola Merulla in fall 2003 found that only 43 percent of Italians have sympathy for Israel. Seventeen percent said it would be better if Israel did not exist. Twenty percent thought Jews were not real Italians; 10 percent thought Jews were lying when they said that Nazism murdered millions of Jews.[68]

Even more telling was a major survey in 2003 of about 2,200 Italian youngsters aged fourteen to eighteen. Broadly speaking, one-third of these considered that Jews hold the reins of financial power. Twenty to twenty-five percent cited as negative traits of Jews that they are the leading racists, feel themselves superior to everyone else, are too attached to money, and can never be completely trusted. About 20 percent felt that Jews exaggerate when speaking about the Holocaust and close to 20 percent thought the Jews should “return to Israel.” The latter similarity proves once again that hardcore anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are linked.[69]

The semantics of anti-Israelism often include references with an anti-Semitic undertone. Israeli policies are defined as “an eye for eye,” an expression rarely if ever used for far more severe actions by other countries. The word revenge is also associated much more with the IDF than with other armies such as the American or British ones in Iraq.

Georges-Elia Sarfati, a French professor of linguistics, has researched how anti-Zionism emerged as an ideology. He points out that the word did not appear in dictionaries until the 1970s. He adds: “Anti-Zionism’s major ‘canonic’ texts are first and foremost Soviet fabrications. One of the Supreme Soviet’s ideologists, Trofim Kitchko, published several anti-Semitic books between 1963 and the beginning of the 1980s. His first one, Judaism Unembellished was sponsored by the Academy of Sciences.”[70]

The Tip of the Iceberg

Cartoons, statistical analysis, polls, and semantics demonstrate in detail that anti-Zionism is a new permutation of anti-Semitism. The behavior of anti-Israelis provides many additional proofs. In 2003, Richard Ingrams wrote in the British weekly Observer: “I have developed a habit when confronted by a letter to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name; if so, I tend not to read it.” He also argued that those who side with Israeli policy should say whether they are Jewish so as to make this transparent. The British Press Complaints Commission considered Ingrams’s position legitimate.[71]

A few more examples from several countries further illustrate how anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism overlap. On 7 May 2002, Jewish students at San Francisco State University-where anti-Semitism has now been rife for several years-organized a pro-Israeli rally. Pro-Palestinians heckled them with slogans like “F— the Jews” and “Jews go back to Russia,” as well as “Too bad Hitler didn’t finish the job.”[72]

Patrick Klugman, then president of the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), observed:

On some university campuses like Nanterre, Villetaneuse and Jussieu, the climate has become very difficult for Jews. In the name of the Palestinian cause, they are castigated as if they were Israeli soldiers! We hear “death to the Jews” during demonstrations which are supposed to defend the Palestinian cause. Last April [2002], our office was the target of a Molotov cocktail. As a condition for condemning this attack, the lecturers demanded that the UEJF declare a principled position against Israel![73]

In the Netherlands thousands of fans of the Feijenoord soccer team initially sang from their stands when it played the Ajax team of Amsterdam: “Gas the Jews.”[74] Nowadays the same chants occur elsewhere as well on Dutch football fields. In recent years the more frequent version has a Middle Eastern element: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” Although Ajax is not a Jewish team, it has a group of fervent non-Jewish supporters who partly as a reaction to the racist attacks call themselves “Jews.” The word Jew in this context thus does not refer to actual Jews but is used as an insult. Somewhat similar anti-Semitic chants are also sung on other European football fields-for instance, in the UK by opponents of Tottenham Hotspur, a London team with many Jewish supporters.[75]

Two Dutch authors relate another example of how anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism intermingle: “On 13 April 2002, a pro-Palestinian demonstration on the Dam [Amsterdam’s main square] degenerated. American and Israeli flags were burned. Placards with texts like ‘Sharon is Hitler,’ and ‘the lie of the six million’ dominated the streets. In front of Hotel Krasnapolsky a man with a kippa was beaten up. The police let it happen.”[76]

Extreme anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli placards are often seen in marches by antiglobalists and antiwar demonstrators, frequently carried by Muslims. In many cases these are tolerated by the organizers.

The Hamas Charter

There are many in the Arab world whose extreme attacks on Israel go hand in hand with similar ones on Jews. This can best be seen in the formal example of the Hamas Charter. Article 7 lays the groundwork for an ideology of murder: “Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said:

The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”

Article 13 follows up: “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. The initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”

Article 20 states: “The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone. They make war against people’s livelihood, plunder their moneys and threaten their honor. In their horrible actions they mistreat people like the more horrendous war criminals.”

Article 22 mentions a number of “destructive spying organizations” that are part of a conspiracy: “They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like.”

Article 28 begins by saying that: “the Zionist invasion is a mischievous one. It does not hesitate to take any road, or to pursue all despicable and repulsive means to fulfill its desires.” It again names organizations (Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, and Lions)

some of which are overt, act for the interests of Zionism and, under its directions, strive to demolish societies, to destroy values, to wreck answerableness, to totter virtues and to wipe out Islam. It stands behind the diffusion of drugs and toxics of all kinds in order to facilitate its control and expansion…. We cannot fail to remind every Muslim that when the Jews occupied Holy Jerusalem in 1967 and stood at the doorstep of the Blessed Aqsa Mosque, they shouted with joy: “Muhammad is dead, he left daughters behind.” Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.

The Charter is repetitive. Article 31 says: “The Nazi Zionist practices against our people will not last the lifetime of their invasion, for ‘states built upon oppression last only one hour, states based upon justice will last until the hour of Resurrection.'”

Article 32 declares: “For Zionist scheming has no end, and after Palestine they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates…. Their scheme has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [conduct] is the best proof of what is said there.” [77]

This list is far from exhaustive; the Hamas charter is full of many similar statements.

The 2006 Lebanon War

The summer 2006 war in Lebanon brought further proof in a concentrated way that anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism go hand in hand. During the war, at a demonstration “attended by many Moroccan youngsters in Amsterdam one could read texts like: ‘Jews, the army of the Prophet Mohammed is marching.'”[78]

After the war, the European Jewish Congress published a document titled Anti-Semitic Incidents and Discourse in Europe during the Israeli-Hezbollah War.[79] A few examples from it highlight the overlap between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism:

● Gerald Grosz, leader of the right-wing Alliance for the Future of Austria Party (BZÖ) led by Jörg Haider, requested that the Jewish communities of Vienna and Graz “publicly issue a condemnation of the ‘cruel and cowardly murder.'”[80]

● Dan Kantor, executive secretary of the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland, noted that: “Marginal extreme-left groups, often in co-operation with Islamic groups in a so-called ‘Peace Movement’ held weekly small marches, where signs were observed equating the Star of David with Nazi symbols. Such groups make little distinction between Israel and local Finnish Jews, Kantor stated, although this also is ‘nothing new.'”[81]

● In France, the Representative Council of French Jewry (CRIF) reported that: “Demonstrations in support of Lebanon took place in different cities throughout France, with anti-Semitic placards visible reading ‘Death to the Jews-Death to Israel,’ stars of David emblazoned with swastikas.”

● A tract sent to a synagogue said: “Wake up France, and join us in refusing that ‘Jewry’ massacres the Palestinians in their own homeland…. In France, your duty as well is to combat the Jew. The enemy is the Jew, and they need to be chased from the media, finance, institutions.”[82]

● In Germany, over three hundred letters were received by the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (the Jewish umbrella body) “directly attacking both the organization and German Jews for both blindly supporting Israel and spending state money to support a ‘fascist state’ in the Middle East.” Stephan Kramer, the executive director, “called the amount of anti-Semitic letters received ‘mind-boggling.’ Complaints from Jewish students of harassment by Muslim and non-Muslim schoolmates were received by the Berlin Jewish Community.”[83]

● In the Netherlands in July 2006, the chairman of the extreme left-wing Socialist Party, Jan Marijnissen, “compared Islamic terrorism in the Middle East to the actions of the Dutch resistance against the Nazi German occupiers in World War Two.” Marijnissen eventually apologized, having received major criticism. He still claims that the Islamist terrorist groups exist “because of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the American presence in the Middle East and the West’s support to undemocratic regimes.”[84]

● In Spain, an article “that appeared in [the leading daily] El Mundo entitled Cauchemar Estival, made a link between Nazi Germany and Israel, accusing Israel of using the same arguments made by the Nazi leaders to justify ‘its aggression.’ The article continues, ‘Now the victims of this period (the 1930s) have become the executioners…. The victims of today are systematically taken hostage, reduced to live in ghettos, and closed in by a horrible wall.'”[85]

Double Standards

Governmental double standards toward Israel were demonstrated dramatically in the Lebanese war.[86] Although commonly disguised as political opinions, one can apply the EUMC definition to the statements of, for instance, leading European politicians. Many of these meet this definition of anti-Semitism.

British author Frederic Forsyth wondered how European politicians could dare to call the Israeli response to the Hizballah attacks disproportionate when their own countries had behaved far more fiercely in the Yugoslav war: “Why did the accusers not mention Serbia?… In 1999 five NATO air forces-US, British, French, Italian and German-began to plaster Yugoslavia, effectively the tiny and defenceless province of Serbia. We were not at war with the Serbs, we had no reason to hate them, they had not attacked us and no Serbian rockets were falling on us.”[87]

There are also similarities between the reactions of Jews during eruptions of Christian anti-Semitism and those of Jews now in Muslim countries. Kalman Sultanik, a longtime member of the Board of the Jewish Agency, recalls how as a young man in his Polish hometown “on Christmas Eve our Christian neighbours were worked into a frenzy by the Church clerics who preached about the crucifixion of Jesus and the Jewish responsibility for his death. We did not dare emerge from our homes for fear of being beaten up or worse.”[88] Nowadays, Jewish visitors to Morocco are frequently told by local Jews how they keep a very low profile during periods of tension between Israel and the Palestinians or other Arab communities.


There is overwhelming evidence that anti-Israelism is a major new mutation of anti-Semitism. The two often overlap and frequently, though not always, appear together. Much progress has been made in exposing the similarity in characteristics and motifs between anti-Israelism and the two earlier major types of anti-Semitism, the religious and the racist variants.

Yet while many books and much detailed literature exist on these earlier forms of anti-Semitism, the newer anti-Israelism requires much more detailed investigation, all the more so as its postmodern expressions are often covered with thick layers of pseudohumanism and political correctness. They are thus much more complicated to analyze and expose than the types long familiar to the public at large.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is an international business strategist who has been a consultant to governments, international agencies, and boards of some of the world’s largest corporations. Among his eleven books are Europe‘s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism (JCPA, Yad Vashem, WJC, 2003); American Jewry’s Challenge: Conversations Confronting the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005); and Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss? (JCPA and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2005).


*     *     *



[1] The author is grateful to Michael Berenbaum and Ashley Perry for their comments.

[2] James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue (Cleveland, New York: Meridian Books, 1961), 375-76.

[3] Andrei S. Markovits, “A New (or Perhaps Revived) ‘Uninhibitedness’ toward Jews in Germany,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 18, Nos. 1-2 (Spring 2006): 57-70.

[4] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Europe’s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism (Jerusalem: JCPA, Yad Vashem, World Jewish Congress, 2003).

[5] Anti-Defamation League, Press Release, “ADL Survey of Five European Countries Finds One in Five Hold Strong Antisemitic Sentiments; Majority Believes Canard of Jewish Disloyalty,” New York, 31 October 2002.

[6] Remark made in broadcast and confirmed in personal communication with this author.

[7] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “How to Fight Anti-Israeli Campaigns on Campus,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 51, 1 December 2006.

[8] Jonny Paul, “The Emergence of a Silent Academic Boycott of Israel,” EJPress, 28 May 2006.

[9] Robert Fife, “UN Promotes Systemic Hatred of Jews, MP Says,” National Post, 2 April 2002.

[10] Per Ahlmark, Det ar demokratin, dumbom! (Stockholm: Timbro, 2004), 307. [Swedish]

[11] Tovah Lazaroff, “UN Human Rights Council Singles Out Israel Again,” Jerusalem Post, 28 November 2006.

[12]  Joshua Trachtenberg, The Devil and the Jews (New York: Meridian Books, 1961), 159.

[13] Anholt Nation Brands Index Special Report, “Israel’s International Image,” Q3 Report 2006.

[14] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, “Antisemitism and Terrorism on the Internet: New Threats,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 20-A, 16 May 2004,; Michael Whine, “Cyberhate, Antisemitism and Counterlegislation,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 47, 1 August 2006,

[15] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “The Twenty-First-Century Total War against Israel and the Jews,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 38, 1 November 2005, No. 39, 1 December 2005.

[16] Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism (London: Stationery Office Ltd, September 2006), para 20.

[17] Jacques Givet, The Anti-Zionist Complex (Englewood, NJ: SBS Publishing, 1982), 39.

[18] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Simon Epstein, “Fifty Years of French Intellectual Bias against Israel,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 4, 1 January 2003.

[19] David Zohar, personal communication.

[20] Jean-Christophe Ruffin, “Chantier sur la Lutte contre le Racisme et l’antisémitisme,” Ministère de l’interieur, de la sécurité interieure, et des libertés locales,  30 October 2004, 30. [French]

[21] “Campus Anti-Semitism,” Briefing Report by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC, July 2006.

[22] Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry, para. 89.


[24] Natan Sharansky, “Foreword,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 3-4 (Fall 2004): 5-8.

[25] Michael Whine, “Progress in the Struggle against Antisemitism in Europe: The Berlin Declaration and the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia’s Working Definition of Antisemitism,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism,  41, 1 February 2006.

[26] European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, “Manifestations of Antisemitism in the EU 2002-2003,” EUMC, Vienna. For background on the process, see Michael Whine, “International Organizations: Combating Antisemitism in Europe,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 3-4 (Fall 2004): 73-88.

[27] Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry, para. 26.

[28] Whine, “Progress in the Struggle.”

[29] Ibid.

[30] Arie Stav, Peace, the Arabian Caricature: A Study in Antisemitic Imagery (Tel Aviv: Gefen Books, 1999), 18.

[31] Joël et Dan Kotek, Au nom de l’antisionisme: L’image des Juifs et d’Israël dans la caricature depuis la seconde Intifada (Brussels: Ēdition Complexe, 2003). [French]

[32] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, 28 December 1999; Joël et Dan Kotek, Au nom de l’antisionisme, 53.

[33] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Joël Kotek, “Major Antisemitic Motifs in Arab Cartoons,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism,  21, 1 June 2004.

[34] Al-Rai (Jordan), 26 December 1991; Stav, Peace, the Arabian Caricature, 161.

[35] Al-Thawra (Syria), 4 March 1993; Stav, ibid., 202.

[36] Ethnos, 7 April 2002. [Greek]

[37] Al-Akhbar (Egypt), 3 October 2000; Joël et Dan Kotek, Au nom de l’antisionisme, 60.

[38] Erez Uriely, “Jew Hatred in Contemporary Norwegian Caricatures,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 50, 1 November 2006.

[39] Simon Freeman and agencies, “Iranian Paper Launches Holocaust Cartoon Competition,” Times Online, 6 February 2006.

[40] J. H. Brinks, “Political Anti-Fascism in the German Democratic Republic,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 32, No. 2 (1997): 207-17.

[41] Raphael Israeli, Poison: Modern Manifestations of a Blood Libel (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002).

[42] Janice Arnold, “1 in 3 Canadians Blame Israel for 9/11,” Canadian Jewish News, 14 September 2006.

[43] Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry, para. 96.

[44] Pew Global Attitudes Project, “The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other,” 22 June 2006, 4.

[45] Associated Press, “Iran Blames U.S., Europe in Cartoon Crisis,” New York Times, 12 February 2006.

[46] Roee Nahmias, “Syrian Paper Accuses Israel of Having Spread Bird Flu to Kill Arabs,”, 9 February 2006.

[47] Reuters, “Ahmadinejad Warns West over Shrine Blast,” 23 February 2006.

[48] Rory Miller, “Irish Attitudes toward Israel,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism. 49, 1 October 2006.


[50] Gerstenfeld, interview with Kotek, “Major Antisemitic Motifs”; Joël et Dan Kotek, Au nom de l’antisionisme, 69.

[51] Uriely, “Jew Hatred.”

[52] Joël et Dan Kotek, Au nom de l’antisionisme, 71.

[53] Report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry, para. 96.


[55] Gerstenfeld, interview with Kotek.

[56] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Rewriting Germany’s Nazi Past: A Society in Moral Decline,” Jerusalem Viewpoints, 530, 1 May 2005.

[57] “Lafontaine giftet wieder gegen Parteifreunde,” Spiegel Online, 22 April 2005. [German]


[59] Paul de Hen, “Frontale aanval op ABN AMRO is ongehoord,” Elsevier, 27 February 2007. [Dutch]

[60] “ABN AMRO?” Nederlands Dagblad, 22 February 2007. [Dutch]

[61] Alfred Rosenberg, Der staatsfeindliche Zionismus, (Hamburg: 1922) 62-3, as quoted in Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionism, (New York: Schocken, 1972), 385.

[62] Pieter W. van der Horst, “De Mythe van het joodse kannibalisme (De ongecensureerde versie),” CIDI, Den Haag, 2006. [Dutch]

[63] Al-Dustur (Jordan), 4 April 1994; Stav, Peace, the Arabian Caricature, 146.

[64] Steve Bell, “Are You Drinking What We Are Drinking? Vote Conservative,” The Guardian, 7 April 2005.


[66] Edward H. Kaplan and Charles A. Small, “Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Antisemitism in Europe,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 50, No. 4 (2006): 548-561.

[67] Wilhelm Heitmeyer, ed., Deutsche Zustände no.3 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2005). [German]

[68] Renato Mannheimer, “E antisemita quasi un italiano su cinque,” Corriere de la Sera, 10 November 2003. [Italian]

[69] Enzo Campelli, Figli di un dio locale, Giovani e differenze culturali in Italia (Milan: FrancoAngeli, 2004), 147. [Italian]

[70] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Georges Elia-Sarfati, “Language as a Tool against Jews and Israel,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 17, 1 February 2004,

[71] Sharon Sadeh, “UK Watchdog Backs Writer Who Won’t Read Mail from Jews,” Haaretz, 5 August 2003.

[72] Yair Sheleg, “A Campaign of Hatred,” Haaretz, 5 May 2002.

[73] Ori Golan, “Same Word, Same Meaning,” Jerusalem Post Magazine, 17 January 2003.

[74] Simon Kuper, “Ajax, de joden, Nederland,” Hard Gras (Amsterdam), No. 22, March 2000, 141. [Dutch]

[75] Oliver Bradley, “Anti-Semitism or Endearment?” EJPress, 26 June 2006.

[76] Margalith Kleywegt and Max van Weezel, Het Land van Haat en Nijd (Amsterdam: Balans, 2006), 226. [Dutch]

[77] Raphael Israeli, Fundamentalist Islam and Israel (Lanham, MD: JCPA, University Press of America, 1993), 132-59.

[78] Margalith Kleywegt and Max van Weezel, Het Land van Haat en Nijd , 214.

[79] Ilan Moss, Antisemitic Incidents and Discourse in Europe during the Israel-Hezbollah War (Paris: European Jewish Congress, 2006).

[80] Ibid., 9, 10.

[81] Ibid., 19.

[82] Ibid., 20, 21.

[83] Ibid., 23.

[84] Ibid. 33.

[85] Ibid., 43.

[86] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Europe’s Mindset toward Israel as Accentuated by the Lebanon War,” Jerusalem Viewpoints, No. 547, 1 October 2006.

[87] Frederic Forsyth, Daily Express, 11 August 2006.

[88] Kalman Sultanik, “The New Antisemitism,” Midstream, November/December 2004.

*     *     *

Dr. MANFRED GERSTENFELD is Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is an international business strategist who has been a consultant to governments, international agencies, and boards of some of the world’s largest corporations. Among his eleven books are Europe‘s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism (JCPA, Yad Vashem, WJC, 2003); American Jewry’s Challenge: Conversations Confronting the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005); and Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss? (JCPA and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2005).