This paper traces the development of German-Israeli relations since 1987/89, with particular reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A brief outline of attitudes before the late 1980s forms the introduction. This is followed by an outline of the events that have contrived to change the circumstances in which the German-Israeli relationship has been carried on since 1987. The paper then engages in an analysis of the nature of those relationships and some of the problems that relate to the changed nature of the relationship, perceptions in both countries, the use of language and the role of the Palestinians in the conflict. The concluding section seeks to locate the changed dynamics of the relationship in a framework in which three aspects are highlighted: i) utilitarian friendship, which benefits both sides; ii) the dichotomy between the Holocaust lessons “never again” and “never again to Jews”; and iii) the positing of a theory of “philo-Zionism” to define the predominant attitude to Israel among Germany’s elites. This theory argues that German philo-Zionism externalises “the Jews” every bit as much as anti-Semitism.
|Journal||Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|