Demonstrating Reconciliation | 1st Edition
State and Society in West German Foreign Policy Toward Israel, 1952-1965
AUTHOR: Hindenburg, Hannfried von
PUBLISHER: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
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During the 1950s and early 1960s, the West German government refused to exchange ambassadors with Israel. It feared Arab governments might retaliate against such an acknowledgement of their political foe by recognizing Communist East Germany West Germany's own nemesis as an independent state, and in doing so confirm Germany's division. Even though the goal of national unification was far more important to German policymakers than full reconciliation with Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust, in 1965 the Bonn government eventually did agree to commence diplomatic relations with Jerusalem. This was due, the author argues, to grassroots intervention in high-level politics. Students, the media, trade unions, and others pushed for reconciliation with Israel rather than the pursuit of German unification. For the first time, this book provides an in-depth look at the role society played in shaping Germany's relations with Israel. Today, German society continues to reject anti-Semitism, but is increasingly prepared to criticize Israeli policies, especially in the Palestinian territories. The author argues that this trend sets the stage for a German foreign policy that will continue to support Israel, but is likely to do so more selectively than in the past."
PUBLICATION DATE: 2/1/2007
CATEGORY: History, Political Science