Germany and Israel: Carter Man

I looked at an article from a German website. The article discusses the friendship between Germany and Israel today and the prospects of that friendship lasting into the future. The article is relevant to the prompt of “how did ‘x’ nationality” feel about the creation of Israel because it addresses that issue multiple times in making its larger argument. According to the author, Germans have conflicting views on Israel today due to the legacies of the holocaust and the current state of the Middle East. Regarding the middle east, the author suggests many Germans, perhaps “a majority” disapprove of Germany’s actions in the Middle East; seeing a parallel between Israel’s actions in the Middle East and Nazi conduct towards the Jews during the Holocaust. The author says there is another subset of Germans who offer almost irrational loyalty to Israel. Irrational as in they support Israel no matter what Israel does. The author also talks about recent actions by the Israeli government that undermine that instance. For instance, the EU agreed not to place Israeli labels on products being sold from Palestinian territories. When these products were removed from German shelves, the German-Israel lobby and Israeli government pressured Germany to reverse course by comparing such actions to the Nazi boycott of Jewish goods during World War II.

The author seems to be warning of a potential decline in relations between Israel in Germany. She talks about how Germany and Israel are on very good terms traditionally but subtly suggests that recent Israeli actions are starting to undermine that.

The author hardly explains why some Germans are so fiercely fond of Israel. She seems to hint at some point that Germans feel guilty over the holocaust, so maybe that’s a reason. But from what I’ve learned in my Europe After World War II class, Germans typically saw themselves as the victims of World War II (first at the hands of Hitler, then its occupiers, then postwar films highly critical of the German people when they believed only the Nazis were to blame). Additionally, Germans were generally reluctant to come to grips with their crimes during the war. The author suggests Germany generally supported the creation of Israel. In general, the author seems to want to be critical of recent Israeli actions, but writes carefully in order to prevent the article from being misconstrued.

Word Count 392

Schult, Christoph. “Polemics Have No Place in True Friendships.” Spiegel Gruppe.
Last modified December 11, 2015. Accessed October 25, 2017.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/
essay-time-for-honesty-in-german-israeli-relations-a-1067171.html.

  1 comment for “Germany and Israel: Carter Man

  1. hryan
    November 2, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Nice job alternating between explaining the article and questioning it. I wonder if there are different attitudes regarding Israel in former West Germany and former East Germany. Since the United States was for the most part a backer of Israel during the Cold War, could regional differences reveal old loyalties?
    -HR

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