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Shadows from the Past: the Nazi-Regime, the Holocaust, and Germany's Relationship towards the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

[working paper]

Krell, Gert

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Corporate Editor Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
Abstract As a consequence of the Holocaust, Israel's security is officially regarded as part of Germany's 'reason of state'. Yet the criteria for a responsible relationship between Germany and Israel are by no means self-evident or without logical or practical contradictions. One of the complications is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In order to better understand this complication, I examine two familiar national narratives, one from each side, about possible connections between the Nazi era, the Holocaust, and this conflict. I also put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a broader historical context. It turns out that the examined relationships are not as obvious as the familiar narratives describe them. The origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are older than the Nazi era and the Holocaust, and they also point to broader European responsibilities more generally, to Europe's nationalism, anti-Semitism, colonialism and imperialism - with irresponsibilities towards both Jews and Arabs. In no way does such a comprehensive perspective affect Germany’s special historical responsibilities resulting from the Holocaust. But it puts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a more complete and also more honest framework, with consequences for Germany’s moral and political position.
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; Palestinian-Israeli conflict; international relations; Nazism; persecution of Jews; responsibility; historical development; Europe; diplomacy; antisemitism; nationalism; Jew; Arab; peace policy; Middle East
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Frankfurt am Main
Page/Pages 22 p.
Series PRIF Working Papers, 26
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications