Wittstock, Alfred, ed. Rapprochement, Change, Perception and Shaping the Future. 50 Years of German-Israeli and Israeli-German Diplomatic Relations. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2016.
The relations between the two states and societies have been rather complex during both the previous half-century and beyond. Embedded in changing political landscapes, the ramifications reach back to the early 19th century. Yet the uniqueness of the relationship network only shows in light of the wholesale murder of Jews in Europe, the creation of the State of Israel, the discussions surrounding the initiation of diplomatic relations and their arrangement until the present day. The development and intensity of the relations with regard to civil society and politics are quite astonishing when considering the beginnings. Approaches, changes and the in part greatly-varying perceptions of the other side can be observed over the course of 50 years of history, and these give rise to questions concerning the current state of the relationship and its future design.
ALFRED WITTSTOCK is the Director of the Israel Study Unit at the Department of Political Science at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. Co-founder of the German Study Program “Study in Israel – One year at the Hebrew University Jerusalem”. Teaching activities at several secondary schools and Universities. Research interests: state and society of Israel, role of religions in the Middle East conflict, German-Israeli Relations.
Oz-Salzberger, Fania. “Israelis and Germany: A Personal Perspective.” In Being Jewish in 21st-Century Germany (ed. Olaf Glöckner and Haim Fireberg; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015): 117-28.
This article deals with a phenomenon that for many Israelis (and maybe even to many “bio-Germans”) – not to speak of the Jewish communities in Germany – is difficult to digest. It means, the almost mystical attraction of Germany (and Berlin in particular) to Sabras, that pushes so many to visit, to live for different periods of times among Germans and even to emigrate to Germany. Oz-Salzberger studied the various social networks of Israelis in Berlin (either in real life or in virtual networks) in order to find the common characteristics that bond all Israelis in Germany in general and Berlin in particular. Although she found that “many of the current Hebrew-speaking residents of Berlin whom I have met in recent years, Jews as well as Arabs, are enchanted, fascinated, and sometimes even obsessed with the dark past.” Yet, “Berlin remains problematic for them, and they live their problematic life in it as a matter of choice; because life is not meant to be simple, and because this urban, highly cultured, intense global-polis is not offering its newcomers either harmony or simplicity. It is not part of the deal.”