New Article: Jahn, Israeli, Jewish and German Sensitivities

Jahn, Egbert. “‘With What Ink Remains’: Stabbing a Pen into the Hornet’s Nest of Israeli, Jewish and German Sensitivities.” In his World Political Challenges (trans. Anna Güttel-Bellert; Heidelberg and Berlin: Springer, 2015): 187-203.

 

world political challenges

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-47912-4_11

 

Abstract

Once again, a prominent member of public life in Germany has been the brunt of serious accusations of anti-Semitism, and is now likely to be ostracised both in Germany and abroad. This time, it is Günter Grass who with his brief political declaration on the foreign and military policy of Israel has been greeted with fury and condemnation from almost all sides and rejection elsewhere, while attracting support only from the margins of the political establishment. However, there are some sharp critics of the declaration by Grass who defend the author against the accusation of being anti-Semitic in general. And as always in such cases there are mumblings in the hidden corners of society that it is not permitted in Germany to say anything critics about Jews or Israel without immediately being battered by the political and moral bludgeon of the ruling German political class and being branded a social pariah. And so the most prudent reaction was to say nothing on the subject of Israel and the Jews, since unlike Günter Grass, not everyone can afford to break their silence on this subject and present their political declaration in the form of a poem, with the special protection of artistic expression. However, the German chattering classes are once more in full agreement with Grass; only the outsiders of the Easter March movement had the courage to say so in public.
As in the cases of Jenninger, Möllemann, Walser, Hohmann and Sarrazin, the Grass affair has its own particular features. What is common to all of them, however, is bare, overarching condemnation and labelling as “anti-Semitic”, guaranteed to ruin any reputation, instead of dealing with the opinions set out in the text itself and to disagree with them individually on a factual basis, something that would also be entirely possible in the case of Grass. Above all, nobody in Israel and in the world would claim that Israel has a “right to a first (nuclear) strike” that “could eliminate the Iranian people”, a ridiculous conjecture that in the context of the public threat by Israel, however, to potentially make a conventional air strike on Iranian nuclear power facilities adopts a highly explosive tone. The downplaying of the repeated official Iranian threat to destroy the state of Israel, referring to it as “loudmouthery”, fails to recognise the dangerous potential power wielded by ideologues who currently (as yet) have no potential for gaining real political power, not least due to the military strength of Israel and its de-facto alliance partners, the USA. Grass is right only in stating that in Germany (unlike in Israel and the USA) there is no political discussion regarding the attitude of Germany to the Israeli threat of an offensive war against the Iranian nuclear power stations. There is much evidence to support the fact that rather than triggering it, the Grass affair will probably make such a debate less likely since it merely mobilises traditional, indiscriminate thought patterns rather than challenging them.
Since this lecture was given on 16 April 2012, relations between Iran and the west have improved enormously at a fundamental level following the election of Hassan Rohani as President on 14 June 2013. He initiated a far more cooperative foreign and atomic policy in Iran. As a result, the risk of war has been considerably reduced.

 

 

New Book: Yacobi, Israel and Africa

Yacobi, Haim. Israel and Africa. A Genealogy of Moral Geography, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Geography. New York: Routledge, 2015.

 

9781138902374

 

Through a genealogical investigation of the relationships between Israel and Africa, this book sheds light on the processes of nationalism, development and modernization, exploring Africa’s role as an instrument in the constant re-shaping of Zionism. Through looking at “Israel in Africa” as well as “Africa in Israel”, it provides insightful analysis on the demarcation of Israel’s ethnic boundaries and identity formation as well as proposing the different practices, from architectural influences to the arms trade, that have formed the geopolitical concept of “Africa”. It is through these practices that Israel reproduces its internal racial and ethnic boundaries and spaces, contributing to its geographical imagination as detached not solely from the Middle East but also from its African connections.

This book would be of interest to students and scholars of Middle East and Jewish Studies, as well as Post-colonial Studies, Geography and Architectural History.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Family Album

Part One: Israel in Africa
Chapter 1: Africa’s Decade
Chapter 2: The Architecture of Foreign Policy

Part Two: Africa in Israel
Chapter 3: Consuming, Reading, Imagining
Chapter 4: North Africa in Israel
Chapter 5: The Racialization of Space

Part Three: Israel in Africa II
Chapter 6: Back to Africa

Conclusion

Haim Yacobi is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

 

 

Reviews: Blarel, The Evolution of India’s Israel Policy

Blarel, Nicolas. The Evolution of India’s Israel Policy. Continuity, Change, and Compromise since 1922. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 2015.

 

 

Reviews

New Article: Voller, Israeli Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Voller, Yaniv. “From Periphery to the Moderates: Israeli Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle East.” Political Science Quarterly 130.3 (2015): 505-35.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/polq.12360

 

Excerpt

In short, then, aspects of continuity in Israeli foreign policy have been far greater than what most analysts and commentators have assumed. Even more importantly, they have been as great, or even greater, than aspects of change. The moderate axis conception has meant that different actors now assume different roles—past radicals have now turned into the moderates. The center, in turn, has been occupied by a new force: radical Islamism. This new threat has steered the Middle East into a new era of uncertainty and struggle. Nonetheless, the essence of the periphery doctrine has survived the transitions. In spite of shifts in the regional balance of power and the new political dynamics, of which Israel has been an inseparable part, Israel still views itself as a peripheral actor, facing constant pressures from the center. The moderate axis conception embodies this as the moderate regimes have come to be seen in these terms as well.

The still-unfolding events of the Arab Spring mark a turning point in regional geopolitics. As violence still rages in Syria, and as the Egyptian army struggles to consolidate its power vis-à-vis the various Islamist factions in the country, it is still hard to envision the future political map of the Middle East. Nevertheless, we can assume that some important changes may take place. Israel may be slow to respond to such changes, as happened in the transition from the periphery doctrine to the moderate axis conception. Or it may learn the lessons and quickly reassess its old commitments and agendas. If there is one thing we can learn from Israel’s policymaking and its responses to changing regional threats, it is that the actions and decisions of Israeli foreign policymakers will continue to be percolated through its identity and self-perception. Whether these are going to change is as difficult to determine as the future of the Middle East.

 

 

New Article: Giladi | Israel, the Genocide Convention, and the World Court 1950–1951

Giladi, Rotem. “Not Our Salvation: Israel, the Genocide Convention, and the World Court 1950–1951.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26.3 (2015): 473-93.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592296.2015.1067525

 

Abstract

Jewish individuals and organisations played a cardinal role in making and promoting the 1948 Genocide Convention. The early attitude of the Jewish state—established a few months before the Convention’s conclusion—has not hitherto been explored. This analysis reconstructs Israel’s involvement in the 1951 advisory proceedings at the International Court of Justice concerning the Convention. Based on Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives and Court records, it demonstrates that contrary to what scholarship on subsequent episodes assumes or implies, Israel had no particular attachment to, nor was it vested in, the Convention. Rather, its attitude ranged from indifference and disinterest to scepticism and hostility. It allowed Israeli diplomats to utilise the Convention as a means to affect other neither urgent nor imperative foreign policy ends.

 

 

New Book: Schilling, Emotional State Theory. Friendship and Fear in Israeli Foreign Policy

Schilling, Christopher L. Emotional State Theory. Friendship and Fear in Israeli Foreign Policy. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015.

 

schilling

 

This book develops “emotional state theory” as a new contribution to international relations theory (IR). The text addresses the State of Israel vis-à-vis the rest of the world. The rationale for this research perspective stems from the trajectory of Israeli state-building since its foundation in May 1948 to the present date. This trajectory is constructed reflecting the trauma of the past and dreams about the future. Both contribute decisively to a better understanding of the current image and position of the state of Israel. The reference builds on two great Jewish thinkers’ works, Theodor Herzl and his book The Jewish State and Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams.

The author argues that despite the fact that both never met, taken together their ideas lend themselves to shed light on and offer an explanation for Israel’s troubled and uncertain position in current international relations. The resulting question underlying this work on the emotionality of states and its impact on international relations is therefore “whether Israel is still in a process of dreaming” and whether it is therefore to be understood a “state which has not yet woken from the trauma of the Jewish past. Not a dream’s fulfilment of an end of the Diaspora, but a nightmare based on this experience.” Drawing on these two parallel and rather influential texts, Schilling rephrases the leading questions of this book as this: “Has Israel developed an understanding of itself which sees the country as a modern state among the nations, which is dealing with its neighbors, or rather, does Israel understand itself more as being like a ghetto that is still surrounded by a hostile world? Has Israel become a strong, self-confident country, or has it continued with the nervousness of the Diaspora Jews to become a state with an emotional problem?”.

 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Theoretical Framework
Chapter 2: Methodological Strategy
Chapter 3: Jewish Identity Constructions in Israel
Chapter 4: Israeli Foreign Policy
Chapter 5: Conclusion

 

Christopher L. Schilling is political scientist and lawyer.

 

 

New Book: Ross, Doomed to Succeed

Ross, Dennis. Doomed to Succeed. The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.

 

9780374141462

 

When it comes to Israel, U.S. policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. Today our ties to Israel are close–so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way.
Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton’s envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president’s attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach.
Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned. Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape U.S. policy in that light.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
1. The Evolution of US Policy toward Israel
2. The Eisenhower Administration and the Pursuit of Arab Allies
3. The Kennedy Administration: Breaking Taboos and Pursuing a New Balance
4. Lyndon Baines Johnson: Emotional Ties but Constrained by Vietnam
5. Nixon and Ford: Dysfunction, War, and Interim Agreements
6. The Carter Presidency: The Pursuit of Peace and Constant Tension with Israel
7. The Reagan Administration and the Policy of Duality
8. George H. W. Bush and Israel: Discord and Responsiveness
9. The Clinton Administration and Israel: Strategic Partners for Peace
10. Bush 43: Terror, Partnership, and Bureaucratic Divisions
11. Obama and Israel: Support for Security, Little Chemistry, and Constant Challenges
12. Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index
 

 

Dennis Ross is the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown. He was the director of policy planning in the State Department for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton’s Middle East Peace envoy, and a special assistant to the president under Barack Obama.

 

 

Thesis: Zeumer, Israeli Rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative

Zeumer, Mathias. Israeli Rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative: Political Climate and Public Perceptions, MA thesis, University of Oregon, 2014.

 

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/18737

 

Abstract
The Arab Peace Initiative (former Saudi Initiative) was officially proposed by Saudi Arabia and has been (re-)endorsed by all 22 member states of the Arab League since 2002. Israel has not officially responded to the API but rather has generally ignored and by default rejected it. This thesis examines the reasons for the Israeli rejection by analyzing the structure of the Israeli government in relation to the position of the prime minister, both normatively and descriptively, and examining public opinion as a potential enabler or constraint on policymaking. It also explores mechanisms such as threat perceptions and framing to highlight cognitive influences that negatively impacted serious consideration of the API. Qualitative interviews with expert Israelis and Arabs contribute to a deeper understanding of the Israeli perspective of the API’s shortcomings. The API is unlikely to be implemented under this current government unless Israeli public opinion significantly changes in its favor.

 

 

New Book: Tziampiris, The Emergence of Israeli-Greek Cooperation

Tziampiris, Aristotle. The Emergence of Israeli-Greek Cooperation. New York: Springer, 2015.

 

9783319126036

 

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 Balance of Power and Soft Balancing 21

3 The Fraught Relationship Between Greeks and Jews 39

4 Greece, Israel, and the Rise of Turkey 55

5 The Beginning of the Israeli–Greek Rapprochement 77

6 The Intensification of Israeli–Greek Cooperation 103

7 The Beginning of Energy Cooperation Between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece 135

8 Conclusion 163

References 181

 

New Article: Magen, Israel’s Foreign Policy Response to the Arab Spring

Magen, Amichai. “Comparative Assessment of Israel’s Foreign Policy Response to the ‘Arab Spring’.” Journal of European Integration 37.1 (2015): 113-33.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2014.975992

 

Abstract

This article analyses Israel’s foreign policy response to the ‘Arab Spring’ in comparative perspective. Following the analytical framework shared by all contributions to this Special Issue, the article addresses four main dimensions in as many parts. Part I examines Israel’s initial reactions to the advent of the popular upheavals and regime changes in the Arab world in 2011–2014 and explores how those reactions have evolved over time. Part II identifies Israel’s main policy objectives in relation to events in the region and particularly its immediate neighbours: Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Part III examines the instruments which Israel has used, and eschewed, in pursuit of its policy objectives. Finally, part IV undertakes a theoretically informed analysis with the aim of explaining Israel’s distinctive strategic posture and policy responses to the events of the ‘Arab Spring’ thus far.

ToC: Israel Studies 20.3 (2015) | Special Issue: Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

Israel Studies 20.3 (2015)

Special Issue—Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

 

 

  1. Introduction (pp. v-vii)
    Natan Aridan and Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer
  2. Gabriel Sheffer
  3. Yaakov Sharett

Reviews: Judis, Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

Judis, John B. Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

 

judis1

Reviews

 

 

Response by John Judis: Conservative Critics Say My New Israel Book Is Anti-Semitic. They Must Not Have Read It Very Closely. New Republic, February 26, 2014.

New Article: Ben Aharon, Israel’s Foreign Policy and the Armenian Genocide

Ben Aharon, Eldad. “A Unique Denial: Israel’s Foreign Policy and the Armenian Genocide.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42.4 (2015): 638-54.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13530194.2015.1043514

 

Abstract

This article focuses on the Israeli politicization of the Armenian genocide from the perspective of foreign policy. Since the early 1980s Israel’s official position has been to not recognize the Armenian genocide. The issue of recognition came to the surface in 1982 after Turkey put pressure on Israel to cancel a Holocaust and genocide conference. This article shows that Israel agreed to pressure the conference organizers to cancel the conference in order to secure protection for Jews fleeing Iran and Syria through the Turkish border. This article also explores the role of informal ambassadors in shaping Israel’s position on this issue. Using recently declassified archival documents and oral interviews with key Israeli stakeholders, this is the first investigation into the role of informal ambassadors, specifically the Jewish minority in Turkey, and the American Jewish pro-Israeli lobby. The article also addresses a secondary incentive for Israel’s refusal to recognize the genocide: ethnic competition between Jews and Armenians as victims of genocide.

New Article: Göksel, A Political Economy of Azerbaijan-Israel Relations

Göksel, Oğuzhan. “Beyond Countering Iran: A Political Economy of Azerbaijan-Israel Relations.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42.4 (2015): 655-75.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13530194.2015.1048973

 

Abstract

In recent years, Azerbaijan–Israel relations have come to the foreground of politics in the Middle East and Caucasus region. Ties between Baku and Tel Aviv have been directly interlinked with their relations with Iran. The nature of the Azerbaijan–Israel partnership must be analysed in order to comprehend the balance of powers and energy security in the region. Even though there have been a number of works analysing the relationship by focusing on its role in regional military security, there is a gap in the discourse in terms of understanding the economic drivers of relations and the implications of the ties for regional energy security. Particular attention will be given to discussing Azerbaijan’s emerging role as a major energy producer that has already made a profound impact on the region as an ‘alternative’ to Iran in the aftermath of the recently imposed sanctions on Tehran’s energy exports. It will be argued that the Azerbaijan–Israel relationship is built on solid economic grounds and it would be reasonable to expect the strength of the ties to be further intensified in the future. The article will also demonstrate that new developments in the energy security of the wider Middle Eastern region will affect the evolution of Azerbaijan–Israel ties and their rivalry with Iran in the next decade.

New Book: Alpher, Periphery – Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies

Alpher, Yossi. Periphery. Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 

1442231017

 

Since its establishment after World War II, the State of Israel has sought alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim countries and minorities in the Middle East, as well as Arab states geographically distant from the Arab-Israel conflict. The text presents and explains this regional orientation and its continuing implications for war and peace. It examines Israel’s strategy of outflanking, both geographically and politically, the hostile Sunni Arab Middle East core that surrounded it in the early decades of its sovereign history, a strategy that became a pillar of the Israeli foreign and defense policy. This “periphery doctrine” was a grand strategy, meant to attain the major political-security goal of countering Arab hostility through relations with alternative regional powers and potential allies. It was quietly abandoned when the Sadat initiative and the emerging coexistence between Israel and Jordan reflected a readiness on the part of the Sunni Arab core to deal with Israel politically rather than militarily. For a brief interval following the 1991 Madrid conference and the 1993 Oslo accords, Israel seemed to be accepted by all its neighbors, prompting then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to muse that it could even consider joining the Arab League. Yet this periphery strategy had been internalized to some extent in Israel’s strategic thinking and it began to reappear after 2010, following a new era of Arab revolution. The rise of political Islam in Egypt, Turkey, Gaza, southern Lebanon and possibly Syria, coupled with the Islamic regime in Iran, has generated concern in Israel that it is again being surrounded by a ring of hostile states—in this case, Islamists rather than Arab nationalists.

The book analyzes Israel’s strategic thinking about the Middle East region, evaluating its success or failure in maintaining both Israel’s security and the viability of Israeli-American strategic cooperation. It looks at the importance of the periphery strategy for Israeli, moderate Arab, and American, and European efforts to advance the Arab-Israel peace process, and its potential role as the Arab Spring brings about greater Islamization of the Arab Middle East. Already, Israeli strategic planners are talking of “spheres of containment” and “crescents” wherein countries like Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Ethiopia constitute a kind of new periphery.

By looking at Israel’s search for Middle East allies then and now, the book explores a key component of Israel’s strategic behavior. Written in an accessible manner for all students, it provides a better understanding of Israel’s role in the Middle East region and its Middle East identity.

Table of Contents

For Whom it May Concern
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction

  1. The Periphery Doctrine at Work
  1. Evolution of a Grand Strategy
  2. The Northern Triangle: Iran and Turkey
  3. Morocco
  4. The Southern Periphery
  5. The Levant Minorities
  6. The Kurds of Northern Iraq
  7. The Jewish Dimension
  8. The American Dimension
  9. End of the First Periphery, 1973-1983

  1. Ramifications
  1. Iran: periphery nostalgia and its costs
  2. Israeli skeptics
  3. Between peripheries: peace, isolation and Islam
  4. Is there a new periphery?
  5. Arab reaction

  1. Conclusion
  1. Can Israel find a regional identity?

Heads of Mossad
Persons interviewed
Maps:

  1. The original periphery concept
  2. The expanded southern periphery
  3. The ethnic periphery
  4. A new periphery?

Index
About the Author

Yossi Alpher was an officer in Israeli military intelligence, followed by twelve years of service in the Mossad. Until 1995, he was director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. In July 2000, he served as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel during the Camp David talks. From 2001 to 2012 he was coeditor of the bitterlemons.net family of internet publications.

Reviews: Jones & Petersen, eds., Israel’s Clandestine Diplomacies

Jones, Clive and Tore T. Petersen, eds. Israel’s Clandestine Diplomacies. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

 

9780199330669

 

Reviews

  • Eran, Oded. “Review.” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 8.2 (2014): 103-105.
  • Rodman, David. “Review.” Israel Affairs 20.3 (2014): 442-444.
  • Inbar, Efraim. “Review.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26.1 (2015): 201-202.

 
 
 
 
 

New Article: Siniver, Abba Eban and the Development of American–Israeli Relations

Siniver, Asaf. “Abba Eban and the Development of American–Israeli Relations, 1950–1959.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26.1 (2015): 65-83.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592296.2015.999625

 

Abstract

Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador in Washington and representative at the United Nations from 1950 to 1959, had a central role in the transformation of American–Israeli relations during a period of frequent discord over key strategic issues. This analysis examines the influence of one prominent actor upon bilateral ties that would eventually become the American–Israeli “special relationship.” Eban’s oratory talent, linguistic skills, and effective style of diplomacy augmented both Israel’s image in the view of the American public and relations with official Washington. The article explores several critical elements of these relations during the 1950s, re-examining both Eban’s involvement in events such as Israel’s approach toward the problem of borders, its policy of military retaliation, and the response to severe American pressure following the 1956 Sinai campaign. Whilst not attributing the development of close relations between the two Powers solely to the works of a single individual, evidence suggests that Eban was the right man in the right place and time to provide the necessary foundations for the elevation of American–Israeli relations to “special” in the following decade.

 

 

 

 

New Article: Gat, Yitzhak Rabin, Ambassador to Washington

Gat, Moshe. “Yitzhak Rabin, the Ambassador to Washington, 1968–73: A Diplomat and Policy Maker.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.3 (2015): 489-507.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00263206.2014.978300

 

Abstract

Rabin differed considerably from the average ambassador – a representative receiving and issuing reports. He viewed himself not only as a diplomat, but as capable of shaping policy with respect to both the Arab–Israeli conflict and the relationship with the United States. During his term as ambassador to Washington he displayed sober realism with regard to the political, and to some extent the military, reality – the very realism that was absent from the government that sent him.

New Article: Podoler, Korean Culture in Early South Korea–Israel Relations

Podoler, Guy. “Enter the ‘Far East’: Korean Culture in Early South Korea–Israel Relations.” International Journal of Cultural Policy 20.5 (2014): 519-35.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10286632.2013.865728

 

 

Abstract

Diplomatic relations between South Korea and Israel were formed only in 1962. Furthermore, as the two countries from both ends of the continent cooperated in various areas during the 1960s and 1970s, relations were becoming more complicated and even officially rather cool in light of Korea’s evolving relations with the Arab world. Against this backdrop, and based on the reading of contemporaneous Israeli press, the study argues that culture mattered very much in the early stages of the relations. Cultural contacts between Koreans and Israelis started well before the establishment of full diplomatic relations, and cultural diplomacy played a significant role in maintaining them in the decades that followed. Like today, both parties often emphasized the cultural and historical affinities between the two peoples, and in the process, the Israeli public was exposed to early glimpses into Korean culture while images of Korea and its people were created as well.

New Article: Stanciu, Romania and the Six Day War

Stanciu, Cezar. “Romania and the Six Day War.” Middle Eastern Studies 50.5 (2014): 775-95.

 

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00263206.2014.913575

 

 

Abstract

In June 1967, when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact partners decided to break off diplomatic relations with Israel following the outbreak of the Six Day War, it came as a surprise to many that Romania refused to do the same. This paper investigates previously unpublished documents in order to retrace the decision-making process in Bucharest and offer a rational answer to the question: why did Romania choose to ignore Moscow’s decision? Was it a demonstration of support for Israel as it appeared at the time and, if so, what were the reasons behind it? Archival insight demonstrates that Romania’s decision to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel can best be understood in the general framework of its relations with Moscow. Striving to gain autonomy in the Communist bloc and fight off Soviet domination, Romanian decision-makers preferred to engage in their own analysis of the events in the Middle East before assuming one decision or another. Their conclusions led them to believe that Moscow’s policy had been adventurous and to break relations with Israel would have implied confirmation and reinforcement of Moscow’s role in the Middle East.