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.






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.