SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding

IMG - Daniel Marwecki Book Cover
Daniel Marwecki (Hong Kong University)

Date: 1 December 2020Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 1 December 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Book Launch

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According to common perception, the Federal Republic of Germany supported the formation of the Israeli state for moral reasons—to atone for its Nazi past—but did not play a significant role in the Arab–Israeli conflict. However, the historical record does not sustain this narrative. 

Daniel Marwecki’s pathbreaking analysis deconstructs the myths surrounding the odd alliance between Israel and post-war democratic Germany. Thorough archival research shows how German policymakers often had disingenuous, cynical or even partly antisemitic motivations, seeking to whitewash their Nazi past by supporting the new Israeli state. This is the true context of West Germany’s crucial backing of Israel in the 1950s and ’60s. German economic and military support greatly contributed to Israel’s early consolidation and eventual regional hegemony. This initial alliance has affected Germany’s role in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to the present day. 

Marwecki reassesses German foreign policymaking and identity-shaping, and raises difficult questions about German responsibility after the Holocaust, exploring the many ways in which the genocide of European Jews and the dispossession of the Palestinians have become tragically intertwined in the Middle East’s international politics. This long overdue investigation sheds new light on a major episode in the history of the modern Middle East.


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Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding

About the speaker

Daniel Marwecki is a lecturer in International Relations at Hong Kong University. He previously taught at the University of Leeds and at SOAS, where he also wrote his PhD.


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register

* The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those that are unable to participate via Zoom.

Chair: Gilbert Achcar (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute

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