SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Berenskoetter, Felix and Mitrani, Mor (2022) 'Is it Friendship? An Analysis of Contemporary German-Israeli Relations.' International Studies Quarterly, 66 (1). sqac001.

Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0).

Download (322kB) | Preview


This article explores the nature of the contemporary “special relationship” between Germany and Israel. Having emerged out of the ashes of the Second World War and the Holocaust, political relations between these two states are widely seen as having successfully undergone a process of reconciliation. A key feature is German support for Israel, usually understood as a constant attempt to pay off a historical debt in exchange for rehabilitation and recognition of Germany as a “good state.” The article probes another interpretation by asking whether contemporary German–Israeli relations have reached the stage of friendship, a relationship structured by care rather than guilt. To this end, it presents an original conceptual framework of interstate friendship as a bond of shared memories and visions that enable a common orientation toward the past and the future both sides are committed to invest in. Applied to an interpretive analysis of the “sharedness” of the memory of the Holocaust and the vision of a secure Israel, the paper finds strong evidence for the former yet significant gaps in the latter, concluding that relations between the states of Germany and Israel still fall short of friendship.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science
ISSN: 00208833
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the article/chapter accepted for publication in International Studies Quarterly, 66 (1) (2022) published by Oxford University Press. Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2021 14:21
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item