West Germany And Israel: Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, And The Cold War, 1965-1974 [Hardcover ed.] 1107075459, 9781107075450

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West Germany And Israel: Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, And The Cold War, 1965-1974 [Hardcover ed.]
 1107075459,  9781107075450

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West Germany and Israel

By the late 1960s, West Germany and Israel were moving in almost opposite diplomatic directions in a political environment dominated by the Cold War. The Federal Republic launched ambitious policies to reconcile with its Iron Curtain neighbors, expand its influence in the Arab world, and promote West European interests vis à vis the United States. By contrast, Israel, unable to obtain peace with the Arabs after its 1967 military victory and threatened by Palestinian terrorism, became increasingly dependent upon the United States, estranged from the USSR and Western Europe, and isolated from the Third World. Nonetheless, the two countries remained connected by shared security concerns, personal bonds, and recurrent evocations of the German Jewish past. Drawing upon newly available sources covering the first decade of the countries’ formal diplomatic ties, Carole Fink reveals the underlying issues that shaped these two countries’ fraught relationship and sets their foreign and domestic policies in a global context. Carole Fink is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at The Ohio State University. She is the author of many books, including Cold War: An International History, and Writing 20th Century International History: Explorations and Examples. She was twice awarded the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association for Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection, 1878 1938, and The Genoa Conference: European Diplomacy 1921 1922.

West Germany and Israel Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, and the Cold War, 1965–1974 Carole Fink The Ohio State University, Emerita

University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia 314 321, 3rd Floor, Plot 3, Splendor Forum, Jasola District Centre, New Delhi 110025, India 79 Anson Road, #06 04/06, Singapore 079906 Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781107075450 DOI: 10.1017/9781139871792 © Carole Fink 2019 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2019 Printed in the United Kingdom by TJ International Ltd. Padstow Cornwall A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Names: Fink, Carole, author. Title: West Germany and Israel : foreign relations, domestic politics, and the Cold War, 1965 1974 / Carole Fink. Description: New York : Cambridge University Press, 2019. Identifiers: LCCN 2018037325 | ISBN 9781107075450 (hardback) Subjects: LCSH: Germany (West) Relations Israel. | Israel Relations Germany (West) | Germany (West) Politics and government. | Israel Politics and government 1948 | Middle East History 20th century. | BISAC: POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory. Classification: LCC DD258.85.I75 F56 2019 | DDC 327.430569409/046 dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018037325 ISBN 978 1 107 07545 0 Hardback ISBN 978 1 107 42828 7 Paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third party internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

To Juanita Winner

Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps Preface Acknowledgments A Note on Usage List of Abbreviations 1

Prologue: Distant States – West Germany and Israel, 1952–1965

page viii ix xv xvii xviii

1

2

The Shock of Recognition: 1965–1966

25

3

Upheaval

45

4

1968

74

5

Changes in Leadership: 1969

102

6

Ostpolitik

124

7

1971: A Dense Political Web

154

8

The Year of Munich

185

9

Annus Terribilis

219

Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

261

Conclusions Bibliography Index

292 297 336

10

vii

Illustrations and Maps

Illustrations 1.1 2.1 2.2 5.1 6.1 6.2 8.1

Eichmann Trial, 1961 page 9 Ben-Gurion with Adenauer, Israel 1966 26 Anti-German Demonstration, 1965 35 Asher Ben-Natan at the University of Frankfurt, 1969 114 Eban at Dachau, 1970 126 Brandt’s Kniefall, 1970 151 Abortive West German negotiations with the Palestinians, 1972 204 9.1 Golda Meir and Willy Brandt, 1973 240 9.2 Dayan and Meir in Golan Heights, Yom Kippur War, 1973 252 10.1 Brandt and Sadat, 1974 282 Maps 3.1 7.1 9.1 9.2

viii

Israel: Before and after June 1967 War Germany: Ostpolitik and Nahostpolitik, 1967–1974 The October 1973 War: The Golan Front The October 1973 War: The Suez-Sinai Front

page 54 158 247 248

Preface

Nothing, however, was ever simple between Israel and Germany.1

This is a study that links Central Europe and the Middle East. It originated almost two decades ago in a conversation with an eminent Israeli scholar who stated, “Israel had no 1968, it had 1967.” Struck by his differentiation between the global summons for political, cultural, and social change in the late 1960s and the public environment in his country after its spectacular military victory, I decided to delve deeper into this gap. Drawing on my background as an international historian, I chose to focus on the relationship between West Germany and Israel in the period between 1965 and 1974, the first nine years of their formal diplomatic tie. This period was marked not only by major domestic changes in both countries but also by the transformation of world politics. Like all research projects pursued over a long period, this one has grown and expanded as new documentation surfaced, a rich trove of published material became available, and new questions arose. The investigation of a bilateral relationship offers a valuable, nuanced point of observation of change and continuity in domestic, national, and international history. And few diplomatic partnerships embody the level of complexity as do the ties between the heir to the Third Reich and the refuge of its victims. On May 12, 1965, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the State of Israel announced the opening of diplomatic relations, a singular event that has been commemorated over succeeding decades. The beginning, however, was a difficult one. During its first nine years, the bond between these two countries – strikingly unequal in their size, population, and power – was molded not only by a volatile external environment 1

Asher Ben Natan [Israel’s first ambassador to West Germany], “Bridges over Many Chasms,” in Otto Romberg and Heiner Lichtenstein, eds., Thirty Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Israel (Frankfurt: Tribüne Books, 1995), p. 49.

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Preface

dominated by the global Cold War but also by their often conflicting national and domestic desiderata. Moreover, there was an even more problematic dimension, the tragic German-Jewish past, which each side interpreted differently. The FRG’s goal after 1965 was to establish a normal relationship that focused more on the present and the future than on the past. Israel, on the other hand, was determined to maintain its special character, insisting that the crimes of Nazi Germany had created a permanent obligation for unconditional support and protection. To be sure, informal West German–Israeli relations had already commenced on September 10, 1952, with the treaty signed in Luxembourg in which West Germany had agreed to pay Israel DM 3.5 billion in restitution in kind. This historic agreement, which had raised strong domestic opposition, required the intervention of both countries’ forceful and pragmatic founding leaders, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, to achieve ratification and to implement its terms.2 Nonetheless, up to 1965, there was a good measure of congruence in the two countries’ interests. Both were firmly in the US camp and opposed the Soviet Union, the overlord of seventeen million East Germans and three million Soviet Jews. On the bilateral plane, the Bonn government enhanced its moral and political standing through its annual payments to Israel, which were crucial to the latter’s economic development. The two countries also established secret military and financial ties. Yet there is also general agreement among scholars that these initial years were more gray than golden. West Germany refused to risk its relations with the Arab world by exchanging ambassadors with Israel; and Israeli officials, noting the large number of Third Reich holdovers in office, referred to Bonn as a “Republic of Restoration.”3 By the early 1960s, global and domestic conditions began to change, and tensions accumulated on both sides. Nonetheless, until Adenauer and BenGurion left office in 1963, their blend of Moral- and Realpolitik prevailed.4 2

3 4

The standard work is Nani Sagi, German Reparations: A History of the Negotiations, trans. Dafna Alon (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1980); see also Michael Wolffsohn, “Das deutsch israelische Wiedergutmachungsabkommen von 1952 im internationalen Zusammenhang,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 36, no. 4 (1988): 691 731; Ludolf Herbst and Constantin Goschler, eds., Wiedergutmachung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1989); Axel Frohn, ed., Holocaust and Shilumim: The Policy of Wiedergutmachung in the Early 1950s (Washington, DC: German Historical Institute, 1991). Avi Primor, “ . . . mit Ausnahme Deutschlands”: Als Botschafter Israelis in Bonn (Berlin: Ullstein, 1999), p. 157. Two heavily documented studies offer contrasting perspectives: The German diplomat Niels Hansen, Aus dem Schatten der Katastrophe: Die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen in der Ära Konrad Adenauer und David Ben Gurion (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2004), interprets

Preface

xi

West Germany’s first international crisis in 1965 gave rise to the striking shift between the two countries. In the wake of the exposure of the FRG’s arms deliveries to Israel, followed by Egypt’s invitation to the reviled GDR leader Walter Ulbricht, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard suddenly ceased delivering weapons, but also offered to change course by establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.5 Both sides paid a heavy price for the normalization of their ties. Bonn’s decision led to the feared rupture with ten Arab countries; and Israel had to yield to West German terms for recognition and to the new ground rules of bilateral negotiations.6 In real as well as symbolic terms, the initial bond, managed by elites outside of public scrutiny and dominated by a past they had both experienced and sought to overcome, was at an end. The next critical juncture occurred two years later in the wake of Israel’s overwhelming military victory in the June 1967 war, its occupation of Arab territories, and the Great Powers’ inability to forge a peace. Thereupon, the two countries began moving in different directions.7 As scholars have noted, West Germany now perceived its ties with Israel as an obstacle to promoting its interests – breaking the Cold War gridlock in Europe and regaining its place in the Arab world backed by increased public support for an evenhanded Middle East policy.8 Less known is the Israeli response examined in this book. Confronted by obdurate enemies, including a militant Palestinian national movement, its government and people continued to expect and demand Bonn’s full support. The gulf between West Germany and Israel continued to widen as each country faced regional crises and foreign policy setbacks in 1968

5

6 7

8

Adenauer’s side admiringly, while the Israeli historian Yeshayahu Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, 1945 1965: Ein neurotisches Verhältnis (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2004), is critical of the chancellor and his officials. Earlier works by Jekutiel Deligdisch, Die Einstellung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Staate Israel: Eine Zusammenfassung der Entwicklung seit 1949 (Bonn: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1974), and Inge Deutschkron, Israel und die Deutschen: Das schwierige Verhältnis (Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1983), are still useful. Although Hannfried von Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation: State and Society in West German Foreign Policy toward Israel, 1952 1965 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2007), stresses the strong pro Israel public sentiment behind Erhard’s bold gesture, William Gray’s critique in European History Quarterly 40, no. 1 (Jan. 2010): 146 47, suggests a more muddled process of decision making. Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 768 93. Markus Weingardt, “Deutsche Israel Politik: Etappen und Kontinuitäten,” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 15 (2005): 25 26; Carole Fink, “Turning Away from the Past: West Germany and Israel, 1965 1967,” in Philipp Gassert and Alan E. Steinweis, eds., Coping with the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955 1975 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), pp. 276 93. Daniel Gerlach, Die doppelte Front: Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Nahostkonflikt, 1967 1973 (Berlin: Lit, 2006), pp. 53 59.

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Preface

and also when FRG public opinion – especially on the Left – adopted a pro-Palestinian stance.9 The diplomatic and political changes that occurred in 1969 further widened the rift. The Superpower détente forged by Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev failed to extend to the Middle East, which exploded in two wars, the second giving rise to a global oil crisis.10 After 1969 the West German and Israeli governments occupied strikingly different places in international politics. Willy Brandt’s SPD-FDP coalition implemented its bold Ost- and Nahostpolitik, while also maintaining the FRG’s bonds with NATO and strengthening its ties with Western Europe.11 Israel, under Golda Meir’s unwieldy coalition, unable to negotiate directly with its adversaries, refused to submit to outside mediation and, except for mounting US support, found itself increasingly isolated.12 Not surprisingly, between 1970 and 1974, West German–Israeli relations underwent several crises that are analyzed closely in this book.13 These included an ill-conceived German Kulturwoche in 1971, the failed rescue of the Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the tensions that arose during and after the October 1973 war. There were also major differences over the Palestinian question and over the EEC’s attempt to expand its role in the Middle East. Bilateral negotiations became increasingly contentious in this period. Each country’s press assumed a sharper tone toward the other, and, with some exceptions, public opinion continued to cool toward the relationship. Federal Republic officials, far less preoccupied with the Nazi past than were their predecessors, resisted Israeli demands for unconditional 9

10 11

12

13

Martin Kloke, Israel und die deutsche Linke: Zur Geschichte eines schwierigen Verhältnisses (Frankfurt: Haag + Herchen, 1994); also Christoph Schmidt, “The Return of the Dead Souls: The German Student Movement and Auschwitz,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13, no. 1 (2013): 75 86. See, esp., Craig Daigle, The Limits of Détente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1969 1973 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012). Peter Bender, Die “Neue Ostpolitik” und ihre Folgen: Vom Mauerbau zur Verinigung (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1996); also Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, “Ostpolitik and the World, 1969 1974,” in Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969 1974: European and Global Responses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 1 11. Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York: Norton, 2001); excellent background in Michael Brecher, “Israel’s Foreign Policy: Challenges of the 1970s,” International Journal 28, no. 4 (Autumn 1973): 748 65. Three recent monographs rely primarily on German documentation: Matthias Dahlke, Der Anschlag auf Olympia ’72 (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2006), Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); and Wolfgang Kraushaar, “Wann endlich beginnt bei Euch der Kampf gegen die heilige Kuh Israel?” München 1970: Über die antisemitischen Wurzeln des deutschen Terrorismus (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2013).

Preface

xiii

support. Moreover, the contrasting personalities and political styles of Meir and Brandt magnified their disagreements, which their personal encounters scarcely mitigated.14 Nonetheless, when both Meir and Brandt left office in 1974, the frayed West German–Israeli relationship had not been jettisoned. A remarkable fluctuation of discord and stability had been established, marked by the almost predictably tense encounters and the omnipresent shadow of third parties. Although neither friendship nor trust had been achieved between the two countries on an official or public level, they remained connected by practical security concerns and the ritualized assertions of their historical bond.15 And with some significant changes by Brandt’s and Meir’s successors – and several difficult moments – this bond has continued to this day. There is a rich scholarly literature on West German–Israeli diplomatic relations, which is listed in the Bibliography. Three notable books have dealt with West Germany and Israel after 1965. The pioneering study by political scientist Lily Gardner Feldman, The Special Relationship between Germany and Israel (1985), attempts to define its character; George Lavy’s Germany and Israel: Moral Debt and National Interest (1996) stresses continuities with the past; and Markus A. Weingardt’s Deutsche Israelund Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (2002) presents more of a chronicle than an analysis. But none of these authors had access to the range of documentary sources I have examined, delved in such depth into the two countries’ interactions with each other and with third parties, or fully explained how both sides’ rhetoric and actions relating to the German-Jewish past, present, and future were reconfigured. This book draws primarily on the unpublished records in British, French, German, Israeli, Russian, and US archives. Other important sources include the indispensable West German and Israeli government publications (some newly available online), the memoirs and letters of principal participants and observers, contemporary press reports, biographies of key figures, and new scholarly studies in several languages. It places the West German–Israeli relationship squarely within an international context and examines the dynamics in depth. Both 14 15

See, esp., Jennie Hestermann, Inszenierte Versöhnung: Reisediplomatie und die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen von 1957 bis 1984 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2016). Kai Oppermann and Mischa Hansel, “The Ontological Security of Special Relationships: The Case of Germany and Israel” (paper presented at the CEEISA ISA Joint International Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 23 25, 2016), http://web.isanet .org/Web/Conferences/CEEISA ISA LBJ2016/Archive/524578a4 3992 452d bc7d 83 4f253c04ae.pdf (accessed Dec. 2016).

xiv

Preface

countries were active players in regional and global affairs. But although they conducted their foreign policies in different ways, they were affected by the other’s diplomacy and constrained by spoken and unspoken obligations. This book’s principal focus is on the decision makers, but there is also extensive coverage of domestic politics as well as of social, economic, and cultural developments in both countries. To be sure, there are still contested questions inherent in this history. My goal has been to present as comprehensive, balanced, and fair an account as possible. w il m i n g t o n, n o r t h c a r o l i n a September 2018

Acknowledgments

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the assistance I have received in preparing this book. First I express thanks for the very generous financial support of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University and the Fulbright Foundation. I am also grateful to two institutions for the opportunity to teach this subject: the Center for German Studies at The Hebrew University in 2008 and the Jena Center/20th Century History in 2016, and also to the universities that have invited me to lecture on this topic, including the Columbia Seminar on 20th Century Politics and Society, the Georgetown University International History Seminar, Haifa University, and Tel Aviv University. Because my research has taken me to numerous archives, I should like to cite several people for their outstanding assistance. I start with Birgit Kmezik at the Political Archive of the German Foreign Ministry who deserves the warmest of thanks for many years of support. I also thank Daniel Jost at the Bundesarchiv/Militärarchiv in Freiburg; Alon Tauber at the Central Archive for the Study of the History of the Jews of Germany; Helga Neumann at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin where she supervises the Günter Grass papers; Hagai Tsoref at the Israel State Archives; Monique Constant, at the French Foreign Ministry Archive; and Leo Greenbaum at the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research at the Center for Jewish History. Over the years, I have received expert research assistance from Andrey Edemskiy in Russia and from Avihay Arbitman, Opher Kutner, and Ruth Winter in Israel. Several colleagues have provided essential materials, including Jeffrey Herf, Mark Kramer, and Richard Rayburn in the United States and Jenny Hestermann and Hubert Leber in Germany. At The Ohio State University David Lincove, History, Public Affairs, and Philosophy Librarian, and Joseph Galron, Hebraica and Jewish Studies Librarian, have given indispensable support; and the Inter-Library Loan staffs of OSU, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the xv

xvi

Acknowledgments

New Hanover County Public Library have met my numerous requests with promptness and extraordinary efficiency. I express my deepest thanks to Volker Berghahn and Marjorie Madigan for their critical reviews of the entire manuscript; to Margie Hickman and and Ben Steelman for their proof-reading; to Edward Kunz for his collaboration with the photographs and maps; to LaGretia Copp for preparing the index; and to Gary Webb for his always timely and skillful guidance with computer issues. I thank Michael Watson for his patience and encouragement, Lisa Carter and Ruth Boyes for managing all the technical details, Beth Morel for her excellent copy-editing, and Allan Alphonse for guiding the production process. I am also grateful to the two anonymous readers for their helpful suggestions. Finally, this is the occasion to express thanks to friends and colleagues for enriching conversations and unstinting support. They include Pascale Barthe, Hedva Ben Israel, Volker Berghahn, Renate Bridenthal, Sandi Cooper, Emily and Bruce Davidson, István Deák, Kimberly Godwin, John Haley, Anne Heideking, Melton McLaurin, Marjorie Madigan, Norma Maupins, Richard Nochimson, Kay Phelps, Suzanne Rutland, Marion Schubert, Stephen Schuker, Gerhard Weinberg, Juanita Winner, and Ruth Winter. I also honor the memory of my late cousin Muriel Dimen and my deceased friends Hilda and Ralph Godwin, Dorothy Kahn, Gilad Margalit, and Mary Ramshorn for their inspiration and generosity. To Jon Barkman goes special appreciation for his skilled guidance away from the computer; as always, my thanks go to Stefan Harold Fink for his genial and loyal spirit; and my deepest gratitude goes to the person to whom this book is dedicated for a long and cherished friendship.

A Note on Usage

Because of this book’s primary focus on the West German relationship with Israel, the terms “Bonn,” “Federal Republic” (or FRG), and “Germany” are used interchangeably to describe this government. Also, because much of Israeli diplomacy was conducted in Jerusalem, I have occasionally designated that city as a synonym for the country, but without taking a position on its international legal status.

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Abbreviations

AA AAPD ACDP ACSP AdL AdsD AE AJC AJCA AN AVP RF BAF BAK BAL BayHStA BSA CC CDU CPSU CSCE CSU CZA DM

xviii

Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Ministry) Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschlands Archiv für Christlich-Demokratische Politik, KonradAdenauer-Stiftung, Sankt Augustin Archiv für Christlich-Soziale Politik, Hans Seidl Stiftung, Munich Archiv des Liberalismus, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, Gummersbach Archiv der sozialen Demokratie, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Bonn-Bad Godesberg Abba Eban Papers, Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem American Jewish Committee American Jewish Committee Archive, New York France. Archives Nationales, Paris. Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, Moscow Bundesarchiv Freiburg Bundesarchiv Koblenz Bundesarchiv Berlin-Lichterfelde Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munich Bayerische Staatsarchiv, Munich Claims Conference Archive, New York Christian Democratic Union, Germany Communist Party of the Soviet Union Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe Christian Social Union, Germany Central Zionist Archive Jerusalem Deutsche Mark (West German/German currency 1948–2002)

List of Abbreviations

DPA EB EEC FCO FDP FM FO FMAE FRG FRUS Gahal GB NA GDR Herut IDF IISH ISA JTA Jusos HK NSC

MAE Mapai MInn NARA NATO NPD NRP OAPEC OAU OPEC

xix

German Press Agency (Deutsche Presse-Agentur), Hamburg Egon Bahr papers, Archiv der sozialen Demokratie, BonnBad Godesberg European Economic Community Great Britain. Foreign and Commonwealth Office [created in 1968 with the merger of the two offices] Free Democrat Party, Germany Israel. Foreign Ministry Great Britain. Foreign Office France. Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, La Courneuve Federal Republic of Germany Foreign Relations of the United States Herut-Liberal Bloc (Gush Herut-Liberalim) Israel Great Britain, National Archives. Kew German Democratic Republic (East Germany) Freedom Party (Herut), Israel Israel Defense Forces Archive of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam Israel State Archive, Jerusalem Jewish Telegraph Agency Young Socialists (Jungsozialisten), Germany Henry Kissinger National Security Council Records, Nixon Materials, Project, US National Archives, Washington, DC France. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Workers’ Party of the Land of Israel [Mifleget Poalei Eretz Yisrael] Staatsministerium des Innern. Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv Munich National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC North Atlantic Treaty Organization National Democratic Party, Germany National Religious Party, Israel Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries Organization of African Unity Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

xx

List of Abbreviations

PA AA PFLP PLO PM Pompidou PRC Prem RAF RK NSF Schmidt SDS SED SI SPD StA StenBer StK UN UNA UNRWA USDS WBA YIVO ZEJD

Political Archive of the German Foreign Ministry, Berlin Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Palestine Liberation Organization Prime Minister’s Files, Israel State Archive, Jerusalem Papers of French President Georges Pompidou, Archives Nationales, Paris People’s Republic of China Great Britain National Archives, Prime Minister’s Files Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion), Germany Robert Komer National Security Files, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, Austin, TX Helmut Schmidt Archive, Archiv der sozialen Demokratie (AdsD), Bonn-Bad Godesberg. Socialist German Student Union (Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund), Germany Socialist Unity Party of Germany [Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands], East Germany Socialist International Social Democratic Party Germany Staatsanwaltschaft, Bayerische Staatsarchiv, Munich Germany Bundestag. Stenographische Berichte Staatskanzlei (State Chancellery) Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munich United Nations United Nations Archives and Records Management Section, New York United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East US Department of State records, National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC Willy Brandt Archive, Archiv der sozialen Demokratie, Bonn-Bad Godesberg YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, New York City Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland, Heidelberg

1

Prologue: Distant States – West Germany and Israel, 1952–1965

My political friends and I support the establishment of normal relations between Germany and Israel . . . if its government wants it so.1 We cannot defend a border only with diplomats; we also need weapons.2

In March 1960, on the eve of the crucial Four Power Summit in Paris, two anxious elderly statesmen visited Washington, DC, the eighty-four-year-old Chancellor Konrad Adenauer seeking President Eisenhower’s assurances on the future of West Berlin, and the seventy-three-year-old Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion hoping to expand US military assistance against Israel’s Arab enemies.3 But an equally significant event took place in New York, where the two men were lodged at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and where, at 9:30 a.m. on March 14, the first meeting occurred between the leader of the heir to the Third Reich and the founder of the refuge for its victims.4 Both statesmen had prepared carefully.5 Ben-Gurion, who insisted that Germany’s crimes against the Jewish people could never be erased, presented the chancellor with a request for two major forms of assistance: a 10- to 20-year,

1

2 3

4

5

Nov. 17, 1960, statement in Tel Aviv by West Berlin’s mayor and SPD party leader Willy Brandt on his first visit to Israel, HaTzofe, Nov. 18, 1960. (Thanks to Opher Kutner for this reference.) Shimon Peres Interview, Der Spiegel 9 (Feb. 22, 1965), p. 38. Details in Ronald J. Granieri, The Ambivalent Alliance: Konrad Adenauer, the CDU/CSU, and the West, 1949 1966 (New York: Berghahn, 2002), pp. 123 24; Peter Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: US Policy toward the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1945 1961 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), pp. 264 66. Yeshayahu A. Jelinek/Rainer A. Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer im Waldorf Astoria: Gesprächsaufzeichnungen vom israelisch deutschen Gipfeltreffen in New York am 14. März 1960,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 45, no. 2 (1997): 309 45; also Ari Rath, “Die historischen Begegnungen der beiden grossen Staatsmänner Konrad Adenauer und David Ben Gurion,” in Shmuel Bahagon, ed., Recht und Wahrheit bringen Frieden: Festschrift aus Israel für Niels Hansen (Gerlingen: Bleicher, 1994), pp. 214 19. Details from Ben Gurion’s diary and the Israeli archives in Yeshahayu A. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel: Ein neurotisches Verhältnis (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2004), pp. 313 15.

1

2

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

$40–$50 million loan agreement for development projects in the Negev desert6 as well as substantial military assistance to protect Israel against its Soviet-armed neighbors. Adenauer, who praised Israel’s accomplishments, readily agreed but without assenting to the actual details.7 After their private two-hour tête-à-tête, their genial press conference and the front-page photographs of the two smiling leaders startled their countries and the world.8 Even more disconcerting, however, was their silence over ending the eight-year absence of formal diplomatic relations between their two countries.9 Cold War Overview, 1952–196410 Seven years after the end of World War II, the two nuclear-armed Superpowers had appeared to dominate the entire globe. In Asia, the bloody war in Korea had militarized their rivalry. And in Europe, the Cold War’s heartland, the United States and the Soviet Union had virtually divided the continent: in the West, with twelve governments linked by the US-supported NATO alliance, and in the East, with seven Communist states tied politically and economically to the Kremlin. At the center were the two German states separated by ideology and an Iron Curtain: a liberal, capitalist, and fiercely anti-Communist government 6

7

8 9 10

Jelinek/Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer,” pp. 330 45, contains the remarkably similar translators’ notes in English and German; however, in the English version (p. 334) Ben Gurion requests a $50 million loan for a period of 10 years, while the German (p. 337) records a 10 to 20 year/$40 $50 million figure. Ibid., p. 336 (English), p. 337 (German); also Konrad Adenauer, Erinnerungen, vol. 4, 1959 1963. Fragmente (Stuttgart: DVA, 1968), pp. 32 40; Felix von Eckardt, Ein unor dentliches Leben: Lebenserinnerungen (Düsseldorf: Econ Verlag, 1967), pp. 609 10. The longer portion of the conversation consisted of a tour d’horizon of global politics. Both Cold Warriors concurred on the Soviet menace and Washington’s pre election disarray. However, when focusing on the Third World, Ben Gurion drawing on Israel’s positive experiences displayed far more optimism than Der Alte over winning the non aligned nations into the Western camp where both countries had launched extensive aid programs, the Bonn government competing strenuously against its East German rival in Asia and Africa (William Glenn Gray, Germany’s Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949 1969 [Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2003], pp. 116 19), and Israel, on a more modest level, vying against Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in the non aligned world (Nora Levin, “Technical Cooperation: Israel’s Way in the Third World and Administered Territories,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 26, no. 4 [Apr. 1970]: 46 52; Leopold Laufer, “Israel and the Third World,” Political Science Quarterly 87, no. 4 [Dec. 1972]: 615 30). Jellinek/Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer,” p. 301; see, esp., Ma’ariv, Ha’aretz, Davar, Mar. 15, 1960; Ma’ariv, Mar. 16, 1960; New York Times, Mar. 15, 16, 1960. Ma’ariv, Mar. 14, 1960; New York Times, Mar. 15, 1960, p. 1; and, esp., Der Spiegel 14, no. 13 (Mar. 23, 1960), pp. 17 18. Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (New York: Basic Books, 2017); Carole Fink, Cold War: An International History, 2nd ed. (Denver, CO: Westview Press, 2017).

A Chilly Relationship: West Germany and Israel after 1952

3

claiming to represent the entire German people, and a Marxist government proclaiming its peaceful, antifascist credentials. Yet by the mid-1950s, the Cold War had assumed a more complex aspect. Facing the spread of neutralist sentiment – especially among the former colonial peoples in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia – the new leadership in Moscow and in Washington expanded their competition into the Third World. Except for a brief pause during the 1956 Suez crisis, the United States and the Soviet Union poured advisors, arms, and development aid into the Third World to preserve and expand their respective political realms. But also by the late 1950s there were new expressions of independence from Superpower domination, including a revived Western Europe that created a six-member Common Market, a United Nations Organization that had doubled in size and now contained a non-Western, non-Communist majority, and the formation of OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) in September 1960, linking six countries whose product had become crucial to the world’s economy.11 Although the Cold War stalemate in Europe was confirmed by the August 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall, the Global Cold War continued to expand. In Asia, the Soviets faced the threat of a nuclear-armed rival in Communist China, while the United States attempted to suppress Communist-dominated governments in Indochina. In Latin America, the flow of missiles into the Soviets’ Cuban outpost nearly triggered a nuclear war in 1962. And in the Middle East, the Superpowers vied for influence over a half-dozen rival Arab regimes. In the early 1960s, a new word – détente – had entered the Cold War vocabulary. Recognizing the costs and perils of their long rivalry, US and Soviet leaders were prepared to declare a truce in Europe and to pursue arms limitation, but not to end their competition in the Third World. And it was within this evolving twelve-year Cold War background that two distant – but also related – countries formed and developed their extraordinary ties. A Chilly Relationship: West Germany and Israel after 195212 After concluding their historic 1952 Restitution Agreement in Luxemburg, there were no official ties between West Germany and 11 12

Walter Levy, “Oil Power,” Foreign Affairs 49, no. 4 (July 1971): 652 53. Essential studies of this period based on extensive archival documentation include Hannfried von Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation: State and Society in West German Foreign Policy toward Israel, 1952 1965 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2007);

4

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

Israel until 1965.13 During the negotiations, Adenauer had proposed to combine restitution with the inauguration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, thereby confronting his domestic opponents and the irate Arab governments with one bold gesture instead of “separate installments.”14 However, because of Israel’s high percentage of Holocaust survivors and its fierce critics of any dealings with Germany, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett had insisted on delaying formal ties.15 Three years later, the situation was reversed. In May 1955, the Federal Republic had regained almost full sovereignty, joined the NATO alliance, and developed one of the strongest economies in Western Europe; it was also about to establish diplomatic relations with the USSR. Israel, on the other hand, was threatened by the flow of Soviet-bloc arms into Egypt and an Arab economic boycott. Recognizing Germany’s new stature and fearing its demotion in Bonn’s political and economic priorities, Ben-Gurion

13

14 15

Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, 1945 1965; Niels Hansen, Aus dem Schatten der Katastrophe: Die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen in der Ära Konrad Adenauer und David Ben Gurion (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2002); and Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002). Earlier works, including Jekutiel Deligdisch, Die Einstellung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Staate Israel: Eine Zusammenfassung der Entwicklung seit 1949 (Bonn: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1974); Inge Deutschkron, Israel und die Deutschen: Das schwier ige Verhältnis (Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1983); Lily Gardner Feldman, The Special Relationship between Germany and Israel (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1985); Michael Wolffsohn, Ewige Schuld? 40 Jahre deutsch jüdische israelische Beziehungen, 5th ed. (Munich: Piper, 1993); and George Lavy, Germany and Israel: Moral Debt and National Interest (London: Frank Cass, 1996), remain useful. In the Sept. 10, 1952, agreement (an unprecedented arrangement between a successor state and one that did not exist when the Nazis’ crimes were committed), the FRG granted the sum of DM 3.5 billion to the State of Israel, to be paid over a period of 14 years to the Israeli purchasing delegation in Cologne, which enabled the country to build an infrastructure of roads, railways, shipping, and industry at a time it was suffering a severe shortage of foreign currency. Details in Nana Sagi, German Reparations: A History of the Negotiations, trans. Dafna Alon (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1980); also Nicholas Balabkins, West German Reparations and Israel (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1971); Michael Wolffsohn, “Das deutsch israelische Wiedergutmachungsabkommen von 1952 im internationalen Zusammenhang,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 36, no. 4 (1988): 691 731. In its parallel (and also historically unprecedented) negotiations with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, the FRG agreed both to indemnify indivi dual victims of National Socialism (by 2013 amounting to the figure of $70 billion to more than 800,000 Holocaust victims) and to transfer of DM 450 million to the Claims Conference used to fund social services to survivors and rebuild Jewish institutions in Europe. Ronald Zweig, German Reparations and the Jewish World: A History of the Claims Conference (London: Frank Cass, 2001). Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 48 49. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 158 59; also Gardner Feldman, Special Relationship, pp. 157 58.

A Chilly Relationship: West Germany and Israel after 1952

5

made an overture for full diplomatic relations, which met a brusque No from the Auswärtiges Amt.16 The Adenauer government, now facing Arab threats to recognize East Germany if it established official ties with Israel, had become a captive of its Hallstein doctrine – based on the priority of a single, reunified Germany – which forced Bonn to placate blackmailers.17 The United States also played a role in this transformation. Unlike in 1952 when it had urged Adenauer to initiate the Restitution Agreement with Israel, this time the Eisenhower administration – which was encouraging Bonn to play a larger role in the Arab world – was cool to any move that intensified unrest in the Middle East.18 Over the next five years, until their historic March 1960 encounter, Adenauer and Ben-Gurion attempted to establish quasi-normal conditions between their two countries. Although refusing to send an emissary to Israel, the Federal Republic, seeking to uphold its moral standing in Western capitals, promptly made its annual restitution payments.19 Indeed, in November 1956 Bonn, insisting on its neutrality, rebuffed strong US pressure to suspend these payments until Israel withdrew its forces after the Sinai-Suez War.20 Israel, without abandoning its hope for normal relations, pursued alternative ties with the Federal Republic. Using its Restitution Purchasing Mission in Cologne, which functioned as an informal diplomatic post, the foreign ministry attempted to win support from German 16

17

18

19

20

Roni Stauber, “Israel’s Quest for Diplomatic Relations: The German Israeli Controversy 1955 1956,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für Deutsche Geschichte 41 (2013): 215 28; also Isar Memorandum (trans. from Hebrew), May 22, 1956, in Yeshayahu Jelinek, ed., Zwischen Moral und Realpolitik: Deutsch israelische Beziehungen, 1945 1965. Eine Dokumentensammlung (Gerlingen: Bleicher, 1997), pp. 400 2; Lavy, Germany and Israel, pp. 32 37. Lorena de Vita, “Overlapping Rivalries The Two Germanys, Israel, and the Cold War,” Cold War History 17, no. 4 (2017): 360 66; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 106 12. Gray, Germany’s Cold War, pp. 53 54; also Rüdiger Marco Booz, “Hallsteinzeit”: Deutsche Aussenpolitik, 1955 1972 (Bonn: Bouvier, 1995). Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 116 17; Lavy, Germany and Israel, p. 39; earlier, Arthur A. Smith, “A View of US Policy toward Jewish Restitution,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 5, no. 4 (Dec. 1990): 247 59. Balabkins, West German Reparations to Israel, pp. 205 11; details in Rolf Vogel, ed., The German Path to Israel: A Documentation (London: Wolff, 1969), pp. 88 100. Adenauer, who strongly believed in Jewish political influence in Washington, directed his diplomats to enlist journalists, academics, publicists, businesspeople, and lobbyists as well as Jewish communal leaders to burnish the FRG’s image. Shlomo Shafir, “Postwar German Diplomats and Their Efforts to Neutralize American Jewish Hostility: The First Decade,” YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science 22 (Jan. 1995): 155 201. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 113 14, which not only won strong Israeli gratitude but may also have strengthened its negotiating position vis à vis Washington.

6

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

politicians and journalists, and from the public.21 In 1957, Ben-Gurion dispatched Shimon Peres to Germany where Israel’s deputy defense minister established a close bond with the FRG’s defense minister, FranzJosef Strauss, who considered Israel a key Cold War partner against the Soviet-armed Arabs.22 That year, Israel began its secret sales of Uzi machine guns followed by other weapons and uniform materials to the Bundeswehr, which not only helped the country’s balance of payments but also set the stage for its acquiring non-military materials from Germany.23 Inevitably there were leaks, and Der Spiegel’s June 1959 revelations of these arms arrangements created an outcry in both countries.24 But while the Adenauer government downplayed their significance, Ben-Gurion took the opportunity to announce his position on “the German question.” Before the Knesset on July 1, Israel’s prime minister made three major points: that the Federal Republic, unlike its Communist neighbor, had assumed moral and financial responsibility for the Nazis’ atrocities against the Jews; that the acquisition of German weapons was essential to the transformation of the Jewish people from a Diaspora civilization to a sovereign nation inhabiting its own land and charged with the obligation to protect its citizens; and that the danger of another Holocaust came not from West Germany but from the “Nazis of the present” – the Arabs.25

21

22

23

24 25

Stauber, “Israel’s Quest,” p. 228; Jelinek, Zwischen Moral und Realpolitik, pp. 400 2; Felix Shinnar, Bericht eines Beauftragten: Die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen, 1951 1966 (Tübingen: Wunderlich, 1967), pp. 120 23. Earlier, the Jewish Agency and, after 1948, the Israeli government had maintained a consulate in Munich, which dealt with the occupying powers and also helped normalize relations between Germans, Jews, and Israelis, and closed in 1953: Yeshayahu Jelinek, “Like an Oasis in the Desert: The Israeli Consulate in Munich, 1948 1953,” Studies in Zionism 9 (1988): 81 98. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 307 8; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 468 79; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 115 23; also Shimon Peres Interviews: Der Spiegel 9 (Feb. 22, 1965), pp. 38 40, Lui (Deutsche Ausgabe, Munich), parts 1 and 2 (Aug. Sept. 1979): 74 84; Peres, David’s Sling (New York: Random House, 1970), pp. 66 74; Franz Josef Strauss, Die Erinnerungen (Berlin: Siedler, 1999), pp. 341 45; interviews with Strauss and Peres in Rolf Vogel, ed., Der deutsch israelische Dialog: Dokumentation eines erregenden Kapitels deutscher Aussenpolitik, part 1, Politik (Munich: Sauer, 1987), pp. 134 43. According to Lavy, Germany and Israel, p. 53, delivery of motor vehicles, training aircraft, and helicopters began, via circuitous routes, in 1959; details in Vogel, The German Path to Israel, pp. 122 28; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 479 502; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 306 9. These arrangements were greatly facilitated by Israel’s Purchasing Mission in Cologne. Shinnar, Bericht eines Beauftragten, pp. 120 23. “Rüstung: Grenaten aus Haifa,” Der Spiegel 26 (June 24, 1959), pp. 18 20. Yechiam Weitz, “Ben Gurions Weg zum ‘Anderen Deutschland,’ 1952 1963,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 48, no. 2 (2000): 269 70; Roni Stauber, “Realpolitik

The Waldorf Astoria Meeting

7

The Waldorf-Astoria Meeting The Nazi past continued to weigh heavily on the Federal Republic. On Christmas Eve in 1959, right-wing vandals defaced the newly restored Cologne synagogue with swastikas, followed by a two-month wave of desecrations of almost one hundred Jewish cemeteries throughout West Germany.26 East Germany, whose Stasi along with the Soviet KGB had stirred this antisemitic campaign to discredit its western neighbor, immediately released a barrage of bulletins against the “renazified” Federal Republic, criticizing its holdover judiciary from the Third Reich and its laxness in prosecuting war criminals.27 In response, Bonn, on the eve of the chancellor’s trip to America, launched its own public relations campaign, emphasizing the government’s and public’s condemnation of the attacks, West Germany’s thriving democracy, and its staunch antiCommunism.28 Nonetheless, both the timing of the New York meeting and the chancellor’s accommodating responses to Ben-Gurion were undoubtedly affected by the shock of Cologne.29 After the historic New York encounter, Germany’s non-official relations with Israel expanded. Under Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste, Bonn had already begun sending its youth to Israel to work on social projects; in October 1961, the first German volunteers arrived at Kibbutz Urim, and the first German students traveled to Israel.30 Other signs of closer non-

26

27

28

29

30

and the Burden of the Past: Israeli Diplomacy and the ‘Other Germany,’” Israel Studies 8, no. 3 (Fall 2003): 106 7. “Synagogen Schandung: Die Nacht von Köln,” Der Spiegel 1 (Jan. 6, 1960), pp. 19 23; “Antisemitismus,” ibid., 3 (Jan. 13, 1960), pp. 15 17; New York Times, Dec. 26, 1959, p. 1, Dec. 31, 1959, p. 1. See also Peter Schönbach, Reaktionen auf die antisemitische Welle im Winter 1959/1960 (Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1961). Hans Peter Schwarz, Adenauer. Der Staatsmann, 1952 1967 (Stuttgart: DVA, 1991), p. 529; Michael Lemke, “Kampagnen gegen Bonn: Die Systemkrise der DDR und die West Propaganda der SED, 1960 1963,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 41, no. 2 (1993): 160; Christopher Andrew, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (New York: Basic Books, 2000), pp. 292 321. On the key intervention of Connecticut senator Thomas Dodd (closely connected with the Chicago lobbyist Maj. Gen. Julius Klein) who, on Mar. 15, 1960, assured the US Congress of the “vast progress Germany has made,” S. Jonathan Wiesen, “Germany’s PR Man: Julius Klein and the Making of Transatlantic Memory,” in Philipp Gassert and Alan Steinweis, eds., Coping with the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955 1975 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), pp. 299 300. Wolffsohn, Ewige Schuld? 40 Jahre deutsch jüdische Beziehungen, p. 31; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, p. 127. At the close of their conversation, Adenauer expressly thanked Ben Gurion for pub licly distinguishing between present day Germans and the Nazis. Jelinek/Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer,” p. 343 (German), but p. 344 (in English), is slightly different. Franz von Hammerstein, “The Germans’ Work for Peace: ‘Operation Atonement,’” Patterns of Prejudice 7, no. 3 (1973): 7 10; Lilach Marom, “‘On Guilt and Atonement’: Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste and Its Activity in Israel,” Yad Vashem Studies 35,

8

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

governmental ties included the establishment of professorships in Jewish cultural and intellectual history at German universities, the founding of the Cologne library Germania Judaica, and the close relations between the German Federation of Trade Unions and Israel’s Histadrut.31 The SPD, led by West Berlin mayor Willy Brandt, called for the establishment of diplomatic ties between the FRG and Israel and sent a delegation to meet its Mapai counterparts in January 1961.32 Conservative intellectuals and politicians such as Eugen Gerstenmaier (a former member of the anti-Nazi resistance) also sought to open a dialogue with Israelis.33 Although these overtures were welcomed by the Israeli government, the public responded cautiously to German overtures.34 And, apart from the expense and diplomatic complications, Ben-Gurion remained unenthusiastic over dispatching Israeli youth groups to West Germany or permitting Israeli students to study in German universities.35 The Eichmann Trial Israel’s capture of SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, and his trial in Jerusalem between April and December 1961 raised enormous tension between the two states. BenGurion, reversing his earlier aloofness toward the Holocaust, aimed at educating young Israelis on the Third Reich’s crimes in order to underline the indispensability of the state of Israel, which would conduct its own Nuremberg trial to prosecute crimes against the Jewish people.36

31 32 33

34

35 36

no. 2 (2007): 187 99; also Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 505 6; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 395 99. Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 51 52. Sabine Hepperle, Die SPD und Israel: Von der Grossen Koalition bis zur Wende 1982 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2000), pp. 40 41. On his 1962 trip to Israel: Eugen Gerstenmaier, Streit und Friede hat seine Zeit: Ein Lebensbericht (Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1981), pp. 489 96. Nonetheless, AA officials kept a wary eye on the rise of German official and tourist visits to Israel, fearing an Arab backlash. Details in Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 394 95. After Volkswagen entered the Israeli market in the early 1960s, the first Beetles elicited more stares than protests, and at least one radio announcer, a native born Sabra, refused to read this commercial: “Volkswagen: ein Auto ohne Probleme,” Avi Primor, . . . mit Ausnahme Deutschlands (Berlin: Ullstein, 1999), pp. 84 87. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, p. 398. Yehiam Weitz and Michal Davidovitch, “The Founding Father and the War Criminal’s Trial,” Yad Vashem Studies 36, no. 1 (2008): 211 52; also Anita Shapira, “The Eichmann Trial: Changing Perspectives,” Journal of Israeli History 23 no. 1 (Spring 2004): 18 39. According to an Israeli historian, unlike the Nuremberg trial in which the Holocaust had played a secondary role, the Eichmann trial launched the enduring public discussion and research into the Holocaust: Hanna Yablonka, “The Eichmann Trial: Was It the Jewish Nuremberg?” Loyola of Los Angeles

The Eichmann Trial

9

Fig 1.1: A view of the courtroom during the trial of Adolf Eichmann (standing in booth on left) in April 1961. The three presiding judges (from left to right) are Benjamin Halevi, Moshe Landau, and Yitzhak Raveh. Credit: Government Press Office of Israel, D407 072/(no photographer named)

Nonetheless, Israel’s realist leader was also determined not to disrupt its growing ties with Bonn.37 The trial was deeply embarrassing to the Adenauer government, which was also facing a new US administration and a national election in September.38 The Eichmann trial not only trained a spotlight on the Nazi era but also highlighted the presence of former Nazis in public life, above all the chancellor’s indispensable state secretary Hans Globke who, among his other questionable activities under the Third Reich, had contributed to drafting the ordinances to enforce the 1935 Nuremberg race laws.39 Determined to mitigate the trial’s negative effects – and tamp down on new waves of Communist propaganda – the Auswärtiges Amt

37 38 39

International and Comparative Law Review 34, no. 3 (2012), http://digitalcommons.lmu .edu/ilr/vol34/iss3/2. Weitz, “Ben Gurions weg,” pp. 271 72. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 345 46; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 133 35. Daniel E. Rogers, “Restoring a German Career, 1945 1950: The Ambiguity of Being Hans Globke,” German Studies Review 31, no. 2 (May 2008): 305.

10

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

launched a propaganda campaign to separate the FRG from the Third Reich and the German nation from the Nazis, placing Eichmann within a small group of SS-perpetrators. It also formed an interministerial task force to orchestrate Bonn’s policy and sent an Observers Mission to Jerusalem to monitor the trial. On Adenauer’s orders, the Federal Intelligence Service gathered a myriad of information on the Israeli judges, prosecutors, and witnesses, as well as on the accused, and the chancellor personally dispatched the journalist Rolf Vogel to meet with Ben-Gurion.40 Ben-Gurion was reluctant to embarrass a partner who more than a year earlier had agreed to provide generous development loans.41 Moreover, Bonn had already signaled that the financial negotiations would be suspended until the conclusion of the Eichmann trial,42 and Defense Minister Strauss had made clear the price of military supplies.43

40

41

42

43

Globke, who was under investigation by federal officials for his role in the deportation of Greek and Slovak Jews (Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, p. 134, n. 233), was also the crucial contact person between the chancellor’s office and both Julius Klein and Israel’s foreign ministry. Wiesen, “Germany’s PR Man,” pp. 298 99. Klaus Wiegrefe, “Der Fluch der bösen Tat: Die Angst vor Adolf Eichmann,” Der Spiegel 15 (Apr. 11, 2011), pp. 44 50; see also Dominique Trimbur, “Eine deutsche Präsenz in Israel: Die bundesdeutsche Beobachtermission anlässlich des Eichmann Prozesses in Jerusalem,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 41 (2003): 229 52; Willi Winkler, “Adolf Eichmann und seiner Unterstützer: Ein kleiner Nachtrag zu einem bekannten Rechtsunfall,” in Werner Renz, ed., Interessen um Eichmann: Israelisches Justiz, deutsche Strafverfolgung, und alte Kameradschaften (Frankfurt: Campus, 2012), pp. 289 318. Vogel (1921 1994), the son of a half Jewish mother (who was deported to Theresienstadt) and who was ejected from the Wehrmacht, after 1945 became a journalist (and observer at the Nuremberg trials), film maker, and in 1959 deputy director of the Bonn office of the European Economic Community. Also, as reserve officer in the Bundeswehr, Vogel had worked with Globke to arrange the Uzi purchases from Israel. Summoned by the chancellor in 1961 to work with the Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst), Vogel traveled to Jerusalem with a press credential from the Cologne based, pro Adenauer business weekly Deutsche Zeitung. In a piquant Cold War detail, Vogel and another press colleague also stole documents from an East German attorney (fearing they might incriminate FRG politicians). Klaus Wiegrefe, “Kalter Krieg beim Eichmann Prozess: Aktenklau für die Adenauer Republik,” Der Spiegel (Sept. 2, 2010), http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/kalter krieg beim eichmann prozess aktenklau fuer die adenauer republik a 715292.html. Alone among his government colleagues, Ben Gurion did not attend even a single session of the Eichmann trial. Hanna Yablonka, The State of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann, trans. Ora Cummings and David Herman (New York: Schocken Books, 2004), p. 49 [a book that draws heavily on the prime minister’s diaries and correspondence]. Jelinek/Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer,” p. 313, n. 9; see also Carstens Aufzeichnung, Jan. 4, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:7 8, nn. 7 11. According to documents in the Israel State Archives, it was Globke himself who on June 2, 1961, informed the Israeli negotiator Felix Shinar of the suspension, claiming that launching the loan during the Eichmann trial might be misinterpreted by outsiders. Wiegrefe, “Der Fluch,” p. 49. Wiegrefe, “Der Fluch,” p. 50.

The Eichmann Trial

11

Consequently, the Israeli prime minister took steps to narrow the scope of the trial, focusing on Hitler, Eichmann, and Nazi Germany, omitting any reference to Globke’s wartime activities, and thereby winning Adenauer’s gratitude.44 However, contrary to Ben-Gurion’s aim of bolstering a realist, futurefacing Israeli narrative, the Eichmann trial also revived the horrors of the German-Jewish past. Occurring in the symbolically potent thirteenth year of Israel’s existence, the daily image of a major Nazi functionary, the two months of testimonies by the 110 carefully selected witnesses, and the round-the-clock media coverage, implanted the slaughter of European Jewry into the consciousness of two million Israelis, and especially among the youth, which up to then had little knowledge of the Holocaust. The conduct of the trial stirred heated debates within Israel and kindled a “deep existential fear and suspicion of the outside world.”45 It also strengthened Israel’s ties with the Diaspora and, particularly, with the US Jewish community.46 With national elections coming up in August, the Herut opposition fanned the wave of popular outrage. Thus when the trial’s end coincided with the erection of the Berlin Wall on August 13, 1961, the Israeli press was largely indifferent to the closure of this final Iron Curtain escape route and the sealing of Germany’s division.47 And five months later, responding to the “Eichmann shock,”48 the Ben-Gurion government reluctantly erected new barriers between the two people, including restrictions on German-supported cultural institutions, German artists, and the performance and display of German artworks.49 44

45

46 47

48 49

Hanna Yablonka, “Preparing the Eichmann Trial: Who Really Did the Job?” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 1, no. 2 (2000): 389 90, www7.tau.ac.il/ojs/index.php/til/article/view/ 190; also Yablonka, State of Israel, pp. 51 54. At the close of the trial Ben Gurion, in an interview with the Deutsche Zeitung, stated: “My opinion of today’s Germany has not changed. There is no longer a Nazi Germany.” Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, p. 136. Yablonka, State of Israel, p. 249; also Tom Segev, The Seventh Million: Israelis and the Holocaust, trans. Haim Watzman (New York: Hill & Wang, 1993), p. 339; Shapira, “The Eichmann Trial: Changing Perspectives,” pp. 35 36. Ylana Miller, “Creating Unity through History: The Eichmann Trial as Transition,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 1, no. 2 (2002): 131 49. Ma’ariv, Davar, Aug. 14, 1961; also Carole Fink, “Turning Away from the Past: West Germany and Israel, 1965 1967,” in Philipp Gassert and Alan Steinweis, eds., Coping with the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955 1975 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), p. 278. Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, Jan. 16, 1962, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z206. Text of Minister of Education and Culture Abba Eban’s statement to the Knesset, Jan. 9, 1962, in Jelinek, Zwischen Moral und Realpolitik, pp. 586 93; “Israeli Explains Curbs on Germany,” New York Times, Jan. 14, 1962, p. 9; also Israel Digest 5, no. 2 (Jan. 19, 1962); Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 376 78. No new restrictions were placed, however, on

12

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

But almost immediately after the Eichmann trial Ben-Gurion’s two projects also materialized. The first was Aktion “Geschäftsfreund” [Project Business-Partner], the secret non-written arrangement according to which Germany between 1961 and 1965 (and with minimal oversight by the lender and at interest rates under 4 percent) extended approximately DM 630 million in long-term loans to Israel, 70 percent of which went to develop the Negev and the remainder allocated to industrial expansion.50 The second, code-named Aktion “Frank./Kol” [Project Frankreich/ Kolonien, French Colonies], was built upon the earlier arms-purchase agreements made before 1961 and sealed by Peres’s June 1962 visit to Bonn.51 Over the objections of the Auswärtiges Amt and the reservations of its US ally – both of which feared an Arab backlash – the Bonn government began secretly supplying heavy arms to Israel, including speedboats and submarines, helicopters and transport aircraft, anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank missiles, reaching a total of DM 695.1 million by the end of 1964.52

50

51

52

the well developed scientific collaboration between the Max Planck Institute and the Weizmann Institute. The initial figures were DM 82 million in 1961, 97.6 million in 1962, 150 million in 1963, 149.8 million in 1964, and finally 150 million in 1965. Jelinek/Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer,” p. 314. To maintain internal and foreign secrecy, these annual allocations by the Auswärtiges Amt were listed under the budgetary rubric “Förderung von Entwicklungsländer durch Gewährung von bilateral Kapitalhilfe” [Promotion of developing countries by granting bilateral capital assistance], with the mysterious entry “Geschäftsfreund,” which was eventually extended from 10 to 12 years until 1973 and an approximate total of DM 2 billion. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 127 29. In 2015 (the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of German Israeli diplomatic relations), a German nuclear weapons analyst asserted (admittedly without complete evidence) the connection between the funds allocated under Aktion Geschäftsfreund and the development of Israel’s nuclear reactor in the Negev city of Dimona: Hans Rühle, “‘Aktion Geschäftsfreund’: Wie Deutschland das israelische Nuklearwaffenprogramm finanziert hat,” IP Die Zeitschrift, June 5, 2015, https://zeitschrift ip.dgap.org/de/ip die zeitschrift/themen/aktion geschaeftsfreund. In Der Spiegel 15 (Apr. 3, 2015), Shimon Peres firmly denied this allegation without revealing where the funds for Israel’s atomic program had originated, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/israel atombombe deutsche millionen nicht fuer bau verwendet a 1026997.html. On the other hand, two recent Israeli works, Adam Raz, ha Ma’avak ’al ha petsatsah [The struggle for the bomb] (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2015) and Ora Herman, ha Kivshan veha kur: me ahore ha kela’im shel mishpat Aikhman [The furnace and the reactor: Behind the scenes at the Eichmann trial] (Tel Aviv: Kibbutz Hameuchad, 2017) although without documenta tion acknowledge the German financial contribution. I thank Opher Kutner for the last two references. Niels Hansen, Geheimvorhaben “Frank/Kol”: Zur deutsch israelischen Rüstungszusammenar beit 1957 bis 1965 (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 1999); Marcus Mohr, Waffen für Israel: Westdeutsche Rüstungshilfe vor dem Sechstagekrieg (Berlin: Köster, 2003). The artful title, “French Colonies,” substituted France for Germany. Details: Israel Projekt‚ Frankreich Kol, 1963 66 BAF BW1/481761; also BW1/2470; BW1/374234; Pauls Aufzeichnung, Oct. 21, 1964, AAPD 1964 3:1164 67. According to Peres, Strauss’s Nov. 1962 resignation over the Spiegel affair resulted in significant

Strained Relations 1963 64

13

Strained Relations 1963–1964 Between March and October 1963, Ben-Gurion and Adenauer both left office with a major question – the establishment of formal diplomatic relations – still unresolved.53 Adenauer, who had ostensibly hoped to accomplish this in his last year, was not only blocked by his cabinet and an Auswärtiges Amt determined to prevent Arab retaliation by recognizing the increasingly active GDR; Bonn also received no encouragement from Washington to disrupt the volatile political conditions in the Middle East.54 Although Levi Eshkol and Ludwig Erhard were noticeably less committed than their predecessors to expanding Israeli–West German ties,55 both countries were nonetheless jarred on December 3: When pressed by a journalist, the new chancellor – citing the Hallstein doctrine – at his first press conference ruled out a formal recognition of Israel.56 Before long, the unofficial ties between the two countries deteriorated. There were three potent disputes, each pitting Bonn’s ostensible moral obligation toward Israel against its national interests. After Eshkol entered office, a long-simmering quarrel erupted over the presence of some one hundred German rocket experts in Egypt, posing a powerful psychological threat to the Israeli population of annihilation by an old and a new enemy.57 Israel had retaliated by launching “Operation

53

54

55

56

57

limitations on Israeli purchases. Peres, David’s Sling, pp. 75 78; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 627 28. In Feb. 1962, the FRG, facing the closure of Israel’s Cologne Mission when the Restitution Agreement would expire on Mar. 31, 1965, proposed maintaining this diplomatic conduit and also sending a trade mission to Israel, which the Ben Gurion government had refused. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, p. 440. Rainer A. Blasius, “Geschäftsfreundschaft statt diplomatische Beziehungen. Zur Israelpolitik, 1962/63,” in Von Adenauer zu Erhard: Studien zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1994), pp. 184 86; Shinar, Bericht eines Beaftragten, pp. 125 26; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 590 92; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 437 39. Earlier, Eshkol and Erhard, as finance and economic ministers, had two chilly encounters in 1960 and 1962; but because of AA objections they never met as government heads. Jelinek, Zwischen Moral und Realpolitik, pp. 528 30; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 611, 684. New York Times, Dec. 4, 1963, p. 2. Text of the exchange between Erhard and Yediot Ahronot correspondent Alfred Wolfmann in Dunnigan to State Dept., Jan. 9, 1964, NARA USDS RG 59 Pol 17 GerW/Isr, which also reported that Erhard’s unscripted response his admission of Bonn’s concern over Arab recognition of the GDR and expectation of Israel’s “understanding” of this issue was more candid than the AA and his CDU colleagues would have preferred. “Raketen für Nasser,” Der Spiegel 19 (May 8, 1963), pp. 56 71; also Schirmer Aufzeichnung, Jan. 30, 1963, AAPD 1963 1:230 31; CIA Office of Scientific Intelligence, The United Arab Republic Missile Program, Feb. 26, 1963, p. 8 [heavily redacted], https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC 0001173825.pdf; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 637 53; Jelinek, Israel und Deutschland, pp. 423 29.

14

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

Damocles,” a terror wave against the German scientists that risked Bonn’s disapprobation.58 Adenauer had been reluctant to remove the scientists, fearing legal complications and Arab retaliation.59 Erhard, under increased Israeli pressure, only half-heartedly explored legislation and was hesitant to antagonize Nasser – a major figure in the Arab and the non-aligned world – by forcing the scientists to withdraw.60 Following the logic of the Hallstein doctrine, the chancellor refused to cede the FRG’s presence in the Arab world to its Communist rival. Indeed Paris, London, and Washington all agreed that West German scientists (even those with an NSDAP past) were preferable to East German or Soviet rocket specialists.61 A second long-standing issue, Israel’s unfavorable relationship with the Common Market, was only partially settled in 1964. Under Erhard the FRG, which for several years had rebuffed Israeli pressure to endorse its campaign for an associate membership, simply agreed to support an anodyne nonpreferential trade agreement with Brussels.62 Finally, Israeli-German relations were greatly agitated by the looming 1965 deadline under which the FRG’s 20-year Statute of Limitations for prosecuting Nazi murderers would expire. Despite the intense media coverage of the two-year-long Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, the German public, large numbers of federal officials, and the majority of Erhard’s cabinet all opposed extending the statute based

58

59

60

61

62

Among Nasser’s foreign recruits (which also included Austrian and GDR scientists) was the fifty one year old Dr. Wolfgang Pilz who had worked with Werner von Braun to develop the V 2 rocket during World War II. However, contrary to Israeli suspicions, the Germans had not helped produce the chemical weapons Nasser had used against royalist troops in Yemen. “Israel: Agentenkrieg,” Der Spiegel 13 (Mar. 27, 1973), pp. 68 70; details in Ian Black and Benny Morris, Israel’s Secret Wars (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), pp. 192 201; Ronan Bergman, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, trans. Ronnie Hope (New York: Random House, 2018), pp. 61 85. Ressortbesprechung im Bundeskanzleramt, Mar. 26, 1963, AAPD 1963 1:431 37; Böker Aufzeichnung, Apr. 10, ibid., 483 86; Jahn to Globke, Apr. 30, 1963, ibid., pp. 507 11. Jansen Aufzeichnung, June 14, 1964, AAPD 1964 1:669 71. It was also widely noted that the FRG’s inactivity restrained Egyptian protests against its “substantial” arms deliveries to Israel. New York Times, June 5, 1964, p. 3. Rainer Blasius “‘Völkerfreundschaft am Nil’: Ägypten und die DDR im Februar 1965. Stenographische Aufzeichnungen aus dem Ministerium für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten über den Ulbricht Besuch bei Nasser,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 46, no. 4 (1998): 750 51; also Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 138 42. On US and British involvement in this issue: Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 420 21. Gadi Heimann, “The Need to Be Part of Europe: Israel’s Struggle for an Association Agreement with the EEC, 1957 1961” Israel Studies 20, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 86 109; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 441 47; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 683 90.

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on legal, practical, and national considerations.63 However, foreign critics – spurred by Israel and the United States, as well as by the FRG’s Communist neighbors – urged Bonn not to halt the investigations; and within Germany the SPD opposition as well as several CDU parliamentarians pressured the Erhard government to expand the pursuit of Nazi war criminals.64 The Crisis Aktion Frank./Kol inevitably risked exposure. Although implemented through extraordinarily clandestine methods, including the transit of arms through third parties, the FRG’s massive shipments to Israel between 1962 and 1964 were scarcely a secret, except to the German public.65 As leaks began to accumulate, the Auswärtiges Amt continued to deny a program over which it had no control.66 Moreover, the program was significantly expanded in June 1964: Reversing earlier US opposition to sending arms to the Middle East, President Lyndon Johnson decided to balance his arms offer to Jordan by compelling a reluctant Erhard to deliver 150 US M-48 tanks to Israel via Italy.67 Nonetheless, that month at the Geneva Disarmament Conference, AA state secretary Karl

63

64 65

66

67

Devin O. Pendas, “‘I Didn’t Know What Auschwitz Was’: The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial and the German Press, 1963 1965,” Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 12, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 397 446; Marc von Miquel, “‘Wir müssen mit den Mördern zusam menleben!’ NS Prozesse und politischen Öffentlichkeit in den sechziger Jahren,” Jahrbuch zur Geschichte und Wirkung des Holocaust (2001): 97 116. The estimates of unindicted murderers ranged to as many as 10,000 individuals: Dietrich Strothmann, “Bleiben die Mörder unter uns? Das Ende der Verjährungsfrist ein Streit ohne Ende,” Die Zeit 48 (Nov. 27, 1964), http://www.zeit.de/1964/48/bleiben die moerder unter uns. Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 664 73, Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 144 47; Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 80 84. Details in Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 85 87. Initially only six (in 1962) and then eight (in 1964) Bundestag members representing the three major parties were apprised of the details. Shirmer Aufzeichnung, Feb. 24, 1964, AAPD 1964 1:269 72. As early as Feb. 1962, the Egyptian press had noted the arms shipments. Also, Strauss’s May 28 June 7, 1963, visit to Israel had created an outpouring of positive and negative responses (Jerusalem Post, May 31, 1963; Ha’aretz, June 2, 1963). Weber to AA, Cairo, June 20, 1963 (AAPD 1963 1:643 44) reported Egyptian criticism, and at its Sept. 9 19 meeting the Arab League had threatened to retaliate against Bonn’s financial and military help to Israel (Majonica Aufzeichnung, Sept. 16, 1963, AAPD 1963, 2:1124, n. 14). Memo, McGeorge Bundy to the President, June 12, 1964, LBJ Country File, NSF, Box 191; Johnson Erhard Conversation, June 12, 1964, FRUS 1964 1968, vol. 15, Germany and Berlin, doc. 49, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964 68v15; also Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 414 15, Hansen, Auf dem Schatten, pp. 633 37; Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 88 94.

16

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

Carstens categorically denied Egyptian charges that the FRG was supplying arms to Israel.68 The “time bomb” exploded in October 1964 when the Egyptian press suddenly accused the FRG of collaborating in Israel’s secret nuclear program.69 These charges, supplemented by reports of the covert arms sales and reprinted in the Frankfurter Rundschau, Die Welt, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung between October 26 and October 28 and in the New York Times on October 31, stunned the German public. Despite its vehement denials, the Erhard government fell under attack from all sides: from pro-Arab, pro-Israeli, and middle-of-the-road journalists and from citizens shocked by this demonstration of illegal (supplying weapons to areas of conflict) and incompetent international behavior.70 Israel, also facing a domestic uproar, immediately denied either a nuclear or a military collaboration with Germany.71 Symptomatic of the chilly state of affairs between the two countries, each side blamed the other for the crisis. AA officials believed that Israel had deliberately leaked the details to Cairo in order to pressure Bonn to grant diplomatic recognition, which Israel firmly denied;72 Israel, which suspected its AA opponents of releasing information to Egypt, reminded Erhard that it was the German press that had published the story.73 Moreover, Nasser’s outrage was disingenuous. Not only had he long 68

69

70

71

72

73

Carstens Runderlass, June 19, 1964, AAPD 1964 1:694, n. 2. Also, the Bonn govern ment was doing its utmost not to antagonize the Arabs for example, declining to support a major Israeli desalination project and vetoing a meeting between Erhard and Eshkol. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 447 48. Schwarz, Adenauer: Der Staatsmann, 1952 1967, p. 544. The specific charges in the Egyptian reports included collaboration between nuclear scientists of the Max Planck Institute and the Weizmann Institute. Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 692 95; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 450 51. On the developing public consensus over ending the weapons trade and establishing normal relations with Israel, “Israel/Beziehungen,” Der Spiegel 45 (Nov. 4, 1964), p. 32; Schröder to Erhard, Nov. 4, 1964, AAPD 1964 2:1246 48. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, p. 448. Nonetheless, in a Nov. 22 article in Ma’ariv Ben Gurion confirmed that Germany’s contributions to Israel’s military security “exceeded all other countries.” Hase Aufzeichnung, Nov. 2, 1964, AAPD 1964 2:1216; cf. Jörg Seelbach, Die Aufnahme der diplomatischen Beziehungen zu Israel als Problem der deutschen Politik seit 1955 (Meisenheim am Glan: Hain,1970), p. 109. In his somewhat unreliable memoir, The Cairo Documents: The Inside Story of Nasser and His Relationship with World Leaders, Rebels, and Statesmen, trans. Edward Sheehan (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1973), p. 327, the influential journalist and Nasser confidant Mohamed Hassanein Heikal blamed Israel for attempting to “turn [Nasser] against West Germany.” Gespräch Erhard Shinnar, Nov. 4, 1964, AAPD 1964 2:1236; Peter Hünseler, Die aussenpolitischen Beziehungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zu den arabischen Staaten, von 1949 1980 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1990), p. 147, n. 330, is skeptical that AA officials passed on secret information to Cairo.

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known of the German arms deliveries to Israel;74 he was also receiving ten times more weapons from the Soviet Union.75 Why Nasser seized this particular moment to publish these revelations – shortly after he had hosted the Arab League and Non-Aligned Summit meetings in Cairo and also just after his patron Nikita Khrushchev had been deposed in Moscow – will remain mysterious until scholars gain access to the relevant archives. The Egyptian leader may have been under pressure by the radical Arab regimes in Iraq and Syria to end his forbearance toward the FRG.76 He may have been urged by the GDR, which had sent large delegations to the Cairo meetings, to embarrass its neighbor.77 He may also have been attempting to impress the new Soviet leadership (on whom he would be heavily dependent for continued military, industrial, and financial aid because of his ruinous Yemen intervention and balance-of-payments crisis) in order to secure the $250 million loan promised by Khrushchev a month earlier.78 Or, with the imminent expiration of the 1952 German–Israeli Restitution Agreement and the prospect of new and expanded German aid arrangements with Israel,79 Nasser’s may simply have been a bold gesture to extract more substantial economic aid and political concessions from Bonn. Whatever Nasser’s motives, over the next five months the German chancellor was thrust into a diplomatic minefield created by his predecessor and continued under his watch. Erhard, a diplomatic novice threatened by powerful CDU rivals, strove initially to preserve the Hallstein doctrine while still fulfilling Bonn’s commitments to Israel and to the United States.80 On the other side, Eshkol, whose predecessor had failed to obtain a written pledge on the weapons deliveries, who was also a diplomatic novice, and who lacked direct access to the German chancellor, faced two urgent issues with Bonn: the looming May 8, 1965, deadline for extending the FRG’s Statute of Limitations and the dispute 74

75 76 77 78

79 80

Schirmer Aufzeichnung, Feb. 24, 1964, AAPD 1964 1:269 72, had expressed astonish ment over the Arabs’ silence despite numerous leaks for example, Peres’s statement in the International Herald Tribune, May 25/26, 1963, p. 1, stating FRG’s “major contribu tion to Israel’s security needs,” but assumed that it was related to the presence of the German rocket scientists in Egypt. “The Cairo Arsenal,” New York Times, Sept. 26, 1964, p. 2. Massimiliano Trentin, “‘Tough Negotiations’: The Two Germanys in Syria and Iraq, 1963 1974,” Cold War History 8, no. 3 (Aug. 2008): 358. Klaus Storkmann, Geheime Solidarität: Militärbeziehungen und Militärhilfen der DDR in die “Dritte Welt” (Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 2010). Walter Laqueur, The Struggle for the Middle East: The Soviet Union and the Middle East, 1958 1968 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972), pp. 90 91. Egypt’s balance of payments problem had been exacerbated by the US suspension of its wheat exports. Federer to Carstens, Cairo, Oct. 23, 1964, AAPD 1964 2:1182 84. Horst Osterheld, Aussenpolitik unter Bundeskanzler Ludwig Erhard, 1961 1966: Ein doku mentarischer Bericht aus dem Kanzleramt (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1992), pp. 149 51.

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Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

over removing the German rocket scientists in Egypt.81 Significantly, Johnson’s landslide victory in the November 3 US elections had stirred momentary hopes – and fears – over a US rapprochement with the new Soviet leadership;82 but for the moment, it also meant that Washington would remain an active player in the German-Arab-Israeli clash. Hoping to stave off Arab retaliation, Erhard in late November dispatched the esteemed CDU figure, Bundestag president Eugen Gerstenmaier, on a pacifying mission to Cairo.83 Gerstenmaier, who delivered an invitation to Nasser to visit the FRG and offered to cancel all arms deliveries, also signaled the Bonn government’s intention to formalize its relations with Israel, which Cairo strongly rejected.84 Erhard was now caught between Egypt’s demand for an unconditional weapons halt and US pressure to fulfill Bonn’s obligation to Israel, between the growing domestic and international clamor to establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel and the AA’s opposition, and between officials who were devising palliative aid schemes to appease the Arabs and those who opposed purchasing Arab goodwill.85 While the German chancellor vacillated for almost two months, Moscow acted. In late December, Soviet deputy prime minister Alexander Shelepin paid a ten-day visit to Cairo offering substantial military and financial aid to Nasser’s cash-strapped government.86 Then, on January 24, 1965, Bonn was shocked by Nasser’s invitation to the reviled SED chief Walter Ulbricht to visit Egypt: the first ever extended by a non-Communist state to the GDR’s leader.87 Viewing 81 82

83 84

85 86 87

Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 450 51; Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, p. 136; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 662 64. “‘Goldwater ist tot’ . . . noch aber lebt der Goldwaterismus,” Die Zeit, Nov. 6, 1964, http://www.zeit.de/1964/45/goldwater ist tot/komplettansicht. To be sure, as the Middle East crisis unfolded, the United States in Feb. and Mar. 1965 also launched a major bombing campaign against North Vietnam and in Mar. dispatched the first US combat troops to South Vietnam. New York Times, Nov. 20, 1964, p. 13. On the ill fated mission, see: Gerstenmaier, Streit und Friede hat seiner Zeit, pp. 499 503. Federer to Carstens, Cairo, Nov. 23, 1964, AAPD 1964 2:1374 79; Jansen Aufzeichnung, Dec. 11, 1964 (Gerstenmaier Dec. Report of his Cairo visit to intergroup Bundestag Committee), ibid., pp. 1515 17. Hansen, Auf dem Schatten, pp. 696 702. Blasius, “Völkerfreundschaft am Nil,” p. 762. Despite Egypt’s denials (Werner to Carstens, Cairo, Apr. 28, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:767, Heikal, Cairo Documents, pp. 328 29), the Erhard government was convinced that the Ulbricht invitation was a plot by the USSR to promote its DDR ally: Scheel interview, Der Spiegel 7 (Feb. 10, 1965), p. 22; Krapf Aufzeichnung, Jan. 27, 1965, AAPD 1965 1: 201 3, Erhard conversation with British, French, US ambassadors, Mar. 5, 1965, ibid., p. 458; but the initiative came from the GDR in Sept. 1964: Blasius, “Vökerfreundschaft am Nil,” p. 757.

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the impending visit as prelude to the establishment of an East German embassy in Cairo, Erhard tried vainly – directly and indirectly – to reverse the invitation.88 In the meantime, with the West German public in an uproar,89 his allies deaf to his plight,90 and Bonn’s enemies mocking his dilemma,91 Erhard took action. On February 12 he announced the end of all arms deliveries and the dispatch of an emissary to Israel to negotiate the financial terms of compensation.92 Although this met with almost unanimous support in the West German press, Israel responded with outrage and attempted to mobilize world public opinion against Bonn’s capitulation to Egyptian blackmail.93 Erhard’s fraught gesture neither satisfied his critics nor convinced Nasser to withdraw the invitation to Ulbricht. And the chancellor, despite a blustering speech before the Bundestag on February 17 threatening to punish Egypt with economic sanctions, hesitated to take stronger steps. After recalling its ambassador from Cairo, the Bonn government glumly witnessed the details of Ulbricht’s red-carpet welcome in Alexandria on February 24 followed by a week of ceremonial occasions ending

88 89

90

91 92 93

Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 710 12, 715 19. The SPD announced a “Diplomatic Stalingrad,” Aumale to MAE Bonn, Feb. 13, 1965, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z206. The Abendpost, Feb. 16, wrote that Bonn’s diplo macy had sunk to “absolute zero”; the Handelsblatt, Feb. 16, declared, “We have as good as lost the Middle Eastern game on both sides”; the independent Stuttgarter Zeitung, Feb. 16, announced that “German dignity and German reputation have sunk in the waters of the Nile”; Die Zeit, Feb. 19, lamented being “caught between the pipers of Cairo and Jerusalem,” and Der Spiegel complained on Feb. 10 and 24 “the world laughs at Bonn.” Only the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mar. 8, sided with the government but criticized its errors and vacillation. The London Observer, Feb. 14, 1965, chided Bonn for its blundering and for raising tensions in the Middle East. Aumale to MAE, Bonn, Feb. 13, 1965, Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, Feb. 10, 21, Mar. 8, 10, 12, 1965, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z206 describe Bonn’s bitter plight as do British envoys in Bonn, Paris, Cairo, Washington, Tel Aviv, and Moscow, Jan. Feb. 1965, GB NA FO 371/183009. On Mar. 20, 1965, W. W. Rostow described a “lonely, unfairly treated” Germany, resentful that “everything we try to do fails, because others exploit our war guilt.” Memorandum in LBJ NSF [National Security Files] Country File, Germany, Box 189. Yuri Primakov, “Bonn’s Big Bluff,” Pravda, Feb. 18, 1965. Also, Alexander to FO, Moscow, Apr. 1, 1965, GB NA FO 371/183016. Roberts to FO, Bonn, Feb. 13, 1965, GB NA FO 371/183009; Osterheld, Aussenpolitik unter Bundeskanzler Ludwig Erhard, p. 156. “Israel Denounces Move by Germans to Halt Arms Deliveries,” New York Times, Feb. 16, 1965, p. 1; Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 142 43. In the US, “Operation Germany,” directed by Mordechai Gazit, a minister in the Israeli embassy in Washington, spurred anti German demonstrations and calls for an anti German boycott. Shlomo Shafir, “The American Jewish Community’s Attitude to Germany: The Impact of Israel,” Journal of Israeli History 18, nos. 2 3 (1997): 246.

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Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

on March 2 that did not, however, produce the expected announcement of full-fledged diplomatic relations.94 Nonetheless, Erhard, facing an election in September, was determined to punish what he considered Egypt’s de facto recognition of his eastern neighbor. His government and party, however, were sorely divided over how. Several major CDU figures, including former chancellor Adenauer, called for invoking the Hallstein doctrine and breaking diplomatic relations with Cairo; but Foreign Minister Gerhard Schröder feared a chain reaction in which Nasser and his allies would retaliate by establishing diplomatic relations with the GDR. After Bonn’s three principal allies – especially the United States – insisted that in the current tense Cold War climate bad relations with Cairo were better than none at all, Erhard allowed himself to be dissuaded from going it alone.95 There was also a strong division within the cabinet and Erhard’s party over seizing the moment to offer diplomatic relations to Israel, a move that would stem the backlash over the arms halt.96 Not unexpectedly, Adenauer and Strauss were strongly in favor as were two influential CDU parliamentarians newly returned from the United States, Kurt Birrenbach and Rainer Barzel; and, not surprisingly, Schröder and the AA were firmly opposed.97 After several tense cabinet meetings, on Sunday, March 7, Erhard had made his decisions. He would not rupture Bonn’s ties with Egypt but only cancel the impending development loans; and he would offer full diplomatic relations to Israel.98 Constrained from punishing 94

95

96 97

98

Blasius, “Völkerfreundschaft am Nil,” pp. 767 71; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 743 45; Wolfgang and Angelika Bator, eds., Die DDR und die arabischen Staaten (Berlin: Staatsverlag der Deutschen Demokratischer Republik, 1984), pp. 98, 99 100. Nonetheless, after Ulbricht’s visit the GDR intensified its political, economic, cultural, and sport ties with Cairo, which it considered its foremost potential partner in the Arab and non aligned world. Storkmann, Geheime Solidarität, pp. 183 84. Erhard conversation with British, French, US ambassadors, Mar. 5, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:457 61; Roberts to FO, Bonn, Mar. 5, 1965, GB NA FO 371/183010; also Osterheld, Aussenpolitik unter Bundeskanzler Ludwig Erhard, pp. 160 68; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, p. 748, Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, pp. 156 57. “Nahost Krise,” Der Spiegel 12 (Mar. 17, 1965), pp. 27 29. Aufzeichnungen, Feb. 22, 23 (2), Mar. 3, 5, Nachlass Birrenbach ACDP 286/1; Stratling Memorandum, Washington, Mar. 10, 1965, NA USDS RG 59 DEF 19 3 GerW/Isr; Kurt Birrenbach, Meine Sondermission: Rückblick auf zwei Jahrzehnte bundesdeutscher Aussenpolitik (Düsseldorf: Econ, 1984), pp. 96 101, Rainer Barzel, Auf dem Drahtseil (Munich: Droemer Knaur, 1978), pp. 28 49; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 151 54. Roberts to FO, Bonn, Mar. 8, 1965, Crawford Memorandum, London, Mar. 8, 1965, GB NA FO 371/183010; Erhard announced the cancellation of Bonn’s participation in Egypt’s 5 year plan and a review of other financial commitments to Egypt. New York Times, Mar. 8, 1965; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 749 55; Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 458 59.

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Nasser more forcefully, the harried chancellor sought to restore his government’s plummeting stature by drawing upon the growing public sentiment favoring normal ties with Israel.99 Significantly, there was little pressure on Bonn, neither from Washington (now increasingly absorbed in Vietnam) nor from its key European allies, regarding this decision.100 The Arabs responded at once. There were anti-German demonstrations in major Arab cities, and Egypt summoned an Arab League conference in Cairo. On March 12, 1965, ten governments (Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, and Yemen) announced their intention to withdraw their ambassadors from Bonn, although three (Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) refused to do so. But Bonn was also relieved when Egypt’s attempt to lead the Arabs into a collective recognition of the GDR was blocked by Saudi-led conservatives, leaving open the possibility of regaining the FRG’s place in the Arab world.101 Although Eshkol on March 16 secured a favorable vote in the Knesset on establishing diplomatic ties with Germany, the Israeli public was unenthusiastic. The mainstream press reminded their readers of Bonn’s recent betrayal and displayed only guarded eagerness over ending an anomalous situation. The Herut opposition disparaged the chancellor’s offer as a ploy to “settle accounts . . . with the Egyptian dictator”; but the prime minister’s supporters retorted: “From every practical and contemporary point of view, official relations with Germany are necessary for the strengthening of the state.”102 The secret two-month-long discussions in Israel leading to the establishment of diplomatic relations were difficult and often acrimonious.103 Following its awkward diplomatic predicament earlier in the year the 99

100 101

102

103

E.g., Frankfurter Rundschau, Mar. 9, 1965; Süddeutsche Zeitung, Mar. 9, 10. Die Welt, ardently pro Israel, on Mar. 7 scored the “abrupt sacrifice” of the undertaking to Israel “on the altar of German Arab relations,” and on Mar. 16 welcomed the “politically long overdue . . . readjustment of our relationship with Israel.” On the other hand, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mar. 11, 12, 1965, warned Israel against posing too many “conditions”; Die Zeit, Mar. 19, 1965, regretted the international consequences. Press review in Lavy, Germany and Israel, pp. 121 22. Seydoux to MAE, Mar. 8, 1965, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z206; also Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, p. 157; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, p. 748. Carstens Vermerk, Apr. 5, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:651 52; Taylor to FO, Bonn, Apr. 6, 1965, GB NA FO 371/183006; Palmer to Rusk, Tel Aviv, Apr. 13, 1965, NSF Komer Files, Box 29, LBJ. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 463 64; Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 761 68. Palmer to State Dept., Tel Aviv, Apr. 13, 1965, NARA USDS RG 59 POL 17 GERW. ISR; Press summary in Lavy, Germany and Israel, pp. 117 18; also Hindenburg, Demonstrating Reconciliation, p. 161. Details in Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 768 93.

22

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

Federal Republic was under considerable pressure to produce a positive result, but it was also cautious over making concessions that might drive the Arabs to recognize the GDR. It found a skilled and patient negotiator in Kurt Birrenbach.104 Israel’s negotiating team – although weakened by Bonn’s arms cutoff; the impending termination of restitution payments in 1966; and their country’s lesser size, economic power, and level of security – was headed by Eshkol, Deputy Prime Minister Abba Eban, Foreign Minister Golda Meir, and Deputy Defense Minister Peres and was a resolute but also realistic group.105 The Israelis were also backed by the US commitment to supply – at German expense – 110 of the withheld tanks.106 On May 13, 1965 – twenty years after the end of World War II – the West German–Israeli negotiations were finally concluded with the issuance of a terse one-sentence announcement of the establishment of diplomatic relations.107 (That day, seven Arab governments broke their ties with Bonn and three more would follow.) One day earlier, in a solemn ceremony in the Auswärtiges Amt, there had been an official exchange of letters between Erhard and Eshkol that underlined the remaining tension between both sides.108 Erhard, reversing his earlier position, had agreed to assume the cost for the undelivered tanks (estimated between DM 100 and 150 million).109 He also confirmed the recent extension of the Statute of Limitations until 1969.110 He promised to do his utmost to 104

105

106

107 108

109 110

Who in Mar. and Apr. 1965 conducted three rounds of tense negotiations in Israel. Birrenbach, Meine Sondermissionen, pp. 101 17. Opening meetings in Birrenbach to Schröder, Mar. 18, 19, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:529 40. By then, Meir had reversed her well known opposition to establishing diplomatic rela tions with Bonn. Carstens Aufzeichnung, Feb. 10, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:289; also Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, pp. 432 33. The replacement arrangement had been negotiated during Birrenbach’s trip to Washington: Text of Mar. 10 Memorandum of Understanding; US State Dept. to embassies in Tel Aviv, Bonn, Cairo, Mar. 12, 1965; McGhee to State Dept. Bonn, Mar. 12, 25, 1965 in LBJ NSF Komer Files, Box 33. Schröder Aufzeichnung, Mar. 11, 1965, AAPD 1:501 7, on the numerous military equipment details still to be settled. New York Times, May 14, 1965, p. 1. Texts of the two letters in New York Times, May 14, 1965, p. 3; one day earlier, the letters had been exchanged in a solemn ceremony in the AA. Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 793 94. On the diplomatic and financial complications over replacing the tanks and the other weapons: Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 775 79. The Mar. 25, 1965, Bundestag vote, a face saving compromise crafted by a deeply divided parliament that took effect on Apr. 22, simply delayed a decision until 1969. Frank Buscher, “‘I Know I Also Share the Guilt: A Retrospective of the West German Parliament’s 1965 Debate on the Statute of Limitations for Murder,” Yad Vashem Studies 34 (2006): 249 92. Details on the massive US campaign to extend the statute, including public demonstrations, press appeals, protests to the Federal Republic from the presidents of major Jewish organizations, and a message signed by seven thousand Americans of all faiths to the Bundestag: ADL “Germany,” Roll 65; the “shock and indignation” of

The Crisis

23

remove the remaining German scientists from Egypt,111 and pledged to enter into discussions on new forms of economic aid to Israel, ending with an expression of hope “for a happier future between our two nations.” Eshkol, on the other hand, used the occasion to remind his new diplomatic partner of their “somber historical background and a stormy political one” as well. March 1965 marked the beginning of the end of the shadow period between West Germany and Israel during which, as a substitute for formal diplomatic ties, the two countries had become locked in a web of clandestine engagements. Inevitably, as the two countries’ interests diverged, their secret ties became vulnerable to exposure by outside parties. There were other serious consequences of the absence of formal relations. The missing public dimension intensified the inherently shallow nature of West German–Israeli ties, which were implemented largely by elites.112 Although strong bonds were established between the two countries’ militaries, their ignored diplomats and financial officials were less involved in, and less favorable to, German–Israeli ties. Moreover, this top-down relationship never received widespread acceptance in the press of the two countries, which had few correspondents on site and continued to present superficial views of each other. Not surprisingly, the two publics, with little contact with a population almost two thousand miles away, also tended to draw on stereotypes, especially the older generation: Germans in their fifties who wished to forget World War II and grumbled over the “blood payments” to Israel, and their Israeli counterparts who saw no difference between Nazis and Erhard’s Germany. It was also an asymmetric bond that had been intensified by the crisis of 1964–1965. Recoiling from an attack on the pillar of its foreign policy – the insistence on the priority of a single Germany – the Bonn government had virtually dictated the terms of its new relationship with Israel. And once the Federal Republic began to recognize the necessity of revising its

111

112

American Jewish leaders over the 4½ year extension expressed in the New York City meeting between Willy Brandt and AJC representatives, Apr. 19, 1965, AJCA “Germany.” The exodus, caused by Israeli threats, a backlash over the Ulbricht visit, and Egypt’s dire financial straits, had already begun (Meyer Lindenburg Aufzeichnung, Jan. 11, 1965, AAPD 1965 1:46, n. 16), although the last ones departed only after the June 1967 war (Hansen, Aus dem Schatten, pp. 662 64). To be sure, the Franco German bond, cultivated by Charles de Gaulle and Adenauer, was similarly shallow and fraught, as witnessed by the widespread public opposition to the 1963 bilateral treaty and, especially, the ongoing debate in government circles between Bonn’s “Atlanticists” and “Gaullists.” Klaus Hildebrand, “‘Atlantiker’ versus ‘Gaullisten’: Zur Aussenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland während der sechziger Jahre,” Revue d’Allemagne 22, no. 4 (Oct. 1990): 583 92.

24

Prologue: Distant States

West Germany and Israel, 1952 1965

Cold War shibboleths – including the Hallstein doctrine – in order to pursue a more assertive foreign policy, German interests would begin to take even greater precedence over Israel’s moral, political, and historical claims.113 To be sure, the tragic German-Jewish past, as vividly represented in the Eichmann and Frankfurt-Auschwitz trials and in the heated debates over extending the Statute of Limitations, had not disappeared. In the mid1960s, major German writers of the over-forty generation continued to remind their readers and colleagues of the moral and political perils of simply moving on.114 Nonetheless, for Israel dealing openly and directly with the West German state posed an unfamiliar challenge to the government and public. A growing number of Israeli officials acknowledged the diminishing place of Holocaust consciousness among the new leadership in Bonn115 and recognized the necessity – and difficulties – of formulating a new basis of bilateral relations.

113 114

115

Walter Lippmann, “West Germany Reviews Policy toward the East Based on Unreality,” Los Angeles Times, Mar. 28, 1965, p. J 7. See, esp., Axel Schildt, “Im Visier: Die NS Vergangenheit westdeutscher Intellektueller,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 64, no. 1 (Jan. 2016): 37 68. In his bestseller, Wohin treibt die Bundesrepublik? (Munich: Piper, 1966), which sold sixty thousand copies, the philosopher Karl Jaspers denied that the postwar era was over and warned that the FRG was moving toward another authoritarian dictatorship. Jelinek, Deutschland und Israel, p. 467.

2

The Shock of Recognition: 1965–1966

According to the logical conception of truth, only one of two contraries can be true, but in the reality of life as one lives it they are inseparable.1

It was an arduous experience for the ninety-year-old former West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer who, on May 2, 1966, embarked upon his first trip to Israel. Although officially private, the eight-day visit was laden with political and historical content. Shrugging off demonstrations from left- and right-wing Israeli protestors, bomb threats, and even a blow to his face, the elderly statesman sought to assuage his hosts’ sensitivities and to seal his work for German-Israeli reconciliation. Terming his arrival in Israel “one of the most solemn and beautiful moments of my life,” Adenauer visited the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, delivered an emotional address to the Weizmann Institute of Science in which he praised Israel for having “made this most arid soil fruitful with faith in the future,” and journeyed to Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev to meet with his eighty-year-old former negotiating partner David BenGurion. But one year after the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, Adenauer’s visit also exposed the underlying tensions between the two nations. At the close of the dinner in the former chancellor’s honor in the prime minister’s residence, Levi Eshkol shocked his guest by announcing that although GermanIsraeli relations had become “routine,” there had been no atonement for Nazi atrocities and that Israel awaited a sign that Germany “is searching to rejoin the community of nations . . .,” whereupon an outraged Adenauer retorted, “If goodwill is not acknowledged, nothing good can come out of that,” and he threatened to end his visit.2 1 2

Martin Buber, d. June 13, 1965, quoted in New York Times obituary June 14, 1965. New York Times, May 8, 1966; Der Spiegel (May 9, 1966); Aspin to Goodison, Tel Aviv, May 19, 1966, GB NA FO 371/186810; Barbour to State Dept., Tel Aviv, May 27, 1966, NARA USDS RG 59 Pol GerW/Isr. Details in Jenny Hestermann, Inszenierte Versöhnung: Reisediplomatie und die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen von 1957 bis 1984 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2016), pp. 119 41.

25

26

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

Fig 2.1: Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Konrad Adenauer visiting the home of the First Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, in 1966. Standing beside Ben Gurion is his wife, Paula. Credit: Government Press Office of Israel, B808 058/Fritz Cohen photographer

The Cold War Context For thirteen years, the German–Israeli relationship had been framed not only by the past but also by the Cold War. Both countries belonged to the Western camp, and the United States remained their principal benefactor as well as their advisor, intermediary, and arbiter in almost every aspect of their relationship. The Soviet Union remained each country’s major critic and adversary: the overlord of seventeen million East Germans and some three million Soviet Jews. But in 1965 the global scene had become more turbulent. Despite calls for détente, the new leadership in the United States and the Soviet Union had stepped up their competition. By the end of 1966 the United States had dispatched almost four hundred thousand soldiers to the Far East and become consumed by a costly, divisive effort to save South Vietnam from a Communist takeover.

West Germany and Israel: A Season of Discontent

27

The Soviet Union had countered by supplying large amounts of arms, materiel, and military personnel to North Vietnam.3 By the end of 1966, a Great Power confrontation was also brewing in the Middle East. With the United States supporting Israel and the conservative governments in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, and the Soviet Union backing the radical regimes in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, an uneasy regional balance had been established. However, a new conflict threatened to erupt, as a result of the increase in Syrian-sponsored Palestinian attacks on Israel and Israel’s forceful responses.4 The Johnson administration, invoking the Vietnam analogy, likened Syria to North Vietnam and the Palestinian militants to the Viet Cong and considered Israel a solid Cold War partner. The Soviet leadership, hoping to avoid a crisis with the United States, chastised Israel but also urged Damascus to curb the Palestinians.5 By the end of 1966, the Superpowers were also chafing under the strains of their global combat. Each, with their massive nuclear arsenals and ambitious space programs, faced economic and social problems at home and challenges to their leadership abroad – the United States from its NATO partners (particularly France), the Soviet Union from China and Romania, and both of them from the large Third World presence in the United Nations. Nonetheless, in their struggles outside Europe (where they had established a rough stalemate), their Cold War competition persisted. Still hoping to vanquish the other, they eschewed forms of cooperation that would necessitate risky political and diplomatic concessions. West Germany and Israel: A Season of Discontent Twenty years after its overwhelming defeat in World War II and its massive material and human losses, Germany in 1965 had undergone a remarkable recovery. The Federal Republic had regained its sovereignty, rebuilt its cities, and integrated millions of refugees from the East; it had also created a modern social market economy at home and 3

4

5

Randall B. Woods, LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (New York: Free Press, 2006); Ilya Gaiduk, The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War (Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1996), cf. Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents, 1962 1986 (New York: Random House, 1995). Moshe Gat, “Retaliatory Raids as an Accelerating Factor Leading to the Six Day War,” Historian 70, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 462 85; Yezid Sayigh and Avi Shlaim, eds., The Cold War in the Middle East (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). “Russlands Nähe,” Die Zeit, Oct. 28, 1966; also Guy Laron, “The Cold War and the Middle East: Playing with Fire: The Soviet Syrian Israeli Triangle, 1965 1967,” Cold War History 10, no. 2 (May 2010): 163 84.

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The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

become the world’s third-largest exporter. Advantaged by US defense, aid, trade, and currency policies and firmly integrated into the European Community, the Bonn government had developed into a stable, if conservative, parliamentary democracy.6 Israel too had undergone an extraordinary development. After suffering extremely high casualties and major destruction in the 1948–1949 war, Israel over the next fifteen years had settled some 700,000 Jewish immigrants, and by 1965 its population had almost quadrupled (from 650,000 to 2.5 million). Thanks in large part to West Germany’s reparations, development grants, and payments to individuals, Israel had also created a modern economy along with a robust multi-party democracy.7 But by 1965 the expansive postwar era was ending. Germany’s and Israel’s leaders, Erhard and Eshkol, shared the unenviable position of having succeeded two towering figures who had not only shaped their countries’ founding years but in their retirements had also remained outspoken politicians, not hesitating to heap criticism on their less dynamic successors. Also by the mid-1960s both countries’ political configurations had been transformed. In Germany, the long-standing predominance of the conservative CDU/CSU alignment was now challenged by the SPD, which had shed its Marxist ideology and neutralist stance and was led by the popular West German mayor Willy Brandt. In Israel, the long-dominant Labor bloc Mapai was challenged by the Gahal bloc, a union of non-Socialist parties that had modified many of its ultraconservative goals and was led by the charismatic Herut leader Menachem Begin, who called for Israel’s revitalization through the liberation of the “entire homeland” up to the Jordan River.8 And in both countries, as the larger parties began moving toward the center and shedding their ideological differences, radical left- and right-wing groups became more vocal.9 The first postwar economic crisis in the mid-1960s was a calamity for both countries, which suddenly faced declining growth rates and rising inflation, unemployment, and budget deficits. Both Erhard and Eshkol 6

7 8

9

Rudolf Morsey, Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Entstehung und Entwicklung bis 1969 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1987); cf. Richard Löwenthal and Hans Peter Schwarz, Die zweite Republik: 25 Jahre Bundesrepublik: Eine Bilanz (Stuttgart: Seewald, 1974). Tom Segev, 1949: The First Israelis, trans. Arlen Neal Weinstein (New York: Free Press, 1986); Leslie Stein, The Making of Modern Israel, 1948 1976 (Cambridge: Polity, 2009). Nadav G. Shelef, “From ‘Both Banks of the Jordan’ to ‘the Whole Land of Israel’: Ideological Change in Revisionist Zionism,” Israel Studies 9, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 125 48. Gert Joachim Glaessner, Demokratie und Politik in Deutschland (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1999); Don Peretz, The Government and Politics of Israel (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1979).

West Germany and Israel: A Season of Discontent

29

(who had earlier guided their countries’ economic development) advocated austerity measures, including tax hikes in Germany and wage freezes in Israel, which drew heavy opposition from their coalition partners and from the public. Unemployment rose in West Germany to the startling figure of one million, kindling bad memories of the Depression and the fall of the Weimar Republic. In Israel, even higher unemployment and galloping inflation led to laments over the failure of the Zionist project, especially when accompanied by the country’s first massive wave of emigration, which reportedly exceeded the number of new immigrants.10 As elsewhere in the world, the post-1945 baby boom generation had a significant impact on German and Israeli society and not only because of their rock music, long hair, slang, graffiti, and casual sexual mores. By the mid-1960s, a vocal segment of students in West Germany’s overcrowded, unreformed universities, scarred by their elders’ silence over the Nazi past and outraged over America’s war in Vietnam, openly challenged their parents and teachers as well as the government’s authority.11 The youth revolt in Israel, although more restrained, was equally alarming to the establishment. The government had lavished resources on an educational system and on youth movements promoting collectivist Zionist goals, and, in an attempt to curtail “harmful foreign influences,” had resorted to censorship and controls over the media and culture (for example, by the 1965 ban on a Beatles concert);12 but by the mid-1960s politicians, journalists, and intellectuals all voiced concern over the

10

11

12

Gerd Hardach, “Krise und Reform der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft. Grundzüge der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung in der Bundesrepublik der 50er und 60er Jahre,” in Axel Schildt, Detlef Siegfried, and Karl Christian Lammers, eds., Dynamische Zeiten: Die 60er Jahre in den beiden deutschen Gesellschaften (Hamburg: Hans Christians Verlag, 2000), pp. 212 17; Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East, trans. Jessica Cohen (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2007), pp. 36 42. Erhard’s financial and political troubles were compounded by his failure to obtain a reduction in Bonn’s offset payments to the United States, and Eshkol’s by the end of German reparation payments in 1965, the completion of several major development projects, and widespread rumors of government waste and corruption. Jürgen Habermas, Toward a Rational Society: Student Protest, Science, and Politics, trans. Jeremy J. Shapiro (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971). Paradoxically, West German students admired and emulated the US antiwar movement: Martin Klimke, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010); also Belinda Davis, Wilfried Mausbach, Martin Klimke, and Carla MacDougall, eds., Changing the World, Changing Oneself: Political Protest and Collective Identities in West Germany and the US in the 1960s and 1970s (New York: Berghahn, 2010). Israel had its first television station, a government operated, black and white channel, in 1968.

30

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

individualism and materialism of the nation’s adolescents and lamented their ignorance of Israel’s history and their indifference to its welfare.13 Moreover, even among the middle generation there was a rupture in each country’s constructed national identities. Although the Erhard government and its supporters emphasized the Bonn government’s liberal and democratic character, critics pointed to the lingering authoritarianism in the FRG and the presence of former Nazis in high offices as well as in the courts, board rooms, and classrooms, and stressed the need to promote a robust, redemptive republicanism.14 To be sure, much of the German public stood outside this debate, less interested in politics than in material goods.15 Several powerful Israeli national myths were also challenged in the 1960s. Israel’s claims to be a democracy were belied by the wretched status of its Arab population, constituting 12 percent of the entire population, living in conditions of extreme poverty and, until 1966, under martial law.16 Israel’s melting pot narrative was contradicted by the dire social and economic straits of the Mizrahim (Jewish immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East living in urban slums and remote settlement towns in the south), whose numbers were nearing those of the dominant Ashkenazim but who still lived as second-class citizens. Israel’s founding socialist ethos was also greatly diminished. Not only had significant changes occurred on many of the kibbutzim (where only some 3.5 percent of the total Jewish population resided),17 but Israel had also become an increasingly urbanized, bureaucratized, and middle-class society in which the development of science and technology as well as 13

14

15 16

17

Details in Segev, 1967, pp. 134 40, Gilad Margalit, “Israel: 1968 and the ’67 Generation,” in Philipp Gassert and Martin Klimke, eds., “1968: Memories and Legacies of a Global Revolt,” supplement, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute 6 (2009): 111 13; and “The 1960s: The New Israelis,” The Jewish Daily Forward (May 1, 2008), http://forward.com/articles/13283/the s the new israelis / (accessed May 25, 2013). Also, Meron Benvenisti, Son of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections, and Regrets from a Political Life, trans. Maxine Kaufman Lacusta (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), pp. 65 72; David Grossman, Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics, trans. Jessica Cohen (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), pp. 74 75. See especially Karl Jaspers, Wohin treibt die Bundesrepublik? (Munich: Piper, 1966). For a more optimistic view of the FRG: Ralf Dahrendorf, Gesellschaft und Demokratie in Deutschland (Munich: Piper, 1965). Hans Magnus Enzensberger, “middle class blues,” in poems for people who don’t read poems, trans. Michael Hamburger (New York: Atheneum, 1967). In a dramatic sign of independence, Israeli Arabs seceded from Israel’s Communist Party (Maki) in September 1965, forming a separate list (Rakah), winning three seats to the Knesset in the November elections, and becoming the voice of Arab nationalism in Israeli politics. On these collective farms that had formed the backbone of Zionist ideology, changes in the 1960s included larger living spaces for families, hired workers, and the introduction of commercial managerial techniques.

West Germany and Israel: A Season of Discontent

31

global trade and finance increasingly took precedence over land-rooted communal values.18 Both in Germany and Israel there was also a split in the national consensus over foreign policy. By the mid-1960s the changes in Europe and in the global environment – the stalemated Cold War and the swift progress of decolonization – stirred a reassessment of Bonn’s obsessive anti-Communism, its global struggle to delegitimize East Germany, and its slavish adherence to US leadership. Similarly in Israel there were increased signs of opposition to the unending struggle with its Arab neighbors and the failure to solve the Palestinian problem.19 Both countries developed peace movements that protested their large military establishments and their leaders’ efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.20 There were nonetheless significant differences behind the foreign policy debates in Germany and Israel. Aside from the considerable disparity in their size, population, and resources as well as their economic and military power, Germany’s borders were secure and Israel’s were not. The FRG was protected by its NATO allies and by the US nuclear shield, whereas Israel, despite its commitment to the free world, had no official diplomatic partners or guarantors. Another major difference related to the past. The Bonn government, braving popular opposition or indifference, had renounced war and promoted reconciliation with the Third Reich’s victims in order to free itself from the past, whereas the Israeli government, with most of the public behind it, still kept Holocaust memory alive in almost every aspect of its diplomacy. However, it had effectively buried the details of the 1947–1949 Israeli-Arab struggle from public discourse.21

18

19

20 21

Zeev Sternhell, The Founding Myths of Israel: Nationalism, Socialism, and the Making of the Jewish State, trans. David Maisel (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998); also Nadav G. Shelef, Evolving Nationalism: Homeland, Identity, and Religion in Israel, 1925 2005 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010). Israeli writers in the 1960s began focusing on the Arabs’ tragedy in 1948 1949. Among them, A. B. Yeshohua’s “Facing the Forests,” Amos Oz, “Nomad and Viper,” and Amalia Kahana Carmon, “Heart of Summer, Heart of Light.” Hannan Hever, “Minority Discourse of a National Majority: Israeli Fiction of the Early 1960s,” Prooftexts 10, no. 1 (Jan. 1990): 129 47. Peter G. J. Pulzer, German Politics, 1945 1995 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 78 79; Segev, 1967, pp. 156 66. Shimon Stein, Israel, Deutschland und der Nahe Osten (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2011), pp. 9 14; also Lily Gardner Feldman, Germany’s Foreign Policy of Reconciliation: From Enmity to Amity (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), pp. 25 36 and passim; Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 2014), pp. 51 53; cf. Uri Bialer, Between East and West: Israel’s Foreign Policy Orientation, 1948 1956 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

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The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

Taking Up Positions The commencement of diplomatic ties between Germany and Israel coincided with the expiration of the FRG’s reparation payments and the abrupt termination of its secret military deliveries to Israel. Henceforth, on an official level, the core connection would be channeled through each country’s diplomatic apparatus; further aid to Israel would be voted by the Bundestag; and in the public sphere, there would be an increased level of press and popular scrutiny. The diplomats in both countries had been unenthusiastic over the decision to establish formal relations. Germany’s foreign minister, Gerhard Schröder (one of Erhard’s major CDU rivals and critics), had been strongly opposed, stressing the damage to Bonn’s ties with the Arab world and the risk of the GDR’s exploiting the rupture.22 Moreover, the Auswärtiges Amt, which had been excluded from the negotiations (and whose personnel included numerous holdovers from the Third Reich with long-term Middle Eastern connections) was decidedly cool toward Bonn’s new diplomatic partner.23 There were similarly negative sentiments in Jerusalem, where the antiGerman Foreign Minister Golda Meir had bowed to practical necessity. Her hitherto ignored foreign policy experts, already leery of dealing with former Nazis, faced an uphill struggle with a far stronger government intent on eroding the past.24 Because of the hurried nature of the negotiations, the two governments had to choose temporary sites for the new embassies and the physical arrangements were quite different. Germany, refusing Israel’s pleas to locate in Jerusalem, temporarily rented a heavily guarded space on the upper floors of Israel’s first luxury beachfront hotel, the Tel Aviv Sheraton.25 The Israeli emissaries, on the other hand, were able to occupy

22

23

24 25

Details in J. L. Taylor to FO, Bonn, Apr. 6, 1965, GB NA FO 371/183006. Earlier, Schröder had also spoken out against the Adenauer government’s eco nomic and military arrangements with Israel. Torsten Oppelland, Gerhard Schröder (1910 1989) (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2002), pp. 608 27; Franz Elbl, Politik der Bewegung: Gerhard Schröder als Aussenminister, 1961 1966 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2001), pp. 303 23, 438. See, esp., Carstens to missions, Nov. 3, 1964, AAPD 1964 2:308 9; cf. Eckhart Conze, Norbert Frei, Peter Hayes, and Moshe Zimmerman, Das Amt und die Vergangenheit: Deutsche Diplomaten im Dritten Reich und in der Bundesrepublik, 2nd ed. (Munich: Karl Blessing Verlag, 2010). Golda Meir, My Life, paperback ed. (New York: Dell, 1975), p. 169; also Yohanan Meroz, In schwieriger Mission: Als Botschafter Israels in Bonn (Berlin: Ullstein, 1986). Special arrangements for the German envoys included the placement of machine guns on the hotel roof, 24 hour police guards, and detectives patrolling the premises

Taking up Positions

33

the offices of their government’s Purchasing Mission in Cologne, which for twelve years had functioned as an informal embassy.26 Unsurprisingly, the selection of ambassadors raised tensions between the two sides. The Israelis had hoped for a negotiating partner linked to the era of atonement and compensation (for example, Kurt Birrenbach or Franz Böhm) or a younger man without a Nazi past. Instead, the Auswärtiges Amt, over the objections of Erhard – who preferred a major German cultural figure – nominated Dr. Rolf Pauls, a fifty-year-old career diplomat but also a former Wehrmacht officer, who had served in Russia (where he had lost his left arm), Italy, and France, where he received the Knight’s Cross, Germany’s highest military honor.27 Even more controversial was the appointment of Pauls’s second in command, Dr. Alexander Török, a former Hungarian diplomat who had served in his country’s Berlin embassy in 1944 and had entered the FRG’s Foreign Service as a naturalized citizen in 1950. After a Hungarian journalist accused Török of membership in the fascist Arrow Cross and complicity in the deportation of Hungarian Jews, the Israeli press seethed with outrage, whereupon the Auswärtiges Amt recalled Török and launched a seven-month investigation before dismissing the charges.28 Israel, in return for its acceptance of Pauls, proposed an equally disquieting candidate to the Germans. After several Israeli diplomats, academics, and intellectuals turned down the position, the foreign ministry nominated Asher

26

27

28

carrying submachine guns and walkie talkie radios, accompanied by police dogs. Jewish Telegraph Agency, Aug. 9, 1965. The ambassador was to be guarded by an Israel security [Shin Bet] officer. On the Sheraton, which combined European amenities with a Middle Eastern flavor and kosher catering, “Israel Rolls Out the Carpet for a New Hotel,” New York Times, Mar. 12, 1961, p. 9. Although its main function had been the purchase of German goods covered by the Restitution Agreement, the mission’s personnel, whom Bonn had granted diplomatic immunity and treated as official envoys, had issued visas, issued statements to the German media, and reported to Jerusalem on political developments in the FRG. Felix Shinnar, Bericht eines Beauftragten: Die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen, 1951 1966 (Tübingen: Wunderlich, 1967). On Pauls’s appointment: Conze et al., Das Amt und die Vergangenheit, pp. 500 2. Pauls had not been a member of the Nazi party, and there was also some evidence of his participation in the German Resistance. Details in Dunnigan to State Department, Tel Aviv, June 9, 1965, Palmer to State Department, Tel Aviv, June 11, 1965, Barbour to State Department, July 9, 1965, NARA USDS RG 59 Pol 17 Germ W Isr. In his capacity as a subdivision head of the AA’s Department of Commercial and Development policy, Pauls had accompanied Birrenbach on his third and final trip to Israel preceding the establishment of diplomatic relations. On Török’s appointment: Conze et al., Das Amt und die Vergangenheit, pp. 502 3. Török, of ethnic German background, had taken part in the negotiations over the 1952 Luxemburg agreement. Der Spiegel (Nov. 24, 1965, July 18, 1966); Die Zeit, July 15, 1966. Summary of German press response and of Török’s earlier career as a Bonn diplomat in Kidd to State Department, Bonn, Aug. 26, 1965, NARA USDS Pol 17 GerW Israel.

34

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

Ben-Natan, the Vienna-born forty-four-year-old former state secretary in the defense ministry who had negotiated the FRG’s secret arms deliveries and was therefore likely to raise Arab suspicions and feed GDR propaganda over a resumption of military ties between the two countries. Moreover, BenNatan’s earlier roles as the Vienna-based commander of briha (the postwar rescue organization that had brought Holocaust survivors to Palestine) and as an intelligence operative who had aided the capture of Adolf Eichmann could raise German suspicions of an “avenging angel.”29 By July, both governments had reluctantly accepted the nominations.30 Nonetheless, the objections that had been expressed privately and publicly, the grudging bargain that had been struck, and the delay of their arrivals until late summer all cast a shadow over both ambassadors’ reception. Pauls had anticipated the challenges of his difficult and potentially dangerous post. On his arrival on August 11, 1965, he was greeted by some sixty protestors, one holding a placard with the word “Nazi!” In his first official statement at the airport, delivered in English, Pauls stressed not only the “terrible past which we should not forget for one moment” but also his conviction that “Jews and Germans are going to have a future too.” Two days later in Tel Aviv some five thousand Israeli protestors responded, displaying placards saying “Unwelcome,” and “No friendship between Germans and Jews.”31 Pauls’s official reception in Jerusalem was strained. Before his first interview with Golda Meir, the new ambassador visited Yad Vashem and laid a wreath for the victims of German genocide. His conversation with the Israeli foreign minister opened with his acknowledgment of the immense suffering of the Jewish people at Germany’s hands before he moved on briskly to current topics. During the formal presentation of his credentials on August 19 to President Zalman Shazar, Pauls again admitted his country’s “hideous crimes” but also praised the patient work of “persons of good will” who had laid the groundwork for reconciliation. Shazar responded, “May the spirit of that accursed time never be born again.”32 29

30 31 32

Asher Ben Natan, Brücken bauen aber nicht vergessen: Als erster Botschafter Israels in der Bundesrepublik (1965 1969) (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2005), pp. 51 52; also pp. 9 45. Operating under his birth name, Arthur Piernikraz, Ben Natan had made contact with the famed Vienna based Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. Tom Segev, Simon Wiesenthal (New York: Doubleday, 2010), pp. 14 19, 24 28, 77. “Germany and Israel Both Accept Ambassadors Neither Wanted,” New York Times, July 8, 1965, p. 4. “Pauls: Raus und Rosen,” Der Spiegel (Aug. 18, 1965), pp. 18, 21. Pauls to AA, Aug. 17, 19, 1965, Germany. PA AA B130/2566. The ceremony is related in ISA PM, 45 Years of Diplomatic Relations with Germany, http://www.archives.gov.il /NR/exeres/6669AECD 8E30 4B05 83F7 E934E8E419C5,frameless.htm?NRMOD E=Published (accessed June 5, 2013).

Taking up Positions

35

Fig 2.2: Demonstrators in front of the Israeli president’s office during the accreditations ceremony for West German Ambassador Rolf Pauls. Credit: Government Press Office of Israel, D523 066/Moshe Milner, photographer

Pauls’s efforts to represent the new and the penitent Germany were sharply rebutted. Thousands of demonstrators had assembled outside the presidential residence, emitting loud protests over the playing of the German national anthem and the display of the German flag and interrupting the proceedings with their shouts. After the demonstrators began throwing objects and threatening the guards, local authorities summoned riot police and Pauls made a hasty departure for Tel Aviv under a rain of projectiles, cries, and posters demanding a “German-free Israel.”33 An outraged Pauls refused to condone the violence. In his protest message to Eshkol, he also complained of the prime minister’s expressions of sympathy with the rioters, which could only encourage more unacceptable outbursts.34 In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Pauls warned the Israeli public that “stones, bottles, and false accusations” were not appropriate ways to greet a new ambassador. Nonetheless, for the next few months the German emissary withdrew from the public eye, limiting himself to official duties and restricting his personal contacts to small congenial groups. 33 34

Pauls to AA, Aug. 19, 1965, PA AA B130/2566. Pauls to AA, Aug. 23, 1965, ibid.

36

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

And rather than attempting to win Israeli hearts and minds, Pauls devoted himself to promoting stronger “unemotional” economic ties between the two countries by encouraging German firms to trade with and invest in Israel.35 Indeed, this was precisely what his government had in mind: to forge a “country-to-country, and not a people-to-people relationship,” as befitted a normal tie.36 Ben-Natan arrived on West German soil with a different mission. He intended to uphold the special element of German–Israeli relations: to invoke the tragic German-Jewish past as much as possible in order to build a link between the two governments and peoples. Speaking in German before a crowd of officials and journalists at the Cologne airport on August 16, BenNatan called for peace, understanding, and a shared future. His first meeting with Schröder was brief and formal. At the presentation of his credentials, which was given wide press and television coverage (although Schröder and Federal President Heinrich Lübke were both notably absent), Ben-Natan linked the Holocaust with lofty goals, among them strengthening Israel’s bonds with Germany and all of Europe and working with all peoples in the pursuit of “peace, freedom, and justice.”37 Shrugging off his cool official reception, Ben-Natan immediately became an indefatigable spokesman for his country, giving numerous lectures and interviews, appearing on radio and television talk shows, and answering thousands of letters from ordinary German citizens.38 Overcoming his personal misgivings over dealing with the Germans,39 Ben-Natan – in contrast to the austere Pauls – adopted a cordial, outgoing mien and his fluency in German helped. He used tact in discussing the past with German audiences and handled delicate questions with caution and occasional humor. The Israeli ambassador also built strong bonds with the still small, local Jewish communities and organizations but resolutely shunned contacts with former Nazis.40 35 36

37

38 39

40

Pauls to Blumenfeld, Oct. 18, 1965, BAK Nachlass Blumenfeld 1388/4. “A German Ambassador to Israel,” New York Times, Oct. 31, 1965, pp. 112 20; also, “Kein Stander am Dienstwagen: Unser Botschafter in Israel weiss, dass seine Stärke in der Zurückhaltung liegt,” Die Zeit, Jan. 7, 1966, http://www.zeit.de/1966/02/kein stander am dienstwagen. Asher Ben Natan, “Herausforderungen im Schatten der Geschichte,” in Asher Ben Natan and Niels Hansen, eds., Israel und Deutschland: Dorniger Weg zur Partnerschaft (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2005), p. 26. The selections in Asher Ben Natan, ed., Briefe an den Botschafter (Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1971) provide a mirror of contemporary German attitudes. Ben Natan and his family had fled Nazi occupied Vienna for Palestine in 1938; and his wife Erika, who had lost her mother and sister in the Holocaust, until that time like many Israelis had refused to speak German and shunned any contact with Germans. Asher Ben Natan, Die Chuzpe zu leben (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2003), p. 118. Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 54 74.

Taking up Positions

37

Ben-Natan’s campaign to win friends for Israel was reinforced by several important developments. The conservative newspaper Die Welt already had a full-time correspondent in Israel, and in February 1966 the ARD network established a television bureau in Tel Aviv, which for the first time brought images of ordinary Israelis to large German audiences.41 The ambassador promoted tourism and in the year of his arrival some ten thousand Germans visited Israel. Another important link was the establishment in March 1966 of the German–Israeli Association [Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft/DIG]. With its headquarters in Bonn, this nongovernmental organization of influential politicians, businessmen, journalists, and religious officials promoted closer political, social, and cultural ties between the two countries through extensive information programs, lobbying, and establishing local chapters throughout the Federal Republic.42 Another connection was through the two countries’ trade union banks: the collaboration between the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft (BfG) and the Israeli Bank Hapoalim. Also important was the personal link Ben-Natan helped to establish between the media magnate Axel Springer and Israel. In late June 1966, the fifty-four-year-old Springer, who controlled some 40 percent of the West German press as well as a major publishing house, arrived for the first time in Israel on his private plane for ostensibly a business trip, but he also had another mission in mind.43 The staunch German nationalist and pro-American Cold Warrior (who was about to move his business headquarters next to the Wall in West Berlin) was a fervent admirer of Israel, and he reacted emotionally to the barriers, minefields, and deserted border streets of a divided Jerusalem, which he compared with Berlin’s. Springer struck up a close friendship with the city’s Viennese-born Mayor Teddy Kollek (who was the same age as he); and after receiving several proposals he offered a $1 million donation for the construction of a library for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Henceforth, for rest of his life, with his generous gifts, annual visits, and acquisition of a residence in 41

42 43

With far fewer journalists in Israel than there were Israeli correspondents in Germany, the German press tended to use local German speaking Israeli writers and, until 1967, to reflect a highly positive, although stereotyped view of Israelis as “new” Jews, largely farm ers, workers, and soldiers. Gilad Margalit, “Israel through the Eyes of [the] West German Press, 1947 1967,” Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung 11 (2002): 235 248; also Orly Soker, “Kollektives Gedächtnis und Verdrängung im Radio: Israel und das Judentum in zwei Sendungen des Deutschlandfunks, 1965 und 1968,” in Michael Nagen and Moshe Zimmermann, eds., Judenfeindschaft und Antisemitismus in der deutschen Presse über fünf Jahrhunderte: Erscheinungsformen, Rezeption, Debatte und Gegenwehr, vol. 2 (Bremen: Édition Lumière, 2013), pp. 929 42. Details in Jekutiel Deligdisch, Die Einstellung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Staate Israel (Bonn: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1974), pp. 120 22. Jerusalem Post, June 29, 1966; Ha’aretz, Sept. 20, 1966.

38

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

Jerusalem, Springer espoused a personal mission to aid Israel with generous political as well as financial support.44 The Period of Adjustment The new framework of German–Israeli relations would include a fundamental change. Erhard, in the negotiations with the Israelis over diplomatic recognition, had insisted not only in ending all covert arms deliveries but also on setting their economic ties on a more normal footing.45 Behind Bonn’s initiative were several considerations, both domestic and international. Erhard, like a growing number of his compatriots, was intent on removing Israel from a privileged category of aid recipients because of the German-Jewish past. He was determined to replace vague understandings, informal practices, and open-ended commitments with standard, transparent procedures – in short, to place all future agreements under the specifications of FRG’s new foreign assistance program to underdeveloped countries, which entailed official project submissions, annual audits, and approval by the Bundestag. On the diplomatic level, the Auswärtiges Amt insisted that its efforts to repair Bonn’s rupture with the Arab world – and to prevent Arab leaders from scurrying toward Communist trading partners and investors – would depend on a more publicly evenhanded treatment of Israel. German exporters concurred, convinced that this new direction would facilitate their growing ties with all parties in the Middle East. Finally, Bonn envisaged using its economic leverage to attain greater political influence abroad – for example, using its

44

45

Gudrun Kruip, Das “Welt” “Bild” des Axel Springer Verlags. Journalismus zwischen west lichen Werten und deutschen Denktraditionen (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1999), pp. 184 92; Hans Peter Schwarz, Axel Springer: Die Biografie (Berlin: Propyläen, 2008), pp. 409 15; Fritz Backhaus, Dmitrij Belkin, and Raphael Gross, Bild dir dein Volk! Axel Springer und die Juden (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2012). Critical assessments of Springer’s gesture: “Springer: Einwandfreier Deutscher,” Der Spiegel 14 (1966); Jeudy to MAE, Hamburg, Nov. 18, 1966, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z207; “Judenfreunde Judenfeinde: Fragwürdiger Philosemitismus in der Bundesrepublik,” Die Zeit, Dec. 10, 1965, and, esp. of Springer’s philosemitism (“a kind of alibi for his aggressive anticommunism”), in Eleanore Sterling [the American Jewish Committee’s correspondent in West Germany], Report, Oct. 13, 1967, YIVO AJC Correspondence Germany FAD 66/67. Christian Kleinschmidt, “Von der ‘Shilumim’ zur Entwicklungshilfe: Deutsch israelische Wirtschaftskontakte, 1950 1966,” Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 97, no. 2 (2010): 176 92; George Lavy, Germany and Israel: Moral Debt and National Interest (London: Frank Cass, 1996), pp. 134 36. Cf. Hadow to FO, Tel Aviv, Feb. 10, 1966, GB NA FO 371/E186846.

The Period of Adjustment

39

economic concessions to win Israel’s support for its diplomatic goals in the UN and elsewhere.46 The negotiations were delayed until February 23, 1966, because of the November 1965 elections in Israel and Eshkol’s two-month-long labors to form a new cabinet.47 In the meantime, Meir had been replaced as foreign minister by Abba Eban, the fifty-one-year-old, South African–born diplomat and long-time Israeli representative at the UN, whose appointment signaled a more active direction of Israeli diplomacy.48 The first official German–Israeli talks since 1952 were conducted over a round table in the Auswärtiges Amt, pitting Ben-Natan and his team against a group headed by the fifty-eight-year-old State Secretary Rolf Otto Lahr, a seasoned veteran of the FRG’s difficult (and successful) negotiations with France, the Soviet Union, and the Common Market and known for his “snappy-guy” [schmissiger Kerl] manner.49 Lahr, like many of his foreign ministry colleagues, had once served the Third Reich and had opposed Erhard’s decision in 1965 to risk Arab retaliation by recognizing Israel – thus adding a dose of prickliness to these negotiations.50 As expected, the discussions broke off several times.51 The Israelis argued forcefully for maintaining their special status, the Germans denied the validity of the Adenauer/Ben-Gurion agreement, and each complained to outsiders about the other’s attitudes and behavior. During one of the pauses, their debates – echoed in political speeches and press commentary – stirred wild speculation over the terms and the figures, elicited awkward attempts at “clarification” from Adenauer and BenGurion, and incited the critics of German–Israeli reconciliation.52

46 47 48 49 50

51 52

Pauls to AA, Oct. 7, 1965, PA AA B130/2566; also Seydoux to MAE Bonn, Nov. 24, 1965, FMAE Europe/RFA1961 70 Z206. In the meantime, owing in part to US pressure on Bonn, Ben Natan had secured the final DM 75 million loan under the old agreement. Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 75 76. Morris to FO, Tel Aviv, Jan. 12, 1966, Hadow to FO, Jan. 17, 1966, GB NA FO 371 E186803. “Lahr pour Lahr,” Der Spiegel 32 (Aug. 2, 1961), pp. 15 16. Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 75 76; Rolf Lahr, Zeuge von Fall und Aufstieg: Private Briefe, 1934 1974 (Hamburg: Knaus, 1981), pp. 419 420, 441 42. Lahr, a former NSDAP and SA member, had joined the Third Reich’s Economics Ministry in 1934 (to which he returned in 1937 after a brief stint on the board of the Reichsgruppe Industrie), served after 1942 in the Wehrmacht’s anti tank division in the East (rising to lieutenant), and, after undergoing postwar denazification proceedings, had worked in the bizonal Economics Council before reentering the Economics Ministry in 1949 and the Auswärtiges Amt in 1953. Lahr, Zeuge von Fall und Aufstieg, pp. 14 194. Duck to FO, Bonn, Mar. 1, 9, 1966, GB NA FO 371 E186846. Britain, a major trading partner with Israel, had considerable interest in these talks. McGhee to State Dept. May 11, 1966, USNA USDS RG 59 POL 17 GERW ISR; also Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 76 78.

40

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

Recognizing the political risks of failure, the negotiators returned to the table, and an agreement was finally signed on May 12, 1966, the first anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between West Germany and Israel. The Germans had achieved their goal of loosening the bonds with the past: They had ended the Adenauer/Ben-Gurion accord and refused Israel’s demand to expand restitution payments beyond the terms of the 1952 agreement. But the Israelis, who won on several points, had set their mark on the future. The terms agreed upon were certainly more generous than those accorded to Bonn’s other foreign aid recipients: For 1966, Israel would receive DM 160 million, at an interest rate not to exceed 3 percent, with payments over twenty-five years and a seven-year grace period.53 In practice, Israel’s loan requests would be subject to “simplified and abbreviated procedures,” and it would continue to enjoy extraordinary flexibility in the expenditure of almost two-thirds of its loans.54 All of these funds, to be allocated for transportation, housing, and infrastructure, had to be used for purchases in the Federal Republic or West Berlin, thus subsidizing, especially, smaller German industries. Finally, although the loans would have to be negotiated annually (a stipulation that drew heavy criticism from the Israeli press), the text’s reference to “continuous cooperation” implied that the FRG’s support would be maintained for an indefinite period.55 Those who had hoped the conclusion of the German–Israeli economic agreement would improve the relationship were quickly disappointed. Indeed, the atmosphere during the next three months could almost be described as toxic. On the eve of the accord, the earlier-cited contretemps in Jerusalem between Eshkol and Adenauer revealed the gap between the two countries’ views, with Israel insisting on the dominance of the past in its relations with Bonn, and the Germans indignant over Israel’s hectoring tone and the absence of gratitude for their considerable generosity.56 Moreover, the Germans had become increasingly resentful over Israel’s indifference to their goal of “national self-determination” (i.e., German unification). According to Török, Israeli elites strongly favored the status 53 54 55

56

Text of the agreement: PA AA B136/2981. See analysis in Aspin to FO, Tel Aviv, June 16, 1966, GB NA FO/371 E184828. Details in Lily Gardner Feldman, The Special Relationship between West Germany and Israel (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1984), pp. 104 11. This was, to be sure, a contested point. German officials were not empowered to make long term commitments to foreign governments, and in their reports to the cabinet on May 11, Schröder and Lahr insisted that Israel had received no guarantee of future payments. Die Kabinettsprotokolle der Bundesregierung, vol. 19 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2009), pp. 202 5; nonetheless, Ben Natan (Brücken bauen, p. 81) maintained that an understanding had been reached, and indeed these payments continued for thirty years. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, June 29, 1966, PA AA B36/238.

The Period of Adjustment

41

quo in Central Europe; indeed, most Israelis, untroubled by the Berlin Wall, viewed Germany’s division “much too mild a punishment” for the Nazis’ crimes and the FRG’s remarkable economic recovery as a perverse development.57 Pauls, mistrustful of Eskhol’s “left-leaning government,” warily reported its attempts to draw closer to the USSR in order to facilitate the emigration of Soviet Jewry. This initiative set off an alarm – noted also by Britain and the United States – that Moscow might exert pressure on Israel to “get nasty with Bonn.”58 Then came the bombshell: Only one day after the announcement of the German–Israeli economic agreement, Eshkol confirmed his endorsement of the Oder-Neisse line, the Soviet-supported boundary between Germany and Poland. Pauls (who, on the eve of Eban’s trip to Poland, had warned against such a gesture),59 delivered an official protest; the German press erupted in outrage; and opposition deputies in the Bundestag mocked the Erhard government for lavishing support on a foe of one of the FRG’s most important border claims.60 On the Israeli side, there was an outcry over political events in Germany. The press spread alarm over the rise of the National Democratic Party (NPD). Founded in 1964 by right-wing activists (including former Nazis) and denouncing Germany’s subjugation to Soviet and US hegemony, the NPD, drawing mainly on middle-class voters in small towns and rural areas, had polled a startling 664,000 votes in the 1965 national elections and gathered some 23,000 members.61 Israelis were also disturbed over mounting antisemitic incidents, including vandalized schools and synagogues and grave desecrations, throughout Germany.62 At the end of June 1966, Pauls had lost patience with the anti-German environment. The Israeli government continued to censor films from the FRG, banned performances of Wagner’s music, and discouraged travel to 57 58

59 60 61

62

Török to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 15, 1966, Ibid. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Jan. 21, 1966, PA AA B36/237, Apr. 12, 19, 1966, PA AA B36/238. See Hadow, Feb. 10, Mar. 24, Apr. 21, May 18, 1966, Aspin, Feb. 17, GB NA FO 371 E186812; Bendall to FO, Washington, Apr. 1, 1966, ibid., E186424. Eshkol, on his part, had advertised his independence by withholding support for America’s crusade in Vietnam and advocating a denuclearized Germany. Levavi to Ben Natan, Jerusalem, May 6, 1966, ISA 130 4011/20. Pauls to AA Tel Aviv, May 18, 1966, PA AA B36/238, May 20, 1966, ibid., B36/241; Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, June 21, 1966, ISA 130 4011/8. “Bonn/NPD: Wotans Wähler,” Der Spiegel 15 (Apr. 4, 1966), pp. 30 40; also Reinhard Kühnl, Rainer Rilling, and Christine Sager, Die NPD: Struktur, Ideologie und Funktion einer neofaschistischen Partei (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1969). Details in Herly to MAE, Düsseldorf, Jan. 4, 30, 1966, Faure to MAE, Stuttgart, Feb. 28, 1966, Cons. Gen. to MAE, Mar. 4, 1966, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 60 Z110; also Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 83 84.

42

The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

Germany. The ambassador decided to issue a public response to Israeli criticisms of his country, driven, he believed, by a small right-wing fringe.63 Speaking before the international trade fair in Tel Aviv, Pauls praised his hosts for their many social and economic accomplishments, but he also issued a blunt rebuke to those who “for reasons of political advantage or out of selfish motives” had constantly stirred up the past in order to “disturb the present and the future.” He complained of the Israeli press’s tendency to depict the Federal Republic as a Nazi state. He rejected Eshkol and Eban’s line that the Jewish people “awaited deeds” from Germany to admit it back into the family of nations, insisting that his country already occupied a respected place in the world and required no “special authorization.” In closing, Pauls warned Israel’s leaders and people that their bilateral ties would only improve when their relations were governed “not by the past but by the future” and that they would also depend on Israel’s attitude toward German interests.64 Pauls’s speech created an uproar in the Israeli media. However, cooler heads – Ben-Natan, Eban, and even Meir – came to the ambassador’s defense. Pauls’s remarks also drew support from Nahum Goldmann, the seventy-one-year-old president of the World Jewish Congress (and former negotiator of the 1952 Restitution Agreement) who lauded Germany for its generosity and castigated the “viperous” Israeli press for attempting to sabotage relations between Bonn and Jerusalem.65 The German side reacted calmly to the incident. The press lauded Pauls’s “necessary” remarks, and the Bonn government fully backed the ambassador. Nonetheless, the Auswärtiges Amt acknowledged a serious “deterioration” in German–Israeli relations.66 By adding new personal elements to the struggle between past and future, the summer’s verbal pyrotechnics had created another neuralgic point between their two countries.

63 64

65

66

Pauls’s text had been cleared with the Auswärtiges Amt, but not with Erhard, in PA AA B346/240. “Bonn Envoy, Long Silent, Replies to Israeli Critics,” New York Times, July 7, 1966. Pauls’s warning was reinforced one month later by Helmut Schmidt, leader of the SPD’s parliamentary group, who cautioned his Israeli interlocutors against “sacrificing West Germany’s . . . interests without regard to the consequences.” Pauls to AA, July 26, 1966, PA AA B36/239; cf. FM to Embassy Bonn, Tel Aviv, July 27, 1966, ISA PM 7229/10. Aspin to FO, July 7, 1966, GB NA FO371 E186810; Ben Natan to FM Cologne, July 6, 1966, ISA 130 4011/5; D’Aumale to Couve de Murville, Bad Godesberg, July 11, 1966, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z209; also Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 84 85. Unsigned tel. to FM, Cologne, July 24, 1966, ISA PM 7229/10; Ben Natan to FM, ISA 130 4011/8.

Enter the Grand Coalition

43

Autumn brought little respite. Pauls enjoyed a moment of schadenfreude when the Soviets (fearful of an Arab backlash) suddenly broke off discussions over closer relations and drove Israel back to its Western partners.67 Turning to the FRG for help in establishing closer relations with the Common Market, Israeli diplomats were disconcerted by Bonn’s reservations and accused the Auswärtiges Amt of “groveling” before the Arabs.68 The NPD’s electoral successes in Hesse and Bavaria in November sent a chill internationally and particularly in Israel.69 And in Germany, on the tenth anniversary of the Suez crisis that had witnessed the Soviets’ nuclear saber rattling and disrupted the NATO alliance, the press reacted nervously to Israel’s massive retaliatory attack on the Jordanian village of Samu – its largest military operation since 1956.70 Enter the Grand Coalition Ludwig Erhard’s rocky three-year chancellorship ended abruptly on December 1, 1966, brought down by party rivals, a refractory coalition partner, the shock of the NPD’s victories in the Länder elections, and especially by his government’s inability to alleviate the country’s first economic crisis. Erhard had also suffered major diplomatic setbacks – the Soviet Union’s rebuff of his peace overtures, the United States’ insistence on higher offset payments, and France’s growing estrangement from Bonn. The rupture with the Arabs in 1965 and the tensions with Israel had undoubtedly contributed to Erhard’s political demise.71 To tackle the domestic emergency, Germany’s two largest parties, the CDU/CSU alignment and the Social Democrats formed a Grand Coalition, an unprecedented development in the FRG’s history and one that raised considerable displeasure within the German left. The new chancellor was the sixty-two-year-old CDU politician Kurt-Georg Kiesinger, who had served for twelve years as minister-president of Baden-Württemberg, and the vice chancellor and foreign minister was Willy Brandt.72 Kiesinger’s appointment raised a temporary storm 67 68 69

70 71 72

Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Sept. 26, 29, Dec. 5, 30, 1966, PA AA B36/241. Ben Natan to FM, Sept. 25, Oct. 4, 1966, Shek Memorandum, Oct. 4, 1966, Hadas to FM, Oct. 14, 1966, ISA 130 4011/8. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Dec. 6, 1966, PA AA B36/238; also “Hessenwahl alarmiert das Ausland,” Die Zeit 46 (Nov. 11, 1966), http://www.zeit.de/1966/46/hessenwahl alarmiert das ausland. “Nahe Osten/Kriegesgefahr,” Der Spiegel (Nov. 14, 1966), p. 124. Pulzer, German Politics, 1945 1995, p. 75. On the laborious negotiations to form the new government: Dirk Kroegel, Einen Anfang finden! Kurt Georg Kiesinger in der Aussen und Deutschlandpolitik der Grossen Koalition (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997), pp. 19 58.

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The Shock of Recognition: 1965 66

abroad because of his former membership in the Nazi party (he had joined in February 1933) and his service during World War II as liaison between the Auswärtiges Amt and Goebbels’s Propaganda Ministry.73 It was quickly evident that this new government intended not only to tackle serious domestic problems but also to revitalize Bonn’s foreign policy. Washington faced the prospect of a more assertive NATO ally,74 Moscow braced for stronger German initiatives to ease tensions in Central Europe,75 and both powers had to accept their inability to control the FRG’s internal politics. For Israel, the prospects were particularly alarming.76 Although Brandt, the former West German mayor and anti-Nazi exile, was regarded as a sympathetic figure, it was clear that Bonn now intended to pursue a far more active role in European and global politics, not only seeking détente in Europe but also pursuing a more “balanced” policy in the Middle East.77 At the close of his inaugural address to the Bundestag on December 13, Kiesinger voiced his government’s aim of repairing Germany’s severed ties with the ten Arab governments that had broken off relations. And only after acknowledging the “problematic and difficult” relations between Germany and Israel did the new chancellor express hopes for an improved future between them.78 By 1966 the stereotyped views of the other – of an aggressive, nationalistic Germany and a victimized Jewish people who had achieved statehood in Israel – were disappearing in the wake of the Bonn government’s new peace initiatives and the Jerusalem government’s growing military prowess. Moreover, for the postwar generation of Germans, chafing under their elders’ control at home and an expanding Cold War abroad, a connection to the Third Reich was becoming increasingly distant.

73 74 75 76

77 78

“Bonner ‘New Look’ im Auslandsspiegel,” Die Zeit 52 (Dec. 23, 1966), http://www.zeit .de/1966/52/bonner new look im auslandsspiegel. Leprette to MAE, Washington, Dec. 14, 1966, FMAE États Unis 1961 70 Z183. Gromyko report to Politburo, Dec. 31, 1966, on meeting with FRG Amb. Walther, Dec. 28, 1966, AVP RF 0757/11/45/3. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Dec. 2, 6, 1966, PA AA B36/238; Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), pp. 180 82. Bonn correspondent Deutschkron in Ma’ariv, Dec. 9, 1966; also Idan to FM, Cologne, Dec. 12, 1966, ISA 130 4011/8. Kiesinger’s text: http://mediaculture online.de/fileadmin/bibliothek/kiesinger RE 1966/kie singer RE 1966.pdf (accessed June 4, 2013); Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, Dec. 10, 20, 1966, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z180.

3

Upheaval

Do something. Do something. We must do something or other, . . . I’m full of rage.1 The days of almost unquestioning sympathy for the Israeli cause seem to have passed for good.2

On March 9, 1967, the thirty-nine-year-old German novelist, poet, and artist Günter Grass began an eventful two-week visit to Israel as a guest of its government – one of the first German cultural figures to arrive since the end of World War II.3 Author of the best-selling novel The Tin Drum – the long narrative of an amoral dwarf depicting the savagery of the Third Reich and the vacuousness of postwar West Germany’s “Economic Miracle” – Grass was greatly admired by German youth and praised abroad as a fresh and unrelenting anti-Nazi voice.4 At the time Grass was also a fervent SPD activist whose announced purpose was to “dispel prejudices”: to hear Israeli concerns and provide assurances of the

1 2 3

4

Günter Grass, “Irgendwas machen” (1966), in New Poems, trans. Michael Hamburger (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967), pp. 38 47. Meron Medzini, “Israel’s Changing Image in the German Mass Media,” Wiener Library Bulletin 26, no. 3 4 (1972): 13. Carole Fink, “Normalizing the Past? West Germany, Israel, and Günter Grass’s First Visit to Israel in March 1967,” in Carole Fink, Writing 20th Century International History: Explorations and Examples (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2017), pp. 82 107. On April 14, 1964, Zachariah Schuster, the American Jewish Committee’s representative in Paris, had characterized Grass as a highly credible West German figure (“kosher le pesach”): “too young . . ., too much of an individualist, too much of a person of real substance to have followed uniformed or even ideological Nazism.” AJC records, YIVO, RG347.3.1 Box 25 FAD 59 65. However, this long standing image was dramatically overturned when at the end of his eighth decade (and seven years after he had belatedly received the Nobel Prize in Literature), Grass, in his memoir, Beim Häuten der Zwiebel (Göttingen: Steidel, 2006), revealed his youthful enthusiasm for the NSDAP and membership in the Waffen SS.

45

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new Bonn government’s support. He met with Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Foreign Minister Abba Eban, and President Zalman Shazar and held extended conversations with Zeev Shek, director of the foreign ministry’s West European section, who accompanied him on his travels.5 Speaking in German – a first for a foreign artist – Grass in his radio interview and his talks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem stressed the importance of reconciliation between their two peoples and was warmly received by Israelis. But in an informal address on March 20, Grass went a step further, urging a Hebrew University student audience to replace “emotion” with “rationality”: to situate the murder of European Jewry in the context of other historical atrocities, among them the slaughter of North America’s Native population, and, more recently, Stalin’s dekulakization in Ukraine, the recent massacres in Indonesia, and the US carnage in Vietnam, and he compared US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara with Adolf Eichmann.6 Defying the protests of their German-Jewish colleagues, the Israeli Writers’ Association refused to welcome Grass in their midst.7 In a long and thoughtful essay, the renowned Israeli poet Natan Alterman defended this decision, denouncing Grass’s “trivialization” of the Holocaust as “another mass genocide” and refusing to accord any special merit to the writer’s anti-Nazi professions.8 Grass, on his return, reported to Brandt that an “influential part” of the Israeli public was prepared for “an open and critical dialogue with the Federal Republic.”9 However, Alterman, although acknowledging that this was no longer the “Germany of Goebbels,” implored his fellow citizens to reject any form of “normalization” of Israel’s ties with Bonn.10 1967: A Turbulent Year In its first issue of 1968, the New York Times called the preceding year “horrific.” During the previous two decades the Superpowers had managed to maintain a tense international balance and had also kept control over events in the Third World. But order broke down in 1967: a year of exceptional global violence above which loomed the ever-present – and now expanding – nuclear cloud. 5

6

7 9

Grass to Brandt, Apr. 4, 1967, in Willy Brandt and Günter Grass, Der Briefwechsel, ed. Martin Kölbel (Göttingen: Steidel, 2013), pp. 138 47; Shek report, Mar. 20, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7. Ma’ariv, Mar. 21, 1967. Recollections of this speech: Tom Segev, in Die Welt, Sept. 9, 2011, http://www.welt.de/kultur/article13598231/Was Guenter Grass wirklich ueber den Holocaust sagte.html (accessed Feb. 27, 2014), which appeared in an article devoted to Grass’s 2006 memoir., 8 Stuttgarter Zeitung, Mar. 20, 1967. Ma’ariv, Apr. 7, 1967. Grass to Brandt, Apr. 4, 1967, Der Briefwechsel, p. 138. 10 Ma’ariv, Apr. 7, 1967.

1967: A Turbulent Year

47

Nature dealt powerful blows in 1967, with devastating fires, floods, tornadoes, landslides, earthquakes, and even volcanic eruptions.11 Technology also took its toll; on March 18 the oil tanker Torrey Canyon ran aground off Land’s End, England, creating an ecological disaster. The race for space was set back when on January 27 three US astronauts died after fire enveloped their space capsule on the launch pad, and in April when the first Soviet cosmonaut died after his parachute failed to open. More than ever before, a great part of the world learned quickly of these calamities over the radio, on television, or in the press. Political events in 1967 were equally disquieting. In April, the Greek military seized power in what was widely (but incorrectly) believed to be an American-sponsored coup that resulted in the next seven years in a brutal, repressive regime and an incompetent US NATO ally as well as a major target of left-wing European protests. On June 1 Communist China shook the international scene with the explosion of its first hydrogen bomb, causing the Soviet Union to dispatch thousands of troops to its eastern border and raising an alarm in the United States that Beijing could soon attack Los Angeles. The two major wars of 1967 produced extremely high casualties. In Vietnam, now occupied by a half million American soldiers, the results of the heightened US ground offensives and the B-52 bombings of North Vietnam were the deaths of 9,400 Americans, 12,000 South Vietnamese, 800 other Allied troops, and 80,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers – as well as 4,000 civilians. The June 1967 Israeli-Arab War resulted in some 900 Israeli, 1,000 Syrian, 6,000 Jordanian, and 9,000 Egyptian deaths, thousands more injured, and hundreds in captivity. The year 1967 also witnessed horrific internal and civil wars. In China, where Mao had just unleashed the Cultural Revolution, some 10,000 people lost their lives between January and December. In July, the Nigerian government’s invasion of Biafra to head off its secession had led to the loss of more than 10,000 soldier and civilian lives in the first five months. Moreover, in Zaire a military revolt claimed thousands of lives. Two killings in 1967 also had major consequences. On June 2, the death of the twenty-six-year-old student Beno Ohnesorg, shot in the back of the head by a West Berlin police officer during a protest against the visit of the Shah of Iran, set off a wave of demonstrations throughout the country against police brutality and also became the rallying cry for the 11

On November 6, Super Typhoon Emma left 300 dead and 140,000 people homeless in the Philippines; and that year flash floods in Kobe, Japan, killed 517 people and in Lisbon, Portugal, led to 462 deaths.

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creation of the armed Red Army Faction.12 Only four months later in Bolivia, on October 9, the thirty-nine-year-old Argentinean doctor Ernesto “Che” Guevara was assassinated by CIA-aided troops, setting off tremors in Latin America and Europe and becoming an iconic image for global rebels. Urban violence also marked 1967.13 In the United States during the scorching months of June and July, race riots broke out in eight major cities, including Washington, DC. In Newark between July 12 and 17, twenty-six people died and more than a hundred were injured, and in Detroit, in the second-worst riot in US history, forty-three people died, almost five hundred were injured, and two thousand buildings were destroyed by fire, leaving that city forever scarred. Young people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers. In France, Italy, West Germany, Japan, and Australia, the burgeoning student generation protested against authoritarian state educational systems. Risking police and army repression, Czech students organized a candlelit march, Spanish students and workers demonstrated against the Franco regime, and Ethiopian students protested Haile Sellassie’s US-supported military dictatorship. Opposition to the Vietnam War underlay most of the demonstrations in 1967. In April 1967, the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King led a march of some 250,000 people from New York City’s Central Park to the UN headquarters, and in October tens of thousands of antiwar demonstrators assembled before the Pentagon in Washington. There were also mass protests throughout the world. The antiwar movement was closely tied to anticolonialism. By 1967, the UN General Assembly was dominated by a well-organized and vocal African, Asian, and Latin American majority determined to end the vestiges of Western imperialism.14 And for much of the world’s newly 12

13

14

According to information found in 2009 in the Stasi archives, Ohnesorg’s killer, Karl Heinz Kurras, was actually a Stasi agent; Der Spiegel (May 22, 2009); further investiga tion has also revealed that the West Berlin police had stifled evidence that the shooting had been a deliberate murder and not an act of self defense. ibid., Jan. 22, 2012. In Hong Kong, a May 6 clash between striking workers and the police left fifty one people dead. In Turkey, a soccer riot in Sivas ended with forty one dead. In New Zealand, the “Maori Affairs Amendment” involving a major confiscation of indigenous lands set off widespread protests and brutal police responses. In Indonesia, a peaceful demonstration by Chinese citizens against the discriminatory edicts of the new US backed Suharto dictatorship (which, in the two previous years, had already slaughtered some half million people) ended in nine deaths, among them a twelve year old. In 1967, the UN Human Rights Commission, after being stalled for two decades by Superpower objections to any form of interference in their domestic affairs, suddenly sprang to life and began examining violations of the 1948 Universal Declaration in Rhodesia, South Africa, and Namibia.

1967: A Turbulent Year

49

mobilized youth, the global competition between Western capitalism and Soviet Communism had become far less critical than the Third World’s struggle for independence or for freedom from indirect Great Power political and economic control. For the New Left activists of the 1960s, the old liberal-Marxist debate had become antiquated: Armed revolutionaries became their popular heroes, and in their programs Vietnamese, Black South Africans, and Palestinians replaced the working classes as the Cold War’s primary victims.15 A sizable and vocal protest movement had emerged in West Germany, led by left-wing academics, journalists, writers, and politicians who found a ready audience among the republic’s youthful population that had flooded the high schools and universities.16 In the media and their publications, they condemned their elders’ silence over the Nazi past, criticized Adenauer’s “chancellor democracy” (Kanzlerdemokratie) and the FRG’s stultified institutions, and challenged the government’s hard-line Cold War foreign policy, especially toward the ostracized GDR, still officially labeled the Soviet-Occupied Zone (SBZ). After the formation of the Grand Coalition at the end of 1966, anger mounted against the republic’s political paralysis and the threat to democracy.17 Günter Grass deplored the SPD’s loss of “conscience” in aligning itself with the CDU/CSU; and from his Basel exile the philosopher Karl Jaspers termed Kiesinger’s leadership not only an “affront to the outside world” but also an “insult” to the German minority who had opposed National Socialism.18 On the radical fringes the student left in 1967 created the extra parliamentary opposition (Außerparlamentarische Opposition, APO) to protest a government that controlled 90 percent of the votes in parliament and it called for a “revolution” in West German politics and society. On the extreme right the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) shocked the country and the world with its 15 16

17

18

Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Détente (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003). As a result of heavy wartime casualties on the one hand and the postwar baby boom on the other, the Federal Republic had a dramatically inverted population pyramid. According to the 1961 census, of a total population of 56,175, 37 percent of the population was under age 25; 49 percent between 25 and 65; and only 14 percent over 65. By 1965 there were some 384,000 students in West Germany. Gerd Roellecke, “Entwicklungslinien deutscher Universitätsgeschichte,” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, B 3 4 (Jan. 21, 1984): 3 10. Exceptionally pessimistic report on German political conditions in Jerry Goodman to Max Horkheimer, April 12, 1967, YIVO Records of the American Jewish Committee RG 347.7.1, Box 21 AJC FAD 1. Günter Grass, in Die Zeit, Dec. 9, 1966; Karl Jaspers interview with the television magazine Panorama, Jan. 1967, quoted in Philipp Gassert, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, 1904 1988: Kanzler zwischen den Zeiten (Munich: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 2006), p. 9.

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electoral victories in Hesse in 1966 and in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Schleswig-Holstein in 1967, and its leaders derided the Great Coalition for its obeisance toward the Western powers.19 Israel had a far smaller and less mobilized population. Although its post–World War II baby boom had produced a swell of high school and university students in the 1960s, the country’s economic fragility, its precarious security situation, and its heterogeneous population tended to stifle an organized social and political opposition.20 By the mid-1960s, social and political change also came to Israel with the end of the long Ben-Gurion era of Labor Party “statism” (Mamlachtiyut), of extensive government control over the Israeli economy, society, and private life. There were growing debates among the founders’ generation over the state’s future, spurred by the slowdown in immigration, rising numbers of Israel’s Mizrahi population, and fears that the country would turn inward and abandon its Western character.21 Among the younger, eighteen- to twenty-five-year-old generation, a few dissenting voices were raised. Some writers had begun to challenge Labor Zionism’s collectivist values as well as their government’s treatment of Israel’s Arab citizens;22 and despite widespread respect for the national army’s role in forging Israel’s national identity, a small number of Israelis resisted military service on grounds of conscientious objection.23 West Germany and Israel Germany’s Grand Coalition unveiled an ambitious agenda in 1967. Abroad, it was committed to launching a Neue Ostpolitik aimed at 19

20

21

22

23

“Hessenwahl alarmiert das Ausland,” Die Zeit, Nov. 11, 1966. Also: Günter Behrmann, “Antiamerikanismus in der Bundesrepublik: 1966 1984,” Amerikastudien 31, no. 3 (1986): 341 53. Gehl Aufzeichnung (for the chancellor), June 8, 1967, PA AA B36/296; Israel’s popula tion in 1967 was approximately 2,776,300, including 2,383,600 Jews and 392,700 Arabs, who, until 1966, were under military rule and were growing at a far faster rate than the Jews. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Feb. 8, Apr. 18, 1967, PA AA B36/296. But there were also indications that the country was growing less insular: more than one hundred thousand Israelis traveled abroad in 1966, and, although television was banned until 1968, some 50,000 Israelis in 1966 reportedly watched black and white broadcasts from Cairo, Beirut, and even Cyprus. Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East (New York: Henry Holt, 2007), pp. 26 27. See, esp., A. B. Yehoshua, “Facing the Forests” (1963) and Amos Oz, Michael Mine (1968), discussed in Amos Elon, The Israelis: Founders and Sons (Jerusalem: Adam Publishers, 1981), pp. 268 74; also Meron Benvenisti, Son of the Cypresses, trans. Maxine Kaufman Lacusta (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), pp. 54 56. Alek D. Epstein, “For the Peoples of the Promised Land: Intellectual and Social Origins of Jewish Pacifism in Israel,” The Journal of Israeli History 19, no. 2 (Sept. 1998): 5 20.

West Germany and Israel

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improving relations with the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and the GDR and repairing relations with the Arab world that had been ruptured in 1965. At home it introduced a program of government intervention – termed an “enlightened social market economy” – to mitigate the grim combination of inflation, unemployment, and a plummeting growth rate. However, this awkward (and presumably temporary) alliance of ideological opposites – making up an overwhelming majority of the country’s voters – was greeted with not only suspicion at home but also considerable reserve abroad. Bonn’s foreign policy initiatives produced mixed results. The Federal Republic succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with the renegade Communist regime in Romania in January 1967 and concluded a two-year trade agreement with Czechoslovakia in August 1967, opening missions in both countries; but it failed to sway Moscow or East Berlin to respond to its overtures.24 Similarly, despite Jordan’s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Bonn in February 1967, Egypt and Algeria were in no hurry to abandon a bidding war between the two Germanys without receiving major concessions.25 Brandt scored a major diplomatic coup in April 1967 when Abdul Khalek Hassuna, the general secretary of the Arab League, agreed to visit Bonn. The German chancellor and foreign minister assured the Arab emissary that reparation payments and arms deliveries to Israel had ceased; but they also refused Hassuna’s three principal demands, insisting that German aid to Palestinian refugees would be directed only through the offices of the UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and on individual negotiations with Arab governments without prior conditions, and refusing to issue a written statement of Bonn’s Near East policy.26 The state funeral for Konrad Adenauer, who died on April 19, 1967, at age ninety-one, provided an opportunity for direct talks between Israelis and the new West German leadership. The Israeli delegation was led by 24

25

26

Moscow’s negative stance toward the new Bonn government: Gromyko Walther Conversation, Dec. 28, 1966 (conveyed to the Politburo Dec. 31, 1966), AVP RF 757/ 11/43/3; Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, Jan. 20, Feb. 9, Mar. 17, 29, Apr. 1, 17, 20, 21, 22, 1967, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z207; also Peter Bender, Die “Neue Ostpolitik” und ihre Folgen (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1995), pp. 138 54. Arab Dept. Memorandum, Dec. 7, 1966, AVP RF 757/11/23/47/4; Aufzeichnungen, undated [March.? 1967], Apr. 5, 1967, B36/274. France played an extremely important role in representing the FRG’s interests in five of the Arab states that had broken relations in 1965. Gespräch des Bundesministers Brandt mit Generalsekretär Hassouna, Apr. 21, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:620 27; cf. “Hassuna spielt hoch: Die deutsch arabischen Gespräche kamen kaum vom Fleck,” Die Zeit, April 28, 1967.

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David Ben-Gurion and Foreign Minister Abba Eban.27 In their private meeting on April 26, Kiesinger warmly greeted the former Israeli prime minister with whom he discussed a number of global issues, and Brandt briefed Eban on the Hassuna talks and his refusal to place German–Israeli relations as a negotiating point (Verhandlungsobjekt) in Bonn’s efforts to normalize its ties to the Arab world.28 Yet despite the foreign minister’s reassurances, the FRG’s invitation to the Arab League envoy – the first by a Western power – struck a raw nerve in Jerusalem.29 Other elements of the German–Israeli relationship were improving.30 A commercial link was established on April 18, 1967, when the IsraelischDeutsche Handelskammer (IDHK) was founded in Tel Aviv and the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wirtschaftsbeziehungen mit Israel e.v. (GFW) was set up in Frankfurt, both for the purpose of reducing Israel’s trade deficit with the Federal Republic and increasing German investments in Israel. New business contacts were developing and Israelis participated in the Cologne and Hannover fairs that spring.31 And although all delivery of German military goods to Israel had ceased by 1967, personal and even business ties between the two sides had not been completely severed.32 Another bond was more equivocal. As war clouds gathered in the Middle East in 1967, Axel Springer paid his third visit to Israel, expanded his papers’ Middle East coverage, and urged Kiesinger to adopt a proIsrael stance.33 But Israel’s champion was a highly controversial political 27

28

29 30

31

32 33

Because the funeral fell on the first day of the Jewish Passover, both men and Ben Natan walked the five miles between the ambassador’s residence and the Bundestag but they declined to attend the interment. Ben Natan to For. Min., Bonn, Apr. 18, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7; Asher Ben Natan, “Herausforderungen im Schatten der Geschichte,” in Asher Ben Natan and Niels Hansen, Israel und Deutschland: Dorniger Weg zur Partnership (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2005), p. 32. Kiesinger/Ben Gurion meeting, Apr. 26, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:659 62; Brandt Eban meeting, Apr. 26, ibid., pp. 673 76; Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, Apr. 24, 1967, ISA 130 4011/19; Idan to FM, Bonn, Apr. 26, 1967, ibid., 4091/11; also, Asher Ben Natan, Brücken bauen aber nicht vergessen: Als erster Botschafter Israels in der Bundesrepublik (1965 1969) (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2005), pp. 108 9. Gespräch des Bundeskanzlers Kiesinger mit dem israelischen Botschafter Ben Natan, Apr. 18, 1967, AAPD, 1967 2:612 16. To be sure, there was still considerable anti German sentiment in Israel: Shek to Ben Natan, Jan. 12, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7; Pauls, for example, resented the fact that except for the foreign ministry most Israeli officials still refused to receive him. Unsigned memorandum, Jerusalem, Mar. 29, 1967, evaluating the state of German Israeli rela tions, Shek memorandum, Apr. 11, 1967, ibid. Sterling, Report from West Germany (May 1967), Frankfurt, June 2, 1967, YIVO AJC 347 Germ. Corresp.; Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), pp. 170, 182 83. Herzog memorandum, Aug. 1, 1967, BAF BW1/185994. On his second visit to Israel in April 1967, Springer assured his hosts that the Kiesinger government would be far more “understanding” than its predecessor. Pauls to AA,

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figure, criticized by left-leaning German liberals for defending Kiesinger’s appointment, opposing Ostpolitik, and supporting the US war in Vietnam. Springer was also the New Left’s bête noire for his control of some 40 percent of West Germany’s newspapers, which mocked the young Germans’ politics and garb. The students in 1967 launched an “expropriate Springer” campaign, emphasizing the large number of former Nazi journalists and staff in his employ and the articles that not only preached German-Jewish reconciliation but also glorified the Wehrmacht’s deeds. Springer had thus linked Israel with a zealous Cold Warrior and a target of the militant Left.34 War The outbreak of the third Arab-Israeli war on June 5, 1967, created a Cold War crisis. Although neither Superpower had desired a confrontation, neither was willing or able to halt the fighting until Israel in only six days had won a decisive victory over two heavily armed Soviet clients, Egypt and Syria, and also over Jordan, and had tripled its size. Unlike in 1956, when the United States and the Soviet Union, working through the UN, had forced a withdrawal, in 1967 Washington sided with Israel’s demand for direct negotiations prior to an evacuation, and Moscow failed to mobilize sufficient diplomatic support to reverse the military verdict, leaving the region without a peace settlement.35 The results of June 1967 war went beyond the Superpower conflict. They not only changed the borders of the Middle East and created another refugee crisis but also spurred the creation of an independent Palestinian national movement. Moreover, the war had a powerful impact outside the region, leaving NATO shaken and, with the closing of the

34

35

Apr. 5, 1967, PA AA B36/296; also Shek Memoranda, Mar. 14, 29, June 30, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7. On the politics of the Springer press: Otto Köhler, Unheimliche Publizisten (Munich: Knaur, 1995). Students vs. Springer: Stuart J. Hilwig, “The Revolt against the Establishment,” in Carole Fink, Philipp Gassert, and Detlef Junker, eds., 1968: The World Transformed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 326 35. The ambiguities of Springer’s pro Israel stance: Anne Gemeinhardt, “Axel Springer: Juden, Deutsche und Israelis,” H Net Reviews (2011): 1 3. For a more sympathetic appraisal by Springer’s closest Jewish advisor: Ernst Kramer, “Axel Springer, Israel und die Juden,” in Andreas Nachama and Julius Schoeps, eds., Aufbau nach dem Untergang: Deutsch jüdische Geschichte nach 1945 (Berlin: Argon, 1992), pp. 347 54. Michael B. Oren, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); Guy Laron, The Six Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017).

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Suez Canal and the reduction of Arab oil deliveries, creating economic turmoil in Western Europe.36 At the outset of the war much of the Federal Republic was distracted by the Ohnesorg shooting and by the mass demonstrations that followed. Nonetheless, the conflict was not a surprise. During the previous month the German ambassador and the German media had reported extensively on the mounting prospect of war: on Egyptian president Nasser’s closure of the Strait of Tiran, his demand for the withdrawal of the UN forces, and his dispatch of his troops to the Sinai; on the vows by Iraqi, Algerian, and Palestinian leaders to drive the Jews into the sea; and on the mounting pressure on the Eshkol government from the Israeli military and public to respond.37 Israel’s appeal to Bonn on May 28 for twenty thousand gas masks for its civilian population (Nasser had reportedly used chemical weapons in the Yemen civil war) made a powerful impression. In his public appeal on May 31, the SPD deputy Adolf Arendt insisted, “We cannot be silent when the Israeli people is threatened with genocide.”38 There was widespread support for an endangered Israel. From abroad, two prominent writers – Jean-Paul Sartre and Jean Améry – also voiced fears of its annihilation, and at home Günter Grass, the Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, and the pacifist theologian Helmut Gollwitzer echoed their words. By the beginning of June, the DIG, Aktion Sühnezeichen, and the trade unions had organized pro-Israel rallies in many of the universities and workplaces as well as in public sites. The German mainstream press portrayed Israel as David facing Goliath, as a liberal democracy menaced by aggressive and corrupt Arab regimes, and as a Western bulwark against Soviet expansion.39 With only meager reporting from

36 37 38

39

Robert Hunter, “Das Versagen der internationalen Krisenbeherrschung im Nahost Konflikt,” Europa Archiv 7 (1968): 241 50. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, May 30, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:826 27; Der Spiegel 23 (May 29, 1967); Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 31, 1967. “Hilf Israel!” reprinted in Jekutiel Deligdisch, Die Einstellung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Staate Israel: Eine zusammenfassung der Entwicklung seit 1949 (Bonn: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1974), p. 184. On the gas masks: Brandt/Ben Natan inter view, AAPD 1967 2:809 12. Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, June 1, 1967, ISA 130 4011/18. Because of Defense Minister Schröder’s objections, the government supplied the masks from civilian sources, and, although returned unused, in July they had served a major propaganda purpose. On the idealization of Israel before the 1967 war: Hermann Meir Cronemeyer, “Israel zwischen Legende und Wirklichkeit,” Gewerkschaftliche Monatschriften 18 (1967): 225 34; also Gilad Margalit, “Israel through the Eyes of [the] West German Press (1947 1967),” Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung 11 (2002): 235 48. Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 118 19. For more critical views: Friedmann Büttner, “German Perceptions of the Middle East Conflict: Images and identifications during the 1967

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the Arab side, few journalists questioned Nasser’s lethal intentions or Israel’s vulnerability.40 When war erupted, Kiesinger immediately announced his government’s official policy of “non-interference” (Nichteinmischung), reiterating Bonn’s refusal to supply arms to areas of conflict. But during the heated Bundestag debate on June 7, the small but vocal FDP opposition questioned the government’s impartiality, citing the gas mask and lorry deliveries to Israel for worsening German-Arab relations and risking Soviet pressure on Berlin. Defending the coalition, the SPD faction leader, Helmut Schmidt, who a year earlier had made an extended visit to Israel, insisted: “Much as we value the traditional friendship of our people with the Arab peoples, we must protest the intention of their leaders to destroy Israel [die Absicht ihrer Führer Israel zu vernichten]” and several CDU deputies insisted that for the Germans Israel was “unlike any other state.”41 When it came his time to speak, Brandt, although reiterating his government’s official policy of non-intervention, stated that this did not mean “moral indifference” or “neutrality of the heart.”42 There were strong expressions of popular support for Israel. Three hundred West Berlin youths volunteered for civilian service in Israel. In Frankfurt, the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft purchased Israeli bonds valued at DM 3 million and the city donated an additional DM 30,000 from its budget. In Hamburg and Stuttgart, doctors donated some DM 65,000 in medical and pharmaceutical supplies. In Bonn, some one thousand doctors, nurses, workers, soldiers, and young people offered their services to the Israeli Embassy, which also received several thousand letters, including financial donations; and Ben-Natan was “indefatigable” in raising funds and support for Israel.43

40 41

42

43

War,” Journal of Palestine Studies 6, no. 2 (1977): 68, 70 72. Hans Werner Kobel, Das Israel Bild in Deutschland (Frankfurt: Evangelische Akademie Arnoldshain, 1985); Lila Orbach, “The Role of the Media in International Affairs: An Analysis of the Media’s Role in Relations between West Germany and Israel” (master’s thesis, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1988). Rudolf Chimelli in Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 8 9, 1967. Deutscher Bundestag, 5 Wahlperiode, 111 Sitzung, Bonn, June 7, 1967, StenBer, pp. 5270, 5272 73, 5276 77, 5292, 5297, 5301 2, 5308 9, 5317 18, 5321, 5321, 5330. Ibid., p. 5304: “Unsere Nichteinmischung und damit Neutralität im völkerrechtlichen Sinne des Wortes keine moralische Indifferenz und keine Trägheit des Herzen bedeuten kann.” Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, June 3, 6, 7, 8, 1967, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z209; selection of letters in Asher Ben Natan, ed., Briefe an den Botschafter (Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1971), pp. 40 116; also “Hilfe for Israel,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 6, 1967; “Blitz und Blut,” Der Spiegel (June 12, 1967).

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The war’s unexpectedly short duration and Israel’s unanticipated and overwhelming military victory created a wave of relief in Germany. In his passionate editorial on June 10, Rudolf Augstein, editor of Der Spiegel, rejoiced that the Arab attempt to wipe out Israel had failed; the “David among the nations” had survived.44 Two decades of German guilt had been lifted. A joyful Grass announced: “A new situation has emerged . . . to express our solidarity for Israel and the fate of the Jews without our feelings being hindered by the past.”45 The words Blitzkrieg and Blitzsieg resounded in the mainstream German press. The Springer newspapers were especially strident, exulting in the triumph of a “brother people” and in Israel’s successful reenactment of Germany’s own dark past. In Die Welt on June 10, Mathias Walden described the war’s “heart-stirring sentiments” and its “purifying storm,” which had suddenly made the use of arms respectable. Other Springer journalists barely concealed their admiration for the latter-day “desert foxes” Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin. Bild am Sonntag praised Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem, and Welt am Sonntag warned: “The Israelis did not win their freedom cheaply; neither will the Germans obtain theirs.”46 Springer’s Cold War allusions raised hackles among his critics, who perceived no purifying storm or positive results.47 The conservativeliberal weekly Die Zeit chided Israel for risking a World War III, and the right-center Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung predicted that “no peace is in sight.”48 Augstein, in a dramatic turnabout, on June 26 faulted Israel for refusing to evacuate the conquered territories, thereby risking future wars with its vanquished neighbors, and doubted that a “smart, brave, and wise Israeli leader” would step forward with hard decisions at this heady moment of victory.49 Several writers also called for support for the Palestinian refugees. 44 45 46

47 48

49

Rudolf Augstein, “Israel soll Leben,” Der Spiegel 25 (June 12, 1967), p. 3. “Günter Grass Says Jews Gain German Respect,” New York Times, July 3, 1967, p. 5. Quoted in Otto Köhler, “Unsere Araber,” Der Spiegel 27 (June 26, 1967), p. 66. Surveys of the West German press in Kenneth Lewan, Die Nahostkrieg in der westdeutschen Presse (Cologne: Pahl Rugenstein, 1970), and Astrid Hub, Das Image Israelis in deutschen Medien zwischen 1956 und 1982 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1998). Otto Köhler, “Unsere Araber,” Der Spiegel 27 (June 26, 1967), p. 66. Theo Sommer, “Nach dem Blitzkrieg welcher Friede?” Die Zeit 22 (June 9, 1967), http://www.zeit.de/1967/23/nach dem blitzkrieg welcher friede. Bruno Dechamps, “Kriegsende kein Krisenende,” Adalbert Weinstein, “Der Krieg im Nahen Osten und die atlantische Sicherheit,” “Vor der Bewährung der Staatsmänner im Nahen Osten,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 10, 1967. Rudolf Augstein, “Israel verliert den Frieden,” Der Spiegel 27 (June 26, 1967), p. 59. On Augstein’s past under the Third Reich, see Rudolf Augstein, “Ich habe es nicht gewusst,” Der Spiegel 5 (Jan. 29, 1979), p. 20.

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Criticism of Israel was even sharper at the extreme fringes. The neo-Nazi press, without hiding its admiration for the latter-day Rommels, labeled Israel the aggressor, ridiculed its alleged underdog status, and accused it of Nazi-like atrocities. Echoing Arab and Communist charges, it also accused the Bonn government of complicity in Israel’s war crimes.50 Germany’s radical Left, reversing its traditional sympathy toward Israel, reprimanded the victor in remarkably similar terms and also criticized its manipulation of German public opinion.51 Under the slogan “If Springer favors Israel, we must be opposed,” Ulrike Meinhof mocked Bild-Zeitung’s embrace of Israel, which she characterized as a militarized and no longer socialist state as well as an outpost of Western imperialism in the Middle East.52 On June 9, a student delegation in Frankfurt accosted Ben-Natan with the demand that Israel evacuate all the occupied territories.53 The Old Left’s protests against Israel’s chastisement by those too young to remember the Holocaust fell on deaf ears,54 as did Améry’s alarm over a new form of left-wing antisemitism.55 Ohnesorg’s death in June 1967 had lit a spark among eighteen- to twenty-five-year-old 50 51

52

53

54

55

Deutsche National und Soldaten Zeitung, June 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 1967; also Deutsche Wochen Zeitung, June 23, 30, 1967. Kurt Bachmann, “Model psychologischer Kriegsvorbereitung: Zur Manipulierung der öffentlichen Meinung zur Nahostkrise,” Marxistischer Blätter: Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftlichen Sozialismus 5, no. 4 (1967): 22 25. Ulrike Marie Meinhof, “Drei Freunde Israels,” Konkret 7 (1967): 2 3; also Horst Stemmler and Walmot Falkenberg, “Der Konflikt im Nahen Osten,” Neue Kritik 42 43 (Aug. 1967): 68. Further details in François Bondy, “Die Europäische Linke und der Nahostkrieg 1967,” Zeitschrift für Politik 16, no. 1 (1969): 72 92; Ulrike Dobberthien, Israel, die deutsche Linke und der Sechs Tage Krieg 1967 (Kiel: Magisterarbeit, 1991); Martin W. Kloke, Israel und die deutsche Linke: Zur Geschichte eines schwierigen Verhältnisses (Frankfurt: Haag + Herchen, 1990), pp. 68 76; Volker Weiss, “Volksklassenkampf: Die antizionistische Rezeption des Nahostkonflikts in der Militanten Linken der BRD,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 33 (2005): 223 24. Asher Ben Natan, “Bridges over Many Chasms,” in Otto Romberg and Heiner Lichtenstein, eds., Thirty Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Federal Republic and Israel (Frankfurt: Tribüne Books, 1995), pp. 41 42. Heinz Joachim Heydorn, “Nahost Konflikt und jüdische Existenz,” Gewerkschaftliche Monatshefte 18, no. 4 (1967): 461 64; Ernst Bloch, Frieden im Nahen Osten: Zum arabisch israelischen Konflikt (Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1967). Also, “Joint Declaration by Twenty Representatives of the German Left Concerning the Middle East Conflict,” drafted by Ernst Erdös and Michael Landmann and signed by eighteen Jewish and non Jewish leftist notables, including Bloch, Gollwitzer, and Grass as well as Iring Fetscher, Walter Jens, Alexander Mitscherlich, Uwe Johnson, Martin Walser, and Ludwig von Friedeburg, in Anson Rabinbach and Jack Zipes, eds., Germans and Jews since the Holocaust: The Changing Situation in West Germany (New York: Holmes and Meier 1986), p. 23. Jean Améry, “Die Linke und der ‘Zionismus’ (1969),” in Werke. Bd. 7 Aufsätze zur Politik und Zeitgeschicht (Stuttgart: Klett Cotta, 2005), pp. 141 51; also Werner Bergmann, Antisemitismus in öffentlichen Konflikten: Kollektives Lernen in der politischen Kultur der Bundesrepublik, 1949 1989 (Frankfurt: Campus, 1997), pp. 302 3.

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German radical activists, reinforcing their opposition to what they considered a repressive state and society. Vietnam and the Middle East war had buttressed their antagonism toward Bonn’s Cold War bonds with the United States and with Israel. In September, the New Left’s new stance toward Israel became manifest in the resolutions of the national meeting of the German Socialist Student Union (Sozialistische Deutsche Studentenbund/SDS), which equated Zionism with colonialism and voiced support for the Palestinians as fellow freedom fighters.56 Erich Fried, who had fled Austria for England in 1938, expressed this new image of Israel in his poetry: “You have survived/ those who were cruel to you/Does their cruelty/now live on in you?”57 Indeed, the polarization of the entire German public toward Israel had been widened by the 1967 war. One side – extending a vast political distance from Axel Springer to Günter Grass – continued to support the German–Israeli bond as a redemptive model and a pillar of the Bonn Republic. The other side comprised a diverse mix, ranging from those with long-held negative views toward Jews and Israel and bankers and industrialists advocating closer ties with the Arab world, to those who after June 1967 rebuked the former victim-turned-conqueror and transferred their sympathies to the defeated and, especially, to the Palestinians.58 This chasm within the German public was both a response to dramatic events and a generational phenomenon twenty-two years after the collapse of the Third Reich. But it was also a reflection of a larger debate that was emerging in the mid-1960s over West Germany’s political direction, one in which the Middle East and Central Europe would be linked.59 To be sure, at the time the Bonn government was focusing less on the public clamor than on the diplomatic fallout of the Middle East war, which 56

57

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Martin Kloke, “Zwischen Resentiment und Heldenmythos: Das Bild der Palästinenser in der deutschen Linkspresse,” in Reinhard Renger, ed., Die deutsche “Linke” und der Staat Israel (Leipzig: Forum Verlag, 1994), p. 53; Timo Stein, Zwischen Antisemitismus und Israelkritik: Antizionismus in der deutschen Linken (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2001); Christoph Schmidt, “The Israel of the Spirit: The German Student Movement of the 1960s and Its Attitude toward the Holocaust,” Dapim: Studies of the Holocaust 24 (2010): 285 87. Erich Fried, Höre Israel (Frankfurt: Verlag Association, 1974), p. 59. “The impression of the naked feet/in the desert sand/will last longer than the marks/of your bombs and your tanks,” ibid. Leske Leverkusen, “Kriegsfolgen in Nahost,” Orient 5 (1967): 165; Willy Eichler, “Moralischer Bankrott der Verantwortlichen,” Geist und Tag 22, no. 3 (1967): 129 32; also Wolfgang Kraushaar, “Vom Philosemitismus zum Antizionismus: Der Sechs Tage Krieg als Vehikel für eine 180 Grad Wendung,” Münchner Beiträge zur jüdischen Geschichte und Kultur 11 (2017): 28 44. Immanuel Geiss, “The Germans and the Middle East Crisis,” Midstream 13, no. 9 (Nov. 1967): 3 10.

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had exposed the Superpowers’ inadequate crisis management and its own vulnerability and isolation.60 West Germany’s unofficial position at the UN had been badly tarnished by Soviet and Arab charges that its economic, military, and personnel assistance had fueled the Israeli victory.61 The GDR played a leading role as public accuser, insinuating that Israel’s Blitzkrieg was modeled on Bonn’s plans to conquer East-Central Europe.62 The Hungarian delegation, which delivered the East German protest to the secretary-general, joined Poland in charging Bonn with “revanchism.”63 The war’s economic and political shocks were also considerable. The closing of the Suez Canal had caught the FRG short of supertankers, and the two-month Arab oil embargo reduced its energy supplies, raising prices and threatening its export industries.64 Moreover, the pillars of West German security had been shaken. Not only had the United States, constrained by Vietnam and urban unrest, failed to restrain Israel’s preemptive strike, but also the FRG’s EEC partners had been sorely divided and NATO paralyzed by the Soviet threat to its southern flank. How would the West respond to a move by Moscow against West Berlin?65 60 61

62

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A point made strongly in Braun to AA, UN New York, June 13, 1967, AAPD 1967 2: 894 97. Walther to AA, Moscow, June 10, 1967, PA AA B36/283, quoting the Soviet press’s mockery of Bonn’s “alleged neutrality.” Puttkamer to AA, New York, June 15, 1967, PA AA B30 VN Nahost Krise 1967 [hereafter VN NK]; also Lahn to AA, Cairo, June 27, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1145 46. Die Haltung der Regierung in Ostberlin während des Nahostkonflikes im Zeitraum von 24. Mai bis 7. Juli 1967, PA AA DDR II A1/82.00 Bd. 687. Also Neues Deutschland, June 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 21; Walter Ulbricht, The Two German States and the Aggression in the Near East (Dresden: Verlag Zeit im Bild, 1967). Braun to AA, New York, June 26, 1967, . PA AA B30 VN NK; also Tadeusz Walichnowski, Izrael a NRF (Warsaw: Ksią zka I Wiedza, 1967), issued abroad as Israel and the German Federal Republic [sic], trans. Aleksander Trop Kryski (Warsaw: Interpress, 1968). Suez Canal: Vermerk, June 13, PA AA B30 VN NK; Boycott: “Arabische Staaten setzten Erdöl Embargo fort,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 19, 1967; Aufzeichnung, n.d. [June 1967], AdsD Schmidt 5347; Montfort to AA, Kuwait, June 19, 1967 (two mes sages), PA AA B36/274; AAPD 1967 2:936, n. 1, Brandt to Kiesinger, July 22, 1967, ibid., pp. 1121 22. According to “Erdöl,” Der Spiegel 25 (June 12, 1967), pp. 27 28, the FRG in 1966 had imported 75.6 m. tons of oil (a quarter of the total 319.1 m. tons for all of Western Europe); its main suppliers were Kuwait, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Algeria. The boycott, more a political warning than an economic success and dropped in Aug. led to the formation of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in Jan. 1968. M. S. Daoudi and M. S. Dadaji, “The 1967 Oil Embargo Revisited,” Journal of Palestine Studies 13, no. 2 (Winter 1984): 65 90; Fiona Venn, The Oil Crisis (London: Pearson, 2002), p. 75. Knappstein to AA, Washington, June 8, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:875 78; NATO Ambassador Grewe to AA, Paris, June 8, 9, 14, 21, 30, 1967, ibid., pp. 870 75, 880 82, 905 10, 941 44, 980 83; also, Adelbert Weinstein, “Der Krieg im Nahen Osten und die atlantische Sicherheit,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 8, 1967; Gehlhoff, Die Lage im Nahen Osten, Bonn, June 16, 1967, PA AA B36/284.

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Kiesinger, reluctant to offer a grand design for peace in the Middle East, launched a moral offensive. In a speech at the end of June the chancellor vowed to bridge “the gulf between . . . North and South . . . rich and poor . . . white and colored.” In New York, the FRG’s permanent UN observer denied Arab and Communist charges and declared, “The German people know the horror and terror of war. . . . They know that force and war are no suitable means to achieve national goals or to solve international controversies.”66 Nonetheless, Bonn’s situation had deteriorated. At home there was the continuing economic recession and spreading anti-government demonstrations as well as growing tension between the two coalition partners.67 Another area of friction was over the proposed emergency law presented to the Bundestag on June 29. It replaced the Occupying Powers’ right to intervene in domestic disturbances with a constitutional amendment enabling the Bonn government to take action without prior parliamentary authorization, was opposed by the socialists and left-wing unions, and fueled nationwide protests that delayed passage until May 1968.68 Abroad, the coalition’s Ostpolitik was stalled. The Soviet Union, compelled to focus on resupplying arms and repairing its relations with Egypt and Syria (both disgruntled over its meager support during and after the June war) and fending off China’s taunts for its capitulation to the United States, could ill afford also to antagonize the GDR – a major economic contributor to the Communist bloc – by responding to the Federal Republic’s overtures.69 Kiesinger, fearing a backlash from his party, was adamant against any form of recognition of East Germany.70 Brandt and his colleagues, on the other hand, were more than ever 66

67

68

69

70

Kiesinger, Speech to the annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, June 23, 1967, quoted in Rolf Vogel, ed., The German Path to Israel (London: Wolff, 1969), pp. 301 2; Sigismund von Braun Letter to General Assembly, June 29, 1967, in United Nations, “Fifth Emergency Special Session, June 17 Sept. 18, 1967,” Proceedings of the General Assembly (New York, 1968), A/6737. Draft message Brandt to Kiesinger, Bonn, July 18, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1102 3, and, esp. Kiesinger to Brandt, Aug. 22, 1967, ibid., pp. 1213 14; also Gerhard Lehbruch, “The Ambiguous Coalition in West Germany,” Government and Opposition 3, no. 2 (Apr. 1968): 181 206; Dirk Kroegel, Einen Anfang finden! Kurt Georg Kiesinger in der Aussen und Deutschlandpolitik der Grossen Koalition (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997), pp. 169 84. Gerd Braunthal, “Emergency Legislation in the Federal Republic of Germany,” in Henry Steel Commager, Günter Doeker, Ernst Fraenkel, Ferdinand A. Hermans, and William C. Havard, eds., Festschrift für Karl Loewenstein (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1971), pp. 71 86. See, esp., Walther to AA, Moscow, June 10, 16, 1967, PA AA B36/283, 284; Aufzeichnung, Bonn, June 21, 1967, ibid., B36/285; Walther to Brandt, July 11, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1031; Markscheftel to Brandt, Sept. 11, 1967, AdsD WBA Aussenmin./7. Ruete Aufzeichnung, May 30, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:837 39; Schmidt to Moeller, June 5, 1967, AdsD Schmidt 5349; also see objections in Bahr to Brandt, Nov. 3, 1967, ibid., WBA Aussenmin./20.

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determined not to halt the momentum of their efforts toward European détente.71 Germany’s ties with two of its crucial allies were also strained. The bond with France, forged by Adenauer in 1963, had been badly shaken by de Gaulle’s moves to expand his country’s international status by challenging the existing Cold War order. In 1966, the French president had announced France’s exit from NATO’s joint command; and with his calls for a unified Europe between the Atlantic and the Urals (without advocating German reunification), de Gaulle had launched his own Ostpolitik toward the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc.72 Bilateral relations further deteriorated in 1967 after de Gaulle, on the eve of the June war, thwarted the FRG’s efforts to expand the EEC into a political union and to admit Great Britain.73 When war erupted, de Gaulle shocked Bonn with his unilateral condemnation of Israel’s first strike and his proposal for a four-power (instead of a UN) solution to the conflict.74 Germany’s ties with the United States had also loosened. The Johnson administration appeared to be losing confidence in Bonn’s aims and leadership; and the FRG was disconcerted by Washington’s proposals for redefining NATO’s military and nuclear strategy, its demands for increased offset payments, and its moves toward détente with the Soviet Union that included the negotiations on a nuclear nonproliferation 71

72

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74

Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, June 20, 1967, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z207; “Nahost Konflikt und Deutschland Politik,” June 21, 1967, PA AA B36/285. After the June war, despite several setbacks, Brandt’s policy advisor and the enthu siastic Ostpolitiker Egon Bahr succeeded in drafting a trade treaty with Czechoslovakia. Bahr to Brandt, June 20, 22, 1967, AdsD EB341; Bahr to Brandt, July 7, ibid., WBA Aussen./20; Sahm Aufzeichnung, July 27, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1142 45. Garret Martin, “The 1967 Withdrawal from NATO: A Cornerstone of de Gaulle’s Grand Strategy?” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 9, no. 3 (Sept. 2011): 232 43; Dirk Buda, Ostpolitik à la française (Marburg: Verlag Arbeit & Gesellschaft, 1990), pp. 79 96. Réunion au sommet de Rome, May 30, 1967, Couve de Murville papers, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques; Lahr to AA, Rome, May 31, 1967, Sachs to AA, Brussels, June 9, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:842 48, 878 80. Also Jürgen Schwarz, “Rückblick auf die Europapolitik de Gaulles,” Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 21, no. 9 (1970): 517 39; Françoise de LaSerre, “De Gaulle et la Candidature Britannique aux Communautés Européennes,” Histoire, Économie & Société 13, no. 1 (Mar. 1994): 131 42; Helen Parr, “Saving the Community: The French Response to Britain’s Second EEC Application,” Cold War History 6, no. 4 (Nov. 2006): 425 54. Earlier: N. Piers Ludlow, “Challenging French Leadership in Europe: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the Outbreak of the Empty Chair Crisis of 1965 1966,” Contemporary European History 8, no. 2 (May 1999): 231 48. Klaiber to AA, Paris, June 21, 1967, PA AA B36/285; AAPD 1967 2:1035 62. See also Gadi Heimann, “In Search of a Route to World Power: General de Gaulle, the Soviet Union, and Israel in the Middle Eastern Crisis of 1967,” International History Review 32, no. 1 (Mar. 2010): 69 88.

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treaty.75 Moreover, the NATO crisis precipitated by France not only threatened the alliance’s future and the mainstay of the FRG’s security but also underlined the diminishing prospects of German reunification – a pillar of Kiesinger’s party’s platform.76 The Kiesinger-Brandt visit to Washington in August 1967 temporarily patched up the relationship;77 but resolving the NATO crisis would force Bonn to conduct a delicate balancing act between Paris and Washington, make substantial compromises, and develop new thinking on foreign affairs.78 Aftermath When the Cold War spread to the Middle East in June 1967 the Bonn government was roused from its political immobility. Its principal challenge was in the Arab world, where Germany’s already-damaged relations had been worsened by its politicians’ and media’s pro-Israel pronouncements and by widespread Arab resentment of its support for Israel.79 Bonn’s principal rival, the GDR, had already raised DM 5 million on behalf of the war’s Arab victims and now launched a diplomatic campaign to obtain recognition from Egypt and Syria in return for increased aid from the Communist bloc.80 The Kiesinger government responded promptly, urging the Bundestag to allocate DM 5 million in emergency aid through the German Red Cross to provide medicine, clothing, and shelter to the refugees in Jordan, and the bill was passed overwhelmingly on June 26 and with widespread popular support.81 But the Auswärtiges Amt 75

76

77 78

79

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81

Von Staden to Ahlers, Washington, July 18, 1967, AdsD WBA Aussenmin./1; also AAPD 1967 2:1017 18, 1180 86, 1117 21; Hadas Memorandum, Bonn, May 16, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7. Helga Haftendorn, “The NATO Crisis of 1966 1967: Confronting Germany,” in Helga Haftendorn, Georges Henri Soutou, Stephen Szabo, and Samuel F. Wells, eds., The Strategic Triangle: France, Germany, and the United States in the Shaping of the New Europe (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2006), pp. 77 102. See AAPD 1967 2:1189 1209. Grew to AA, Paris, Aug. 22, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1138 41; also Helga Haftendorn, “Entstehung und Bedeutung des Harmel Berichtes der NATO von 1967,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 40, no. 2 (1992): 169 221. Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, June 23, 1967, on difficult meeting with Kobani, head of the Arab League Bureau in Bonn, June 23, 1967, PA AA B36/289; Lahn to AA, Cairo, July 27, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1145 46. German Egyptian relations reached a low point in July 1967 when the merchant ship Ellen Klautschke was pelted with stones and invaded by demonstrators in the Alexandria harbor. Der Spiegel 31 (July 24, 1967), p. 31. Ulbricht to Brezhnev (draft, n.d.), BAL DY 30 3666 (microfilm), reviewing the meetings between Deputy Prime Minister Gerhard Weiss and Egyptian and Syrian officials, July 6 22, 1967; also Aufzeichnung, Bonn, July 28, 1967, PA AA DDR 687 II A1/ 82.00; and ibid., 683 II A1/80.08/0. Aufzeichnung, Aug. 4, 1967, PA AA B36/287.

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pressed for an even more fundamental change in German foreign policy. Building on its long-standing objections to the “one-sided” policy toward Israel, its officials urged the Bonn government to conduct a far more evenhanded Middle East policy, to emulate de Gaulle’s realpolitik, and to pursue its own interests. In the long run, as one official asserted, the Arab countries possessed greater strategic, political, and economic weight in East-West relations than did Israel.82 Indeed, these sentiments coincided with the German public, which in a poll conducted that summer recorded a 77 percent approval of the government’s policy of non-intervention and believed in the virtues of “evenhandedness” in the Arab-Israeli quarrel.83 Brandt strongly favored a new course. Without renouncing Bonn’s commitment to Israel’s survival – now greatly improved by the war’s results – the foreign minister and his circle believed that Germany must expand its business and political interests in the Arab world in order to strengthen its “policy of movement” in Europe.84 Brandt urged German journalists to tone down their anti-Arab rhetoric.85 He sent an emissary, the SPD’s Arab specialist Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski, to Jordan, offering an additional DM 50 million to aid some 200,000 Palestinian refugees that had arrived in that country.86 And working behind the scenes, he and his party colleagues, mixing threats and economic blandishments, urged Arab leaders to limit the oil boycott (which only Iraq had fully imposed) and to withhold recognition of the GDR.87 Bonn’s strategy paid off. At the Arab League summit in Khartoum, held between August 29 and September 1, 1967, the delegates from twelve states famously issued the three famous “no’s” to Israel’s 82

83 84

85 86 87

Unsigned Aufzeichnung, June 22, 1967, “Konsequenzen für die Bundesrepublik aus der jetzigen Nahost Situation,” PA AA B36/285; also Meyer Lindenberg Aufzeichnungen, June 21, June 23, July 27, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:939 40, 950 52, 1138 41. Cf. Note, Paris, La République Fédérale et la crise du Moyen Orient, July 7, 1967, FMAE Europe/ RFA 1961 70 Z207. Emnid Institut (Bielefeld) Monatlicher Dienst, Informationen (July 1967), p. 16. See Brandt’s amendments to Meyer Lindenberg Aufzeichnung, June 23, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:950 52; also Bahr to Brandt, Bonn, June 15, 1967, AdsD EB 442, July 7, 1967, ibid., WBA Aus. 20. Significantly, the German ambassador was recalled to Bonn on June 27 28 for talks with Brandt and the Auswärtiges Amt on the new political and territorial conditions after the June war. Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, June 26, 1967, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z207. Brandt press conference, July 10, 1967, PA AA B36/286; unsigned tel. to Germ. Embassy Rabat, July 12, 1967, ibid. Meyer Lindenberg Aufzeichnung, June 21, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:938 40; Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, June 29, 1967, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z207. Meyer Lindenberg Aufzeichnung, July 27, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1138 41.

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demand for direct peace talks in return for an evacuation of captured Arab territories: no negotiations, no recognition, and no peace.88 But, more significantly at Khartoum, the moderate majority, signaling its readiness to pursue a Great Power–brokered political solution through the United Nations, renounced the hard-line positions of Syria, Algeria, and Iraq calling for a continuation of the military struggle, and refused Palestinian leader Ahmad Shukeiry’s plea to conduct guerrilla warfare against Israel.89 Moreover, the message to Bonn was positive: the League lifted the oil embargo, declined to recognize the GDR, and indicated interest in closer relations with the Federal Republic, whose ties with Jordan as well as Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia had remained more or less intact throughout the crisis.90 Paradoxically, at the very time Bonn was seeking to deepen and expand its ties with the Arab world, there was also a major change in Israel’s attitude toward the FRG: an unexpected and massive outpouring of gratitude for all the personal and institutional gestures of support before and during the war – the telegrams, demonstrations, cash contributions, and official statements that had belied its official neutrality and counteracted de Gaulle’s censure and the antagonism of the Communist camp. For many Israelis this support had suddenly mitigated (if not entirely removed) their deeply rooted coldness toward the FRG over its Nazi past, Third Reich holdovers, and recent overtures to the Arabs.91 Journalists in the major Israeli newspapers, including formerly outspoken German critics, suddenly reversed their hostile positions; and leading politicians openly cited the FRG, along with the Netherlands, as the sole European countries to stand by Israel in its hour of need.92 Only a year after his dour 88

89

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91 92

D. C. Watt, “The Arab Summit Conference and After,” The World Today 23, no. 10 (Oct. 1967): 443 50. The attendees were Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait, Tunisia, Yemen, Sudan, and Lebanon; Syria boycotted the meeting. Yoram Meitan, “The Khartoum Conference and Egyptian Policy after the 1967 War: A Reexamination,” Middle East Journal 54, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 64 82, based on extensive Arab sources. Germ. Amb. Rabat to AA, Sept. 6, 1967, PA AA B36/288; unsigned Aufzeichnung, Sept. 6, 1967, ibid., B36/290; Klaiber to AA, Paris, Sept. 8, 1967, ibid., B36/288; Brandt Press Conference Sept. 7, 1967, ibid., B36/290. Aside from Bonn’s pressure, Egypt’s two year delay in recognizing the GDR was likely due to the Soviet imposed restrictions on delivering offensive weapons as well as Nasser’s inclination to keep the two German states competing for his favor. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, June 7, 1967, PA AA B36/282; also Pauls to AA Tel Aviv, Pauls to AA, June 21, 1967, PA AA B36/296, with considerable detail. Pauls to AA Tel Aviv, July 12, 1967, PA AA B36/296.

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comment to Adenauer about awaiting “deeds” from Bonn, Eshkol offered thanks for its solidarity and called for better relations between the two countries.93 West Germany’s status in Israel was further enhanced by Axel Springer’s visit immediately after the war.94 It was followed that summer by a swell of German politicians, businessmen, tourists, and volunteer workers, and in October by large trade union deputation and the one hundred–strong delegation of the West German Friends of the Hebrew University to lay the cornerstone of the Martin Buber Center for Adult Education on Mount Scopus.95 American Jews also responded positively. Putting aside their qualms over Kiesinger’s past, Bonn’s Ostpolitik, and the FRG’s courtship of the Arabs, the leaders of the three major Jewish organizations met with the chancellor during his August 1967 Washington visit and expressed gratitude for his country’s support of Israel.96 Although some Israelis and Americans remained skeptical of Bonn’s intentions, enough good will had been expressed to kindle German hopes for more normal relations with Israel.97 Israelis headed to Europe. Soon after the war Eshkol dispatched Shimon Peres, the leading Rafi Knesset member and former director general of the Defense Ministry, on a trip to Bonn, Paris, and Rome. Upon arriving in the West German capital on June 22, Peres held private discussions with Kiesinger and Brandt and also with his old negotiating partner (and now finance minister) Franz Josef Strauss for the purpose of explaining Israel’s “thoughts and hopes on peace.”98 And after the Eshkol government lifted the long-standing travel restrictions, Israeli local

93 94 95

96 97

98

Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, July 25, 1967, PA AA B36/297. Former chancellor Erhard paid a visit to Israel between October 30 and November 10, 1967. Springer to Kiesinger, Hamburg, June 30, 1967, BAK B136/3636. American Jewish Year Book, vol. 69 (New York: American Jewish Committee/Jewish Publication Society of America, 1968), pp. 486 88. At their meeting in Munich in July 1967, German and Israeli educators agreed to revise passages on Germany and Israel in their respective textbooks. Knappstein to Bahr, Washington, Aug. 22, 1967, PA AA B36/297. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, July 25, 1967, PA AA B36/297. But also see critical Sterling report, June 25, 1967, YIVO RG 347; FAD 1, Box 98, and Gabriel Gersh, “Have the Germans Changed?” [American Jewish] Congress Bi Weekly (Feb. 19, 1968): 12 14. Eshkol to Kiesinger, June 21, 1967, BAK B36/3636; on Peres: Boss to Kiesinger, Bonn, June 22, ibid. Although Bonn underplayed the visit (Böker to Tel Aviv, Rome, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Amman, Algiers, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Khartoum, Rabat, Tripoli, Tunis, Damascus, June 23, 1967, PA AA B36/285), Peres, in his June 22 press con ference, stressed that the Israeli public had “learnt to esteem the West German attitude, both before and during the war.” George Lavy, Germany and Israel: Moral Debt and National Interest (London: Frank Cass, 1996), p. 157.

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officials as well as journalists, teachers, students, athletes, artists, and youth groups followed.99 Predictably, this flurry of comradeship produced a backlash in the Arab world, especially after the press reported Israeli predictions of Bonn’s “vigorous support” for its economic and political goals, forcing the Auswärtiges Amt to issue a strong denial.100 Although every German negotiation with Israel since 1952 had drawn Arab disapproval and threats, this time Bonn was not cowed. More self-confident and assertive, the Federal Republic appeared to be less fearful of criticism from either side.101 First on the German–Israeli agenda was the renewal of Israel’s annual development loan. During their April talks in Bonn, Ben-Gurion had appealed to Kiesinger and Eban to Brandt to maintain the DM 160 million figure, despite Germany’s straitened economic circumstances.102 Brandt, striving to improve relations with the Arab states, had deferred the negotiations. Even after the cabinet in early June had verbally agreed to renew the DM 160 million loan, the Auswärtiges Amt was determined to delay.103 Ben-Natan made another appeal on July 3; but one day later Bahr urged Brandt to postpone politically inopportune discussions that would be leaked by the Israelis, infuriate the Arabs (to whom “we cannot make comparable concessions”), fuel the GDR’s recognition campaign, and “frustrate our Neue Ostpolitik.”104 After the Khartoum meeting had produced positive results for the FRG, there appeared to be no further reason for Bonn to delay and indeed a strong rationale to proceed, especially to squelch the wild rumors circulating in Cairo of even larger sums.105 Nonetheless, the actual 99 100 101 102 103

104 105

Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 9, 30, 1967, PA AA B36/296. Böker (Bonn) to Tel Aviv, Algiers, Amman, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Cairo, Khartoum, Rabat, Tripoli, Tunis, Aug. 25, 1967, PA AA B36/297. A stance scored as “demagogic” and unneutral by Moscow. Unsigned memoranda, July 14, Aug. 29, Dec. 20, 1967, AVP RF 757/12/82/36. Shek Memorandum, Mar. 6, 1967, AE C0031/0189; Raviv Memorandum, Apr. 30, 1967, ISA 130 4091/11; AAPD 1967 2:660, 674 75. Lahr Aufzeichnung, Bonn, June 2, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:854 55; also see comment by Ministerial Director Böker: “How long should these tribute payments continue? Over the long run they can only bring disaster certainly no improvement in the German Israeli relationship or our position in the Middle East” [Wie lange sollen diese Tributzahlungen noch weitergehen? Das kann auf die Dauer nur Unheil bringen bestimmt keine Verbesserung des deutsch israelischen Verhältnisses oder unserer Stellung in Nahost], ibid., p. 854, n. 1. Harcourt, Aufzeichnung, July 4, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:990 93; Bahr to Brandt, Bonn, July 4, 1967, AdsD EB 000442/3. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 27, 1967, PA AA B36/298; Kneiper to Kiesinger, Bonn, Sept. 7, 1967, BAK B136/3636.

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signing of the loan agreement did not occur until October 4, 1967, six months after Eban’s initial appeal. Also, the agreement was accompanied by a sour exchange: a warning from State Secretary Rolf Lahr against expecting the same amount and conditions in the following year, and Ben-Natan’s protest against still another round of drawn-out negotiations.106 Although West Germany had responded generously to Israel’s considerable needs after the June war, the new government had also expressed its new resolve to control the relationship according to its larger diplomatic aims. The second issue, Israel’s plea for closer ties with the European Economic Community, posed an even greater challenge, one in which Bonn would face not only Arab objections but also the opposition of its Western partners. Three years earlier, after long and difficult negotiations with the EEC, Israel on June 4, 1964 had signed a three-year trade agreement providing not only a limited number of benefits but also alleviating its isolation by establishing institutional links with Western Europe.107 With the trade agreement due to expire on June 30, 1967, Israel had launched a new campaign to become the EEC’s first non-European associate member. Israel was in the midst of a severe recession, suffering a trade deficit with the Six EEC members (one that was expected to rise in the future), and also determined to reduce its political dependency on the United States and forestall Arab initiatives to link up with Europe. In its October 4, 1966, note to Brussels, Israel had based its application on Article 238 of the Rome Treaty (whose provisions did not preclude non-European members)108 as well as the precedents already set by arrangements with Greece and Turkey. In its message, the Israeli government evoked the historic bonds between the Jews and Europe and its urgent economic situation, and assured the Six that it “would find in it a loyal and efficient

106

107

108

Hauthal, Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Oct. 6, 1967, AAPD 1967 3:1342 43. Despite the AA’s effort to underplay the agreement, the Egyptian press erupted with criticism: Lahn to AA, Cairo, Oct. 22, 1967, PA AA B36/298. Despite its request for a global and preferential agreement, Israel had bowed to the community’s decision, allowing only a temporary reduction of customs on twenty items (of the thirty seven Israel had requested) and a special non discriminatory clause pertaining to Israel’s citrus exports but with no concessions on its exports manufactured from European raw materials, in the hope of a more favorable arrangement in the future. Sharon Pardo and Joel Peters, Israel and the European Union: A Documentary History (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012), pp. 1 38. Which read: “The Community may conclude with one or more States or international organizations agreements establishing an association involving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special procedures.”

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partner.” In December, the EEC Council had tasked the commission with examining the Israeli proposal.109 Israel faced a grueling struggle to override Arab protests and open Brussels’ doors to its exports.110 Having won support from the European Parliament, the Benelux governments, and the United States, it still had to convince the three largest members, Italy, France, and, especially, Germany.111 Ben-Natan set out to transform Bonn’s lukewarm support into an active endorsement and applied a threefold strategy by appealing to the old CDU sense of moral responsibility toward Israel, evoking the SPD’s traditional solidarity with Israel, and emphasizing that a collective EEC decision would shield the Federal Republic against Arab reprisals.112 On their visit to attend the Adenauer funeral, Ben-Gurion and Eban had added their voices.113 Israel also enlisted several leading figures, among them Strauss and Springer on one side and Grass on the other, to bolster its case.114 The Grand Coalition government equivocated on this issue. Although Brandt had resisted Hassuna’s threats of retaliation, Kiesinger and Brandt also made no commitment to the Israelis.115 Nonetheless, despite strong political reservations, the Federal Republic notified its five colleagues that it intended to support an improvement in Israel’s relations with the EEC “to any reasonable extent.”116 In an unexpected move on June 7, 1967 – two days after the outbreak of the June war and therefore widely regarded as a political gesture of sympathy toward Israel – the EEC Commission came out in favor of granting associate member status.117 Israel, ignoring the political and economic fallout in Europe of the June war, expected that the council 109

110

111 112

113 114 115 116 117

Meyer Lindenberg Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Jan. 2, 1967, AAPD 1967 1:3 7. Other appli cations for associate membership had been submitted by Spain (1962) and Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria (1963). “Given our size and standing in the world, we are making a huge ruckus.” LaMerhav, Oct. 11, 1966, reprinted in Pardo and Peters, Israel and the European Union, pp. 67 68. Unsigned memorandum to prime minister, Jerusalem, June 27, 1967, ISA PM 6354/ 3090. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 25, 1967, PA AA B36/298. Unsigned memorandum, Jan. 17, 1967, Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, Mar. 28, Apr. 18, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7; Ben Natan submission to AA, Bonn, Apr. 4, 1967, ibid.; also AAPD 1967 2:614 16. Kiesinger/Ben Gurion talks, Apr. 26, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:660 61. Raviv to FM, Bonn, Apr. 30, 1967, ISA 130 4091/11; Harman to FM, Washington, May 3, 1967, Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, July 4, 1967, ibid., 4011/7. Wartenburg, Aufzeichnung, Apr. 26, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:674. Aktenvermerk, Bonn, May 5, 1967, PA AA B36/298. Kurzfassung zu dem Bericht der Kommission, June 7, 1967, PA AA B36/286; Ha’aretz, June 11, 1967. On June 23, 1967 the European Parliament unanimously supported the Israeli application. Le Monde, June 24, 1967.

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would take action in July and asked for a strong German endorsement.118 Instead Bonn, unwilling to risk Arab retaliation, notified Brussels on July 10 that, although favoring Israel’s application for an associate membership, it believed that any deliberations during the current “crisis situation” might intensify the oil boycott and thus, indirectly, produce “detrimental results” for Israel.119 The French, even firmer, vetoed the commission’s recommendation in the Council of Ministers, thereby blocking further negotiations and maintaining the trade agreement in force for an additional year.120 Before making its next move, Bonn fended off Israeli requests and awaited a UN resolution on the outcome of the June war, which was passed in November. At that point, recognizing that Israel’s campaign had been crushed by events (and not only by French objections but also by the competing claims of Morocco and Tunisia, both of which it supported), Germany proposed an alternative to the current unsatisfactory arrangement and a reprise of the unsuccessful associate-member negotiations. As the chair of the December EEC Council meeting, the FRG representative proposed a preferential trade agreement between the EEC and Israel. However, even this compromise was defeated when France and Italy raised political as well as economic objections and the Benelux countries also backed down.121 There would be no change in Israel’s relations with the EEC until June 29, 1970.122 These difficult EEC negotiations in 1967 had a significant impact on Bonn, forcing it to recognize that its partners, heavily dependent upon Arab oil and trade, did not share its sense of historic obligation toward the Jewish people or its fraught relationship with Israel and would insist on a “conflict-neutral” policy in the Middle East.123 On the other hand, as 118 119 120

121 122

123

Schütz Aufzeichnung, July 3, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:989. Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, Bonn, July 4, 1967, PA AA B37/277; Meyer Lindenberg to Permanent Representative in Brussels, July 10, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:989, n. 4. Ibid.; also Ilan Greilsammer, Israël et l’Europe (Lausanne: Fondation Jean Monnet, 1981), pp. 49 72. In the meantime, a special “Israel group” consisting of the Six’s permanent representatives in Brussels was assembled, which called on the commission to provide “additional material and analysis” to back up its June 7 recommendation. Sachs to AA, Brussels, Dec. 12, 1967, PA AA B36/298. At which time, with Dutch and German pressure overcoming French objections (and in defiance of Arab League threats), the EEC signed a preferential trade agreement with Israel along with Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Although not fulfilling Israel’s hopes for an associate membership, the new agreement offered significant economic gains and was thus characterized by Foreign Minister Abba Eban as a next step on “its way to Europe.” Howard Sachar, Israel and Europe: An Appraisal in History (New York: Knopf, 1999), p. 216. Aktenvermerk, Bonn, May 5, 1967, Schlussfolgerungen, June 28, 1967, PA AA B36/ 286. Nor did they share the Federal Republic’s heavily dependent relationship on the United States.

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the international chaos on the eve of the June war had clearly demonstrated, West Germany needed a strong and united European Economic Community in order to protect its own and Europe’s interests, and also one that would bolster its Ostpolitik. The Franco-German split over the Middle East and the EEC’s negative response to the Israeli membership application thus presaged a new phase in West German–Israeli relations: After 1967, the FRG’s diplomacy would begin to be shaped by its European commitments. The third major issue between Bonn and Jerusalem was their divergent views over the solution to the Middle East conflict after the June 1967 war. West Germany needed a swiftly negotiated peace in order to repair its relations with the Arabs and pursue its Ostpolitik; but Israel, having experienced a threat to its existence and receiving US backing afterward, insisted on achieving the full fruits of its military victory. It demanded maximum security guarantees and minimized both the threats of Arab retaliation and the impact of the Middle East struggle elsewhere. The Federal Republic, although without a voice in the UN deliberations, strongly supported the Security Council’s Resolution 242, passed on November 22, 1967, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the termination of belligerency, and the right of all the states in the area to live in peace within “secure and recognized boundaries,” a goal to be reached through the offices of a UN mediator and guaranteed by the Great Powers. Israel, on the other hand, opposed any outside interference and refused to evacuate the occupied territories before the Arabs agreed to direct talks.124 And, to be sure, the Arabs, who were in the process of receiving new arms from Moscow, had no intention of acknowledging their defeat. Thus friction arose between the Federal Republic and Israel according to their separate goals. The Israelis were sensitive to German criticism, especially by long-standing SPD supporters, over the Palestinian issue and the plight of Jordan, a major loser in the war.125 Bonn’s efforts to aid 124

125

Pauls to AA, Dec. 15, 1967, AAPD 1967 3:1665 67. The long held myth that Syria and Egypt rejected Israel’s June 1967 offer to evacuate the captured territory and responded with the “three no’s at Khartoum” has been decisively refuted in Avi Raz, “The Generous Peace Offer That Was Never Offered: The Israeli Cabinet Resolution of June 19, 1967,” Diplomatic History 37, no. 1 (2013): 85 108. Cana’an to FM, Bonn, Aug. 1, 1967, ISA 130 4013/2, on SPD policy toward Israel after the war. In an interesting parallel, after June 1967 the Second International (in which both Israel and West Germany, represented by Golda Meir and Willy Brandt, played leading roles) abruptly reversed its pro Israel stance and began engaging with the Arab world. Hans Krech, Die Nahostpolitik der Sozialistischen Internationale (Berlin: Verlag Dr. Köster, 1996), pp. 15 18.

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the refugees were accompanied by disapproving comments over Israel’s restrictions allowing them to return to their homes on the West Bank.126 Moreover, the Jerusalem issue divided the two countries. The Federal Republic, adhering to the UN General Assembly vote on November 29, 1947, that aimed at internationalizing the city, had never recognized either Israeli or Jordanian sovereignty over their captured areas in Jerusalem; and Bonn diplomats had scrupulously avoided attending official Israeli events in that city.127 Their differences widened after the Israeli government announced the unification of the entire city on June 27, 1967. By fall, the Springer press was awash with positive comparisons between a united Jerusalem and a still-divided Berlin (which Pauls briskly refuted); but the German government raised Israeli ire in October 1967 by refusing to grant any official status to former chancellor Erhard’s visit to the Holy Sites, deeming this a “private undertaking.”128 Bonn was also uncomfortable with the establishment of an occupation regime in the former Arab territories. As heirs to a state that had conquered and ruled large swaths of Europe and brought disaster to the Continent, German officials were deeply skeptical over the Israelis’ euphoria and their belief that victory on the battlefield would bring peace to the region.129 Bonn baffled and exasperated Israeli officials with its hesitancy – in contrast with the forthright support of the United States and the Netherlands – to take their side either privately or publicly after the June 1967 war. The German government resisted Israel’s appeals to pressure Jordan to break with the Arabs and enter direct peace talks, and it had refused to twist arms in the EEC on Israel’s behalf.130 Bonn, for its 126

127 128

129 130

Details on financial assistance, which Bonn coordinated with the EEC and UNRWA, PA AA B36/296; Israeli Embassy Bonn to West European Desk, Aug. 1, 1967, ISA 130 4013/2; Pauls Eban meeting, FM to Bonn Embassy, Aug. 7, 1967, Ben Natan to FM, Sept. 12, 1967, ibid., 5011/7. Israel believed that Jordan was escalating the refugee problem to gain Bonn’s sympathy and embarrass Israel. Frank Aufzeichnung, May 12, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:737 39. AAPD 1967 3:1454 55, 1464 65, 1488 89; Pauls had to cancel Erhard’s scheduled visit to the Hebrew University because of the threat of anti German demonstrations. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Nov. 27, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1156, objecting strongly to comparisons between Berlin, inhabited by one people separated by a foreign power, and Jerusalem, a city of two distinctive peoples “united” by “military occupation.” Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 7, 1967, AAPD 1967 2:1173 74; cf. Israeli résumé of meeting with the FRG ambassador, Aug. 8, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7. Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Sept. 22, 1967, PA AA B36/288; Eban to Bonn Embassy, Jerusalem, Oct. 12, 1967, Idan to FM, Bonn, Oct. 16, 1967, Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, Oct. 17, 1967, ISA 130 4011/7. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Oct. 13, 1967, Gehlhoff Vermerk, Oct. 19, 1967, PA AA B36/280; also Meyer Lindenberg Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Oct. 16, 1967, AAPD 1967 3:1390 93.

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part, was baffled by its inability to exert any influence over Israeli policy.131 In sum, Israel’s overwhelming victory in 1967 had changed its position vis-à-vis West Germany, transforming a former victim and dependent into a regional power and one that could thwart Bonn’s short- and longterm diplomatic aims. When Israel appeared to be in danger, Germany’s political leaders, press, and more than half of its public had poured out their sympathy; but when neither its military victory nor the Superpowers’ response brought peace to the Middle East and a growing number of West Germans began criticizing Israeli policies, the Bonn government became more determined than ever to alter the relationship.132

131 132

Söhnke, Lahr Aufzeichnungen, Aug. 18, Sept. 8, 1967, PA AA B36/288. Unsigned Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Dec. 7, 1967, Ibid.

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Time is working for us.1 Without losing sight of realities, we still have the intention of helping to relieve tensions and organizing steps toward peace.2

In a stark contrast with his cold reception three years earlier, Rolf Pauls’s departure from Israel on July 29, 1968, was remarkably cordial, and even festive.3 Two weeks earlier, Eshkol had granted a forty-minute interview to Israel’s “most expensive ambassador,” and at Pauls’s official farewell luncheon Eban had underscored Israel’s immense gratitude for West German support during the June 1967 war. On July 22, the FRG’s envoy invited several hundred Israelis (including cabinet ministers and most of the country’s leading politicians and diplomats) to his gala leave-taking reception in the ballroom of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem – a site and a gesture greatly appreciated in official circles.4 Another telling incident occurred when Pauls, in one of his last official acts (and at an expense of DM 6,201), ordered the lowering of the embassy’s threemeter-high protective grid to the identical height of its neighbors’ – and without eliciting any reaction from the Israeli public and press.5 Although there was widespread agreement that the former Wehrmacht officer’s mission had been a success, both sides defined it differently: for the Federal

1 2

3 4 5

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, quoted in Der Spiegel (July 30, 1968). Willy Brandt, Interview on German television channel ZDF, Aug. 25, 1968, on his reaction to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. http://www.cvce.eu/en/collections/uni t content/ /unit/02bb76df d066 4c08 a58a d4686a3e68ff/4e1ef32d 5fc3 4548 80c6 d e9118c086b9/Resources#4765a23d 2973 48e9 aee5 d1b54915454c en&overlay (accessed Dec. 25, 2014). “Bonn Envoy Leaves with Expectations Surpassed,” Jerusalem Post, June 28, 1968. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 17, 30, 1968; Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 2, 1968; New York Times, Aug. 4, 1968. “Mit dem Deutschen Hass in Israel, Der Spiegel 32 (1968), p. 18. Although the embassy offices were now located in central Tel Aviv, the official residence was in Herzliya Pituah.

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Republic, creating an almost-normal relationship, and for Israel sustaining hopes that its special aspects would be upheld.6 Another Tumultuous Year The year 1968 was one of the most pivotal of the twentieth century, known not only for the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, and the mounting urban unrest and antiwar demonstrations in the United States and throughout the world.7 It was also a year of two significant transnational developments: the convocation of the first UN World Conference on Human Rights in Tehran in April, and the signing of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in July, one marking the new assertiveness of the non-Western world against colonialism and racial discrimination, the other marking the Superpowers’ efforts to promote détente in order to maintain control over an increasingly restive world.8 It was also in 1968 that West Germany and Israel, facing challenges at home and abroad, continued to move in diverging directions. The Federal Republic was still avidly pursuing an Ostpolitik requiring not only conciliation with its Communist neighbors but also the resumption of ties with nine of the remaining Arab states that had broken relations in 1965. And Israel, while resisting outside pressure, was not only attempting to achieve peace on its own terms but also beginning to consolidate the fruits of its stunning military victory one year earlier. During the summer of Rolf Pauls’s celebratory departure, two major events would abruptly test each country’s direction and strain their bilateral relations. Political Strains Both Germany and Israel in 1968 were still governed by unprecedented coalitions of political rivals that had been initially created to deal with national emergencies and were now preparing to compete in the next 6

7

8

Sixteen years later, Pauls (who subsequently served as ambassador to the United States, China, and NATO) acknowledged the “historical moral burden” underlying “German Jewish [sic] relations.” Rolf Friedemann Pauls, Deutschlands Standort in der Welt: Beobachtungen eines Botschafters (Stuttgart: Seewald, 1984), p. 127. Carole Fink, Philipp Gassert, and Detlef Junker, “Introduction,” in Fink, Gassert, and Junker, eds., 1968: The World Transformed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 1 27. On the Tehran conference, Roland Burke, Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), pp. 92 111; on the non proliferation treaty, Daniel Joyner, Interpreting the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

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year’s national elections. Despite a measure of collaboration on pressing domestic issues, both coalitions failed to tackle the electoral reforms that would have reduced the power of the small parties; and both were at odds over fundamental foreign policy questions, in the Federal Republic over the pace and extent of Ostpolitik and in Israel over making peace with its Arab neighbors. Thanks to its overwhelming parliamentary majority, West Germany’s Grand Coalition had managed to tame the recession and had also drawn up the long-delayed Emergency Legislation required to deal with the domestic disorder that had erupted in the Federal Republic a year earlier.9 However, in the spring of 1968 the Bonn government suddenly faced challenges from the Left and the Right. Over the Easter Sunday weekend, the streets of the Federal Republic were filled with tens of thousands of demonstrators shocked by the attempted assassination of Socialist German Student Union (SDS) leader Rudi Dutschke by the twenty-four-year-old, rightwing fanatic Josef Bachmann and protesting the frailty of West Germany’s democratic institutions. In West Berlin, twelve thousand students marched on the headquarters of the Springer press (whose diatribes against “Red Rudi” had allegedly incited the assassin), demanding that the media magnate be “dispossessed.”10 Two weeks later, there was another alarm when the right-wing NPD scored its largest victory yet in the BadenWürttemberg elections, winning almost four hundred thousand votes (9.8 percent of the total) and sending twelve deputies to the state parliament.11 Then, on May 11, 1968, eighty thousand protestors gathered in Bonn to voice anger at the Emergency Laws: the impending curbs on civil liberties and the revival of a Nazi-style police state.12

9

10

11

12

The Emergency Laws were passed on May 30 but with dissenting votes by fifty three SPD deputies, one CDU representative, and all but one member of the FDP opposition. C. C. Schweitzer, “Emergency Powers in the Federal Republic of Germany,” Western Political Quarterly 22, no. 1 (Mar. 1969): 112 21; also Hans Hermann Hartwich, “Konturen einer neuen Ökonomischen Politik: Ein Jahr Grosse Koalition,” Zeitschrift für Politik 14 (Dec. 1967): 428 58. Die Zeit, Apr. 14, 19, Dec. 13, 1968, Mar. 14, 1969; also Arnulf Baring and Manfred Görtemaker, Machtwechsel: Die Ära Brandt Scheel (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 1982), pp. 71 89; Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Détente (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), pp. 178 81; Der Spiegel, Apr. 11, 2008. “Das Gespenst der NPD,” Die Zeit, May 10, 1968. Between 1966 and 1968, the NPD won seats in seven West German Länder parliaments (Hesse, Bremen, Lower Saxony, Rhineland Palatinate, Schleswig Holstein, Baden Württemberg, and Bavaria): Klaus Hildebrand, Von Erhard zur Grossen Koalition (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 1984), pp. 475 77. Karrin Hanshew, Terror and Democracy in West Germany (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 59 67.

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This burst of domestic unrest threatened to undermine Bonn’s growing stature abroad and provide grist to its Communist critics, especially in East Berlin.13 Predictably, it also produced shockwaves in Israel.14 Despite Ben-Natan’s efforts to downplay the threat from the Right, several Israeli politicians warned of the prospect of the NPD’s entry into the Bundestag in 1969.15 West Germany’s small but vocal left-wing movement, which received considerable attention from the press and a sympathetic response from Willy Brandt, posed an even graver threat to German–Israeli relations. Linking Israel with the reviled Axel Springer, the youthful protestors made it an accomplice to the media magnate’s Cold War crusade against Communism. Moreover, the SDS proponents of Third World liberation also tied Israel to US and Western imperialism and accused it of racism toward its Arab population. Early in 1968, Ben-Natan began facing hostile demonstrators in the streets and protests at his university talks in Frankfurt and Hamburg with their chants and placards linking Zionism with Fascism.16 Israel’s domestic scene was similarly unsettled. Its National Unity government, formed on the eve of the June 1967 war, also had an overwhelming majority in the parliament, but it contained an even larger number of dissident voices than in Bonn, including the firebrand Herut leader Menachem Begin who had opposed UN Resolution 242.17 Faced 13

See, esp., Braun to AA, UN Headquarters NY, Apr. 22, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:497 500. On May 11, 1968, the UN’s Human Rights Conference adopted a Communist spon sored resolution expressing “profound alarm” over the renewal of Nazi ideology and calling for international vigilance. Text of Resolution 2: “Measures to be taken against Nazism and Racial Intolerance,” in United Nations, Final Act of the Tehran Conference on Human Rights, 13 May 1968, p. 5, http://legal.un.org/avl/pdf/ha/fatchr/Final Act of Te hranConf.pdf (accessed June 26, 2015). 14 Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, May 2, 1968, PA AA B5/34. 15 In his memoir, Brücken bauen aber nicht vergessen: Als erster Botschafter Israels in der Bundesrepublik (1965 1969) (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2005), p. 124, Ben Natan estimated that in 1968 some 15 percent of the FRG’s population still supported the extreme Right, which, however, fortunately lacked both a charismatic leader and coher ent political program to expand its appeal to the larger population. Cf. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, July 9, Aug. 13, 1968, PA AA B5/34; also Sterling report, July 3, 1968, AJCA, Gold Executive Files, Box 12. 16 Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, Nov. 7, 1968, ISA 130.23 4184/27‫ ;חצ‬details in Asher Ben Natan, “Herausforderungen im Schatten der Geschichte,” in Asher Ben Natan and Niels Hansen, eds., Israel und Deutschland: Dorniger Weg zur Partnerschaft: Die Botschafter berichten über vier Jahrzehnte diplomatische Beziehungen (1965 2005) (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2005), pp. 36 38; also Ben Natan, Brücken bauen, pp. 123 35. By mid 1969, an alarmed US Jewish leadership contemplated making a remon strance in Bonn: Schuster to Goodman, June 16, 1969, AJCA Bertrand Gold Executive Files, Box 12. 17 Amnon Sella, “Custodians and Redeemers: Israeli Leaders’ Perceptions of Peace, 1967 79,” Middle Eastern Studies 22, no. 2 (Apr. 1986): 236 38.

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with outside pressures – and particularly the prospect of UN-sponsored peace talks led by the Swedish diplomat Gunnar Jarring – Prime Minister Levi Eshkol on January 21, 1968, engineered the creation of the Israeli Labor Party by merging his dominant Mapai with its two smaller rivals, Rafi and Ahdut HaAvoda, which now alone would control 59 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.18 However, this move toward the creation of several large Israeli political blocs did not efface (and perhaps even exacerbated) the contention among the leaders of the three combined labor parties over Eshkol’s succession and, especially, over the fate of the occupied territories.19 Within the mainstream Israeli public there was growing disagreement over the future of the West Bank. One side, led by a vocal group of prominent writers and religious, academic, business, and military figures, on October 31, 1967, had founded the ”Movement for the Greater Land of Israel.” Stressing religious, nationalist, and strategic concerns, they had begun lobbying the government against any withdrawal and advocated Jewish settlement of the occupied territories, which they called by their biblical names Judea and Samaria.20 A dramatic manifestation of settlement fervor occurred in April 1968 when a group of thirty Jews, responding to an appeal by religious fundamentalist Rabbi Moshe Levinger, celebrated the Passover holiday in Hebron and announced their desire to stay indefinitely.21 A second group, drawing on the earlier pacifist elements of Zionism that had advocated coexistence with the Arabs, opposed any settlement of the occupied lands. Naming themselves a “Movement for Peace and Security,” a group of scientists, academics, and religious leaders on July 1 1968, called on the government to return all the territories in exchange for a “real” peace. The demand for withdrawal was endorsed by left-wing journalists, students, writers, and politicians who feared that the occupation would undermine Jewish democracy.22 But not only was this group fragmented into differing worldviews, ranging from its anti-Zionists 18 19 20

21 22

New York Times, Jan. 22, 1968. Significantly, Eshkol’s bitter rival, former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, refused to join the unified party. “Now the Real Fight Starts in Israel,” New York Times, Jan. 29, 1968. Uriel Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel,” Jerusalem Quarterly 35 (1985): 36 45; also Dan Laor, “The Last Chapter: Nathan Alterman and the Six Day War,” Israel Studies 4, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 178 94. While the government wavered over evicting them, the military relocated the group to a military base, which three years later would become the settlement Kiryat Arba. Mordechai Bar On, In Pursuit of Peace: A History of the Israeli Peace Movement (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996), pp. 45 52; Tamar S. Hermann, The Israeli Peace Movement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 79 80; David Hall Cathala, The Peace Movement in Israel, 1967 87 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p. 20.

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and supporters of a binational state to its various religious and secular factions; the peace movement’s message of renunciation, predicated on concluding an agreement with resistant Arabs, had also failed to gain widespread public support in the still euphoric time after the June war.23 On May 2, 1968, Israel celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a giant two-hour military parade through all of Jerusalem, which was witnessed by a half million spectators but drew protests from friends as well as enemies. That day, Eshkol announced, “We are determined not to return to borders that involve dangers to Israeli security.”24 But the Israeli government’s split between hawks and doves, its fragmented populace, and its heavily mobilized media had also created an opening in 1968, into which revered military leaders, particularly Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, were able to exert outsize influence that would include the beginning of settlements in the Golan, West Bank, Gaza, and Sinai.25 By 1968, several West European governments had begun voicing concern over the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the future of their inhabitants.26 The Federal Republic, because of its earlier commitment of aid to the Palestinians, was uneasy over the even larger numbers of refugees now under Israeli control and awaited Israeli initiatives, hoping that it would demonstrate realism and flexibility.27 Pauls underlined Israel’s new dilemma: the potentially vast increase of Israel’s Arab subjects threatening to outnumber its Jewish population and threaten its democracy.28 Advances and Setbacks Abroad In the first half of 1968, while the Superpowers continued to rearm their Middle East clients, Jarring launched his shuttle mission between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt without bringing the parties together. Indeed, few expected any progress toward peace during this US presidential election 23 24

25

26 27 28

Hall Cathala, The Peace Movement in Israel, pp. 20 33; also Uri Avnery, Israel without Zionists: A Plea for Peace in the Middle East (New York: Macmillan, 1968), pp. 178 213. New York Times, May 3, 1968. Western diplomats, observing the UN Security Council’s resolution condemning the annexation of East Jerusalem, stayed away, but military attachés attended informally. Vivid description of the day’s events in Amos Elon, The Israelis: Founders and Sons (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971), pp. 3 11. Ilan Troen, “Spearheads of the Zionist Frontier: Historical Perspectives on Post 1967 Settlement Planning in Judea and Samaria,” Planning Perspectives 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1992): 81 100; also Amnon Aran, Israel’s Foreign Policy toward the PLO (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2009), pp. 16 32; Gershom Gorenberg, The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967 1977 (New York: Henry Holt, 2006). E.g., Eban to Eshkol, Feb. 1, 1968, Eban to Ben Gurion, Feb. 4, 1968, AE 232. Idan to FM, Bonn, Jan. 2, 1968, ISA 130 4184/4‫חצ‬. Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 19, 1968, PA AA B36/456.

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year, with Washington obsessed over winding down the Vietnam War, Moscow preoccupied with China and its restive East European satellites, and neither Superpower willing or able to put pressure on their clients.29 The Grand Coalition, despite its internal division, made a few diplomatic advances in the first half of 1968. Continuing to make inroads into Eastern Europe, the FRG in January reestablished diplomatic ties with Yugoslavia and in March commenced negotiations with Alexander Dubč ek’s reform government in Czechoslovakia.30 Still hoping to repair diplomatic relations with the Arabs, Brandt paid visits to Morocco (in February) and Tunisia (in April), two governments that had not severed ties with Bonn, hoping to convince their rulers to intervene in Cairo on Bonn’s behalf; and in February 1968, Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski, Bonn’s minister for economic cooperation, urged King Hussein of Jordan to lend his support.31 However, these two initiatives were marred by several factors. Bonn’s Ostpolitik was stymied by Chancellor Kiesinger’s reluctance to formally acknowledge Europe’s postwar borders and grant any form of recognition to East Germany, which reinforced the hardliners on the Communist side and thwarted agreements with Prague, Warsaw, or Moscow.32 And Bonn’s Nahostpolitik was obstructed not only by its ties to Israel but also by the Soviets’ increasing influence in the hard-line Arab capitals as their major backer and arms supplier and also by Hussein’s fear of breaking with the beleaguered Nasser. Thus, despite all of Brandt’s efforts (and his repeated reminders of Bonn’s generous aid to the Palestinian refugees) the Arab League in its April meeting declined to discuss a resumption of relations.33 In a broader sense, the Bonn government was handicapped by the coalition partners’ indecision over the prospects and risks of attaining a greater voice in international affairs. Although Kiesinger’s preference for “small steps” (Kleinarbeit) contrasted with Brandt’s preference for bold 29 30 31

32

33

Aussenpolitisches Kolloquium in Heimerzheim, May 2, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:527 28. Bahr Aufzeichnung, Apr. 21, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:477 82; Egon Bahr, Zu meiner Zeit (Munich: Blessing, 1996), pp. 222 23. Details of his Middle East strategy outlined during Brandt’s meeting with French Foreign Minister Couve de Murville, Feb. 15, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:203 4; cf. “Herr Brandt Seeks Arab Friends,” Times [London], Feb. 23, 1968. Peter Claus Burens, “Grundzüge der Ost und Deutschlandpolitik der Bonner Grossen Koalition, 1966 1969,” Saeculum 27, no. 1 (1976): 109 20; also Dirk Kroegel, Einen Anfang finden! Kurt Georg Kiesinger in der Aussen und Deutschlandpolitik der Grossen Koalition (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997). Lahn to AA, Cairo, Feb. 6, Mar. 8, 1968, Duckwitz Cabani discussions, Feb. 8, 1968, Hille to AA, Amman, Apr. 11, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:164 66; 171 73, 454 56; cf. Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, Feb. 19 (2 messages), Feb. 20, Apr. 23, 1968, ISA 130 4183/25. On the Soviet arms buildup, Walther to AA, Moscow, Jan. 26, AAPD 1968 1:124.

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moves, both sides’ fear of isolation set limits to major diplomatic initiatives and underlined the need for patience, flexibility, and resourcefulness. On the one hand, Bonn still adhered to its traditional Cold War stance, viewing the Soviet Union as a menace, whether along the Elbe or in the Eastern Mediterranean. On the other hand, however, it manifested new flashes of independence, as in its objection to France’s veto of British entry into the European Economic Community and its resistance to US pressure to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT].34 And although Bonn’s leaders had agreed upon an ambitious program of using the FRG’s economic resources to win friends in Eastern Europe and overseas, they were divided over how best to convince the newly aroused West German public of their ability to represent the national interest abroad.35 Israel, a country with no official allies, resolute Soviet and Arab opponents, and a new crop of Third World detractors, faced even greater foreign-policy challenges. Now occupying large swaths of Arab territory, Israel was subject to critical scrutiny, including from friendly governments, over its “unyielding” demeanor and its insistence on dealing directly with individual Arab governments.36 The Eshkol government also confronted a vocal and influential Jewish critic. Nahum Goldmann, the head of the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization, in 1968 launched a personal peace campaign that included private negotiations with US, Soviet, Yugoslav, Romanian, and West German representatives and a fiery June 18 address to the WZO, warning against the “illusions” of Israel’s “eternal superiority” over the Arabs” as well as a provocative proposal for Israel’s “neutralization” as a means of securing its future in the Middle East.37 Israeli foreign policy in 1968 was also hindered by its fragmented National Unity government, divided Labor alignment, and mobilized public. Its most important diplomatic initiative – to forestall the Jarring Mission by concluding an interim agreement over the West Bank – ran aground. It was stymied by the leadership’s wavering between creating an autonomous Palestinian administration linked to Israel and returning a 34 35 36 37

Harcourt Aufzeichnung, Apr. 3, 1968, Braun to AA, New York, Apr. 22, 1968, AAPD 1968, 1:423 26, 497 500. Detailed discussion in two day Aussenpolitische Kolloquium convened by Kiesinger in Heimerzheim, May 2, 3, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:525 52. Nahum Goldmann report, visit to US State Dept., Mar. [?] 1968, CZA Goldmann papers Z6/2720. Goldmann negotiations: CZA Goldman papers Z6/2720; text of June 18 speech, ibid., 2733; neutralization proposal: Goldmann to Herzog, Aug. 18, 1968, Herzog to Goldmann, Sept. 9, 1968, ibid., 1151. Also see Rabin to Eban, Apr. 9, 1968, noting Goldmann’s “malignant” activities. AE C001/7.

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large portion of (but not the entire) territory to King Hussein.38 To be sure, neither party was receptive to Israel’s overtures. The Palestinian option was foreclosed by the West Bank Palestinian notables’ refusal to enter separate negotiations with Israel; and the Jordanian option was blocked not only by King Hussein’s inability to “move without Cairo” but also by his unwillingness to submit to Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and to any form of permanent Israeli military presence on the West Bank as outlined in the Allon Plan.39 In the meantime, Foreign Minister Abba Eban, a leading dove and one of the principal negotiators with Jordan, alarmed over Israel’s deteriorating image abroad – particularly the news reports depicting a “tyrannical” conqueror – proposed a major Hasbara [public relations] campaign to stress the “positive” aspects of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and its “normality.”40 Nonetheless, this new state of affairs was highly volatile. The first spark was lit by Palestinian commandos (fedayeen41), who were determined to strike out on their own and avenge the Arab defeat in June 1967. Based in Jordan, the nationalist resistance group Fatah,42 led by the shrewd and daring engineer Yasser Arafat, in early 1968 had begun conducting dozens of cross-border raids and mine-laying expeditions, culminating in the explosion on March 18 of an Israeli school bus, killing a teacher and a physician and wounding twenty-eight students. That night, despite the risk of foreign censure, the Israeli cabinet decided to wipe out Fatah’s principal base in Karameh.43 38 39

40

41 42

43

Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 26, Apr. 29, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:124, 513 14. Moshe Shemesh, “On Two Parallel Tracks: The Secret Jordanian Israeli Talks, July 1967 September 1973,” Israel Studies 15, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 87 110. The Allon plan, initially presented to the cabinet in July 1967 by the vice prime minister and minister of absorption, several times modified, but never officially adopted, was an attempt to establish Israeli security without annexing a large Arab population: It envisaged turning over the densely populated areas of the West Bank either to Jordan or to an autonomous Palestinian entity and Israel’s retaining control over all of Jerusalem and the Jordan valley as well as the mountain ridges to the west from Nablus to Hebron and also maintaining a military presence in the region. Anita Shapira, Yigal Allon, Native Son: A Biography, trans. Evelyn Abel (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), pp. 312 16. Eban to Eshkol and Cabinet, Feb. 1, 1968, AE 00232. However, Rothschild to Meir, July 31, 1969, citing Israel’s worsening public relations abroad, called for “emergency” action. Ibid., 0193. Literally, those who sacrifice themselves. Fatah, the reverse acronym for the Movement for the Liberation of Palestine (harakat al tahrir al filastini), was founded in the late 1950s by refugees in the Gaza Strip and began its military actions against Israel in 1965. Yezid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian Movement 1949 1993 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), pp. 106 8, 157 64; Helga Baumgarten, Palästina: Befreiung in den Staat: Die Palästinensische Nationalbewegung seit 1948 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991), pp. 212 15. Karameh (Al Karama), five kilometers northeast of the Allenby Bridge and thirty five kilometers west of Amman, also contained a refugee camp housing several hundred

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But “Operation Inferno” met unexpectedly strong resistance. Fifteen thousand Israeli troops, supported by jet aircraft and helicopters, faced not only some three hundred Palestinian guerrillas but also fifteen thousand Jordanian soldiers who inflicted unexpectedly high casualties and enabled Arafat and many of his followers to escape. Before withdrawing that day, Israeli forces had destroyed the base and also inflicted heavy casualties, among them civilians.44 And on March 24, the UN Security Council, rebuffing Israel’s insistence on its “right and duty” to “take all necessary measures” in self-defense against terrorism, unanimously condemned its violation of the cease-fire with its incursion into Jordan.45 The Battle of Karameh dispelled the belief in Israel’s invincibility and produced three different narratives.46 For Palestinian nationalists and the intrepid Arafat (who eleven months later would become head of the Palestine Liberation Organization), it created a legend of heroic resistance and became a powerful recruiting tool for renewed attacks against Israel.47 For King Hussein, whose intelligence sources and well-prepared troops had tipped the outcome, it bolstered his image as an Arab nationalist and unyielding negotiator with Israel.48 But for Israel, the costly standoff at Karameh left a bitter aftertaste: Condemned by the public for its high casualties and failure to halt Palestinian incursions, the invasion also invited comparisons from foreign critics with America’s heavyhanded tactics in Vietnam.49 One month later, Israel faced a second public setback in Tehran, where the United Nations between April 22 and May 13, 1968, convened the first World Conference on Human Rights. The now Third World–dominated General Assembly had promoted this meeting for the purpose of using the UN’s Human Rights apparatus to bolster the struggle against colonialism and racism. However, because of Great-Power resistance to human rights

44 45

46 47

48 49

civilians. Based on newly classified documents, Amir Oren, “Debacle in the Desert,” Ha’aretz, May 13, 2011, reviews Israel’s “biggest and most ambitious peacetime operation.” “Der Krieg des einen Tages,” Die Zeit, Mar. 29, 1968; also, New York Times, Mar. 21 23, 1968. New York Times, Mar. 25, 1968. Statement of US delegate Arthur Goldberg: “We believe that the military counteractions such as those which have just taken place, on a scale out of proportion to the acts of violence that preceded it, are greatly to be deplored.” W. Andrew Terrill, “The Political Mythology of the Battle of Karameh,” Middle East Journal 55, no. 1 (Winter 2001): 91 111. New York Times, Mar. 30, 1968. Daniel Byman, A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 39: “Karameh came to symbolize defiance . . . and dignity [its Arabic name].” “Hussein Disavows Any Duty to Halt Guerrilla Action,” New York Times, Mar. 24, 1968. “Von der Welt verurteilt und isoliert,”Die Zeit, Mar. 29, 1968; also Oren, “Debacle in the Desert.”

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initiatives, little was expected of this gathering beyond renewed denunciations of Portuguese colonialism and South African Apartheid.50 Without warning, Middle Eastern politics entered the Tehran deliberations. At the outset, Syria and Pakistan demanded Israel’s exclusion from the conference because of its aggression and continued occupation of Arab lands; and on April 28, over Western and Israeli objections, the Third World and Communist-dominated organizing committee added to the agenda a joint Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian motion denouncing Israeli policies toward the conquered Palestinians – the arrests, house demolitions, and deportations. During the heated plenary debate, Arab and Soviet delegates compared Israeli repression of the Palestinians with Nazi atrocities.51 Despite the forceful rebuttals by Israel’s UN delegate Michael Comay (who cited Soviet and Arab persecution of their Jewish populations), its accusers on May 7, 1968, scored a major propaganda victory. By a vote of 42–5 (with twenty-five abstentions), the Tehran Conference adopted a six-point resolution expressing “grave concern for the violation of human rights” in the occupied territories and calling for an investigation by a special UN commission.52 Adding to Israeli chagrin was the fact that one of the yes votes had been cast by the West German delegate as a gesture of solidarity with the Arabs.53 The State of West German–Israeli Relations Bonn and Jerusalem continued to move apart. With no personal contact between the two countries’ leaders, their ties were largely in the hands of 50

51 52

53

Roland Burke, “From Individual Rights to National Development: The First UN International Conference on Human Rights, Tehran, 1968,” Journal of World History 19, no. 3 (Sept. 2008): 275 96, which echoes the objections, voiced at the time, over the meeting’s host, the autocratic shah of Iran. Bitker Report, “International Conference on Human Rights,” Department of State Bulletin 59 (Sept. 2, 1968): 256; Documents on the Tehran Conference, UNA 169/7/8. New York Times, May 12, 1968; Text of Resolution 1: “Respect for and Implementation of Human Rights in Occupied Territories,” in United Nations, Final Act of the Tehran Conference on Human Rights, 13 May 1968, p. 5, http://legal.un.org/avl/pdf/ha/fatchr/Fin al Act of TehranConf.pdf (accessed June 26, 2015). Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, May 10, 1968, PA AA B36/324; report on entire conference in Boeker to AA, Tehran, May 13, 1968, ibid., B130/4331. Although not a UN member the FRG, as a participant in several UN agencies, had been invited to Tehran (and the DDR was not); in his Apr. 24 report to the cabinet, Brandt had underlined the political importance of Bonn’s attendance at this meeting: Die Kabinettsprotokolle des Bundesregierung, vol. 21, p. 174, n. 5, https://books.google.de/boo ks?id=gS0EJqwg3WIC&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=un+teheran+konferenz+1968&s ource=bl&ots=jIdtaIGVbh&sig=WKOthJK5iIIZIZ9zI3 G F94WXs&hl=de&sa=X&e i=Wd6NVfzUJcbR QG34Iho&ved=0CEIQ6AEwCDgU#v=onepage&q=un%20teher an%20konferenz%201968&f=false.

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their ambassadors: of Pauls who, having achieved a measure of respect and trust from Israeli officials, in his final year applied himself to urging them to conduct a more conciliatory policy toward Jordan; and of BenNatan who, facing an unreceptive Auswärtiges Amt, sought to expand support for Israel among West German public and private circles.54 But in his meeting with the Israeli ambassador on June 5, Brandt, citing the impending elections, declined an official visit by Eban or a trip by the FRG foreign minister to Israel.55 There were a few positive developments in 1968. That year, Israel’s trade with West Germany – now its third-largest trading partner after Britain and the United States – grew substantially, although creating a DM 204.6 million Israeli deficit. There was also a marked increase in sport, cultural, and educational exchanges between the two countries, more tourism, and more visits by journalists and businesspeople. In November 1968, Lufthansa, with much fanfare, initiated direct flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Tel Aviv.56 Moreover, the German–Israeli Association (Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft), now numbering 980 individual members (including 73 CDU and SPD Bundestag deputies) and 65 businesses, corporations, and institutions, and with its ambitious program of conferences, lectures, and publications, strove to broaden and deepen the two countries’ ties.57 The Bonn government’s fixation on the Arab world (and on blocking the GDR’s efforts to win favor in Arab capitals) affected almost every West German–Israeli transaction. Thus, Israel’s application for an associate membership in the European Economic Community remained in suspense. And thus, in early 1968 the Auswärtiges Amt – fearing to “endanger our efforts to restore relations with the Arabs” – vetoed a government guarantee for an Israeli-negotiated DM 88 million loan from the Deutsche Bank to finance a new oil pipeline between Eilat and Ashkelon; Brandt relented only on condition that the loan fall under the rubric of development aid for Iran, that the secret Israeli-Iranian project remain unnamed in the official agreement, and that Iran’s national oil company alone be responsible for repayment.58 54

55 56 57 58

E.g., Pauls to AA, Tel Aviv, Apr. 29, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:513 14; Eban to Ben Natan, Apr. 30, ISA 130 4183/25, on Pauls Eban conversation and Idan to FM, Bonn, May 7, 1968, ISA 130.23/8184/27‫חצ‬, on the embassy’s gala twentieth anniversary celebration, with some 1,800 guests, among them seven cabinet ministers as well as state secretaries, parliamentarians, military officers, and other friendly figures. Frank Aufzeichnung, Bonn, June 5, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:672. Eban’s Apr. 1967 pre sence at Adenauer’s funeral was unofficial. Vermerk, Mar. 25, 1969, PA AA B36/461. Sterling report, July 3, 1968, YIVO AJC Files FAD 61/65. Harkort Aufzeichnung, Jan. 22, 1968, Lahr Aufzeichnung, May 22, 1968, AAPD 1:76 77, 634 36; also Uri Bialer, “Fuel Bridge across the Middle East Israel, Iran, and the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline,” Israel Studies 12, no. 3 (Sept. 2007): 48 49.

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That spring, the pipeline continued to create friction. After the two major steel suppliers, Mannesmann and Thyssen, in order to assuage the Arab League’s boycott threat, had given written assurances of their good will toward the Arab people Ben-Natan issued a mordant rebuke.59 Thereupon, Economics Minister Karl Schiller retorted that the Arab steel market was ten times greater than Israel’s; AA Ministerial Director Paul Frank warned the Israelis against “jeopardizing” their relations; and Brandt also expressed disapproval of the ambassador’s public remarks. Ben-Natan persisted, dismissing the steel companies’ letters as “regrettable and dumb,” underlining his country’s sensitivity to the boycott, and warning that the incident had fueled “anti-German” sentiments in Israel.60 Bonn’s new direction also affected its annual development assistance to Israel. In response to Ben-Natan’s urgent request to expedite the negotiations, in May the Auswärtiges Amt recommended reducing the FRG’s capital aid to Israel from DM 160 to 140 million. This reflected the strong consensus in Bonn that even this smaller sum would prejudice the FRG’s Nahostpolitik and also was disproportionate to the sums to be allocated in 1968 to the friendly Arab governments of Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco.61 Ben-Natan’s protests were to no avail; there were no

59

60

61

Like Rolf Otto Lahr, the sixty three year old Günter Harkort, a specialist in interna tional trade, had also served in the Third Reich’s Economics Ministry, and, after working for the Economic Cooperation Administration (Marshall Plan), had joined the Auswärtiges Amt in 1952 as head of the Division for Trade and Development Policy and was long involved in Middle East affairs, including the follow up financial negotia tions after the Ben Gurion/Adenauer Waldorf Astoria meeting, in which he had raised fears of Arab retaliation. Yeshahayu A. Jelinek and Rainer A. Blasius, “Ben Gurion und Adenauer im Waldorf Astoria. Gesprächsaufzeichnungen vom israelisch deutschen Gipfeltreffen in New York am 14. März 1960,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 45, no. 2 (1997): 312, n. 8. “Boykott aus Düsseldorf: Thyssen und Mannesmann nehmen gegen Israel Partei,” Die Zeit, May 31, 1968; also Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 28, 29, 1968. According to Der Spiegel, June 3, 1968, the Israeli ambassador had termed the responses of the two companies (which had won an international competition for the DM 35 million contract to deliver 71,500 tons of steel) lacking “moral elegance.” Lahr Aufzeichnung, May 22, 1968, Frank Aufzeichnungen, May 30, June 5, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:634 36, 655 57, 676. The matter was settled in July: Fearing Arab retaliation, Thyssen withdrew from the deal; however, the Arab League relieved Mannesmann, which had already made its steel deliveries, from its boycott threat. The pipeline, completed in 1969, operated only until 1978, when the fall of the shah ended the secret Israeli Iranian partnership. “Inside Intel/The Story of Iranian Oil and Israeli Pipes,” Ha’aretz, Oct. 11, 2007. On the boycott: David Losman, “The Arab Boycott of Israel,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 3 (1972): 99 122; A. J. Sarna, Boycott and Blacklist: A History of Arab Economic Warfare against Israel (Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1986). Jordan: DM 25 million; Tunisia DM 40 million; Morocco DM 50 million. Lahr Aufzeichnung, May 22, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:634 36.

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negotiations, and Israel had also to accept a higher interest rate and stiffer conditions.62 The Auswärtiges Amt, still stung by Arab and Communist charges of its complicity in the June 1967 war, was also exerting greater control over West Germany’s military relations with Israel. Although the FRG’s military officials and arms producers continued to maintain close ties with their Israeli counterparts, the AA shifted Bonn’s direction: Thus, while denying entry permits to Israeli officers, refusing export licenses, and canceling a major research contract between the Defense Ministry and an Israeli armaments firm, it approved the delivery of potential military articles to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.63 Fending off Ben-Natan’s protests, Brandt promised a measure of flexibility in individual cases but, in general, he insisted that Bonn’s Ost- and Nahostpolitik, along with its NATO obligations, compelled it to apply the utmost discretion to its military dealings with Israel.64 The issue of Jerusalem continued to separate the Federal Republic and Israel.65 Adhering to the UN’s condemnation of Israel’s “change in the city’s status” in 1967, the Auswärtiges Amt forbade Germans on official visits from visiting East Jerusalem. And although West Germany was not alone in this policy, its refusal to recognize the city’s unification, and its officials’ insistence on the lack of parallels with a divided Berlin raised particular resentment among Israelis, reinforcing their impression of a distinct shift in 1968 from a friendly supporter to a resolutely neutral observer. Moreover, the German public had also changed its views toward the Middle East: Only 10 percent believed in the prospect of peace, only 31 percent were convinced of the region’s importance, and 57 percent opposed any form of involvement by the Federal Republic.66

62 63

64

65 66

Harkort Aufzeichnung, June 14, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:730 31. The agreement was signed in Bonn on July 18, 1968; New York Times, July 19, 1968. Frank Aufzeichnung, May 30, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:655 57; details of the halted DM 930,000 rocket motor contract with Israeli Military Industries in Willikens Aufzeichnung, June [n.d.], 1968, BAF BW1/374234. Also protesting Defense Minister Gerhard Schröder’s inflexibility, both Idan and Ben Natan deplored the FRG’s’s “excessive” anxiety over its ties with Israel. Frank Aufzeichnungen, May 30, June 5, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:655 58, 672 76. Frank Aufzeichnungen, May 30, June 5, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:657 58, 674. Figures based on comparative survey by the Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft, Feb. 12, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104956. Also, Sterling report, July 3, 1968, YIVO RG 347.7 AJC FAD 61/65; Meron Medzini, “Israel’s Changing Image in the German Mass Media,” Wiener Library Bulletin 26, no. 3 4 (1972): 8 13.

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Two Crises Algiers For thirty-nine days during the summer of 1968, Israel entered a new stage in its conflict with the Palestinians. Before an aroused domestic public and a global audience, Israel sought to retrieve its captured aircraft and detained citizens, navigating the shoals of inter-Arab and international politics.67 The hijacking of civilian planes, an early Cold War fixture, had ebbed between 1962 and 1967 but re-emerged dramatically in 1968.68 In the early hours of July 23, three armed operatives from the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized El Al flight 426, carrying thirty-eight passengers and ten crew members from Rome to Tel Aviv, and diverted it to Algiers.69 The perpetrators were members of the newly formed Beirut-based rival of Arafat’s Fatah, a left-wing group intent on liberating all of Palestine, not through local border skirmishes, such as had erupted at Karameh, but through a global military and propaganda campaign against Israel.70 Algeria, one of Israel’s foremost Arab antagonists and a self-proclaimed champion of the Palestinian cause, was nonetheless discomfited by the 67 68

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Middle East Record, vol. 4 (1968), pp. 388 93. The first stage, up to 1952, involved airplane hijackings by Eastern Europeans fleeing Communism, the second seizures, between 1958 and 1961, were committed by pro Castro rebels, followed by Cuban defectors to the United States, and then by US planes diverted to Cuba. Peter St. John, “The Politics of Aviation Terrorism,” Terrorism and Political Violence 10, no. 3 (1998), p. 33. “Palästina Terroristen entführen israelisches Flugzeug,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 23, 1968; New York Times, Times [London], July 24, 1968; Arnold Sherman, The El Al Story (London: Valentine Mitchell, 1972), pp. 139 54, with additional details. Useful eyewitness sources: the eleven part blog “Hijacking to Algiers,” published between Mar. 8, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2014, by the Israeli Captain Oded Abarbanell (translated from the original Hebrew, and edited by Erez Yoeli): https://odedabarbanell.wordpress.com [hereafter Abarbanell]; and the diary, based on notes taken secretly between July 23 and Aug. 31, 1968, by crew member Jacques Meirav, which he edited and published online in May 2010 in Hebrew: http://moreshet.elal.co.il/posts/others/Pages/algiers diar y meirav.aspx and in English: http://www.storyof5friends.com/quintet/civilianb.htm [hereafter Meirav]. Officially born on Dec. 11, 1967, from the merger of three rival nationalist groups, the PFLP was led by two doctors, the charismatic Marxist Leninist George Habash (Oriana Fallaci, “A Leader of the Fedayeen: We Want a War Like the Vietnam War: Interview with George Habash,” Life, 68, no. 22 [June 12, 1970]: 32 34) and the military strategist Wadi Haddad, who organized the 1968 hijacking and directed all the negotiations. John W. Amos, Palestinian Resistance: Organization of a Nationalist Movement (New York: Pergamon Press, 1980), pp. 72 78. The operation was all the more audacious because the hijackers had allegedly received information that several senior Israeli officers (among them Major General Ariel Sharon) would be on the flight. Middle East Record, vol. 4 (1968), p. 389.

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unexpected arrival of the El Al plane on July 23.71 President Houari Boumedienne, who only two years earlier had seized power and had barely survived a 1967 military coup, still faced opposition to his regime. Although support for the hijackers would bolster Boumedienne’s domestic popularity and his reputation among Arab hard-liners, it gravely threatened Algeria’s current efforts to achieve recognition as a prudent and stable international actor maintaining a solidly non-aligned stance between the United States, the USSR, and China and seeking a leading role in Africa and at the UN; it would also undermine his efforts to attract foreign investments, modernize the country’s weak economy, and negotiate closer trade ties with Western Europe.72 Thus, although chastised in the Western press as an “accomplice” and a “pirate state” where Barbary Coast raiders had once found sanctuary,73 Algeria disclaimed responsibility for the airplane seizure and distanced itself from the hijackers. It placed the three Palestinians in captivity, immediately released sixteen non-Israeli passengers, and also allowed ten Israeli children and female passengers (including the stewardesses) to leave on another flight four days later on July 27. Moreover, it kept the remaining twelve Israeli male passengers and crew members in relatively comfortable quarters, promised a thorough investigation of the hijacking, and assumed the role of “honest broker.”74 Israel, to be sure, was in a far more serious predicament. One of the seven planes in its busy international commercial fleet had been seized and the country’s vulnerability had been exposed by its enemies. 71

72

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 26, 1968, Times [London], Aug. 16, 1968. On Algeria’s relations with Israel and the Palestinians: Michael M. Laskier, “Israel and Algeria amid French Colonialism and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1954 1978,” Israel Studies 6, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 1 24; Mohammed Yazid, “Algeria and the Arab Israeli Conflict: An Interview,” Journal of Palestine Studies 1, no. 2 (Winter 1972): 1 18. William Quandt, “Algeria: The Revolution Turns Inward,” Mid East: A Middle East North African Review 10, no. 4 (1970): 9 12; Albert Rioux, “La leçon de l’Algérie,” Action Nationale 65, no. 6 (1976): 369 83. “Luftpiraterie,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 26, 1968; “Algeria and the Pirates,” New York Times, Aug. 1, 1968. Adding to Algeria’s discomfiture as well as the Israeli captives’ fears was the fact that the Boumedienne government was still holding under house arrest the deposed former leader of separatist Katanga, Moïse Tshombe (whose private plane had been hijacked in 1967) and refusing neither to extradite him to the Congo nor to release him to his Belgian patrons. Abarbanell, Part 2 (Mar. 12, 2013); also Chicago Tribune, Aug. 14, 1968. Ha’aretz, July 28, 1968; Times [London], Aug. 16, 1968; Middle East Record, vol. 4 (1968), p. 390; also, Raphael Danziger and Gabriel Ben Or, “Algeria and the Palestinian Organizations,” in Gabriel Ben Dor, ed., The Palestinians and the Middle East Conflict (Ramat Gan, Israel: Turtledove, 1978), p. 359; Jacob Abadi, “Algeria’s Policy toward Israel: Pragmatism and Rhetoric,” Middle East Journal 56, no. 4 (Autumn 2001): 626.

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Responding to public outrage, the Israeli military [IDF] leadership prepared a daring rescue plan.75 But the Eshkol government decided to pursue a diplomatic solution, appealing at once to world leaders and to UN Secretary-General U Thant as well as to transport and aviation organizations to protest the threat to air safety posed by political terrorists and against Algeria’s violation of international law in holding the seized aircraft and civilians.76 Eshkol’s options were limited. He had to rule out an appeal to the Security Council, presided over that month by Algeria and where a Soviet veto was anticipated;77 and he could expect little support either from the United States (with which Algeria had broken ties in June 1967)78 or from de Gaulle’s France, which was intent on expanding its influence in the Arab world.79 The Eshkol government therefore had to turn to Italy, over whose airspace the plane had been seized, and which only reluctantly agreed to negotiate on its behalf with Algiers.80 The Palestinians now moved to the center of the world stage. On July 23, a PFLP spokesman in Cairo, taking sole credit for the operation and proclaiming it a new demonstration of “resistance to Israeli oppression,” demanded the release of one thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.81 Six days later, at a press conference in Beirut, another PFLP 75

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An armed mission was also supported by Israel’s ambassador to the United States: Rabin to Eban, Aug. 2, 1968, ISA 130 4300/10‫צת‬. Much later, the Jerusalem Post, July 6, 1977, published details, as did Abarbanell, “Hijacked”: Part 7 (June 5, 2013), Part 8 (July 22, 2013), Part 9 (Aug. 27, 2013), including the deceptive plans leaked to Algerian intelli gence as well as threats to destroy Air Algeria’s entire fleet during the rescue operation. Eban to Rabin, Aug. 2, 1968, ISA 130 4300/10‫ ;צת‬Moshe Carmel to IATA, July 23, 1968, ibid., 4300/5‫ ;צת‬Carmel to Eban, Aug. 6, 1968, ibid., 4300/10‫ ;צת‬Summary of Diplomatic Activity, July 27 to Aug. 1, 1968, ibid., 7921/6‫ ;א‬New York Times, July 24, 25, 1968. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 25, 31, 1968. The State Dept. in its telegrams to US embassies in Paris, Rome, and Cairo did instruct US diplomats to ask local governments to put pressure on Algeria. July 24, 1968, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964 1968, vol. 20, Arab Israeli Dispute, 1967 68, https:// history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964 68v20/d223 (accessed July 8, 2015). Israel’s appeal to Wischnewski to use his personal influence in Algiers also reaped no results. See tels. July 24 (2), Aug. 2, 4, 5, 7, 1968, ISA 130 4300/5‫צת‬. FM to Israeli Embassy Rome, July 30, Aug. 3 (2 tels.), Aug. 5, 1968, ISA 130 4300/10‫צת‬. Italy, intent on relaunching its role in the Mediterranean and replacing its greatly reduced oil supplies (caused by the Suez Canal closing), had already begun negotiations with Algeria but was also open to contacts with Israel, which now controlled the oil fields in Sinai; Luca Riccardi, Il “probleme Israele”: Diplomazia italiana e PCI de fronte allo stato ebraico (1948 1973) (Milan: Guerini, 2006), pp. 312 18; Elisabetta Bini, “A Transatlantic Shock: Italy’s Energy Policies between the Mediterranean and the EEC, 1967 1974,” Historical Social Research 39, no. 4 (2014): 157. Israel also asked the United States to encourage Italy to act on its behalf. Tel. Aug. 8, 1968, ISA 130 4300/10 ‫צת‬. Times [London], July 24, 1968.

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spokesman repeated this demand, and that day a six-man jointPalestinian delegation arrived in Algiers to stiffen that government’s opposition to releasing the plane and the remaining prisoners.82 For almost two weeks there was a stalemate. In Algiers, Boumedienne and his foreign minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika – seemingly at odds over how to proceed – dragged out the investigation to avoid the impression of yielding to foreign pressure.83 Israel, refusing to submit to blackmail, rejected a prisoner exchange but sent two officials to Rome to work out the terms of a settlement.84 In the meantime, UN Secretary-General U Thant urged Boumedienne to expedite the release of the plane and passengers, threatening to absent himself from the September meeting of the Organization of African Unity in Algiers if the crisis was not settled.85 And the United States, although refusing Israel’s request for a public statement, worked behind the scenes urging Algeria to observe the customs of international law but also urging Israel to make a “gesture.”86 The breakthrough began on August 13. After Algeria had rebuffed its two mediation efforts, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), representing some thirty thousand pilots in fifty countries, announced a boycott – the first in its history – of all flights to that country if the passengers and plane were not immediately and unconditionally released.87 Faced with a rupture of its ties with the world, Algeria relented, promising the IFALPA negotiators to release 82

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 30, 1968; New York Times, July 30, 1968. Also, Abarbanell, Part 5 (May 20, 2013) and Meirav reported on a visit to the prisoners by the Palestinians, Abarbanell identifying the PFLP leader George Habash. Although the Arab press almost unanimously lauded the hijackers (Middle East Record, vol. 4 [1968], p. 390), Bäumer to AA, Amman, July 31, 1968, PA AA AV Neues Amt/ 2350, reported the misgivings of the Jordanian and Egyptian governments as well as of the PFLP’s rival Fatah. Middle East Record (1968), p. 391; Laskier, “Israel and Algeria,” p. 24. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 7, 1968; Ha’aretz, Aug. 9, 14, 1968. Ma’ariv, Aug. 13, 1968; also Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 12, 1968, Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 15, 1968, Gehlhoff to Tel Aviv, Aug. 15, 21, 1968, PA AA AV Neues Amt/2350. Ha’aretz, Aug. 14, 16, 1968; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 16, 1968; Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 29, 1968, PA AA AV Neues Amt/2350. On Algeria: Rusk to US Mission Geneva, Aug. 4, 1968, https://history.state.gov/histor icaldocuments/frus1964 68v20/d228 (accessed July 8, 2015). On Israel: Walsh Memorandum, Washington, Aug. 5, 1968, ibid., https://history.state.gov/historicaldocu ments/frus1964 68v20/d229 (accessed July 8, 2015). However, the Johnson administra tion warned the Eshkol government that its Aug. 4 raid on two Fatah bases in Jordan (resulting in some thirty seven civilian casualties and unanimous censure by the UN Security Council) had “seriously undercut its efforts to retrieve the plane and the passengers.” New York Times, Washington Post, Aug. 14, 1968; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 14, 15, 1968, Ha’aretz, Aug. 13, 14, 15, 1968. Air France, which with its thirty two weekly flights handled 90 percent of Algeria’s foreign air traffic, agreed to the boycott, but Alitalia refused to halt its two weekly flights to Algiers. Times [London], Aug. 15, 1968.

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the prisoners unconditionally by the end of the month, whereupon the boycott was called off.88 But Israel had also given way, agreeing to make a “humanitarian gesture” to Italy, but only after its plane and citizens had been freed.89 On August 21, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia drove news of the hijacking off the front pages, much to the chagrin of the impatient hostages.90 Ten days later, on August 31, despite two lastminute roadblocks, the Algiers government sent the El Al plane, crew, and passengers home via Rome, generating a euphoric response in Israel.91 Yet behind the facade of an Arab retreat and Israeli victory was the murky reality. On September 3, Israel informed the International Red Cross that it was releasing sixteen Arab “infiltrators,” all captured before the June 1967 war, as a “gesture of gratitude for the efforts of the Italian government”; and after eleventh-hour negotiations between Rome and Jerusalem and a few changes in the list, sixteen Palestinians were freed between September 17 and October 18.92 Not unexpectedly, there was an uproar on both sides: Hard-line Israeli officials and large segments of the Israeli press protested the concealed form of reciprocity and the government’s “surrender to terrorism,” and Arab governments and journalists were irate over Algeria’s capitulation and Israel’s refusal to release any post-1967 guerrilla fighters.93 Nonetheless, in the annals of twentieth-century hijackings, the outcome has generally been characterized as an “exchange.”94

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On Aug. 13, the International Transport Workers Union also announced that it would no longer service Algerian planes at major international airports. Egypt, on Aug. 14, called for a counterboycott on all land, sea, and land transport of all countries backing the ban. Buerstedde to AA, Aden, Aug. 21, 1968, PA AA AV Neues Amt/2350. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 19, 1968; on the complexities of the boycott, Flight International (Aug. 22, 1968): 282; also Abarbanell, “Hijacked”: Part 7 (June 5, 2013), Part 9 (Aug. 27, 2013), on the IFALPA negotiations. Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 12, 1968, Knoke to AA, Aug. 29, 1968, PA AA AV Neues Amt/2350; Ha’aretz, Aug. 30, 1968. Abarbanell, Meirav; the Algerians had given the hostages a radio, and they occasionally provided them with French and local newspapers. Raphael report, Aug. 31, 1968, ISA 130 5896/4; also New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 2, 1968, Abarbanell, Parts 10, 12 (Jan. 6, 2014). Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Sept. 2, 1968, PA AA AV Neues Amt/2350; New York Times, Sept. 4, 1968. Eleven prisoners were deported to Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, and the remaining five returned to the Israeli administered territories. Jerusalem Post, Oct. 21, 1968. Also on Sept. 13, 15, and 17, Algeria released the three PFLP hijackers separately, and ostensibly dispatched them to Lebanon. Middle East Record, vol. 4 (1968), p. 393. Middle East Record, vol. 4 (1968), pp. 392 93. E.g., David Phillips, Skyjack: The Story of Air Piracy (London: Harrap, 1973), pp. 130 33, deemed it a PFLP “victory”; also Ami Pedahzur, The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle against Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), pp. 35 36.

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There were other repercussions. Between 1968 and 1972, the world faced an explosion of airline hijackings, including more than a dozen by Palestinians.95 In 1968, Palestinian militants had challenged the UN’s treatment of their people as simply a “refugee problem,” and forced the world, and their enemy, to deal with their demands.96 Also, during the prolonged hijacking crisis the dispersed Palestinian groups suspended their rivalry, leading to the formation of a unified PLO under Arafat a year later. Finally, the Palestinians’ bold action enabled them to establish stronger ties with Communist and Third World allies.97 Israel now faced an enemy prepared to strike at home and abroad.98 On September 3, the day Israel announced the release of the sixteen Palestinian prisoners, three bombs were detonated in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, killing one and injuring scores of others.99 Four months later, on December 26, the PFLP blew up an El Al aircraft in Athens, killing one Israeli and injuring another.100 Not only did Israel find little sympathy in the world community for the victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks but it also received UN censure over its retaliatory air strikes on two Fatah bases in Jordan in August and on the Beirut airport in December.101 Unready to launch a peace initiative and increasingly on the defensive before world public opinion, Israel slipped deeper into violent conflict with the Palestinians over their competing national claims. 95

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98 99 100 101

Peter St. John, “The Politics of Aviation Terrorism,” Terrorism and Political Violence 10, no. 3 (1998): 32 33. Between 1968 and 1972, there were 326 hijacking attempts or an average of one every 5.6 days. Robert T. Holden, “The Contagiousness of Airline Hijacking,” American Journal of Sociology 94, no. 4 (1986): 874. Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (London: Victor Gollancz, 1998), pp. 67 71. According to the later reflections of Zehdi Labib Terzi, the PLO’s permanent observer at the United Nations, “The wave of made for TV hijackings that followed the seizure of Flight 426 awakened the media and public opinion much more . . . than twenty years of pleading” at the U.N. had done.” “The Outlaw,” The New Yorker (May 16, 2011). Paul Chamberlin, “The Struggle against Oppression Everywhere: The Global Politics of Palestinian Liberation,” Middle Eastern Studies 47, no. 1 (2011): 25 41. Also, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World (New York: Basic Books, 2005), p. 246: “It was probably in the aftermath of the hijack that the KGB made its first contact with Haddad.” Between 1948 and 1967, there had been unceasing but less organized fedayeen incur sions and attacks inside Israel. New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 5, 1968; also “Arab Terrorism Finds a Chink in Israel’s Armor,” New York Times, Sept. 8, 1968. Details in Middle East Record, vol. 4 (1968), pp. 393 95. UN Security Council Resolutions, 256, Aug. 19, 1968, http://unispal.un.org/UNISPA L.NSF/0/0D1F94D23DD37A75852560C30060BA19 (accessed July 3, 2015) and 262, Dec. 31, 1968, http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/74CFF7BFF73F9E A1852560C30061D11B (accessed July 3, 2015).

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Prague For West Germany, a largely powerless bystander, the hijacking of El Al flight 426 raised new apprehensions about the Middle East cauldron, Western Europe’s vulnerability, and the Superpowers’ inability or unwillingness to restrain their clients, all of which endangered its Ostpolitik.102 Moreover, the hijacking crisis unfolded on the eve of a second, more dangerous shock far closer to home, when on the night of August 20–21 four Warsaw Pact countries103 invaded their Socialist ally Czechoslovakia to remove Alexander Dubč ek’s reformist government and replace it with a more compliant and orthodox Communist partner. This long-feared, but nonetheless unexpected military action had momentous consequences – halting Western attempts at bridge-building with the East and bolstering Moscow’s claims to dominate every Communist regime, to control the pace and contours of détente, and also to wield decisive power over the German future.104 The Federal Republic was stunned by the invasion, which was not only a brutal assault on Czechoslovakia’s sovereignty but also a direct blow to its yearlong effort to establish closer ties with its Communist neighbor. In the spring, in response to signals from Prague, the Bonn government had entered into negotiations to establish full diplomatic ties on the model of Romania and Yugoslavia; and indeed the Czechoslovak side had proposed a specific timetable, coinciding with the Fourteenth Party Congress scheduled on September 9 and the thirtieth anniversary of the Munich agreement on September 30.105 The official and informal talks, which extended until the very week of the invasion, included not only diplomatic exchanges in Prague and in Bonn, but also visits by SPD, CDU, and FDP parliamentarians and by Bundesbank President Otto Blessing to the 102 103

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“Kein Mittel gegen Luftpiraterie,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 26, 1968. The Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Despite Ulbricht’s enthusiasm and the GDR’s extensive preparations, the Kremlin bowing to Czech and Polish pleas at the last minute called off East Germany’s participation in the invasion to prevent an international outcry over another German invasion of its neighbor: Antonín Bencík, “Walter Ulbricht, die SED, und der Prager Frühling,” Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 46, no. 8 (1998): 707 9; Rüdiger Wenzke, Die NVA und der Prager Frühling 1968: Die Rolle Ulbrichts und der DDR Streitkräfte bei der Niederschlagung der tschechoslowakischen Reformbewegung (Berlin: Ch. Links, 1995), pp. 151 59; Manfred Wilke, “Ulbricht, East Germany, and the Prague Spring” in Günter Bischof, Stefan Karner, and Peter Ruffenthaler, eds., The Prague Spring and the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011), pp. 341 70. Mark Kramer, “The Czechoslovak Crisis and the Brezhnev Doctrine,” in Carole Fink, Philipp Gassert, and Detlef Junker, eds., 1968: The World Transformed (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 111 73; for another view: Vojtech Mastny, “Was 1968 a Strategic Watershed of the Cold War?” Diplomatic History 29, no. 1 (Jan. 2005): 149 77. Ruete Aufzeichnung, June 21, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:765.

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Czech capital.106 These dealings with the Dubč ek government were undoubtedly important to Bonn; set deftly within a European framework, they offered the possibility of disrupting the so-called “iron triangle”: the Soviet-sponsored alignment constructed a year earlier between Czechoslovakia, the GDR, and Poland to resist its Ostpolitik.107 To be sure, there were at least two major barriers separating West Germany and Czechoslovakia. The first was their disagreement over the legal and political legacy of Munich, which affected the citizenship and the claims of some three million expellees from Czechoslovakia who formed an influential bloc in the Federal Republic.108 The second was their clash over German reunification, and the Dubč ek government’s insistence on the necessity of “two German states.”109 Although the leading Czechoslovak reformers were eager to engage the “realistic” forces in the FRG and actively sought their economic assistance as well as closer ties with the 106

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See, esp., Bahr Aufzeichnung, Apr. 21, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:477 82; Heipertz to Duckwitz, May 24, ibid., pp. 643 45; Duckwitz Aufzeichnung, June 20, 1968, ibid., pp. 744 46; Ruete Aufzeichnung, June 21, 1968, ibid., 764 71; Heipertz to Duckwitz, July 17, 1968, ibid., 875 78; Heipertz to AA, July 24, 1968, ibid., 918 19; Bahr to Brandt, Aug. 6, 1968, ibid., 967 68; Brandt to Bahr, Aug. 10, 1968, ibid., 987; Bahr to Brandt, Aug. 19, 1968, ibid., 1005; Rouget to Duckwitz, Aug. 20, 1968, ibid., 1019 21; also Egon Bahr, Zu meiner Zeit (Munich: Blessing, 1996), pp. 220 23. Among the projects discussed in Prague were those involving joint aid in the devel oping world: Eppler, Bericht für das Entwicklungsministerium, Aug. 5, 1968, PA AA B58/IIIB1/850. One example: On July 22, the Auswärtiges Amt approved a proposal by the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg (headed by the West German jurist Ulrich Mayer Cording) to finance construction of a Prague Nuremberg autobahn. PA AA B2/176. On the iron triangle: Although Czechoslovakia in March 1967 had entered the Soviet sponsored multilateral assistance pact with East Germany and Poland, the Novotný regime had already shown signs of independence, in Aug. concluding a trade agreement with West Germany and in Oct. calling for the reduction of all forces in Europe, the disbanding of military pacts, the creation of an atom free zone in Central Europe, and non aggression agreements among all states in the region. James H. Wolfe, “West Germany and Czechoslovakia: The Struggle for Reconciliation,” Orbis 14, no. 1 (Mar. 1970): 176; Jiři Hájek, Begegnungen und Zusammenstösse: Erinnerungen des ehemaligen tschechoslowakischen Aussenministers, trans. Bedřich Uttitz (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herderbücherei, 1987), pp. 165 66. Treviranus Aufzeichnung, May 9, 1968, AAPD 1968 1:567; also, Jan G. Nedoma, “Schattenboxen um ein Scheinproblem? Der Münchener Abkommen und deutsch tschechoslowakische Normalisierung,” Der Monat 23, no. 269 (1971): 19 25; Vít Fojtek, “Přes zátě ž minulosti k nové východní politice: Vztahy mezi SRN a č eskoslo venskem v 60. Letech jako přiklad vymezováni Bonnu vůč i Washingtonu” [Overcoming the burdensome past and moving on to a new Ostpolitik: West German Czechoslovak relations in the 1960s as a means of distancing Bonn from Washington], Soudobé Dě jiny 15, no. 1 (2008): 105 28; Gerhard Birk, “Die Rolle des Bundes der Vertriebenen in der Grossen Koalition unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Deutschland und Ostpolitik,” Jahrbuch für Geschichte 33 (1986): 263 95. “Aktionsprogram der KP der Tschechoslowakei vom 5.4.1968,” in Europa Archiv (July 10, 1968): D 303.

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EEC (and also welcomed the upsurge of tourism – some 368,000 West German visitors in the first half of 1968110), there were still hard-line Czech and Slovak Communists in powerful positions who were outraged over a betrayal of the GDR and over consorting with the long-reviled capitalist neighbor that harbored “neo-Nazis and revanchists.”111 Not unexpectedly, West German leaders were exceptionally circumspect in depicting their negotiations with the Dubč ek government. Although sympathetic with the goals of the Prague reformers, Kiesinger and Brandt were also sensitive to their interlocutors’ precarious position vis-à-vis Moscow and therefore avoided any statement or action that might risk a Soviet reprisal.112 Thus in July, on Brandt’s recommendation, Kiesinger ordered the Defense Ministry to shift the Bundeswehr’s September maneuvers away from the Czech border;113 and thus Brandt and Kiesinger’s repeated public assurances of non-interference in the events in Czechoslovakia. According to Brandt, “The best thing the FRG could do for Czechoslovakia was nothing at all.”114 Nonetheless, throughout the spring and summer of 1968 the Soviet Union, Poland, and East Germany, alarmed by the cascading political changes in Prague, had castigated Bonn’s “revanchist” schemes to split the Warsaw Pact, weaken the GDR, and wield its economic power to dominate East Central Europe; and on August 21 the Soviet news agency TASS characterized the invasion not only as a strike against the “counterrevolutionary forces” in Czechoslovakia, which had endangered the USSR and its allies, but also as a defense against the “forces of militarism, aggression and revanchism” that had plunged Europe into war.115 110

111 112

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Der Spiegel, Aug. 5, 1968. Among the visitors was Rudi Dutschke, who came to Prague in the beginning of April as part of a West Berlin student delegation to the Christian Peace Conference and also delivered a fiery anti capitalist address to students at the Charles University. Adolf Müller, “Die Haltung der ČSSR gegenüber der Bundesrepublik Deutschland während des Prager Demokratisierungprozess,” Osteuropa 4 (1969): 258 60. See, esp., Allard to AA, Moscow, July 21, Aug. 2, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:905 8, 955 62; also Hans Peter Schwarz, “Die Regierung Kiesinger und die Krise in der ČSSR 1968,” Viertelsjahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 47, no. 2 (Apr. 1999): 166 67, 168 69. Brandt to Kiesinger, July 24, 1968, AdsD WBA A7/13; Der Spiegel, Aug. 5, 1968. In his letter, Brandt also urged Kiesinger not to attend the Sudeten German rally that had been proposed for the end of Aug. Der Spiegel, Aug. 5, 1968; Werner Höfer, “War Bonn mitschuldig?” Die Zeit, Dec. 6, 1968. There are still gaps in our knowledge of the FRG’s formal and informal activities in Prague before the Aug. 21 invasion as well as the degree to which Kiesinger was included: Schwarz, “Die Regierung Kiesinger,” p. 172. Reprinted in Neues Deutschland (Aug. 21, 1968) and Europa Archiv 18 (1968): D 428. According to the Czechoslovak Soviet communiqué drafted in Moscow on Oct. 4, the purpose of the invasion was to create a “solid defensive wall against the constantly expanding West German revanchist military forces.” Rudé Právo, Oct. 5, quoted in Müller, “Die Haltung der ČSSR,” p. 266.

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Chastised and potentially vulnerable, Kiesinger and Brandt condemned the invasion but also repeatedly denied Moscow’s charges.116 Even more alarming than the sudden arrival of five Soviet divisions on the Federal Republic’s southeastern border and the possible danger to West Berlin were the repeated Soviet threats, based on Articles 53 and 107 of the UN Charter, to intervene unilaterally and by force against any “aggressive” West German acts.117 Once more Bonn found itself isolated on August 21, 1968. French president Charles de Gaulle not only refused to defend his ally against Soviet charges but also faulted West German activities in Prague and justified the Soviets’ “defensive” move.118 The Johnson administration, absorbed in the Vietnam negotiations, widespread urban unrest, and the impending Democratic National Convention – and restrained by the lame-duck president’s hope to attend the October Leningrad summit meeting with Kosygin – issued a mild protest but was unwilling to risk a major confrontation over Czechoslovakia.119 British prime minister Harold Wilson, pressed by the British Parliament and public, placed a resolution before the Security Council condemning the invasion (which was promptly vetoed by the USSR); but the Labour government, convinced that Moscow had no aggressive aims against Western Europe, was also unready to take stiffer measures that would “annoy the Soviets” or damage its commercial contacts in Eastern Europe.120 And NATO’s response was similarly disappointing: While the Prague Spring was 116

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Kiesinger Zarapkin talks, Aug. 21, Sept. 2, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1032 34, 1071 73; Brandt press statement, Aug. 22, 1968, speech to joint session of the Auswärtige Ausschuss and the Ausschuss für gesamtdeutsche und Berliner Fragen of the Bundestag, Aug. 27, 1968, Speech to the Bundestag, Sept. 26, 1968, in Willy Brandt, Berliner Ausgabe, ed. Frank Fischer (Bonn: Dietz, 2005), 6:159 76,188 207; also Brandt interview in Der Spiegel, Sept. 9, 1968. Duckwitz Aufzeichnung, Aug. 28, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1053 55; Brandt interview, Der Spiegel, Sept. 9, 1968; Brandt Bundestag speech, Sept. 26, 1968, in Brandt, Berliner Ausgabe 6: 202; also New York Times, Sept. 22, 1968. Braun to AA, Paris, Aug. 21, 1968, Kiesinger Seydoux meeting, Bonn, Aug. 30, 1968, Brandt Debré meeting, Sept. 7, 1968, Kiesinger de Gaulle meeting, Paris, Sept. 27, 1968, Brandt Debré meeting, Sept. 27, Deutsch Französische Konsultationsbesprechung, Sept. 27, 1968, Kiesinger de Gaulle meeting, Sept. 28, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1037 40, 1061 66, 1103 77, 1200 1212, 1214 19, 1219 27, 1248 52. See also Carine Germond, “Charles de Gaulle and the Grand Coalition’s ‘Ostpolitik,’ 1966 1969,” Francia (2010): 249 52. Kiesinger Lodge meeting, Aug. 21, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1029 32; Adam Bromke, “Czechoslovakia and the World: 1968,” Canadian Slavonic Papers 10, no. 4 (Winter 1968): 588 90; Günter Bischof, “No Action: The Johnson Administration and the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia,” in Bischof, Karner, and Ruggenthaler, eds., The Prague Spring, pp. 215 36. Geraint Hughes, “British Policy towards Eastern Europe and the Impact of the Prague Spring, 1964 1968,” Cold War History 4, no. 2 (Jan. 2004): 123 29.

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unfolding, the alliance focused on repairing its internal disputes and easing tensions with the East;121 after the invasion, NATO took no steps to strengthen its forces.122 Faced with this brutal demonstration of a divided Germany and Europe, the FRG’s vulnerability to Soviet pressure, and its allies’ inaction, the Grand Coalition pulled together after August 21. Kiesinger and Brandt both reaffirmed their commitment to ease tensions in Europe.123 Having reached the limit of its campaign to prove itself a “trustworthy” partner to its neighbors, Bonn drew several conclusions: (1) that the Soviet Union, despite (or even because of) its growing economic weakness, mounting rivalry with China, and diminished ideological appeal in the Third World, would not relinquish its hegemony over Eastern Europe and would demand a heavy price for countenancing Ostpolitik, including West Germany’s acceptance of the territorial status quo; (2) that achieving peace in Europe would require a non-interference policy in the internal affairs of its Communist neighbors, which would include maintaining a strict distance from reformist forces; and (3) that coordinating its next initiatives with its allies would likely be less productive than acting independently. Ostpolitik could thus continue only through a direct approach to Moscow, combining Bonn’s acceptance of the status quo with practical proposals to bring Europe closer together.124 The crushing of the Prague Spring and the shutdown of Bonn’s smallsteps policy toward its Communist neighbors would also widen the Grand Coalition’s existing differences over Ostpolitik. After August 20, Brandt, spurred by his top foreign policy advisor Egon Bahr, opted for realism; thus at his October 8 UN meeting with Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, he gritted his teeth and signaled his readiness to discuss a long 121

122

123 124

Moreover, NATO’s most powerful member, now with 500,000 troops in Vietnam, was stretched thin in the European theater (and in the process of removing soldiers and military equipment from the continent). NATO’s hands off policy toward the events in Czechoslovakia was also dictated by two other factors: the West’s bad memories of the Hungarian revolt in 1956, and the impact of the protest movements throughout Western Europe that had included denunciations of Cold War militancy. John G. McGinn, “The Politics of Collective Inaction: NATO’s Response to the Prague Spring,” Journal of Cold War Studies 1, no. 3 (Fall 1999): 111 38. “The Response of the North Atlantic Allies has been muted to an extraordinary degree,” New York Times, Sept. 2, 1968; also ibid., Aug. 22, 24, 1968; Sept. 5, 7, 8, 13, 20, 22, 25, 26, 1968; Kurt Becker, “Inventur nach der Prager Krise: Welche Konsequenzen zieht die NATO?” Die Zeit, Nov. 15, 1968; cf. Schwarz, “Die Regierung Kiesinger,” pp. 185 86. Rolf Zundel, “Kein Kurswechsel: Bonn bleibt bei der Entspannung,” Die Zeit, Aug. 30, 1968; Schwarz, “Die Regierung Kiesinger,” p. 178. Helga Haftendorn, “Außenpolitische Prioritäten und Handlungsspielraum. Ein Paradigma zur Analyse der Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,” Politische Vierteljahresschrift 30, no. 1 (March 1989): 41.

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list of Soviet territorial and political demands, including Bonn’s signature on the NPT.125 But Kiesinger, responding to majority CDU/CSU opinion and public outrage over the Soviet crackdown as well as to new signals from Washington, refused any further concessions to Moscow.126 The divergence would grow stronger in January 1969 after Moscow, having consolidated its control of Eastern Europe, suddenly indicated its readiness to improve relations with Bonn.127 Israel was also stunned by the invasion of Czechoslovakia, which its Arab neighbors had immediately applauded.128 In Czechoslovakia, despite its Communist regime, Israel recognized a kindred small state that had provided indispensable military aid in 1948. Many of the authors of the Prague Spring not only were advocates of a humanist and democratic socialism but had also cheered Israel’s 1967 victory over its Sovietarmed enemies and openly contested their government’s anti-Zionist line.129 In April 1968, one of the Czechoslovak Communist Party’s cautious expressions of independence from the Kremlin was the elimination of its formerly hostile stance toward Israel.130 There had also been a marked liberalization of the Prague government’s policies toward Czech and Slovak Jews.131 The Eshkol government issued a strong response. Echoing the opponents of détente, Israel protested an “outrageous violation” of the UN Charter. “The sanctified principles of political independence and territorial integrity, peaceful coexistence, nonintervention in the internal affairs of states, the right of every state, small or large, to security and 125

126

127 128 129

130

131

Willy Brandt, “German Policy toward the East,” Foreign Affairs 46, no. 3 (Apr. 1968): 483 86; Bahr Aufzeichnung, Oct. 1, 1968, Brandt to Duckwitz, Oct. 9, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1278 81, 1290 93. Also Willy Brandt, Begegnungen und Einsichten: Die Jahre 1960 1975 (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1976), p. 285. Idan to FM, Oct. 18, Hadas to FM, Oct. 22, 1968, ISA 130 4183/11‫תצ‬, reporting on Kiesinger’s differences with Brandt; also Richard Löwenthal and Hans Peter Schwarz, “Vom Kalten Krieg zur Ostpolitik,” in Die Zweite Republik: 25 Jahre Bundesrepublik: Eine Bilanz (Stuttgart: Sewald, 1974), pp. 677 78; Kroegel, Einen Anfang finden!, pp. 261 63. Brandt Zarapkin meeting, Jan. 10, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:31 37. But which also diverted the world’s attention away from Algiers. Ivan Klima, “Seeds of Spring,” trans. David Short, Index on Censorship 37, no. 3 (2008): 52 63; Vladimir V. Kusin, The Intellectual Origins of the Prague Spring (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), pp. 125 27, 129. “Aktionsprogram der KP,” D 303; Boeker to AA, Tehran, May 13, 1968, PA AA B159/ 126, on the Czechoslovak delegation’s independent stance at the UN Human Rights meeting; also A. H. Brown, “Political Change in Czechoslovakia,” Government and Opposition 4, no. 2 (Apr. 1969): 175 76, and George Urban, “The Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968: The View from Washington: A Conversation with Eugene V. Rostow,” Washington Quarterly 2, no. 1 (1979): 106 20, on the Prague Israel linkage in Soviet concerns. “Soviet Invasion Ends Hopes of Czech Jews,” Jewish Advocate, Aug. 22, 1968.

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freedom, the principles on which relations between states are based; all have been trampled upon arbitrarily.”132 And referring to the press reports of East German involvement in the invasion (which later proved erroneous), it added that “the participation of German troops in the invasion and occupation” had aroused “particularly terrible memories.”133 Recoiling from this collective accusation, Bonn cautioned Israel not to exaggerate the German element or undermine West Germany’s “ongoing efforts to remove tensions with the East” – including its temporarily suspended contacts with the GDR – whose goal was to maintain “the unity of the nation.”134 Aftermath Following the twin crises in the summer of 1968, West Germany and Israel moved further apart. On October 11, 1968, three days after his conciliatory talk with Gromyko, Brandt met briefly with Abba Eban, who assumed a strong anti-Soviet stance. Eban not only blamed Moscow for Egypt’s refusal to negotiate and deplored the Soviets’ propagandistic tirades against Israel’s “Nazi” behavior; he also accused the West of a dangerously “weak” response to the invasion of Czechoslovakia and for failing to oppose Moscow’s “calculated risk.”135 Issues regarding the past still brought some West Germans and Israelis together. In the fall of 1968, Israel hosted two high-profile guests: Ernst Benda, the CDU minister of the interior and president of the German– Israeli Association, and Gustav Heinemann, the SPD justice minister and the expected presidential candidate, both strong partisans of extending the Federal Republic’s Statute of Limitations for Nazi acts of murder, which was due to expire at the end of 1969.136 Israel, which up to then had kept an extremely low profile over this contentious issue,137 132 133

134 135 136

137

“Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Aug. 23, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1042 44. Ibid. In the spring of 1990, an East German politburo member finally dispelled the long standing myth of a “five member” Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia: “Wir sind keine Helden gewesen,” Der Spiegel 19 (May 7, 1990), p. 62. Ruete to Knopf, Bonn, Sept. 3, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1043, n. 5. Böker to AA, New York, Oct. 11, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1330 32. On Jan. 10, 1969, the Jerusalem Post termed NATO “an army without a backbone.” Marc von Miquel, “Explanation, Dissociation, Apologia: The Debate over the Criminal Prosecution of Nazi Crimes in the 1960s,” in Philipp Gassert and Alan E. Steinweis, eds., Coping with the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955 1975 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), pp. 50 63. Leaving it largely to the World Jewish Congress and American Jews to pursue with West German officials and parliamentarians: CZA Goldmann papers Z1180/1 (World Jewish Congress 1968); Schuster to AJC, New York, Dec. 20, 1967; Sterling report, July 3, 1968, Memorandum, Sept. 6, 1968, YIVO RG 347.7/Box 22; AJC FAD 61/65; also JTA News Bulletin, Sept. 11, 1968.

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welcomed these visits by two outspokenly friendly cabinet ministers; but the Auswärtiges Amt, sensitive to Arab opinion, did its best to underplay them.138 The Arab boycott continued to raise tensions. Israel, which by the end of 1968 had greatly expanded its presence in the developing countries in Africa and Latin America, was increasingly sensitive to the behavior of German companies.139 Another dispute had erupted that summer when the oil and gas exploration company Prakla which, together with the Federal Economics Ministry, had concluded an agreement with the Israeli government firm Lapidoth, suddenly withdrew on August 8; facing Israeli threats of an anti-German press campaign, Bonn devised a “practical” solution.140 But in the fall there were more Israeli protests – over the Economics Ministry’s circulation of Arab boycott materials to German export firms, over the government’s refusal to outlaw the boycott, and, especially, over the electronics firm Siemens’s refusal to enter a business partnership of great importance to Israel. Karl Hermann Knoke, the new German ambassador in Tel Aviv, urged his government to end its “passive” stance toward Arab intimidation or risk a serious deterioration in West German–Israeli relations.141 Bonn officials, however, were unwilling to take action. Following Schiller’s direction, the Economics Ministry, which termed the boycott a “regrettable reality,” insisted on the need to allow West Germany’s export industries, already losing business in the Arab world to Communist and West European competitors, to protect their interests. And although four years earlier the Auswärtiges Amt had condemned the boycott, its officials resented Israel’s exclusive pressure on Bonn and insisted that the problem required an “international solution.”142 In a broader sense, these stiffer positions reflected the diminution of pro-Israeli sentiments within West Germany. And ahead were the 1969 elections in both countries that would decide their respective directions.

138 139

140

141 142

Vermerk, Oct. 21, 1968, Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Nov. 11, 1968, PA AA B36/461. Aufzeichnungen: Stand des Wirtschaftsboykotts der Arabischen Liga gegen Israel; and Die Massnahmen der Arabischen Liga zum Wirtschaftsboykott Israels, Sept. 24, 1968, PA AA B102/168333. Schiller and Schmücker to Brandt, Oct. 1, 1968, PA AA B30/423c; Knoke to AA, Oct. 30, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1415. Bonn’s solution was to create an entirely new, publicly subsidized company, to which Israel agreed. Knoke to AA, Oct. 30, 1968, AAPD 1968 2:1415 17. Communications in Ibid., p. 1416, nn. 7, 8.

5

Changes in Leadership: 1969

The predicament of Israel’s diplomacy lay in the tension between [a] solitary quest for security and a constant ambition for international support.1 Our relationship with Israel is the same as with other countries. . . . We have replaced contractual agreements based upon the past with normal cooperation.2

On March 24, 1969, there was a festive occasion in Jerusalem, but one that also exposed the continuing tension between West Germans and Israelis. That day the media magnate Axel Springer took part in the dedication of the Israel Museum’s new Library of Art and Archaeology, to which he had donated the sum of $1 million. The three-story, stone-and-glass structure, whose construction had been delayed by the outbreak of the June 1967 war, was finished almost on schedule and would house up to one hundred thousand volumes; it also included an auditorium for major public programs.3 At the podium of the new auditorium, Springer acknowledged the controversy his gift had stirred: On his first visit in 1966, he had intended to make a substantial gesture to “overcome the past”; but upon learning of the outcry over attaching a German name to a major Israeli cultural institution, he had graciously accepted anonymity – “to be a helper without any acknowledgment.” Springer also recognized that the “unspeakable deeds perpetrated in Germany’s name” could “never be undone or overcome, nor [could there be] restitution in the true sense of the word.” Nonetheless, he staked his claim to be one of Israel’s foremost supporters: “One thing remains – to use the historic chance which I have been granted to stand fast by the state of Israel through all its adversity.”4 1 2

3 4

Abba Eban, My People: The Story of the Jews (New York: Behrman House/Random House, 1968), p. 513. Walter Scheel interview with Yediot Ahronot, Dec. 16, 1969, quoted in Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), p. 198. Aufzeichnung, Mar. 24, 1969, BAK B145/6667; vivid description in “New Library Ready,” Canadian Jewish Chronicle, Apr. 4, 1969. Axel Springer, “Ein Deutscher in Jerusalem Rede am 24. März 1969,” http://www .axelspringer.de/artikel/Ein Deutscher in Jerusalem 2197316.html (accessed Jan. 19, 2016).

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Washington and Moscow

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Springer and his gift remained contentious. Despite their pride in this handsome new cultural institution, many Israelis remained uncomfortable with Springer and his politics. No government official attended the ceremony; and on that day some twenty-five left-wing students from the Hebrew University marched quietly in the streets outside the museum with signs reading “Springer out” and denouncing the alliance between the conservative West German millionaire and his Israeli friends.5 Washington and Moscow On the global scene, 1969 was a year in which the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union took on an entirely new character: the onset of Superpower détente. After two decades of global rivalry, neither side had triumphed, and both were suffering the wages of the worldwide economic slowdown, exacerbated by their extravagant military expenditures in Europe and beyond. The United States was still mired in Vietnam, and the USSR faced the heavy costs of its invasion of Czechoslovakia. Increasingly incapable of dominating their allies, and baffled by the clash of their domestic, regional, and global interests, Washington and Moscow sought a way to defuse their rivalry and create more stable conditions in the world. The authors of this shift were the newly elected US president, the fiftysix-year-old Cold Warrior Richard Nixon, and the sixty-three-year-old CPSU general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, who had just ordered the invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1969, this unlikely pair took the first steps toward nuclear disarmament, ground-force reductions in Europe, and bilateral trade agreements, and also contemplated an accord in order to avoid unintended confrontations in the Third World.6 But Nixon’s call for an “era of negotiations” was also predicated on the principle of linkage: the use of America’s economic and military strength with a mix of pressures and incentives to convince Moscow to cooperate in areas of special concern to Washington. Not unexpectedly, the quest for détente found its limits in the Middle East, one of the world’s most heavily armed arenas still seething with the effects of the 1967 war. Although both Washington and Moscow sought a peace settlement, as major arms suppliers to the Israelis and Arabs as well as their indispensable political supporters, the Superpowers could neither force their fractious clients to the conference table nor formulate a peace plan 5 6

New York Times, Mar. 25, 1969, p. 18; Davar, Ma’ariv, Mar. 25, 1969. Richard W. Stevenson, The Rise and Fall of Détente: Relaxations of Tension in US Soviet Relations, 1953 84 (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1985).

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acceptable to all sides.7 Thus in 1969, Nixon and Brezhnev sought to keep the UN-sponsored peace process alive; but, bowing to domestic pressures, they were also compelled to pursue their own advantage in the region.8 Israel and West Germany On the morning of February 26, 1969, Israel was stunned when Levi Eshkol died of a heart attack. Although the seventy-three-year-old prime minister had been in poor health for some time, the passing of one of the last of the founders’ generation appeared to mark the close of an era – as exemplified by the naming of his fifty-year-old deputy, Yigal Allon, as acting premier. Eshkol, a modest figure with extraordinary talents as a mediator, had also displayed toughness, for example, in the bitter break with his mentor David Ben-Gurion and in his initially hesitant, but ultimately firm leadership during and after the June 1967 war. Moreover, Eshkol had played a significant role in Israeli–West German relations. Although far less favorable toward Bonn than his predecessor, for twelve years as Israel’s finance minister he had doggedly implemented the 1952 Restitution Agreement, and as prime minister he had maintained a steady hand over the complicated diplomatic relationship that was established in 1965.9 Five days later on March 3 came the surprise announcement that the Labor Party leadership had chosen Golda Meir, the seventy-year-old former foreign minister and recently retired party chief, to replace Eshkol. The appointment was widely regarded as a temporary one in order to maintain national unity until the October general elections and to stave off the bitter rivalry between the two younger party heroes, Allon and Moshe Dayan. But the return of Meir, a blunt politician with a long and successful record in national and international affairs who became Israeli’s fourth (and first female) prime minister on March 17, 1969, was far more than a convenient stopgap. By blocking Dayan, the nonconformist fifty-three-year-old defense minister (who had surprisingly failed to contest the party chiefs’ decision), Meir’s accession represented a major political victory for the Mapai old guard, and she kept the same team as her predecessor. At her first news conference on March 18, while professing her personal desire for peace, Meir adroitly adopted Dayan and 7 8 9

They also faced pressure from French president Charles de Gaulle to convene a Four Power conference, something Washington and London strongly opposed. Alvin C. Rubinstein, “Entspannung: Probleme und Aspekte,” Osteuropa 25, no. 10 (1975): 819 29. “Plain Talking Israeli,” New York Times, Nov. 21, 1966, p. 6.

Israel and West Germany

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Allon’s hard-line terms, insisting on direct negotiations between the warring parties and frontier adjustments with Egypt and Jordan (the code terms were “secured, recognized, and agreed-upon borders”) to ensure Israel’s security.10 Earlier that month, the Federal Republic had also undergone a political change: On March 5 the Electoral College, composed of members of the Bundestag and representatives of the eleven Bundesländer, after an unprecedented three ballots narrowly elected justice minister Gustav Heinemann to the presidency for a five-year term beginning on July 1, the first Social Democrat to occupy the office since 1925.11 Although the position was a largely ceremonial one, the vote – occurring only six months before the September national elections – mirrored the split in the Grand Coalition and also an emerging new alignment: By casting their ballots for Heinemann, the opposition Free Democrats, led by their new and more liberal chief, Walter Scheel, signaled their readiness to break with their past association with the CDU, form a government with the SPD, and share in the pursuit a more active Ostpolitik.12 The selection of the sixty-nine-year-old Heinemann also had a larger significance in the history of the FRG.13 A left-wing liberal, Heinemann was one of the country’s most respected public figures. A descendent of 1848 revolutionaries and former corporate lawyer, Heinemann was a man of stronger religious convictions than political attachments; he had been a member of four parties before joining the SPD in 1957. As a proponent of a conscience-driven West German civil society, he had earlier taken stands against West German rearmament and the acquisition of nuclear weapons, and as justice minister in the Grand Coalition he had opposed the death penalty, taken steps to reform the penal code, and drafted the law extending the Statute of Limitations against prosecuting those who had committed murder during the Nazi regime.14 10 11

12 13 14

“Mrs. Meir Spurns a Big Four Solution,” New York Times, Mar. 19, 1969. Adding considerable drama to the event was the Kiesinger Brandt government’s decision to convene the Electoral College in West Berlin, which had drawn Soviet and East German protests and precipitated a land blockade that impeded the delegates’ atten dance in the surrounded city. The meeting took place under heavy police guard and with US helicopters patrolling overhead to prevent the low flying passes by Soviet fighter planes that had taken place during the 1965 Bundestag meeting in the walled in city. “Bonn: Bundesversammlung,” Der Spiegel 8 (Feb. 17, 1969), pp. 23 24; “Präsidenten Wahl,” 11 (Mar. 10, 1969), pp. 23 26; also New York Times, Mar. 6, 1969, pp. 1 2. Details in “FDP: Lohn der Angst,” Der Spiegel 11 (Mar. 10, 1969), pp. 34 55. Arnulf Baring and Manfred Görtemaker, Machtwechsel: Die Ära Brandt Scheel (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 1982), pp. 56 63, 94 99. Hermann Schreiber, “Nichts anstelle vom lieben Gott,” Der Spiegel 3 (Jan. 13, 1969); also Jörg Treffke, Gustav Heinemann: Wanderer zwischen den Parteien: Eine politische Biographie (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag, 2009); Thomas Flemming, Gustav W. Heinemann: Ein deutscher Citoyen: Biographie (Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2014).

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Changes in Leadership: 1969

Moreover, there were strong political differences between the two presidential candidates: Heinemann’s CDU/CSU opponent, the fifty-eightyear-old Gerhard Schröder – the current defense minister and former foreign and interior minister as well as open aspirant for the chancellorship – had been a Nazi Party and Sturmabteilung member and he had come close to victory on March 5 with twenty-two votes from the right-wing National Democratic Party. For many West Germans, Schröder’s narrow defeat (the vote was 512–506) represented a fundamental changing of the guard.15 The new Israeli and German leaders drew mixed responses abroad. The Great Powers, seeking an Arab-Israeli peace settlement, were wary of Meir’s reportedly uncompromising views.16 By contrast, Heinemann’s election brought cautious praise from Washington and Moscow.17 The Israeli public, although consumed with Eshkol’s succession, was also gratified by the results: the triumph of “democratic forces in the new West Germany.”18 Israelis considered Schröder – with his Nazi past, pro-Arab views, and opposition to providing gas masks on the eve of the June 1967 war – an unsympathetic figure, whereas Heinemann, who had openly supported Israeli positions during his unusually long eight-day visit in November, was regarded as a friend.19 A New War Just as political changes were occurring in Jerusalem and Bonn, another war erupted in the Middle East, one that would last for seventeen months. Rearmed by the Soviet Union, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser was determined to defy Israeli intransigency, flout the Great Powers’ indecisiveness, and overturn an increasingly debilitating status quo. Following almost a year of intermittent Egyptian-Israeli clashes across

15

16 17 18 19

In one of his first presidential acts, on August 4, 1969, Heinemann signed the bill extending the Statute of Limitations on the prosecution of all Nazi murderers until Dec. 30, 1979. “Germans Begin Political Debate,” New York Times, Mar. 10, 1969, p. 8. In his fifty seconds long statement after winning the election, Heinemann voiced gratitude and announced: “I greet all German citizens,” “New West German President,” New York Times, Mar. 6, 1969, p. 3. Evans to Hanbury Tenison, Bonn, July 25, 1969, GB NA FCO 17/739. Eppler to Brandt, Bonn, Mar. 7, 1969, PA AA B36/361. Ma’ariv editorial Mar. 6, 1969; Davar editorial, Mar. 7, 1969; also Davar article, Mar. 8, 1969. Knoke to AA, Nov. 11, 1968, PA AA B36/461, on the glowing response to Heinemann’s visit. The East German government had also noted Heinemann’s pro Israel stance: Zum Verhältnis zwischen der BRD und Israel, January 30, 1969; BAL Büro Ulbricht DY 30 3500.

A New War

107

the Suez Canal, on March 8 the Egyptian president officially renounced the UN-brokered cease-fire and launched what he described as a “War of Attrition,” aimed at inflicting unendurable casualties on the enemy, compelling Israel to withdraw from the Sinai, and also drawing in outside powers to mediate the conflict.20 For Israel, the War of Attrition was an entirely new experience: a defensive struggle fought on occupied territory some three hundred kilometers from its borders. Unlike the conflicts in 1948, 1956, and 1967 when its troops and tanks, shielded by an expertly piloted air force, had moved rapidly across the battlefronts, Israel now risked all the dangers of immobility: Along a 150-kilometer front, its string of lightly protected fortresses on the Bar Lev line (named after its chief of staff) and patrols were vulnerable to continuous assaults by Egyptian artillery, nighttime raids, and mine-laying expeditions along with the threat of a full-scale crossing of the Suez Canal.21 That summer Israel hit back. Faced with mounting casualties and growing public inquietude, it sent the air force into combat against the Egyptian MiGs and on bombing raids against Egyptian missile sites and artillery batteries, and it also launched a series of daring commando raids on Egyptian military targets. However, despite the pleas of Yitzhak Rabin, the architect of the 1967 victory and current ambassador in Washington, to strike the Egyptian hinterland and force Nasser to call off the War of Attrition, the Meir government hesitated to antagonize Washington or to goad the Soviets to retaliate.22 Once more, the Superpowers had been caught flat-footed. For the Soviet Union, reeling from China’s attack on Zhenbao (Damansky) Island in March 1969 and the start of a nine-month border conflict with its huge nuclear-armed neighbor, a new Middle East war was highly unwelcome. Moscow, which had not been consulted by Nasser and strongly opposed his gambit, continued to provide arms and diplomatic support to an ally that had granted it crucial Mediterranean air and naval bases.23 On the other hand, the United States, which was still bogged down in Vietnam – and hoping for Soviet help with a settlement – had yet to develop a coherent Middle East policy. Torn in two directions, the Nixon administration wavered between the State Department’s effort to 20 21 22 23

Louis Jean Duclos, “La ‘guerre d’usure’ égypto israélienne, 1968 1970,” Études Internationales 10, no. 1 (1979): 127 75. David A. Korn, Stalemate: The War of Attrition and Great Power Diplomacy in the Middle East, 1967 1970 (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), pp. 105 16. Ibid., pp. 165 72. Dima P. Adamsky, “‘Zero Hour for the Bears’: Inquiring into the Soviet Decision to Intervene in the Egyptian Israeli War of Attrition, 1969 70,” Cold War History 6, no. 1 (Feb. 2006): 113 21.

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Changes in Leadership: 1969

regain US standing in the Arab world by assuming a more evenhanded policy toward the combatants, and the more hawkish views of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who urged full-scale support to Israeli efforts to topple Nasser in the hope of gaining a less bellicose successor, while also continuing to supply weapons to Israel.24 Adding to the Superpowers’ dilemma was France’s demand to launch Four Power talks on the Middle East.25 The War of Attrition not only was costly for both sides in terms of casualties and resources but also had significant political consequences. During the nine-month hiatus in Superpower intervention, the hawks in Egypt and Israel were energized. And as the war continued into the fall of 1969, not only did the archenemies Nasser and Meir escalate their aggressive verbiage and consolidate power at home; through their respective personal visits to Moscow and Washington both were able to extract additional political and military support from Brezhnev and Nixon.26 Israeli society was shaken by the war: The euphoria of two years earlier had evaporated. Although Israel’s population and economy were expanding, so were its defense expenditures, which now consumed more than one-third of revenues. Also the country was increasingly isolated abroad: The Soviet Union was conducting a ferocious anti-Zionist campaign; France, despite its change of government in April, refused to release already purchased jet parts but was selling Mirage jets to Libya (which were certain to be transshipped to Egypt); and in the United Nations, six of the fifteen Security Council members had no diplomatic relations with Israel.27 Along with the new military struggle with Egypt and the border skirmishes with Syria, Israel faced an escalation of Palestinian terrorist attacks abroad.28 These challenges reinforced the Meir government’s determination to hold on to the occupied territories until its Arab enemies acknowledged defeat and accepted peace on its terms: a stance that also 24

25

26 27 28

Boaz Vanetik and Zaki Shalom, The Nixon Administration and the Middle East Peace Process, 1969 1973: From the Rogers Plan to the Outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, trans. Guy Solomon (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2013), pp. 28 72. Henry Laurens, “La Diplomatie Française dans le conflict israélo arabe (1967 1970),” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de Notre Temps 4, no. 96 (2009): 3 11; also Marc Trachtenberg, “The French Factor in U.S. Foreign Policy in the Nixon Pompidou Period, 1969 1974,” Journal of Cold War Studies 13, no. 1 (Winter 2011): 4 59. Korn, Stalemate, pp. 188, 189, 190 91, 250 52 (Nasser), 158, 172, 198 (Meir). Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Mar. 17, Apr. 29, July 11, 1969, PA AA B36/466. Among them: the Feb. 18, 1969, attack on an El Al plane at the Zurich airport; the May 22 attempted assassination of Ben Gurion and the Aug. 18 attack on the Israeli Government Tourist Office in Copenhagen; the Aug. 29 hijacking of a TWA flight from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv; and the three Sept. 8 coordinated bomb attacks on Israeli embassies in Bonn and The Hague and on the El Al bureau in Brussels.

West Germany: The East German Coup

109

strengthened its position before the Israeli public on the eve of the October elections. To be sure, the prospects for a Middle East peace, once considered bright in 1967, had been greatly reduced by the facts being created on the ground: by the military emplacements in the Golan, the Jordan valley, and the Sinai, and by the growing number of settlements on the West Bank. West Germany: The East German Coup While Israel was plunging into a new war, the Federal Republic in the spring and summer of 1969 also received a shock when five Arab governments suddenly announced the establishment of diplomatic relations with its archenemy East Germany: Iraq on April 30, Sudan on May 28, Syria on June 5, South Yemen on June 30, and finally Egypt on July 10. Not only had West Germany’s two-year-long efforts to restore its ties with these countries become more difficult, its decadeand-a-half global campaign to isolate its Communist neighbor and claim sole representation of the entire German people had also been breached.29 With these dramatic steps, the German Democratic Republic – preparing to celebrate its twentieth anniversary in October 1969 – had reversed its position in the Third World as a pariah and a supplicant unable to match West Germany’s greater economic and political power and influence among the non-aligned states.30 East Berlin’s recognition campaign in the Middle East, which began with Ulbricht’s splashy visit to Egypt in 1965, had expanded into whole-hearted support of the Arab cause, including the dispatch of emissaries and large sums to Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Algeria after the June 1967 war.31 Bolstered by the Soviets’ endorsement – and Bonn’s diplomatic absence from the major 29

30

31

William Glenn Gray, Germany’s Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949 1969 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), pp. 209 19. Moreover, Cambodia’s May 8 recognition announcement plunged the increasingly con tentious Grand Coalition into a new crisis over the prospect of two German embassies in Phnom Penh; however, it was solved when Prince Sihanouk broke diplomatic ties with the FRG on June 11, ibid., p. 212. Weiss Riad talks in Cairo, July 21, 1969, Weiss summary of talks in Syria and Egypt, July 6 22, 1969, BAL Ulbricht DY 30 3666. Also Michael Sodaro, “The GDR and the Third World: Supplicant and Surrogate,” in Michael Radu, ed., Eastern Europe and the Third World: East versus South (New York: Praeger, 1981), pp. 106 9. Winzer to Ulbricht, Stoph, Honecker, Axen, Berlin, Sept. 25, 1967, Ulbricht to Brezhnev, June 19, 1968, Winzer to Ulbricht, July 26, 1968, BAL Büro Ulbricht DY 30 3666; also Angelika Timm,“The Middle East Policy of the German Democratic Republic,” Journal of Arab Affairs 12, no. 2 (1993): 167; Jeffrey Herf, “‘At War with Israel’: East Germany’s Key Role in Soviet Policy in the Middle East,” Journal of Cold War Studies 16, no. 3 (Summer 2014): 141 50.

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Arab capitals – the GDR in 1969 was also able to capitalize on the unsettled conditions in the Middle East: the stalled peace process, the appearance of radical regimes in Syria and Iraq, and the intense rivalries among the major Arab governments.32 To be sure, Ulbricht had to pay a high price for winning Arab acceptance of two German states in the form of generous loans, arms, and aid packages to Baghdad, Khartoum, Damascus, Aden, and Cairo, expenditures that would burden the already beleaguered GDR economy.33 Although West German leaders reacted calmly to the cascade of recognitions, they recognized that their country’s position in the Middle East had deteriorated and that they lacked the means to recoup the damage. As a nonUN member, the FRG exerted no political influence over settling the region’s conflicts; and its claim to neutrality was under constant challenge, not only because of its generous annual aid packages to Israel but also because of continuing Soviet and Arab charges of its alleged arms deliveries.34 In addition, Bonn possessed little leverage to halt the GDR’s demarches in the Arab world: It was reluctant to enter an economic bidding war and disinclined to use threats – for example, to abandon its neutrality and tip politically and militarily toward Israel.35 Hence, in response to the GDR’s breakthrough the West German cabinet, after a heated discussion on May 29, devised a formula providing the maximum leeway for dealing with third-party arrangements with East Germany: Although the FRG would “consider the recognition of the GDR as an unfriendly act” – “contrary to the right of the German people to self-determination” – its response would take account of “the interests of the German people and the circumstances.”36 Ulbricht’s triumphs, on the eve of the West German national elections, occurred at a highly fraught moment for the Grand Coalition. Faced with a largely unfinished domestic agenda, the alignment was unraveling: The chancellor and foreign minister were at odds over major internal

32

33 34 35 36

Details in “SED Nahostpolitik als Chefsache die ZK Abteilung Internationale Verbindungen, 1946 1970,” Asien, Africa, Lateinamerika: Zeitschrift des Zentralen Rates für Asien , Afrika und Lateinamerikawissenschaften in der DDR 21, no. 1 2 (1993): 70; “Die DDR in Nah und Mittelost: Eine Begegnung und ihre Spuren,” ibid., 21, no. 6 (1994): 565 82; also Woodrow Kuhns, “The German Democratic Republic in the Soviet Foreign Policy Scheme,” Soviet Union 12, no. 1 (1985): 77 102. Gray, Germany’s Cold War, pp. 213 16; Sodaro, “The GDR and the Third World,” pp. 109 16. Ref. IB4, Aufzeichnung, May 7, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:562 67. Ibid., p. 567, nn. 24, 25. Kabinettsprotokolle der Bundesregierung Online, May 29, 1969, http://www.bunde sarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0/k/k1969k/kap1 2/kap2 20/para3 5.html (accessed Feb. 4, 2016). The government’s five part statement was issued on May 30 by the Federal Press and Information Office.

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and foreign policy issues, thus threatening to aid the radical-right NPD’s electoral prospects.37 Moreover, with the exit of French president Charles de Gaulle, Bonn had suddenly moved into the European spotlight, although East Germany’s emergence from the diplomatic nether world had also forced the FRG to acknowledge its stalled Ostpolitik. On the other hand, a new prospect had opened in March: The Warsaw Pact’s Budapest Declaration calling for improved East-West relations and the convocation of a European Security Conference had signaled the Soviet Union’s willingness to abandon its hostile stance in return for the FRG’s ending its two-decades-long rejection of the GDR.38 It was on this core national issue that Brandt and Kiesinger took opposite sides, with the SPD leader prepared to defer German unification in order to lay the basis for European détente and security for West Berlin, and the CDU chief adhering to his party’s hard-line Cold War stance toward the East. The result would be an edgy several-monthslong holding action toward the GDR, the Soviet Union, and Bonn’s NATO partners until the West German public made its decision on September 28.39 Working Together? With elections pending in both countries, 1969 promised to be a relatively uneventful period in West German–Israeli relations. Trade between the two countries had recently expanded (although still with a significant Israeli deficit); and there was also a marked increase in official and private visits and cultural exchanges.40 The year’s highlights included the Bundesrat president Dr. Hermann Weichmann’s attendance at Levi Eshkol’s funeral and his friendly tête-à-tête with acting prime minister 37

38

39

40

Brandt to Kiesinger, May 21, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:618 19; Brandt to Duckwitz (for Kiesinger), May 24, 1969, ibid., 1:640; also Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 139 47; Gray, Germany’s Cold War, pp. 209 12. Theo Sommer, “A Chance for Europe,” Survival 11, no. 6 (May 1969): 193 96; Tafel to AA, Budapest, Apr. 14, 1969, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 107294; also Csaba Békés, “The Warsaw Pact, The German Question, and the Birth of the CSCE Process, 1961 1970,” in Oliver Bange and Gottfried Niedhart, eds., Helsinki 1975 and the Transformation of Europe (New York: Berghahn, 2008), pp. 119 21. See, esp., Bahr Aufzeichnung, July 1, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:751 60; also Lawrence L. Whetten, “The Role of East Germany in West German Soviet Relations,” The World Today 25, no. 12 (Dec. 1969): 113 28; Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 236 44; Giovanni Bernardini, “West German American Relations and a New ‘Order of Peace’ for Europe, 1969 1970,” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 8, no. 1 (Mar. 2010): 19 31. Details for the period 1960 1969 in BayHStA, StK15278.

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Allon;41 Ambassador Hermann Knoke’s eloquent remarks at the Israel Museum Library dedication;42 the arrival of the first Israeli parliamentary delegation in West Germany;43 and the participation of prominent West German journalists in a Tel Aviv seminar.44 Israel’s focus on the Nazi past continued to create tension with West Germany, a country whose chancellor had been a former party member and whose high officials included many servants of the Third Reich, but whose burgeoning youth population felt little connection with their parents’ crimes.45 In the UN Human Rights Council, Israel joined the Communist bloc’s condemnations of the Nazi holdovers in the Federal Republic and the menace of its neoNazi movements.46 Israeli officials, alarmed over the prospect of an NPD entry into the Bundestag with some twenty-five to fifty seats, pleaded quietly (and unsuccessfully) for the Bonn government to outlaw the party.47 In early 1969, Israel changed course and joined the international pressure on Bonn to extend the Statute of Limitations on the Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals, which was due to expire at the end of the year.48 This highly divisive issue pitted the two Grand Coalition parties against each other and had raised a major public debate. Although the cabinet, after a heated two-day session in April, voted to extend the statute, and the Bundestag ratified the bill two months later, there was a domestic and international outcry over 41

42 43 44 45 46 47

48

Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Mar. 3, 1969, PA AA B36 465; Weichmann, a Jew who had returned to Germany from the United States in 1948 and was one of the FRG’s most esteemed politicians, had declined to run for the presidency in 1969 as a bipartisan candidate. New York Times, Apr. 25, 1969. Ma’ariv, Mar. 25, 1969. Vermerk, Mar. 25, 1969, PA AA 2 B 36/461. Heinemann had extended the invitation during his Nov. 1968 visit to Israel. Ben Horin to FM, Bonn, May 26, 1969, AE C001 7/188. Schuster to AJC New York, Paris, Jan. 15, 1969, YIVO RG 347.7.1 Box 21 AJC FAD 1: 68 69. Keller to AA, New York, Jan. 23, Mar. 7, 8, 1979, PA AA B30/511. Brandt to Kiesinger, Bonn, Jan. 7, 1969, Osterheld Vermerk, Jan. 14, 1969, BAK B136/ 3636; Ben Horin to FM, Apr. 13, 1969, ISA 130 4184/3; Ben Horin to Eban, May 26, 1969, AE C001 7/188. Rather than issue a ban and risk drawn out proceedings before the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe that would not end before the September elections, the cabinet decided to give West German voters the chance to repudiate the NPD with their ballots. Dr. Hans Lamm, Observations on the Present Situation in the FRG, Apr. 20, 1929, YIVO RG 347.7.1 Box 21 AJC FAD 1: 68 69. Kiesinger/Ben Natan discussion, Feb. 7, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:161. Although there were some 10,000 pending cases in the German courts and some 70,000 others under investigation, the majority of CDU/CSU Cabinet members opposed the extension, while the SPD, cognizant of strong domestic and international imperatives, strongly supported the draft law, which had been drafted eight months earlier by Heinemann and was vigorously defended by the new Justice Minister Horst Ehmke.

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Kiesinger’s proposal for a “differentiated” treatment of “racially motivated” murderers and their “accomplices.”49 And although the chancellor’s initiative had failed, in May came the shocking revelation that a new legal loophole had crept into the West German penal code that would now make it more difficult to bring “assistants” and “desk killers” to justice.50 Yet Israeli policy makers also recognized the risks of intervening too forcefully in West German politics, losing the support of their friends, and stirring a nationalist backlash.51 Thus, at the height of Germany’s heavily contested election campaign, the foreign ministry would warn Ben-Natan against appearing before CDU audiences and also advised him to tone down his very public friendship with the CSU leader and finance minister Franz Josef Strauss.52 On the West German side, relations with Israel were increasingly viewed through the prism of Bonn’s attempt to regain its standing in the Arab world.53 To underscore its neutrality, the government placed official visits to the Middle East under strict scrutiny.54 Kiesinger fended off Israeli requests to represent its interests in his talks in London, Paris, and Washington, emphasizing his lack of influence in the Middle East and Bonn’s neutral position.55 And Rolf Pauls’s presence at the West German

49

50

51 52 53 54 55

Details in Kabinettsprotokolle, Apr. 23, 1969, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/bar ch/0000/k/k1969k/kap1 2/kap2 14/para3 3.html?highlight=true&search=verjahrung% 20von%20NS Verbrechen&stemming=true&field=all#highlightedTerm, and Apr. 24, 1969, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/k1969k/kap1 2/kap2 15/par a3 1.html?highlight=true&search=verjahrung%20von%20NS Verbrechen&stemmin g=true&field=all#highlightedTerm (accessed Feb. 6, 2016); Extensive coverage in Der Spiegel, 1 (Jan. 6); 3 (Jan. 13), pp. 58 61; 9 (Feb. 24), pp. 30 32; 17 (Apr. 21), pp. 33 34; 18 (Apr. 28), pp. 30 32; 24 (June 9), pp. 32 33; also New York Times, Apr. 22, 24, 25, 26, May 12, Aug. 5, 1969; also, Pauls to Kiesinger, May 9, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:579 80. On May 21, the West German Supreme Court raised a national and international outcry when it reversed the conviction of the former SS officer Hermann Heinrich, convicted of shooting Jewish prisoners, because he had “acted under orders.” New York Times, May 22, 1969. Avner to Lapidot, Sept. 7, 1969 (responding to protests by the National Union of Israeli students), AE C001/0241; American Jewish Year Book (1970), pp. 449 50. Ben Horin to FM, Bonn, Apr. 13, 1969, ISA 130 4184/3‫חצ‬. FM to Ben Natan, Aug. 28, 29, Ben Natan to FM, Sept. 1, ISA 130.23 4184/27‫חצ‬. See Kiesinger statement to CDU fraction, Jan. 21, 1969, ACDP CDU/CSU Bundestagfraktion 1965 69 024/2. Sterken Aufzeichnung, Jan. 11, 1969, BAK B106/34275. Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 21, 1969, PA AA Zwischenarchiv B36/457; Kiesinger Ben Natan talks, Feb. 7, 1969, ISA 130 6605‫חצ‬, cf. AAPD 1969 1:162 63; Gespräch des Bundeskanzlers Kiesinger mit Abgeordneten des israelischen Parlaments, Mar. 20, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:419 20; also Meroz to Ben Natan, Jerusalem, Aug. 18, 1969, ISA 130.23/4184/2‫חצ‬.

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Fig 5.1: Israeli ambassador to West Germany Asher Ben Natan (right with megaphone) speaking to students at the University of Frankfurt in June 1969. Credit: Keystone, 5537602/photograph: Kurt Weiner

embassy in Washington helped the FRG maintain its “calm” impartial stance.56 There was one concern both countries shared: the issue of growing student protests and violence in West Germany. In the summer of 1969, Ben-Natan’s speeches at the universities of Frankfurt and Hamburg were disrupted by left-wing German students who were joined by hundreds of Arabs and also a handful of Israeli members of the radical group Kompass shouting threats to the ambassador.57 Israel’s reaction was swift and censorious; and Ben-Natan, who lashed out publicly at the demonstrators, 56 57

Milton Friedman, “Capital Spotlight” (JTA Wire Service, July 16, 1969), depicted Pauls’s presence as a “blessing” to the Bonn government. Ben Natan to FM, June 10, 13, 16, 1969, Bitan to FM, June 18, July 3, 1969, ISA 130.23 4184/27‫ ;חצ‬Friedensburg to Ben Natan, June 16, 1969, Ben Natan to Friedensburg, June 19, 1969, BAK Friedensburg Nachlass N1114/30. Zachariah Schuster to Jerry Goodman, June 16, 1969, YIVO RG 347.7.1 Box 21 AJC FAD 1: 68 69; Bonhore to MAE, Frankfurt, June 10, 1969, Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, June 12, 1969, FMAE Europe/ RFA 1961 70 Z 1586; New York Times, June 12, 13, 1969.

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characterized his young opponents as “left-wing fascists.”58 For the first time, the tiny West German Jewish community also contemplated political action in self-defense against the anti-Zionist ruffians in the schools and universities.59 The West German press and public immediately deplored the incidents, and a deeply embarrassed Bonn government assured the world that “no antisemitism was involved” and that it was capable of protecting foreign diplomats.60 But when Ben-Natan, after rejecting the Auswärtiges Amt’s advice, faced another disruption in Nuremberg the following month, he was forced to discontinue his public appearances.61 That summer the rash of swastikas painted on Jewish institutions and on the walls of the Israeli embassy drew more outrage in the West German, Israeli, and world press.62 Worse was to come: On September 8, a grenade was thrown into the Israeli embassy in Bonn, and on November 11 and December 12 time bombs were placed in the Jewish Community Center and in the El Al office in West Berlin.63 On a more contentious issue – the allocation of additional payments to Holocaust survivors – Bonn was less forthcoming. In the spring of 1969, Nahum Goldmann, head of both the Claims Conference and the World Jewish Congress, who had negotiated the original 1952 restitution agreement, approached Bonn on behalf of the tens of thousands of severely ill Israeli citizens lacking sufficient resources for medical treatment.64 The Auswärtiges Amt’s response was negative: Having already paid some DM 15 billion to Holocaust survivors, its officials maintained that West Germany was under no legal obligation to expand its aid, and risked

58

59 60

61

62 63 64

Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, June 12, 13, 16, 1969, PA AA B5/34; Asher Ben Natan, Die Chuzpe zu leben: Stationen meines Lebens (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2003), pp. 174 77, gives details but incorrectly cites the incidents as occurring in 1968. Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, Protokoll über die Sitzung des Direktoriums am 29 Juni 1969, ZEJD, 208: Chronologische Ablage 1969. Springer’s paper, Die Welt, June 14, 1969, also denounced the students as left wing fascists; Der Spiegel 26 (June 23, 1969), p. 5, deplored the violation of free speech. Frank to all foreign missions, Bonn, June 23, 1969, PA AA B5/34. Ben Natan to FM, July 3, 1969, ISA 130.23 4184/27‫“ ;חצ‬Kein Sinn,” Der Spiegel 28 (July 7, 1969), p. 20. After the Nuremberg incident, President Heinemann phoned Ben Natan to express his regrets. Idan to Bitan, July 24, 29, 1969, ISA 130.23 4184/27; Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, July 23, 29, 1969, Germ PA AA Zwischenarchiv B36/457; Yediot Ahronot, July 23, 1969. Details in Wolfgang Kraushaar, Die Bombe im jüdischen Gemeindehaus (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2005). Goldmann to Schmidt, Mar. 25, 1969, AdsD Schmidt 1HSAA005386. An Israeli note to Bonn on this subject, dated Oct. 3, 1967, and requesting DM 60 million, had gone unanswered.

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incurring Arab objections; and, for good measure, it raised the threat of “an eternal obligation” toward Israel.65 Goldmann, one of the Jewish world’s most prominent diplomats, lobbied his SPD and CDU friends; challenging the Auswärtiges Amt’s fear of Arab retaliation, he insisted that even Israel’s enemies distinguished between individual restitution and state support.66 After the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland added its voice, Brandt took a stand: On the eve of the elections, stressing moral over political considerations, he stated that this “old problem” needed a solution.67 In December, the new West German cabinet, after a contentious debate, authorized a DM 100 million fund to be paid to invalids over a period of three years.68 But not unexpectedly, even this positive decision – along with Bonn’s agreement to renegotiate Israel’s debt payments – necessitated prolonged negotiations that played into the hands of hardliners on both sides.69 Anticipating similar difficulties over its annual aid package, the Israeli government applied strong diplomatic pressure on Bonn because of its increasingly parlous financial situation. Due to its heavy defense expenditures, Israel’s foreign exchange reserves were nearly exhausted. At the beginning of 1969, Ben-Natan had won commitments from major figures in all three parties – from Kiesinger, Strauss, and SPD minister for economic cooperation Erhard Eppler – to maintain the previous year’s DM 140 million level;70 and Meir, during her meeting with Brandt in June at the Socialist International Congress, had urged the foreign minister to lend his support.71 65 66 67 68

69

70

71

Wiedergutmachungsabkommen, Mar. 25, 1969, PA AA B36/465. Goldmann to Jahn, June 13, 1969, CZA Z6/2378; Groepper Aufzeichnung, July 31, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:868 9, n. 5. Groepper Aufzeichnung, July 31, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:868, n. 3. Brandt to Strauss, Sept. 16, 1969, ibid., pp. 1013 14. Cabinet meeting Dec. 11, 1969, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/k19 69k/kap1 2/kap2 45/para3 14.html?highlight=true&search=israel%20entschadung&st emming=true&field=all#highlightedTerm (accessed Feb. 10, 2016). Four days after the Jan. 26, 1970, interministerial deliberations on the entire complex of the FRG Israeli financial relations, State Secretary Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz summed up the AA’s opposition to any additional compensation to Holocaust victims, which might “continue for a decade” and damage Bonn’s efforts to improve its relations with the Arab world as well as block its intention to normalize its ties with Israel by perpetuat ing its “Schuld” (guilty or debtor) role in the relationship. (These remarks are especially noteworthy because of the sixty five year old Duckwitz’s celebrated role twenty six years earlier in the rescue of the Danish Jews in 1943.) York von Wartenburg Aufzeichnung, Jan. 27, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:92 95, n. 9. Ben Natan to FM, Feb. 11, 1969, ISA 130 6605/15‫חצ‬,; also Ben Natan/Kiesinger talk, Feb. 7, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:161, n. 1; Herbst Aufzeichnung, Apr. 14, 1969, ibid., pp. 476 77. Ritzel Aufzeichnung, July 24, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:846, n. 5, summarizes Brandt’s June 22 memorandum of the meeting.

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Not unexpectedly, the Auswärtiges Amt again raised objections to the disproportionate amount of development loans to Israel compared with Bonn’s other clients. It also stressed the political consequences in light of the FRG’s new competition with the GDR in the Middle East.72 But while acknowledging the political impossibility of making any reduction during an election year, it also proposed a new restriction: to transform a small percentage of the DM 140 million loan into a project-based allocation requiring periodic progress reports.73 Ben-Natan, now in his last months as ambassador to West Germany, fought back. Pleading his country’s extraordinary financial burden to Kiesinger, Brandt, and Strauss – and threatening that a negative response would provoke a strong public reaction from Meir – the Israeli ambassador convinced West German leaders to reverse a cabinet decision and reduce the amount of restricted funds.74 An even more fraught issue between West Germany and Israel was their ongoing military exchanges.75 Although Bonn in 1965 had officially halted all arms sales to the Middle East, it is probable (although there is no documentation) that the FRG continued to supply armored vehicles and other war materials to Israel through third parties, which, when exposed in the Arab press in 1969, greatly undermined West German claims to neutrality.76 Moreover, the close relationship between the FRG’s defense establishment and Israel’s, developed over almost a decade of close security and military collaboration, included frequent visits as well as training Israeli officers in Bundeswehr schools; purchases of Uzi rifles, crude oil, cartridges, hand grenades, mortar parts, propellants and primers for rocket launchers, and several other forms of munitions that bolstered the Israeli arms industry and economy; and joint projects, including research on rocket engines conducted under ostensibly private auspices.77 Also, beginning in the mid-1950s, there was very close

72 73 74

75 76 77

Frank Aufzeichnung, Apr. 15, 1969, AAPD 1969 1:478 81. Herbst Aufzeichnung, Apr. 14, 1969, Ibid., pp. 476 77. Robert Aufzeichnung, July 30, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:866 67; cabinet meetings, July 22, Aug. 13, 1969, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/k1969k/kap1 2/ka p2 29/para3 8.html. Important background in Niels Hansen, Geheimvorhaben “Frank/Kol”: Zur deutsch israelischen Rüstungszusammenarbeit 1957 bis 1965 (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 1999). Scheel to Schmidt, Nov. 20, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:1317 18, n. 3. Deutsch Israelische Rüstungszusammenarbeit, 1967 1971, BAF BW1/185994. The West German Defense Ministry’s arms requests were filled by two Israeli firms, the state owned Israeli Military Industries and the labor union owned Soltan, and they were placed with Salgad, an Israeli front company based in Liechtenstein. Details in ibid., BV5/12188;BV5/83630 32; 84678.

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collaboration between the two countries’ security services, especially involving Soviet weapons systems.78 Spurred by the GDR’s diplomatic successes and by Bonn’s “precarious situation” in the Arab world, the Auswärtiges Amt seized the opportunity to exert greater control over the FRG’s military ties with Israel. On May 30, Walter Gehlhoff, head of the Near East Section, notified the Israeli envoy Avner Idan that the AA would henceforth scrutinize all the Bundeswehr’s purchase requests and he also announced a halt in the periodic visits by each country’s officers.79 Two months later, AA officials took on their Defense Ministry colleagues, urging them to end within a year all current military purchases from Israel and to place no new orders, although not ruling out the ongoing rocket research.80 After the September elections, the new West German foreign minister Walter Scheel voiced his government’s position. He urged Defense Minister Helmut Schmidt to greatly reduce Bonn’s military ties with Israel;81 and he dismissed Ben-Natan’s protests against this “unfriendly act” toward Israel, one that undermined the long-standing and productive cooperation between their two military establishments.82 Two Elections In their sixth national election on September 28, 1969, some 33.5 million West Germans (about 87 percent of eligible voters) cast their ballots for the 518 seats in the Federal Parliament (Bundestag). The CDU/CSU won a 46.1 percent majority; and the SPD came in second with 42.7 percent – the party’s highest number in the postwar period. And although the NPD doubled its votes in 1969, it failed to meet the 5 percent barrier for entering the Bundestag, sending waves of relief at home and abroad.83 With neither Grand Coalition party gaining a majority, the FDP – although its vote had fallen stunningly from 9.5 percent in 1965 to 78

79 80 81 82 83

Shlomo Shpiro, “Communicating Interests across History: German Israeli Security Cooperation,” in Haim Goren, ed., Germany and the Middle East: Past, Present, and Future. (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2003), pp. 305 11; Shlomo Shpiro, “‘Know Your Enemy’: West German Israeli Intelligence Evaluation of Soviet Weapons Systems,” Journal of Intelligence History 4, no. 1 (Summer 2004): 57 73. Referenced in n. 3 in Söhnke Aufzeichnung, July 25, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:855. Söhnke Aufzeichnung, July 25, 1969, Behrends Aufzeichnung, Oct. 15, 1969, AAPD 1969 2:855 56, 1119 20, but esp. Harkort to Haase, Oct. 7, 1969, BAF BW1/185994. Scheel to Schmidt, Nov. 20, 1969, AAPD 1969 2: 1317 18; Mommsen to Schmidt, Jan. 27, 1971, BAF BW1/185994. Ben Natan to FM, Nov. 25, 1969, ISA 130 4183/17‫חצ‬. Hans D. Klingmann and Franz Urban Pappi, “The 1969 Bundestag Election in the Federal Republic of Germany: An Analysis of Voting Behavior,” Comparative Politics 2, no. 4 (July 1970): 523 48.

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5.8 percent in 1969 – once more held the balance. Scheel’s refusal to join Kiesinger – foreshadowed six months earlier by the FDP’s votes for Heinemann – ended two decades of CDU/CSU rule; his small party’s alignment with Willy Brandt gave Germany its first Socialist chancellor since 1930.84 Germany’s new Left-Liberal government, which had won a less than resounding victory and held a narrow 268–250 parliamentary margin – nonetheless interpreted the results as a mandate for change: for “more democracy” – economic, social, and judicial reforms at home – and for an invigorated Ostpolitik and Nahostpolitik abroad.85 It was nonetheless an awkward alliance between reform socialists and the business-oriented FDP (some of whose members opposed the deal), and in which the latter, holding three of the fifteen cabinet seats, including the Foreign Ministry, would exert disproportionate influence.86 On the diplomatic front, Brandt’s victory drew mixed reactions from the Superpowers. Brezhnev, who had openly supported the SPD leader, viewed his triumph as a “turn toward realism” on the part of the FRG and to which Moscow was prepared to respond.87 Washington, on the other hand, was disquieted over the prospect of a “more self-assured” West Germany, “less inhibited in expressing German views and, hence, more “unbequem”[uncomfortable].88 The new Bonn government was even more disturbing for Israel. Not only had Israeli leaders grown accustomed to dealing with CDU/CSU politicians but they were also unnerved by the new government’s foreign policy orientation of rapprochement with the Soviet Union and the Arab world. Moreover, despite its long-standing ties with the Socialist International, Israel was leery of dealing with the new generation of 84 85

86 87

88

Lewis Edinger, “Political Change in Germany: The Federal Republic after the 1969 Election,” Comparative Politics 2, no. 4 (July 1970): 549 78. Klaus von Beyme, “The Ostpolitik in the West German 1969 Elections,” Government and Opposition 5, no. 2 (Jan. 1970): 193 217; Ernst Otto Czempiel, “Foreign Policy Issues in the West German Federal Elections,” ibid., pp. 605 28. Also, Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 244 53. Seydoux to MAE, Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 2, 3, 1969, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1387. Andrey Edemskiy, “Dealing with Bonn: Leonid Brezhnev and the Soviet Response to West German Ostpolitik,” in Carole Fink and Bernd Schafer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969 1974: European and Global Responses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 17 18. This positive sentiment was not shared in East Berlin (Neues Deutschland, Nov. 9, 1969), which had long exploited Soviet West German antagonism, resented Brezhnev’s enthusiasm toward Brandt, and feared the prospect of a thaw between Moscow and Bonn. Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger, Oct. 29, 1969, NARA Nixon Project NSC Files/Europe Germany Box 682. A sign of independence was Brandt’s delay of his first trip as chancellor to Washington until April 1970. See also Holger Klitzing, “The Nixon Administration and Ostpolitik,” in Fink and Schafer, Ostpolitik, 1969 1974, pp. 80 93.

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European socialist politicians who sought a more balanced position in Middle East affairs.89 Brandt quickly confirmed the Israelis’ anxiety. In his government declaration on October 28 – with its ambitious domestic program, conciliatory proposals toward the East, and assertion of a more “active partnership” with the United States – the new West German chancellor conspicuously omitted his predecessors’ customary reference to Bonn’s special relationship to the Jewish people and Israel.90 On that day, 1.4 million Israelis (more than 80 percent of eligible voters) cast their ballots for the 120 seats in the parliament (Knesset). Led by Golda Meir, the Labor Alignment received 46 percent of the vote, and Gahal, the main opposition party led by Menachem Begin, received 22 percent. The remaining one-third of the vote was split among the National Religious Party (10 percent) and the ten small parties (20 percent) that won between 1 percent and 4 percent and would thus send representatives to the Knesset. Because of the Alignment’s failure to reform Israel’s electoral system and also the electorate’s resistance to Meir’s appeal for a “clear majority,” the prime minister was compelled to form another “wall to wall” coalition with Gahal and the National Religious Party.91 Although there was no change of government in Israel in 1969, the results were also momentous. Despite the hawkish views of her fractious coalition, Meir remained officially committed to trading land for peace. However, her government was even more intent on “creating facts,” which included an expansion of existing Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza, the Golan, and the Sinai, making the prospects of an agreement with the Arabs all the more remote.92 The accidental septuagenarian prime minister, who had averted a destructive battle between Dayan and Allon, also held views that satisfied her most militant 89

90

91 92

Israel was especially concerned about two prominent SPD figures: Hans Jürgen Wischnewski (nicknamed “Ben Wisch”), the party’s national secretary who had devel oped extremely close ties with Arab leaders since the Algerian War; and Gerhard Jahn, the AA parliamentary state secretary who, in a major Sept. 19 speech, had laid out a new Nahostpolitik that included strengthening Bonn’s ties with the Arabs. Ben Natan to Avner, Aug. 12, 1969, ISA 130 4184/8; Ben Natan to Avner, Bonn, Oct. 20, 1969, ibid., 4183/17‫חצ‬. Willy Brandt, Berliner Ausgabe, ed. Frank Fischer (Bonn: Dietz, 2005), 6:236 46; Idan to Avner, Bonn, Nov. 11, 1969, ISA 130 4183/17‫חצ‬. Also, citing his “current burdens,” Brandt delayed meeting with alarmed Zentralrat leaders until Feb. 1970. ZEJD B. 1/7 420. Knoke to AA (n.d.) [Oct. 1969], PA AA B36/455; Efraim Torgovnik, “Election Issues and Inter Factional Conflict in Israel,” Political Studies 20, no. 1 (Mar. 1972): 79 96. “Israel Has Found a Replacement for Golda Meir It’s Golda Meir,” New York Times, Oct. 26, 1969; “Grüne Ketten,” Der Spiegel 44 (Oct. 27, 1969), pp. 147 49; also Don Peretz, “Israel’s 1969 Election Issues: The Visible and the Invisible,” Middle East Journal 24, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 37 39.

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compatriots. In her hard-hitting government declaration, Meir blamed the USSR for the state of war in the Middle East, rejected Great Power mediation, and criticized the oil-dependent European governments for wooing the Arabs.93 Aftermath Almost immediately after their new governments were formed, West Germany and Israel launched major foreign initiatives: Willy Brandt dispatched his chief foreign policy advisor Egon Bahr to Moscow to begin talks on West German-Soviet détente, and he spent his Christmas holiday in Tunisia attempting expand Bonn’s relations with the Arab world.94 Golda Meir, heeding the advice of her military advisors and ignoring warnings of Soviet intervention, decided to escalate the current war against Egypt with a deep-penetration bombing campaign;95 also, abandoning long-standing Israeli discretion, Meir openly demanded the emigration of Soviet Jewry to raise Israel’s Jewish population and aid in the settlement of the conquered territories.96 Behind the scenes, West German and Israeli officials attempted to heal the public rift between their two countries, exacerbated by the FRG’s resistance to Israeli appeals and Israel’s critical reception of Brandt’s appointment.97 In his final days in West Germany, Ben-Natan sought to ascertain Bonn’s future direction and to explain the Israeli side. Although Brandt’s intentions toward Israel were unclear, several disturbing elements had become evident. Above all, the new West German government would insist on a normal relationship. Summoned to the chancellor’s office on November 24, BenNatan met Egon Bahr, who announced brusquely that unlike former regimes the FRG’s new leaders had no links to the Third Reich and 93 94

95

96

97

Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Dec. 1969, PA AA B36/455. Ben Natan to FM, Bonn, Dec. 23, 1969, ISA 130 4183/17‫ ;חצ‬Shinnar to Eban, Jan. 5, 1970, AE C001/ 07; Aufzeichnung, Jan. 8, 1970, AdsD WBA A9/24. Brandt, who was accompanied by Wischnewski, had a long time connection with Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba through the Socialist International. During this visit, the FRG chancellor on Jan. 8, 1970, also met secretly with Algerian foreign minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika, ibid., A9/30. Avi Shlaim and Raymond Tanter, “Decision Process, Choice, and Consequences: Israel’s Deep Penetration Bombing in Egypt, 1970,” World Politics 30, no. 4 (July 1978): 483 516; Yaacov Bar Simon Tov, “The Myth of Strategic Bombing: Israeli Deep Penetration Air Raids in the War of Attrition, 1969 70,” Journal of Contemporary History 19 (1984): 549 55. Peretz, “Israel’s 1969 Election Issues,” pp. 45 46; background in Fred Lazin, “Israel’s Demographic Needs versus ‘Freedom of Choice’ The Case of Soviet Jewish Emigrés, 1967 1990,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für Deutsche Geschichte 35 (2007): 273 91. Meroz to embassy Bonn, Nov. 14, 1969, ISA 130 4183/17/‫חצ‬.

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were not burdened by a sense of collective guilt toward Israel. More specifically, Bahr explained that Israel, which had hitherto enjoyed “exaggerated” levels of economic assistance, would now have to make do with less and to accept more restrictive conditions. Ben-Natan’s retort – his defense of their previous financial and military arrangements, his reminder that Israel, unlike Bonn’s other debtors, had faithfully fulfilled its annual DM 80 million repayments, and his appeal to the new chancellor to redeem his pledge to disabled Holocaust victims – received a noncommittal reception.98 Second, Israel’s previous allies would adhere to Bonn’s new direction. Helmut Schmidt, the new defense minister, acknowledged the significance of Bahr’s admonition, and Walter Scheel, the new foreign minister, offered only bland reassurances.99 Although Herbert Wehner, the new chair of the SPD parliamentary faction, sought to soften the blow, Wischnewski underlined Brandt’s ambitious pro-Arab initiatives.100 Finally, Ben-Natan paid a farewell visit to Brandt who, like his three predecessors, clearly intended to dominate West German foreign policy. Although he disclaimed authorship of a recent article in the SPD bulletin advocating a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and a “just solution” of the Palestinian refugee problem, and he denied any antagonism toward Israel,101 Brandt stressed Bonn’s neutrality and insisted that a “true peace” could be accomplished only by unconditional talks between the two sides.102 Golda Meir, who also intended to control her country’s foreign policy and held strong anti-Soviet and anti-German views, considered Brandt’s evenhandedness a major challenge. Next to Washington, Bonn was still an important element in Israel’s quest to make its voice heard abroad, especially to balance France’s hostility and Britain’s equivocations in European forums.103 She therefore took an audacious step: announcing the dispatch of her dovish foreign minister Abba Eban to Bonn – the first Israeli cabinet minister to make an official visit to the FRG. Long requested by the 98

99 100 101 102 103

There was considerable Israeli interest in Bahr’s background: his Jewish grandmother, his father’s refusal to divorce his Jewish wife (which had cost him his teaching position), and Bahr’s dismissal from the Wehrmacht in 1944 after two years’ service as a Mischlinge. Idan to Avner, Nov. 24, 1969, ISA 130 4183/17‫חצ‬. Ben Natan to Avner, Nov. 25, Dec. 12, 1969, Ibid. Ben Natan to Avner, Bonn, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 13, 1969, Ibid. Brandt joked that the strong “Israel lobby” in his party and the trade unions would prevent him from taking a pro Arab stance. Ben Natan to FM, Nov. 25 (2 tels.), Dec. 3, 24, 1969, ISA 130 4183/17‫חצ‬. Details in Carole Fink, “Ostpolitik and West German Israeli Relations,” in Fink and Schaefer Ostpolitik 1969 1974, pp. 188 89.

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Israelis, long delayed by the West Germans, this move was fiercely opposed by both right- and left-wing members of Meir’s new cabinet.104 And although no substantial matters were at stake, the visit’s symbolic importance was underscored when Brandt proceeded to invite Jordanian prime minister Bahjat Talhouni to visit first before Eban’s arrival in order to balance his concession to Israel.105 In a portent of the future, Brandt and Meir had begun to spar over achieving a balance between the past, the present, and the future.

104

105

Aufzeichnungen, Bonn, April 25, June 18, 1969, Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, June 18, 1969, Frank to Knoke, Bonn, June 25, 1969, Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Nov. 17, 1969, Redies to Knoke (2 messages), Bonn, Nov. 24, 1969, Knoke to AA, Tel Aviv, Dec. 12, 1969, Hoffmann to Knoke, Bonn, Dec. 15, 1969, Gehlhof to Knoke, Bonn, Dec. 18, 1969, Jan. 5, 1970, PA AA B36/461. Redies to Knoke, Bonn, Jan. 7, 1970, Ibid.

6

Ostpolitik

We propose to pursue [Ostpolitik] with due regard to the lessons of history and without illusions . . . to act with neither recklessness nor unwarranted timidity.1 The tragic memories of the recent Jewish past weigh down upon me with overpowering gravity . . . reinforcing the conviction that improved relations between the Federal Republic and Israel are one of the urgent moral necessities of our age.2 Today the majority of the German population tends not to see our relationship with Israel primarily in the context of the past.3

At 12:30 p.m. on February 22, 1970 – a cold, gray, and blustery day – Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban arrived at Munich’s Riem airport on a British European Airways flight from London. As the first Israeli government official to pay a formal visit to the Federal Republic,4 Eban had decided to begin his historic journey with a visit to Dachau, the Third Reich’s first concentration camp where more than twenty-eight thousand prisoners had perished, among them a high proportion of Jews. By arriving first in the city associated with the birth of Nazism and also with the West’s infamous appeasement of Adolf Hitler in 1938, Eban’s purpose was clear: to underline the continued presence of the past in West German–Israeli relations.5 However, the present had also become ominous. Less than two weeks before Eban’s arrival, the Middle East conflict had burst upon the Bavarian capital

1 2 3 4 5

Willy Brandt, “What Is Germany’s ‘Ostpolitik’?” New York Times, Nov. 11, 1970, p. 45. Abba Eban, quoted in Washington Post, Feb. 23, 1970. Paul Frank Aufzeichnung, Feb. 18, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:281. Three years earlier on Apr. 25, 1967, Eban had accompanied former prime minister David Ben Gurion to the funeral of Konrad Adenauer. Abba Eban, An Autobiography (New York: Random House, 1977), p. 483.

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125

when three grenade-wielding Palestinian guerillas had attempted to hijack an El Al plane on the Riem airfield, resulting in one death and eleven gravely wounded.6 And on February 13, an unidentified arsonist had set fire to the Jewish communal home in Munich, killing seven elderly Holocaust survivors and leaving ten wounded.7 Perceiving a link between these events and the Eban visit – which was reinforced by intelligence reports of anti-Israel demonstrations planned by Palestinians and left-wing Germans and of death threats against the Israeli foreign minister – Federal and Bavarian officials put extraordinary security measures in place on February 22, including some fifteen hundred armed police and border guards.8 To foil potential assassins, there was a convoy of armored vehicles at the Riem Airport; but Eban was instead shuttled by helicopter first to the official luncheon in the center of Munich and then to the former concentration camp some seventeen miles northwest of the Bavarian capital.9 At Dachau, a solemn Eban, clad in a dark coat and a tall brown fur hat and accompanied by the new Israeli ambassador, the West German ambassador to Israel, Bavarian officials, and representatives of Munich’s Jewish community, placed a large wreath of white carnations and blue irises at Dachau’s striking international memorial. Then, guided by Alois Hundhammer, the former Bavarian agriculture minister and a former Dachau prisoner, Eban toured the 6

7

8

9

Vermerk, Feb. 18, 1970, BayHStA MInn 90105. “Über unserer Stadt liegen dunkle Schatten,” Abendzeitung, Feb. 19, 1970 [statement by Munich’s Lord Mayor Hans Jochen Vogel, reprinted in New York Times, Feb. 19, 1970, p. 2]. Details of the attempted hijacking, directed by the Amman based Palestinian guerilla group Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine, in Wolfgang Kraushaar, “Wann endlich beginnt bei Euch der Kampf gegen die heilige Kuh Israel?”’ München 1970: Über die antisemitischen Wurzeln des deutschen Terrorismus (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2013), pp. 37 81. Only five days before Eban’s arrival, another hijack attempt by three armed Palestinians against a Yugoslav plane was foiled at Riem; but on Feb. 21 there were bomb explosions on two Tel Aviv bound flights. Although the Austrian Airlines craft was able to return safely to the Frankfurt Airport, the Swissair flight crashed before reaching Zurich, killing all forty seven passengers and crew, among them thirteen Israelis; Kraushaar, Wann endlich beginnt, pp. 150, 169 82. Details in “Brand im Gebäude der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde in München am 13. 2. 1970,” BayHStA MInn/90105; also Kraushaar, Wann endlich beginnt, pp. 86 149. The local police offered a DM 100,000 reward for information (the highest in the history of the FRG), “Brand ohne heisse Spur,” Die Zeit, Feb. 20, 1970; and on Feb. 16, 1970, the Brandt government voted to spend DM 1 million to rebuild the damaged structure. http:// www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 9/index.html. The case to this day remains unsolved. Details in BayHStA StK/15277, 15278; ibid., MInn/90268; “Blitzbesuch unter scharfer Aufsicht,” Münchner Merkur, Feb. 21, 1970; “900 [sic] Beamte schützten den Gast aus Israel,” Abendzeitung, Feb. 23, 1970; also: “Bonn demonstriert seine antiarabische Politik,” Neues Deutschland, Feb. 23, 1970. Earlier, Israel’s inquiries over Bonn’s security measures had raised hackles in the Auswärtiges Amt, Redies Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Feb. 4, 1970, PA AA B36/461. Ma’ariv, Feb. 23, 1970, New York Times, Feb. 23, 1970; Kraushaar, Wann endlich beginnt, pp. 199 200.

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Fig 6.1: Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban (center with hat and glasses) on his way to lay a wreath at the entrance to the Dachau concentration camp in February 1970. Credit: Yad Vashem, 64232 244CO8

camp’s museum, viewing its photographs, documents, and artifacts. Last, Eban visited the Jewish memorial – a somber, bunker-like structure built of rough-hewn basalt blocks and topped by a seven-branched candelabrum, where he placed another wreath and inaudibly recited the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead.10 After a ceremonial reception at the minister president’s residence – during which Eban expressed appreciation for his hosts’ warmth and generosity but also reminded them of the shadows of the past – at 10:20 p.m. the Israeli foreign minister departed for Bonn, leaving Bavarian officials (who up until the last minute had continued to receive death threats against Eban) greatly relieved at the uneventful end of his 7.5-hour “Blitzbesuch.”11 10

11

Eye witness accounts in Ma’ariv, Feb. 23, 1970; Davar, Feb. 23, 1970; New York Times, Feb. 23, 1970; Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Feb. 23, 1970. On the recently built or renovated camp sites, Harold Marcuse, Legacies of Dachau: The Uses and Abuses of a Concentration Camp, 1933 2001 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 252 56, 258 61, 266 71; also Stefan Schwarz, Die jüdische Gedenkstätte in Dachau (Munich: Landesverband der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinden in Bayern, 1972). Münchner Merkur, Feb. 21, 1970, Davar, Feb. 23, 1970; Kraushaar, Wann endlich beginnt, p. 201.

1970: The Limits of Superpower Détente

127

1970: The Limits of Superpower Détente In 1970, while the United States and the Soviet Union continued to pursue détente, two major issues – Vietnam and the Middle East – continued to divide them. After Moscow had failed to extract concessions from Hanoi, the Nixon administration escalated the bombing of North Vietnam and also expanded the war into Cambodia in the hope of winning more favorable peace terms and expediting the US troop withdrawal, but at the same time triggering national and worldwide protests.12 The Soviet rejection of the Rogers Plan to bring peace to Israel and Egypt and its dispatch of soldiers, pilots, and SAM missiles to Egypt to fend off Israeli air attacks would convince Washington to act alone: to reach out to both parties and forge the August 7–8, 1970, cease-fire ending the War of Attrition.13 With the Superpowers in deadlock, Willy Brandt’s new West German government had considerable room for maneuver in 1970. And indeed the chancellor’s goals for his Ostpolitik were ambitious: the launch of an almost seamless series of steps involving both Bonn’s NATO allies and the Soviet bloc, combining diplomatic initiatives with economic, military, and cultural proposals, and aimed at advancing Bonn’s goal of eventual German unification by removing the Cold War straitjacket from Europe and the rest of the world.14 But the world was also changing. By 1970, the United Nations, with127 members – more than twice its original number – was seeking a larger voice in international affairs. Although the Superpowers still controlled the Security Council and were thus able to curb the secretarygeneral’s intervention in regions of their special interests, the Third World–dominated General Assembly had become a vocal forum for the appeals of less-developed countries for expanded North-South cooperation, investments, and technological transfers;15 and it was also about to become the site of the politically charged discussions of the 1970s over 12 13 14

15

Keith L. Neilson, The Making of Détente: Soviet American Relations in the Shadow of Vietnam (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995). Boaz Vanetik and Zaki Shalom, The Nixon Administration and the Middle East Peace Process, 1969 1973, trans. Guy Solomon (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2013). Brandt, “What Is Germany’s ‘Ostpolitik’?” p. 45; also Gottfried Niedhart and Oliver Bange, “Die ‘Relikte der Nachkriegszeit’ beseitigen: Ostpolitik in der zweiten aussenpolitischen Formationsphase der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Übergang von den Sechziger zu den Siebzigerjahren,” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 44 (Jan. 2004): 415 48; Introduction to Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969 1974: European and Global Responses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 1 11. Sönke Kunkel, “Zwischen Globalisierung, internationalen Organisationen und ‘global governance’: Eine kurze Geschichte des Nord Süd Konflikts in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 60, no. 4 (2012): 555 77.

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international terrorism,16 environmental politics,17 and human rights18 – all of which would challenge the Cold War’s polarities. Bonn’s New Direction Willy Brandt was determined to act quickly. The FRG, now led by an awkward coalition of Social Democrats (SDP) and Center-Right Free Democrats (FDP) with only a narrow parliamentary majority, was also wracked by its first serious economic downturn since 1949 and by threats of violence from the new Red Army Faction.19 Indeed, Ostpolitik had a significant domestic dimension: By renouncing the country’s twodecades-long Cold War orientation – the insistence on the priority of German unification according to Bonn’s terms (including restoring Germany’s 1937 borders) – and by declaring its goal of a peaceful unified Europe (Wandel durch Annäherung [change through rapprochement]), the Brandt-Scheel government was not only signaling a renunciation of the Nazi past but also offering the prospect of economic, political, cultural, and human ties with their compatriots in East Germany and a more secure future for West Berlin.20 And despite the CDU and CSU denunciations of Brandt’s betrayal of the Federal Republic’s ethos and its constitution, his bold direction appealed to a growing number of (especially younger) West Germans.21 The onset of Ostpolitik in 1970 consisted of a series of interlinked personal démarches, brilliantly masterminded by Brandt and Bahr, who 16

17 18 19 20

21

Bernhard Blumenau, “The Other Background of the Cold War: The UN and the Struggle against International Terrorism in the 1970s,” Journal of Cold War Studies 16, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 61 84. Stephen Macekura, “The Limits of the Global Community: The Nixon Administration and Global Environmental Politics,” Cold War History 11, no. 4 (Nov. 2011): 489 518. Jack Donnelly, “Recent Trends in Human Rights Activity: Description and Polemic,” International Organization 35, no. 4 (1981): 633 55. Arnulf Baring and Manfred Görtemaker, Machtwechsel: Die Ära Brandt Scheel (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1984), pp. 380 89. Marion Dönhoff, “Bonn Looks Eastward,” Interplay 3, no. 10 (1070): 13 16. On the economic dimension: Andreas Wilkens, “Ostpolitik allemande et commerce avec l’Est: Objectifs politiques et enjeux économiques d’Adenauer à Brandt (1949 1974),” Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique 113, no. 2 (June 1999): 205 41; Karl Heinz Schlarp, “Die ökonomische Untermauerung der Entspannungspolitik: Visionen und Realitäten einer deutsch sowjetischen Wirtschaftskooperation im Zeichen der neuen Ostpolitik,” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 45 (Jan. 2005): 77 100. On the opposition, see “Die Deutsche Ostpolitik und das Grundgesetz,” Europa Archiv 26, no. 14 (1971): 469 80; Geoffrey Roberts, “The West German Parties and the Ostpolitik,” Government and Opposition 7, no. 4 (Oct. 1972): 434 49; Gerhard Schroeder, “Le ‘non’ de l’opposition,” Documents: Revue des Questions Allemandes 27, no. 2 (1972): 29 37; Claus Arndt, “Les aspects juridiques et politiques de la Ostpolitik Allemande de 1970 à 1976,” Politique Étrangère 41, no. 3 (1976): 269 80.

Bonn’s New Direction

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trod a careful line between accommodation and German national interests.22 The new chancellor, a charismatic politician as well as a realist, intended to overcome the East’s suspicions and bad memories by conducting an active campaign to conciliate the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, including the GDR. Thus Bahr headed to Moscow in January 1970 and, following months of difficult negotiations, on August 12 Brandt and Brezhnev signed a treaty not only renouncing the use of force and recognizing the existing borders (including the frontier between the two Germanys), but also acknowledging the possibility of a future unification.23 Thus Brandt initiated the first meetings between East and West German leaders since 1949 in Erfurt on March 19 and in Kassel on May 21.24 And thus Brandt plied the route to Warsaw, where on December 7 he signed a second major treaty specifically acknowledging Poland’s postwar frontiers and renouncing Bonn’s claims east of the Oder-Neisse line: an episode that gained historic status when the West German leader, after placing a wreath at the Warsaw Ghetto monument, suddenly fell to his knees in a gesture of contrition.25 At the same time, Brandt conducted whirlwind talks with his principal Western allies to assure them of Bonn’s fidelity and ease their alarm over another Rapallo: the April 1922 treaty between Germany and Soviet Russia that had rent the allied front at the Genoa Conference and led to clandestine military ties between Berlin and Moscow. On his visit to Paris at the end of January 1970, the new chancellor quelled President Georges Pompidou’s fears that his Ostpolitik, which threatened to supplant France’s earlier overtures to Moscow, would weaken the cohesion of Western Europe.26 In March he won British prime minister Harold 22 23

24 25

26

Peter H. Merkl, “The German Janus: From Westpolitik to Ostpolitik,” Political Science Quarterly 89, no. 4 (Winter 1974 1975): 803 24. Ines Mietkowska Kaiser, “Der Weg zum Moskauer Vertrag,” Jahrbuch für Geschichte 38 (1989): 311 60; Julia von Dannenberg, The Foundations of the Moscow Treaty between West Germany and the USSR (London: Oxford University Press, 2008). M. E. Sarotte, “A Small Town in (East) Germany: The Erfurt Meeting and the Dynamics of Détente,” Diplomatic History 25, no. 1 (2001): 85 104. Heinrich Bechtoldt, “Die zweite Etappe der deutschen Ostpolitik,” Aussenpolitik 21, no. 12 (1970) 709 12; Adam Bromke and Harald von Rieckhoff, “The Polish West German Treaty,” East Europe 20, no. 2 (1971): 2 8; also Randall Newnham, “Economic Linkage and Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik: The Case of the Warsaw Treaty,” German Politics 16, no. 2 (2007): 247 63. On the Kniefall: M. Wolffsohn and Th. Brechenmacher, Denkmalsturz? Brandts Kniefall (Munich: Olzog, 2005); Valentin Rauer, “Symbols in Action: Willy Brandt’s Kniefall at the Warsaw Memorial,” in J. C. Alexander, B. Giesen, and J. L. Mast, eds., Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 257 82. Aufzeichnung, Feb. 5, 1970: Gespräch des Bundeskanzlers Brandt mit Staatspräsident Pompidou in Paris, Jan. 31, 1970, AdsD WBA A9/30; cf. Entretien en tête à tête entre le

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Wilson’s support in return for Bonn’s promise to endorse London’s application to the EEC.27 And during his April visit to Washington, although unable to overcome Nixon’s suspicions of his left-wing politics, Brandt utilized the strength of their bilateral bond to convince National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger (who had established a back channel with Egon Bahr) not to openly oppose his overtures to Moscow.28 A key corollary of Brandt’s Ostpolitik was his Nahostpolitik: setting a new course in the Middle East, a Wandel durch Ausgewogenheit [change through balance]. Beginning with his October 28, 1969, speech to the Bundestag, the newly elected chancellor had announced a more evenhanded direction: working for peace in accordance with the Security Council’s Resolution 242, maintaining “good relations with all countries in the region,” and continuing to refrain from the sale of weapons to “areas of tension” – proposals that elicited applause from the CDU/CSU opposition as well as from the governing parties.29 Still reeling from East Germany’s entry into the Middle East a year earlier, the Federal Republic under Brandt’s leadership intended to increase its efforts to restore relations with nine Arab governments in order to ensure the flow of its oil supply and to strengthen the economy that would drive its Ostpolitik. Through offers of trade and development aid, it would strive to alleviate Arab suspicions of its one-sided support for Israel. And as a key EEC and NATO member – anxious over Soviet incursions in the region, vulnerable to the fallout from the Middle East conflict, but also excluded from the UN and Great Power deliberations – Bonn aspired to play a “stabilizing” role in the region.30 With Brandt focused on Ostpolitik, he relied on two figures with experience in Bonn’s development programs to take the lead in the Middle East: his FDP

27

28

29 30

président de la république et le chancelier, Jan. 31, 1970, AN Pompidou, 5AG 2 1010; also Eberhard Schulz, “Le rôle de l’Allemagne et de la France dans l’Ostpolitik: Dix propositions de thèse,” Documents: Revue des Questions Allemandes 39, no. 2 (1984): 41 44; Marie Pierre Rey, “Chancellor Brandt’s Ostpolitik, France, and the Soviet Union,” in Fink and Schaefer, Ostpolitik, 1969 1974, pp. 111 25. Aufzeichnung, Mar. 3, 1970, AdsD WBA A9/24; Deutsch britisches Regierungsgespräch in London, Mar. 3, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:348 57; also Dominik Geppert, “Grossbritannien und die Neue Ostpolitik der Bundesrepublik,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 57, no. 3 (July 2009): 385 412. See Norbert Muhlen, “Germany’s New ‘Ostpolitik’: An American Dilemma,” Interplay 3, no. 8 (1970): 4 10; Brandt Aufzeichnung, Apr. 11, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:591 92; also Holger Klitzing, “To Grin and Bear It: The Nixon Administration and Ostpolitik,” in Fink and Schaefer, Ostpolitik, 1969 1974, pp. 90 95. Regierungserklärung vor dem Bundestag, 28 Oktober 1969, in Willy Brandt, Berliner Ausgabe, ed. Frank Fischer (Bonn: Dietz, 2005), 6:242. Aufzeichnung, Feb. 17, 1970, “Die Grundzüge unserer Nahostpolitik,” PA AA B36/461; cf. Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), p. 200.

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partner and foreign minister Walter Scheel who, although a novice in diplomacy, was a former minister of economic cooperation and development and a strong proponent of a more evenhanded Middle East policy;31 and the SPD’s national director, Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski, who for some fifteen years had developed close ties with the Arab world.32 Brandt sought to overcome French suspicions and gain the support of both Paris and London for his Nahostpolitik.33 He also appealed to two friendly Arab countries to intervene on Bonn’s behalf with both hard-line and moderate Arab regimes: Tunisia, with which the Federal Republic already had substantial economic ties,34 and Jordan, a key liaison with Cairo and the Arab League whose prime minister had been invited to Bonn before Abba Eban’s visit.35 But Brandt also told his Western and Arab interlocutors that there were two unassailable limits to Bonn’s courtship of the Arab world: The Federal Republic would neither engage in a bidding contest with East Berlin,36 nor would it sacrifice its relations with Israel.37 31

32

33

34

35 36

37

Scheel’s party had opposed the 1952 Restitution Agreement and the 1965 and 1969 prolongations of the Statute of Limitations. Hans Gresmann, “A Portrait of Walter Scheel,” Interplay 3, no. 11 (1970): 46 48. On the colorful and controversial career of “Ben Wisch,” from his early links with Algeria’s FLN and other North African and Middle East leaders, to his Oct. 1977 negotiations to free the hijacked Lufthansa plane and passengers in Mogadishu and his subsequent arrangements with the Palestinians: “Hans Jürgen Wischnewski,” Der Spiegel 46 (Nov. 6, 1967), pp. 84 86; Tim Geiger, “Die ‘Landshut’ in Mogadischu: Die aussenpolitische Krisenmanagement der Bundesregierung angesichts der terroristischen Herausforderung 1977,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 57, no. 3 (2009): 413 45; Matthias Dahlke, “Das Wischnewski Protokoll: Zur Zusammenarbeit zwischen westeuropäischen Regierungen und transnationalen Terroristen 1977,” ibid., 57 no. 2 (Apr. 2009): 201 15. Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, Jan. 26, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586; also Brandt Pompidou, Brandt Wilson meetings, nn. 26, 27. Both countries still had a major presence in the Middle East and could thus aid Bonn’s démarches. Brandt’s talks with Tunisian prime minister Bahi Ladgham, Aufzeichnung, Jan. 8, 1970, AdsD WBA A9/24, and foreign minister Habib Bourguiba, Aufzeichnung, Mar. 12, ibid., A9/30, during which the chancellor discussed a DM 40 50 million capital assistance program as well as increased EEC aid for Tunisia. Meeting between Scheel and Jordanian prime minister Bahjat Talhouni, Feb. 2, 1970, PA AA B150/195. Brandt Wilson talks, Mar. 3, 1970, AdsD WBA A 9/24. Brandt was referring to Bonn’s negotiations with Algeria (Aufzeichnung, n.d. [recounting his Jan. 8 meeting in Tunisia with Foreign Minister Bouteflika], AdsD WBA A9/30; also Scheel Bouteflika meeting, Feb. 11, 1970, Aufzeichnung, Feb. 11, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:205 7; Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, Feb. 26, 1970, ibid., pp. 320 21; Echternach to Schroeder, June 3, 1971, ACDP Birrenbach Nachlass 164/3), which were terminated in May 1970 with the Boumedienne government’s acceptance of a $142 million aid package from East Berlin in return for its recognition of the GDR. In response to the alarm of a pro Israeli SPD Bundestag deputy, Brandt wrote in Feb.: “We anticipate no change in our relations with Israel, despite our efforts to improve relations with the Arabs. . . . One cannot measure relations between Germany and Israel

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On the eve of Abba Eban’s visit, Brandt had set the new tone for his Nahostpolitik. On February 10, he chaired a two-and-a-half-hour meeting of key cabinet members and invited representatives of the AA and the Bundestag along with labor and banking officials to review the FRG’s ties to Israel.38 In opening the discussion, the chancellor stated that Bonn’s “balanced” Middle East policy would in no way imply an “indifference” to Israel’s fate and that the much touted normalization in no way implied a “devaluation” of bilateral ties with Jerusalem but “rather a goal to be achieved.” On the other hand, Brandt also insisted, “We must adopt a policy toward Israel without complexes” [ohne Komplexe] or “extortions” [Erpressungen].39 Acknowledging the Arabs’ indignation over Eban’s visit and their anticipated scrutiny of Bonn’s responses to Israeli demands, the chancellor called for caution, coordination, and candor in the forthcoming negotiations.40 The second part of Brandt’s announcement fell upon a highly receptive audience: Wischnewski stressed Bonn’s “sensitive” position vis-à-vis the Arabs; Ernst Achenbach, the FDP deputy and the coalition’s influential Auswärtige Ausschuss rapporteur, urged the government to guard against additional international burdens; Erhard Eppler, the SPD minister for economic cooperation, cautioned against unconditional development loans to Israel; and Scheel announced his dislike of “blackmail . . . even from friends.” Only one participant demurred. Walter Hesselbach, chairman of the board of the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft and also chairman of the German–Israeli Business Association, pointed out the ambiguity of Brandt’s formula – of normalizing Bonn’s relations with the Arab world without sacrificing Israel. In view of that country’s “dire circumstances,” Hesselbach urged a “steadfast” policy toward Jerusalem.41 But in a follow-up memorandum, AA ministerial director Paul Frank (who was about to become Scheel’s state secretary) downplayed the FRG’s widely known efforts to court Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, but

38 39

40 41

with the same yardstick applied to those with other countries, particularly in the eco nomic sphere,” AdsD WBA A8/34; but he added, “We will also not pursue an anti Arab policy.” Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, Feb. 11, 1970, Koalitionsgespräch über die Nahost Politik, AAPD 1970 1:207 15. Earlier, in an interview with the Beirut based newspaper Al Hayat Brandt had allegedly criticized Israel’s occupation of Arab lands and said he had no intention of approaching Israel as a “penitent.” Seydoux to MAE, Jan. 26, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586. Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, Feb. 11, 1970, Koalitionsgespräch über die Nahost Politik, AAPD 1970 1:207 15. Ibid.

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urged that the Israeli foreign minister be placed on notice of the new limits of the Bonn-Jerusalem relationship.42 Undoubtedly, the Brandt government was preparing to adopt a new course toward Israel. Although West German–Israeli relations over the previous two decades had been anything but smooth, Bonn’s ambitious new direction – its new ties with the hostile Soviet Union, its conciliation of France, its determination to expand the European Economic Community (from which Israel had been excluded), and, above all, its wooing of Israel’s Arab enemies – would inevitably raise major questions of continuity and confidence among Israeli policy makers and journalists and alarm in the larger Jewish world.43 There was still another level of distancing occurring between Bonn and Jerusalem. As foreshadowed in Brandt’s first speech as chancellor, his was the first FRG government that denied any connection with the Nazi past. Its officials insisted that twenty-five years after the end of World War II, almost half the FRG’s youthful population felt neither guilt nor responsibility toward the Holocaust, were indifferent in their sentiments toward Israel, and were more preoccupied with the oppression of Third World peoples by imperialist and colonial powers than with their country’s links to the history of the Third Reich. West German diplomats emphasized that Israel’s hard-line stance toward its Arab opponents clashed with the FRG’s overwhelming desire for peace on Europe’s vulnerable southern flank and risked a Superpower confrontation.44 However, Brandt’s government was linked with the Third Reich. Twelve of its members – among them Foreign Minister Walter Scheel (FDP), Economics Minister Karl Schiller (SPD), Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP), and Minister for Economic Cooperation Erhard Eppler (SPD), as well as the chancellor’s chief of staff Horst Ehmke (SPD) – had all joined the Nazi Party.45 Most of them, including Eppler, Ehmke, and 42 43 44 45

Frank Aufzeichnung, Feb. 18, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:280 83. See, esp., Shinnar to Eban, Bonn, Jan. 5, 1970, AE C001/07; also “West Germany’s Foreign Minister Looks at Middle East,” Jewish Advocate, Feb. 5, 1970, p. 6. Frank Aufzeichnung, Feb. 18, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:280 83. Malte Herwig, Die Flakhelfer: Wie aus Hitlers jüngsten Parteimitgliedern Deutschlands führende Demokraten wurden (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 2013). Beginning in 1967, the West German government had privately refused US offers to hand over to Bonn the special archive housed in the Berlin Document Center in the US Sector in Berlin containing some seventy four records of key FRG politicians and other public figures, which had been removed and housed in the director’s safe. In 1994, after German unification (and after all the NSDAP records had been filmed and deposited in the US National Archives in Washington), they were returned to a united Germany, housed in the Bundesarchiv, and made fully available to researchers, ibid., pp. 175 203. On Die Linke’s demand in 2013 for an accounting by the AA: “Nazi Vergangenheit von Politikern: Ein doppeltes Spiel,” Berliner Zeitung, June 21, 2013.

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Genscher, born between 1925 and 1927, educated under the Third Reich, and enrolled in Hitler-Jugend, had applied to the NSDAP in the wave of the mass recruitments between 1942 and 1944, and their memberships had been suspended during the course of their military service. The Nazi past of most of these officials had remained in obscurity. After 1945 the four occupying powers, out of practical as well as moral considerations, had exempted this cohort from denazification and exclusion from public office; and afterward US authorities had hidden their party records in order to protect their careers in the Federal Republic.46 Nonetheless, these individuals (although some of their contemporaries had demurred) had not only applied for privileged status in a victorious Third Reich but also for a quarter of a century had remained silent.47 Moreover, two of Brandt’s senior cabinet members had joined the NSDAP as adults. Scheel (b. 1919), a decorated air force officer, had applied in 1941, although he persistently denied his membership.48 And the popular and politically powerful Schiller (b. 1911), who had joined the SA in 1933 and the NSDAP in 193749 and placed his expertise in

46 47

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The seven other youthful NSDAP members were Josef Ertl (FDP), Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry, and six parliamentary state secretaries: Karl Moersch (FDP, Foreign Ministry), Alfons Bayerl (SPD, Ministry of Justice), Wolfram Dorn (FDP, Ministry of the Interior), Joachim Raffert (SPD, Ministry of Education and Science), Karl Herold (SPD, Ministry for Inter German Relations), and Brigitte Freyh (SPD, Ministry of Economic Cooperation). I thank Glenn Cuomo, who has done prodigious research on this issue, for this information; see his unpublished paper, “Opening the Director’s Safe: An Examination of the Berlin Document Center’s Restricted Collection of NSDAP Records.” Clemens Vollnhals, Entnazifizierung: Politische Säuberung und Rehabilitierung in den vier Besatzungszonen 1945 1949 (Munich: DTV, 1991), p. 41. Former NSDAP members remained in FRG governments until 1992. “The Ease with Which Nazi Party Members Reinvented Their Past,” Ha’aretz, June 2, 2013. The fact that their NSDAP membership had immediately become inactive during the period of their military service provided a ready excuse for those who failed to recall or denied their applications. Glenn R. Cuomo, “The NSDAP’s Enduring Shadow: Putting in Perspective the Recent Outing of Brown Octogenarians,” German Studies Review 35, no. 2 (May 2012): 280. In 1994, Genscher (who had resigned two years earlier) denied press reports of his membership; and in 2007, in response to Herwig’s articles in Der Spiegel, Eppler admitted his NSDAP membership, but Ehmke denied it. Scheel never acknowledged his NSDAP membership. In 1970, he learned (from his FDP rival Erich Mende) that his party file had been sequestered in the Berlin Document Center (Herwig, Die Flakhelfer, pp. 171 72); but in 1978, four years after he was elected FRG president and in response to press leaks, he claimed uncertainty about whether he had actually applied. “Scheel fehlen Unterlagen über seine NSDAP Mitgliedschaft,” Der Tagesspiegel, Nov. 12, 1978, p. 2; Kurt Becker, “Die Schatten der Vergangenheit,” Die Zeit, Nov. 17, 1978. And in a 2010 interview, he insisted (inaccurately) that serving soldiers had been forbidden to join the party. “Scheel: Verständnis für Herr Kohler,” Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, June 14, 2010. The delay in Schiller’s enrollment was likely the result of the Nazis’ four year block [Mitgliedersperre] on new members, due to the huge influx of hundreds of thousands

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labor procurement and economic intelligence in the service of the Third Reich,50 had acknowledged his party membership, but steadfastly refused to issue an explanation of his “Brown” past.51 Consequently, the 1969 Machtwechsel marked an unspoken change in West German–Israeli relations. In their day-to-day transactions with Brandt’s government, the Israelis no longer dealt with the generation that had acknowledged their Nazi pasts and sought a measure of atonement; instead, they were dealing with individuals who had risen to high positions in the Federal Republic without either divulging them or apologizing. They also faced a chancellor with an impeccable anti-Nazi record who was a realistic politician (and who in 1965, despite protests from party comrades, had welcomed the brilliant Schiller into the SPD’s leadership team), and was preoccupied more with forging a German future than with dwelling on the Nazi past. Indeed, the principal architect of the FRG’s new foreign policy was firmly opposed to the permanent stigmatization of former servants of the Third Reich;52 and, like Scheel,

50

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applicants in 1933 and the party’s policy of limiting membership to 10 percent of the population. Cuomo, “The NSDAP’s Enduring Shadow,” p. 268. After the war, Schiller, who resumed his academic career at the universities of Kiel and Hamburg, joined the SPD in 1946, served in the Hamburg and West Berlin administra tions, entered the Bundestag in 1965, and became minister for economic affairs in the Grand Coalition government between 1966 and 1969. Torben Lütjen, Karl Schiller (1911 1994): “Superminister” Willy Brandts (Bonn: Dietz, 2007); also Lütjen, “Karl Schiller: Der erste Superminister,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Apr. 4, 2011. Schiller always minimized his professional service to the Third Reich, one time informing an interviewer that unlike former chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, he had “fled the party by joining the Wehrmacht in 1941,” where he served on the Russian front in the intelligence section and returned as a full lieutenant. “An Economic Maestro,” New York Times, Nov. 21, 1968, p. 68, again in “Bonn’s Economic Chief,” New York Times, May 8, 1971, p. 43. Nonetheless, during the heated election campaign in 1969, Schiller’s harsh criticisms of Kiesinger threatened to expose his own service to the Nazi regime. Among those most concerned were Günter Grass (“Neue Enthüllungen: Grass forderte Wirtschaftminister Schiller zur NS Beichte auf,” Der Spiegel [Sept. 29, 2006], http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/ gesellschaft/neue enthuellungen grass forderte wirtschaftsminister schiller zur ns beichte auf a 439977.html), the US embassy in Bonn, and Germany’s left liberal press: Lütjen, Karl Schiller (1911 1994), pp. 269 71. But Schiller refused to acknowledge his own NSDAP past, and Brandt declined to intervene: Grass to Schiller, July 15, 1969, Apr. 4, 1970; Grass to Brandt, Mar. 3, 1969, in, Willy Brandt und Günter Grass, Der Briefwechsel, ed. Martin Kölbel (Göttingen: Steidl, 2013), pp. 270 71, 892, 915. Brandt at the Apr. 16, 1970, cabinet meeting dealing with Scheel’s controversial nomi nation of Ernst Achenbach as an EEC commissioner, tacitly defended the FDP deputy, who had been accused of complicity in the 1943 roundup and deportation of two thousand French Jews and organizing the plunder of Jewish property, https://www .bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 18/para3 14.html?highlig ht=true&search=achenbach&stemming=true&field=all#highlightedTerm; “Ramponiert,” Die Zeit 16 (Apr. 17, 1970); “Achenbach: Unrecht geschehen,” Der Spiegel 17 (Apr. 20, 1970). However, due to protests by its European partners, Bonn

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Brandt rejected the idea of collective German guilt and of the Germans’ eternal obligation to Israel and to the Jewish people. Hesselbach’s warning to the February 10 ministerial gathering was therefore prescient: There would now be considerable friction over the discrepancy between Bonn’s propitiatory language and its new policies toward Israel. Israel Responds On February 2, 1970, Eliashiv Ben-Horin, Israel’s new ambassador to West Germany, had arrived in Bonn. Born in 1921 in Upper Silesia and subsequently immigrating to Palestine with his family in 1935, BenHorin had studied law in Jerusalem and London and served in both the British and Israeli armies before entering the foreign ministry in 1950 where, after posts at the UN and in Washington,53 he had been a director of African and Asian affairs within the ministry as well as ambassador in several African and South American countries.54 Thus in striking contrast with his predecessor Asher Ben-Natan – whose professional career had been largely focused on German affairs and who for three years had interacted with friendly CDU/CSU-led governments (if a not always welcoming West German youth) – Ben-Horin, although a seasoned diplomat, was a novice in the Central European issues now developing under Bonn’s disquieting new leadership and foreign policy direction.55 Indeed, Israel was in a weak bargaining position vis-à-vis the Federal Republic. It had become isolated diplomatically after its December 11, 1969 declaration, insisting on direct negotiations with the Arabs, had blocked the prospects of a UN- or a Great Power–mediated peace settlement, and it had also rejected calls to halt its air war against Egypt.56 Moreover, the Israeli economy was heavily weighed down by its huge military expenditures, which the Nixon administration was currently refusing to underwrite.57

53 54 55

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ultimately withdrew the nomination. E. Torben Fischer and Matthias N. Lorenz, eds., Lexikon der “Vergangenheitsbewältigung” in Deutschland: Debatten und Diskursgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus nach 1945, 3rd ed. (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2015), pp. 109 10. Where he had been expelled for alleged intelligence operations. Aufzeichnung, n.d., PA AA B36/459. Schwarzman Aufzeichnung, Feb. 3, 1970, PA AA B36/459. To be sure, Ben Horin could rely on the embassy’s second in command, Avner Idan, who had been in Bonn since 1966 and conducted numerous sensitive negotiations: See Idan to FM, Bonn, Jan. 30, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; Cohen to FM, Feb. 6, 1970, ibid. On Israel’s isolation in the UN, unsigned memorandum, Jan. 22, 1970 AVP RF 47/16/ 149/18; also Sigurd Paulson in Aussenpolitishe Korrespondenz, Feb. 17, 1970. Der Spiegel (Jan. 5, 1970), pp. 59 60; Reischl Aufzeichnung, Jan. 8, 1970, AdsD WBA 000442/3; also Ya’acovi to Fin. Minister, Jan. 20, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38.

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Ben-Horin nonetheless received a mostly congenial welcome in Bonn, including a private interview with Willy Brandt.58 The only jarring note was sounded by Horst Ehmke, Brandt’s acerbic cabinet chief and close confidant, who echoed the chancellor’s concern over Israeli press leaks and over Israel’s tendency not only to accept German money but also to “show off to the Arabs” about Bonn’s concessions.59 Added to its somber beginning in Munich, Eban’s arrival in Bonn on the night of February 22 had been preceded by other inauspicious developments. Both publics had been agitated over the visit: the Israelis over allegations that no formal invitation had been issued to their foreign minister and the Germans over Eban’s press statement that as a Jew and an Israeli he was able to visit the Federal Republic only in an official capacity.60 Eban’s five-country mission to Western Europe had also been shaped by the ongoing violence in the Middle East.61 Eban’s hopes to enlist support from friendly governments against US and Soviet pressures on Israel had received a significant setback on February 11, when the Israeli cabinet had overwhelmingly rejected his proposal for a unilateral ceasefire with Egypt.62 Also, despite the international outcry over the accidental bombing of an Egyptian industrial plant on February 12 (in which seventy civilians died), Israel had resumed the aerial attacks four days later.63 Even the extreme security measures in each of Eban’s European stops underlined his country’s growing isolation.64

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61 62 63 64

Later in the year, after the August 1970 cease fire and the successful US Israeli cooperation during the Jordanian crisis, the Nixon administration, rejecting the State Department’s preference for evenhandedness in the Middle East, reversed its refusal to sell jets to Israel, and brought it into the favored circle of anti Soviet partners, resulting in close personal and political ties between the two countries. Vanetik and Shalom, The Nixon Administration and the Middle East Peace Process, pp. 121 23. Subsequently, large infusions of US military aid began to arrive in 1971, rising from $140 million in 1968 1970 to more than $1.2 billion in 1971 1973. Yaakov Bar Siman Tov, “The United States and Israel since 1948: A ‘Special Relationship’?” Diplomatic History 22, no. 2 (1998): 246. Ben Horin to FM, Feb. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 27, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; Seydoux to MAE, Mar. 11, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586. Ben Horin to FM, Feb. 21, May 25, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Details on the invitation controversy in Knoke to AA, Jan. 5, 12 (3 messages), 1970, B36/ 461; and on Eban’s remarks and Bonn’s response in Ma’ariv, Feb. 13, 16, 1970; American Israelite, Mar. 12, 1970. Eban visited Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Great Britain, but had not been invited to France. Ma’ariv, Feb. 12, 1970. “Inexcusable Attack,” New York Times, Feb. 13, 1970, p. 36. See, e.g., New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 16, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 26, 1970.

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Not unexpectedly, Eban’s two-day visit to the West German capital was a difficult one.65 There were anti-Israel demonstrations by German and Arab students, an anti-Israel teach-in at the university, a pro-Arab march through the streets of Bonn, and skirmishes with police during a nighttime protest outside the office of the Bonner General-Anzeiger. In the meantime, the heavily guarded Eban conducted a full schedule of interviews with Scheel, Genscher, Schiller, and Finance Minister Alex Möller, and also with Heinemann and Brandt in their private residences. He delivered a formal address in the Bundestag building to the German–Israeli Association and held a press conference on February 24.66 The discussions were polite and general but also brittle. When Heinemann evoked a brighter future for their two peoples, Eban stressed the continuing weight of the past.67 When Scheel suggested it was time to “normalize” relations, Eban retorted that relations between Germany and Israel would never be normalized.68 When German officials expressed hopes for a Middle East peace based on Resolution 242, Eban denounced Soviet machinations, France’s arms embargo, and the GDR’s hostility for intensifying the Arabs’ intransigence and implored his hosts to support direct negotiations.69 And after Scheel repeated Brandt’s assurance that the new Nahostpolitik would in no way impair the FRG’s relations with Israel, Eban insisted that this tie be placed securely in a “watertight, separate, and independent compartment.”70 However, on one issue – the new threat of terrorism – the two countries appeared to stand together. Echoing Eban’s charges of the Arab governments’ political and financial support of the Palestinian guerrillas and their responsibility for their atrocities, Scheel told a press conference 65

66

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68

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Seydoux to MAE, Feb. 25, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586. After his arrival at the Cologne Bonn Airport in a heavy rainstorm, Eban was whisked into an armored car and sped to his hotel, which was teaming with security agents. Kraushaar, Wann endlich beginnt, p. 201. Itinerary, Feb. 23 25, 1970, AA B36/461. Eban also met with officials in the Auswärtiges Amt, with Bundestag members, and with representatives of the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland. Causing Heinemann to remark that “more than fifty percent [sic] of the present popula tion had no experience of the Nazi past and no knowledge of history.” Aufzeichnung, Feb. 23, 1970, BAK B122/12308. “Israel Politik. Nicht normal,” Der Spiegel 10 (Mar. 2, 1970), p. 25. In the guidelines for his trip, Eban had been specifically directed to combat the word “normalization.” Beitan note, Jan. 15, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Aufzeichnung, Feb. 23, 1970, BAK B122/12308, Weber Aufzeichnung, Feb. 25, 1970, Redies Aufzeichnung, Feb. 26, 1970, PA AA B36/461. There appears to be no written record of the Eban Brandt meeting. New York Times, Feb. 25, 1970. In his comments recorded in Ma’ariv, Feb. 26, 1970, Eban made an upbeat prediction of the future of Israeli West German relations.

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on February 23 that he had dispatched messages “through diplomatic channels” to several Arab capitals protesting the Palestinian attacks on civilian aircraft.71 Also, the Bonn government moved quickly to increase security at its airports.72 Both sides publicly expressed satisfaction with Eban’s visit. Despite the awkward and costly security measures, Eban believed he had opened a “new page” in West German-Israeli relations: In return for his assurances of Israel’s non-interference in the FRG’s Nahostpolitik, he claimed to have bolstered Bonn’s resistance to Arab pressure to loosen its ties with Israel and secured a commitment for a return visit from Scheel.73 The Brandt government was relieved over the absence of compromising statements or incidents as well as by the mild reactions from Arab capitals.74 Nonetheless, a large gap had opened between the two countries. Throughout his visit, Eban had insisted on the maintenance of the status quo between Bonn and Jerusalem; but the Auswärtiges Amt was now determined to introduce “step-by-step” changes.75 To make matters clearer, on March 17 Helmut Redies, the recently named head of the AA’s Near East and North Africa Section and a strong advocate of expanding Bonn’s relations with the Arab world, called upon the chancellor to halt the various ministries’ competing transactions with Israel and to centralize policy making in his office.76 The change in Bonn’s orientation was also reflected in the mainstream media.77 Although the German translation of Abba Eban’s newly published history of the Jewish people received a respectful reception, critics 71 72

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Die Welt, Feb. 25, 1970; Aufzeichnung, Mar. 10, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:431. Kabinettsprotokolle, May 17, 1970, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/ k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 23/para3 15.html?highlight=true&search=israel&stemming= true&field=all#highlightedTerm. Knoke to AA [2 messages], Mar. 4, 1970, PA AA Zwischenarchiv B36/457, Mar. 4, 9, 1970, ibid., B36/461. Eban to Scheel, Mar. 6, 1970, AE C001/254; Ben Horin to Eban, Mar. 10, 1970, ibid., C001/174. The invitation was repeated by Ben Horin on May 20 in his meeting with Scheel, who declined to set a date. AAPD 1970 2:832. Kabinettsprotokolle, Feb. 26, 1970, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/ k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 10/para3 7.html?highlight=true&search=eban&stemming=true& field=all#highlightedTerm. Redies Aufzeichnungen, Feb. 26, 1970, also Harder to AA, Cairo, Feb. 20, 1970, Hille to AA, Amman, Feb. 24, 1970, PA AA B36/461, Jesser to AA, Cairo, Mar. 16, 18, 1970, ibid; Meroz to Ben Horin, Mar. 9, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Redies Aufzeichnungnen, Mar. 10, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:433. Redies Aufzeichnung, Mar. 17, 1970, PA AA B30/513. The AA was also intent on playing a far larger role in West Germany’s development policies toward the Third World, replacing the rival Economics and Finance ministries. Herbst Aufzeichnung, Jan. 26, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:89 92. Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 31, 1970, ISA 130 4573/3; cf. Seydoux to MAE, Feb. 25, 27, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586.

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remarked on the dovish foreign minister’s acceptance of his country’s use of force against its neighbors.78 And in contrast with the Springer press’s strong pro-Israel tone, the other daily West German newspapers and weekly magazines had begun presenting a darker picture: depicting the plight of the Palestinians and the militarization of Israeli society, the danger of escalation in the Middle East, and the Meir government’s resistance to leftist calls for peace.79 Israel had only limited means to alter its public image. Ben-Horin, although acknowledging the need for more vigorous forms of hasbara, also recognized the impediments: the hostility of West Germany’s New Left (fed increasingly by “Arab propagandists”) as well as the diminished support of Israel’s traditional allies – the churches, trade unions, and Social Democrats – whose new generation was less likely than its forebears to automatically take Israel’s side in the seemingly unending Middle East conflict. The new ambassador reached out to the CDU/CSU opposition, and, especially, to its new generation of young politicians, stressing Israel’s central role in curbing Soviet advances in the Middle East.80 But Israel also recognized the necessity of restraint. Although rightwing Israeli journalists openly supported the CDU/CSU, the mainstream press had adopted a cautiously optimistic stance toward the Brandt government.81 In a particularly chilling incident, on May 13 the Federal Republic endorsed the Security Council’s unanimous condemnation of Israel’s incursions into Lebanon (in response to a Palestinian guerrilla 78 79

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See reviews of Abba Eban, Dies ist mein Volk (Zurich: Croemer, 1970), in Die Zeit, Feb. 20, 1970; Der Spiegel (May 4, 1970), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 8, 1970. Underlined by the much publicized spat between the Israeli government and World Jewish Congress president Nahum Goldmann who, in his Apr. 1, 1970, Foreign Affairs article, “The Future of Israel,” had publicly called for the country’s neutralization and also offered to visit Cairo to discuss peace with Nasser. Christian d’Halloy to MAE, Jerusalem, Apr. 30, 1970, FMAE Nations Unies et Organisations Internationales (1970)/1203; Knoke to AA, July 23, 1970, PA AA B36/465. Der Spiegel on Feb. 16 devoted a major section to the Palestinians, on Mar. 9 and Apr. 20 discussed the dramatic expansion of Israeli armaments, on May 4 and 25 covered its air war over Egypt, and on June 22 remarked that Israel’s war against the Arabs cost the government DM 12 million per day; also Dietrich Strothmann, “Israels ‘kalte Kolonisation,’” Die Zeit, Apr. 17, 1970, described the expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza; Amnon Rubinstein, “Zu welchen Opfern ist Israel bereit?” Die Zeit, Aug. 14, 1970, detailed the growing support for Goldmann’s initiatives. Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 31, 1970, ISA 130 4573/3; Julius Klein to Eban, Chicago, Apr. 7, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Details on the six member delegation to Israel, May 9 16, 1970, of the CDU’s Junger Union led by Jürgen Wohlrabe (who was on his eleventh mission since 1965), ACDP Nachlass Wohlrabe 061/1. Knoke to AA, Mar. 16, May 14 (2 tels.), June 24, June 30, 1970, PA AA B36/457. Ben Horin to FM, Sept. 18, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38, noted Brandt’s sensitivity to criticism from the Israeli media.

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attack on a school bus, resulting in eleven dead and twenty-one wounded). But Ben-Horin’s response – a strongly worded (and unauthorized) démarche protesting the FRG’s silence over the terrorist act, which the Israeli Right applauded – disconcerted his superiors as much as it irritated West German officials.82 The rogue campaign by the German-Jewish journalist Alfred Wolfmann also backfired.83 Wolfmann’s blunt critiques of Brandt and Scheel and of their Ost- and Nahostpolitik in the West German, Israeli, and American press undermined Ben-Horin’s hasbara efforts and embarrassed Jerusalem, especially when they were quoted by anti-German Israeli nationalists.84 Brandt and his entourage bristled at Wolfmann’s criticisms; AA officials resented his use of leaked information; and Israel’s closest friends in the Federal Republic warned of the consequences of widening the rift between the two governments.85 At the Negotiating Table On June 29, 1970, Israel achieved a modest victory: a five-year preferential tariff agreement with the European Economic Community. Signed in Luxemburg between Eban and the six Common Market foreign ministers, it contained considerable advantages for Israel, including an up to 50 percent reduction of tariffs on its manufactured goods and a 30 to 40 percent reduction on its agricultural products in return for a 10 to 30 percent decrease in its duties on European imports.86 82 83

84

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Meroz to Ben Horin, May 15, 1970, Ben Horin to FM, May 21, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; Redies to Knoke, May 15, 1970, Bente to Knoke, May 20, 1970, PA AA B36/457. See, e.g., Wolfmann, “Bonns Nahostpolitik im Nebel,” Die Welt, July 15, 1970; “Bonn Cools toward Israel,” Jewish Advocate, Aug. 27, 1970. Wolfmann (1923 1975), a freelance journalist, was born in Germany and immigrated to Palestine in 1935. Originally a Communist, he returned first to East Berlin in 1946 before settling in the west two years later. Wolfmann covered the 1952 restitution negotiations and the 1961 Eichmann trial, wrote for two mass circulation newspapers, Die Welt and Yediot Ahronot, for the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), and for the Jüdische Allgemeine Zeitung, the weekly newspaper published by the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland. See “Alfred Wolfmann zum Gedächtnis,” Jüdische Allgemeine Zeitung, July 18, 1975, p. 6. Ben Horin to Meroz, July 15, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; to Eban, July 27, 1970, AE C001/ 174; Knoke to AA, Aug. 4, 1970, AAPD 1970 3:1662, n. 6. In “Israel and Germany: Strain in ‘Special Relationship,’” Los Angeles Times, Aug. 2, 1970, Wolfmann compared Ben Horin negatively with his more successful predecessor. See, esp., Knoke to AA, Mar. 16, July 24, 1970, Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, Sept. 17, 23, 1970, PA AA B36/457; Küstermeier to Strauss, Tel Aviv, Nov. [n.d.] 1970, ACSP Strauss L6.6 WP 211; also Seydoux to MAE, Dec. 21, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586. “Common Market Signs Pact with Israel,” New York Times, June 30, 1970, p. 2; “Common Market Signs Pacts on Israeli, Spanish Trade,” Washington Post, June 30,

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West Germany had joined the Netherlands in supporting Israel against French opposition and Arab boycott threats; but Bonn officials had also acknowledged the political barriers that continued to impede the associate membership Jerusalem sought, now heightened by the European Economic Community’s momentous decision on June 9 to commence negotiations with Great Britain and three other perspective members.87 As Israel’s chief European trading partner, the Federal Republic was also aware of that country’s mounting trade deficit and the precipitous decline in its foreign reserves, which underlined the urgency of the impending annual aid negotiations.88 Thus the Brandt government was prepared to accede to several pressing Israeli requests, which were based on prior commitments and did not greatly threaten Bonn’s Nahostpolitik. In addition to the millions in annual payments to individual Israeli Holocaust survivors, the advance of DM 200–250 million in restitution funds relieved the strain on Israel’s budget, as did Bonn’s pledge of DM 100 million to care for the needs of severely disabled survivors. Bonn also agreed to defer the repayment of a DM 416.9 million loan until 1975 and reduced its interest from 4.1 to 3 percent.89 Moreover, it reluctantly commenced negotiations with Nahum Goldmann, head of the Claims Conference, for a new agreement on restitution to “post-1965” claimants – Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe who had been excluded from the 1952 Restitution agreement but had recently arrived as refugees in Israel as well as in Europe and the United States.90 But Bonn held the line against an audacious new Israeli proposal: to borrow against the Federal Republic’s DM 80 million gold deposits in the United States in order to make urgent purchases of American arms. BenHorin found support for this plan among a few West German cabinet

87 88

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1970, p. 10; Middle East Journal 24, no. 4 (Autumn 1970): 504; details in Sergio I. Minerbi, “Israel and the Enlarged European Economic Community,” in Charles Boasson and Max Nurock, eds., The Changing International Community: Some Problems of Its Laws, Structures, Peace Research, and the Middle East Conflict (The Hague: Mouton, 1973), pp. 383 91; Sharon Pardo and Joel Peters, eds., Israel and the European Union: A Documentary History (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012), pp. 85 87. Aufzeichnung, Apr. 28, 1971, PA AA B36/437. In 1969, Israel imported goods totaling $173 million from the FRG and exported those worth only $63 million. Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Report (in French), PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104770. Ya’acovy to Fin. Min., Jan. 20, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; York Aufzeichnung, Jan. 27, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:92 95, Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, July 3, 1970, ibid., 2:1115 19; Reischl to Bahr, Apr. 1970, AdsD EB 000442/3. Katzenstein to Kagan, Bonn, Dec. 17, 1969, CC/Post 1965; Wilke Aufzeichnung, Jan. 26, 1970, AAPD 1970 1:83 85. The post 1965 talks dragged on for a decade and produced only modest results: Carole Fink, “Negotiating after Negotiations: Nahum Goldmann, West Germany, 1969 1974, and the Origins of the 1980 Hardship Fund,” Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook (2016): 287 308.

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members, and the Israeli ambassador in Washington obtained endorsements from the Nixon administration; but the new shapers of Bonn’s foreign policy were disinclined to risk the political and diplomatic fallout of such a potentially explosive deal.91 Ben-Horin also encountered a new toughness over West Germany’s annual aid package to Israel. The AA, pointing out the disproportionate amount of assistance to Israel (more than the entire amount of funds given to all of Latin America) and warning of adverse Arab reactions, had called for a DM 20 million reduction.92 Instead, Scheel and Brandt decided to maintain the DM 140 million total but to tie DM 20 million to specific project proposals.93 Once more, Ben-Horin’s protests were futile;94 however, the anticipated Arab remonstrance against the DM 140 million was less vehement than Bonn had feared.95 The Brandt government also responded warily to Ben-Horin’s appeal to guarantee the Cologne-based Rüger Group’s investment in a series of ambitious development projects in Israel.96 Scheel, deeming this a bad precedent and fearing Arab reprisals, was firmly opposed.97 After three stormy cabinet sessions – where both the size of the project and the diplomatic fallout were debated and Finance Minister Alex Möller refused to withdraw his objections – the Rüger proposal was turned down.98

91

92 93

94 95 96

97 98

Background in: Notiz, Nov. 11, 1969, Reischl to Bahr, Jan. 8, 1970, Ehmke to Bahr, May 19, 1970, unsigned Aufzeichnung, June 2, 1970, AdsD EB 000442/3; Rabin to Slousch, Washington, June 2, 1970, Slousch to Rabin, June 9, 1970, Ben Horin to Slousch, June 30, 1970, Rabin to Slousch, June 17, 1970, Ben Horin to Dinstein and Slousch, June 30, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, July 3, 1970, AAPD 1970 2:1115 18. Sanne to Brandt, July 23, 1970, AdsD EB 000442/3; cabinet meeting July 23, 1970, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/k/k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 34/para3 11 .html. Herbst Aufzeichnung, Aug. 4, 1970, AAPD 1970 2:1374 76. Jesser to AA, Cairo, July 27, 1970, PA AA B36/461; Hille to AA, Amman, Aug. 15, 1970, AAPD 1970 2:1483 84. Herbst Aufzeichnung, Aug. 4, 1970, AAPD 1970 2:1375 76; Rahe (Rüger Group Cologne) to AA, Aug. 6, 1970, PA AA B3/6; Ben Horin to FM, Sept. 4, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; Sprechzettel for cabinet meetings, Nov. 12, 19, 1970, PA AA B3/6. On Rüger: Die Zeit, Sept. 18, 1970 https://www.zeit.de/1970/38/mit titel charme und gebaeuden/komplettansicht. Scheel to Brandt, Sept. 16, 1970, BAK B136/3636. Cabinet meetings, Nov. 12, 19, 26, 1970, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0 000/k/k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 49/para3 3.html, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/bar ch/0000/k/k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 50/para3 7.html, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoo n/barch/0000/k/k1970k/kap1 2/kap2 51/para3 8.html.

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September 1970: Dawson’s Airfield Two momentous international events occurred in the summer of 1970. On August 7, the US-brokered cease-fire ended the seventeen-month War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt, which had precipitated a Soviet intervention and the threat of a Superpower confrontation. Although Nasser immediately violated its terms by moving almost one hundred SAM missiles up to the Suez Canal zone, the Egyptian leader’s sudden death on September 28 and his successor’s unwillingness to resume hostilities brought the costly conflict to a close, without, however, bringing peace to the region.99 Nonetheless, it was a major victory for Washington, which had checked Soviet advances in the Middle East, and also for Israel, which won Nixon’s offer of new US F-4 Phantom aircraft and assurances that the United States would not insist on a withdrawal until a satisfactory and binding peace agreement had been achieved.100 Next, on August 12, the Federal Republic and the USSR signed their historic treaty in Moscow renouncing the use of force between their two countries and recognizing Europe’s existing borders, fulfilling the Soviet desiderata for Brandt’s Ostpolitik, and clearing the way for the FRG’s rapprochement with Poland, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. Both Washington and Jerusalem issued calm public reactions; but for Israel, the pact between Bonn and its Soviet enemy added a painful new element to an already fraught relationship.101 The August 7 cease-fire between Egypt and Israel had explosive consequences in Jordan, where Palestinian militants were infuriated over Nasser’s betrayal. For more than three years, Israel’s eastern neighbor had been under severe pressure from the fedayeen: with almost two-thirds of Jordan’s population consisting of Palestinians whose rival leaders (loosely gathered under the PLO) had created a state within a state and now threatened to seize control of the country. Jordan’s monarch, the thirty-four-year-old King Hussein, whose grandfather had been killed by a Palestinian in Jerusalem in 1951, had failed to curb the militants’ growing power.102 On September 1, the Palestinians launched their 99 100 101

102

David A. Korn, Stalemate: The War of Attrition and Great Power Diplomacy in the Middle East, 1967 1970 (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), pp. 273 78. Vanetik and Shalom, The Nixon Administration and the Middle East Peace Process, p. 101. Meroz to Bonn embassy, Aug. 17, 1970, Lurie to FM, Aug. 21, 1970, Ben Horin to FM, Aug. 21, 1970, Sept. 19, 1970, Avner to Ben Horin, Sept. 11, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Arnold Hottinger, “Der Machtzuwachs der arabischen Freischärler und ihr Zusammenstoss mit der jordanischen Regierung,” Europa Archiv 25, no. 20 (1970): 737 47.

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eighth assassination attempt against Hussein. This time, however, the young king responded forcefully, ordering his troops to attack the guerrilla strongholds and launching the on and off, ten-month civil war known as the “Black September,” resulting in the death of some four thousand Palestinian fighters and civilians.103 On Sunday, September 6, 1970, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also jolted the world’s attention to the Palestinian cause. In their most spectacular feat so far, PFLP operatives seized three Western civilian aircraft. They forced two New York–bound planes – a TWA flight out of Frankfurt and a Swissair flight out of Zurich – to land in Dawson’s Field, a World War II British air base thirty miles east of Amman; and after an abortive assault on an El Al plane leaving Amsterdam (which was able to arrive safely in London), two Palestinians hijacked a Pan Am 747 leaving Amsterdam and diverted it to Cairo where, in a gesture of defiance against Nasser’s capitulation to Washington and only seconds after its 171 passengers and crew were evacuated, they blew up the $26 million craft. Three days later, PFLP operatives seized a BOAC flight en route from Bombay to London and forced it, too, to land in Jordan.104 The PFLP announced that in return for freeing the passengers, crew, and three planes parked on Dawson’s Field– now flying the Palestinian flag and renamed the Revolution Airport – it called for the release of its comrades from Western and Israeli prisons: the seven in Europe (the surviving El Al hijacker Leila Khaled in Britain, the three perpetrators of the February Munich-Riem attack in West Germany, and the three Palestinian commandos held in Switzerland for their attack on an El Al plane in February 1969) along with some three hundred Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Ignoring the censure of almost every Arab leader and Soviet-bloc government (but with Radios Hanoi, Beijing, and Pyongyang maintaining an “eloquent silence”), the PFLP intended to exploit its captives on Dawson’s Field to humble the West, humiliate Hussein, upstage Arafat, and claim leadership of the Palestinian cause.105 The United States, whose three planes had been seized and large numbers of whose citizens had been detained, urged the four targeted 103

104 105

Der Spiegel 40 (Sept. 28, 1970), p. 122; also Neville Brown, “Jordanian Civil War,” Military Review 51, no. 9 (1971): 38 48; Joseph Nevo, “September 1970 in Jordan: A Civil War?” Civil Wars 10, no. 3 (Sept. 2008): 217 30. Haig to Nixon, Sept. 6, Situation Report, Sept. 7, 1970, FRUS (1970), pp. 604 6; AAPD 1970 3:1617, n. 1; New York Times, Sept. 7, 10, 1970. Archiv der Gegenwart, Oct. 4, 1970; New York Times, Sept. 13, 1970; Brown, “Jordanian Civil War,” p. 39.

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governments to coordinate their responses.106 On September 8, they set up a working group in Bern at the headquarters of the International Red Cross, which dispatched a negotiating team and supporting personnel to Jordan and succeeded in arranging for the transfer of some 125 women, children, and elderly passengers to the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman, while the rest remained inside the three aircraft on Dawson’s Field.107 But Washington also recognized the rifts in the multinational front. Nixon’s proposal of an armed US strike to prop up Hussein and free the planes and captives drew negative responses from Bonn, London, and Zurich.108 The Bern group was also at odds over meeting the Palestinians’ demands, with Germany and Switzerland immediately announcing their willingness to release their Palestinian prisoners, Britain, after hesitating, agreeing to free Khaled, and Israel refusing to surrender any of its Palestinian captives and sharply criticizing any surrender to terrorism.109 Seeking to widen the West’s divisions, the PFLP proposed a two-stage process, in which women and children would be released first in return for the European prisoners and the rest only after the Israelis relented; but the Bern group insisted that all the hostages would have to be freed at once.110 Willy Brandt, braving US objections, dispatched a personal emissary to Amman.111 On the night of September 11, 1970, his well-connected colleague in the Arab world, Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski, suddenly arrived in the war-torn Jordanian capital, where he met with Red Cross officials and also with the terrified Germans in the Intercontinental Hotel.112 The next day, however, the situation changed dramatically. Crediting reports of a US or an Israeli attack, the PFLP suddenly allowed most of the released passengers to leave Jordan; but it also decided to blow up the three planes on Dawson’s Field, creating spectacular explosions in the desert. And after parading the remaining captives before the press, they dispatched their fifty-four German, Swiss, American, Israeli, and English “prisoners of war” to scattered locations.113 Almost immediately, Israel 106 107 108 109 110 111 112

113

Rogers to embassies in West Germany, Switzerland, UK, and Israel, Sept. 7, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 606 7. NEA paper, Sept. 7, 1970, FRUS 1970, p. 608; New York Times, Sept. 10, 13, 1970. Special Actions Group Meeting, Sept. 9, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 620 32. Kissinger to Nixon, Sept. 9, 1970, FRUS (1970), pp. 617 20; Ha’aretz, Sept. 9, 1970; New York Times, Sept. 9, 1970. Minutes, Sept. 10, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 642 43. Nixon to Kissinger, Sept. 11, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 657 58. Wischnewski Diary, Sept. 11, 1970, AdsD Wischnewski 484/00875; also Hans Jürgen Wischnewski, Mit Leidenschaft und Augenmass: In Mogadischu und anderswo: Politische Memoiren (Munich: Goldman, 1989), pp. 127 40. Transcript of Kissinger Nixon telephone conversation, Sept. 12, 1970, Kissinger mem orandum for Nixon, Sept. 13, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 665 69.

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retaliated by rounding up 450 West Bank notables with ties to the PFLP who were released after interrogations by the military.114 Wischnewski, proceeding with his mission, on September 13 met with PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who condemned the hijackers but also deplored Bonn’s generous support to Israel. A day later, he met with friendly Jordanian officials who promised support. Finally, on September 15 Wischnewski had a “long talk” with Abu Mayer and several other PFLP officials, who turned down his cash offer for the German hostages but offered the prospect of “two-sided negotiations.”115 Alarmed by Wischnewski’s warning of the danger to the remaining hostages, Bonn shook the Bern group by threatening to negotiate on its own.116 Not unexpectedly, Wischnewski’s escapade raised hackles in Washington, London, and, especially, in Jerusalem, where the Israeli press was outraged by the Bonn emissary’s solo adventure.117 Wischnewski’s mission was halted abruptly by the resumption of heavy fighting. On the morning of September 16, Hussein declared martial law and launched an all-out attack on the fedayeen; but the king’s offensive also provoked a massive Syrian intervention and raised the prospect of Israeli airstrikes and ground attacks as well as a new Cold War confrontation. The Nixon administration went into action, combining military threats with deft collaboration with Moscow, which led to the Syrians’ sudden withdrawal.118 And Nasser, in his final act as Arab leader, on September 27 pushed through a cease-fire between the Jordanian king and Arafat, thereby underlining the PFLP’s inferior status in the Arab world.119 Before the cease-fire was signed, almost all the hijacked prisoners had been freed by the Jordanian army; and on September 29, the PFLP turned over the remaining six Americans to the Red Cross. Once all the captives had left Jordan, the British, West German, and Swiss governments, disregarding Israeli protests, released their seven Palestinian prisoners, who were flown together on a British air force jet to Cairo, where they arrived, almost unnoticed, on the morning of Nasser’s funeral, October 1, 1970.120

114 115 116 117 118 119 120

Kissinger to Nixon, Sept. 13, 1970, FRUS 1970, p. 668. Wischnewski Diary, Sept. 12, 13, 1970, AdsD Wischnewski 484/00875; cf. “Guerillas/ Geiseln,” Der Spiegel 39 (Sept. 21, 1970), pp 126 29. Kissinger to Nixon, Sept. 16, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 691, 694. Frank to embassies in Bern, London, and Washington, Sept. 17, 1970, AAPD 1970 3:1617 18. See, esp., Ma’ariv, Sept. 14, 1970; also Idan to Meroz, Bonn, Sept. 15, 1970, Ben Horin to Avner, Sept. 18, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. FRUS 1970, pp. 733 928, passim. Kissinger to Nixon, Sept. 29, 1970, FRUS 1970, pp. 922 23; “Alle haben uns verlas sen,” Der Spiegel 40 (Sept. 28, 1970), p. 136. Details in Kraushaar, Wann endlich beginnt, pp. 429 33.

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The Dawson’s Field crisis ended on a seemingly positive note: Despite the heavy fighting resulting in hundreds of deaths, there were no casualties among the hostages; Hussein had reasserted control over his kingdom; and a US-Soviet confrontation had been averted. On the other hand, the Palestinian problem remained unresolved;121 and the specter of terrorism – no longer confined to the Middle East – was now threatening the entire world.122 The Brandt government emerged from the Dawson’s Field crisis as a new player in the Middle East conflict, one that had not only worked confidently with its partners but had also displayed flashes of independence. Bonn had also deepened its ties with Jordan and the Palestinians. Significantly, the West German public had given its approval to the government’s actions.123 For Israel, the hostage crisis had also ended satisfactorily: It had freed no Palestinians in return for the release of its citizens, although on October 14 Israel quietly freed two Algerian and ten Lebanese prisoners as a “humanitarian gesture.” Moreover, its part in blocking a Syrian invasion of Jordan had brought a huge benefit: a strategic alliance with Washington. Because Israel fit in well with the emerging Nixon doctrine – bolstering regional surrogates in the world’s trouble spots, defending US interests without costing US lives, and preventing Soviet inroads into the Arab world – Washington was now prepared to abandon its evenhanded Middle East diplomacy, make Israel a key beneficiary of US economic and diplomatic support, and increase its military aid to Israel from $140 billion between 1968 and 1970 to $1.2 billion between 1971 and 1973.124

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On Dec. 8, 1970, the UN General Assembly, in a 47 22 vote with fifty abstentions, called for the “self determination of the Palestinian people,” an empty political demon stration according to the Israelis but a major diplomatic victory according to the Palestinians and their Arab and Communist supporters. New York Times, Dec. 10, 1970, p. 12; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 217 18. Another violent year, 1970 witnessed the destruction of the Swissair flight in February along with four major bombing incidents in the United States, one in Israel, and one in Italy; four hijackings (including two against Soviet aircraft); and a kidnapping/murder in Canada. On the responses: Geraint Hughes, “Skyjackers, Jackals and Soldiers: British Planning for International Terrorist Incidents during the 1970s,” International Affairs 90, no. 5 (Sept. 2014): 1013 31; Johannes Hürter, “Anti Terrorismus Politik,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 57, no. 3 (July 2009): 330 48. Die Welt, Frankfurter Rundschau, Oct. 1, 1970. Lucet to MAE, Washington, Aug. 31, Nov. 19, 1970, FMAE Amérique 1964 70/É U 635; “Israel US Beziehungen,” Der Spiegel 39 (Sept. 21, 1970); Bar Siman Tov, “The United States and Israel since 1948,” p. 246; details in Clyde R. Mark, Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance, CRS Issue Brief (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, May 29, 1997), pp. 14 15.

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Nonetheless, the Meir government was deeply disturbed over Britain’s, Switzerland’s, and Germany’s readiness to cave in to Palestinian terrorism; and it was particularly dismayed by Bonn’s release of the murderer of an Israeli citizen and its dismissal of the consequences. On September 30, a telling exchange occurred at a Bonn press conference, where the government press chief Conrad Ahlers parried Alfred Wolfmann’s query – “What guarantee do you have that the terrorists’ release will not encourage other terrorist organizations to continue their attacks on German soil?” – with the mordant reply, “Of course there is no guarantee whatsoever, just as there is no guarantee of the continuation of Israel’s policies.”125 The Kniefall During the last months of 1970, the Bonn government attempted to counter the rumors of its deteriorating relations with Israel. Brandt, who was also concerned over American Jewish opposition to his policies, dispatched Horst Ehmke to the United States. In his meetings with the heads of the major organizations, Brandt’s chief of staff downplayed the threats from West Germany’s far-left- and far-right-wing radicals and claimed that Ostpolitik would not adversely affect Bonn’s ties with Israel.126 Similarly, Scheel, who agreed to meet Eban in New York during the UN General Assembly meeting, insisted that there was no change in their bilateral relations; but, pleading the pressure of work-related travel, he also declined to set a date for his return visit to Israel.127 That fall, Brandt initiated two other high-profile visits: by the socialist banker Walter Hesselbach, who traveled to Washington and Jerusalem to emphasize the solidity of Bonn’s ties with Israel; and by Alfred Nau, the SPD’s central committee member and treasurer, who met with his Labor Party comrades in Israel and prepared the arrival of an SPD parliamentary delegation in Israel early in the next year.128 125 126

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Wolfmann in Yediot Ahronot, Oct. 4, 1970. Ben Horin to FM, July 29, Aug. 28, Sept. 18, 1970; Avner to Ben Horin, Sept. 4, 1970; Meroz to Ben Horin, Oct. 4, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38; the Allgemeine Jüdische Wochenzeitung, Nov. 6, 1970, called the encounter between Brandt’s right hand man and the inadequately prepared US Jewish leaders a “victory for the Bonn government.” Goodman to Gold, Sept. 25, 1970 YIVO AJC FAD 70 (Germany). Ben Horin to Avner, Sept. 14, 15, 1970, ISA 130 4572/32; Böker to AA, Sept. 30, 1970, AAPD 1970 3:1660 62; Blumenfeld to Scheel, Oct. 14, 1970, Knoke to AA, Dec. 14, 1970, Redies to Knoke, Dec. 14, 1970, PA AA B36/461. Hesselbach to Dinstein, Sept. 16, 1970; Dingels to Eliav, Oct. 9, 1970, ISA 130 4572/ 38; Knoke to AA, Nov. 4, 1970, PA AA B36/457; also Brandt to Harpprecht, Nov. 3, 1970, AdsD WBA A4/8.

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There was one area in which West German–Israeli ties remained solid: their military collaboration. Defense Minister Helmut Schmidt, to whom Ben-Horin had direct access, welcomed the Israeli reports on the Soviets’ military tactics and hardware during the War of Attrition.129 And despite the AA’s efforts to curb this relationship, Brandt allowed the Defense Ministry not only to continue to purchase Israeli military devices – mortars, hand grenades, propellants, igniters, and Leopard tank engines – and jointly develop military hardware but also to meet regularly with its Israeli counterparts to exchange information.130 As Brandt approached the anniversary of his first year in office, his government was in crisis.131 Economic conditions were improving; but at the beginning of October, three FDP members defected to the CDU, leaving him with a mere six-vote majority in the Bundestag. After ten months of difficult negotiations, the treaty with Poland had been drafted; but Brandt now faced mounting criticism, right-wing protests, and even death threats over his agreement to acknowledge the Oder-Neisse border and the loss of forty thousand miles of former German territory to Poland, desert the expellees, and abandon the remaining Germans in Poland. There was also widespread disgruntlement over the stalled talks with East Germany and the Four Power talks on Berlin. Indeed, the fate of Brandt’s Ostpolitik rested on a Berlin settlement, which depended upon a US-Soviet agreement.132 The Federal Republic’s ties with the Jewish world and with Israel remained brittle; and one of Brandt’s closest advisors, Klaus Harpprecht, suggested a public gesture of rapprochement.133 But when Scheel visited Auschwitz on November 8 (the first West German official to set foot there) and omitted any reference to the Jewish victims who had perished in the death camp, the barrier between Brandt’s new Germany –

129 130

131 132 133

Ben Horin to Meroz, July 16, Sept. 22, 1970; Baron to Ben Josef, July 19, 1970, ISA 130 4572/38. Details in: Bensien Rüstungswirtschaftliche Beziehungen zu Israel, Nov. 19, 1970; Paehler Sprechzettel, Nov. 24, 1970; Biermann Sprechzettel, Dec. 1, Walder Aufzeichnung, Dec. 2, Bensien Aufzeichnung, Dec. 8, Vermerk über die Besprechung mit der israelischen Delegation, Dec. 9, 1970, Pahler to Bensien, Dec. 10, Bensien to Mommsen, Beschaffungen in Israel, Dec. 15, 21, 23, 1970, Schöner Aufzeichnung, Dec. 30, 1970, Stand des Massnahmen, Aufträge und Beschaffungen an Israel zu Vergeben, Jan. 26, 1971, Mommsen, Rüstungswirtschaftliche Beziehungen zu Israel (Unterrichtung des Herrn Bundeskanzlers), BAF BW1/18554. New York Times, Oct. 24, 1970, p. 11. New York Times, Oct. 9, 15, 22, 24, 1970. Harpprecht to Brandt, Oct. 2, 1970, AdsD WBA A4/8 . In his reply on Nov. 3, ibid., Brandt maintained that “at the present time we have no urgent bilateral problems with Israel” but agreed to seek ways to follow up on Harpprecht’s suggestions.

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Fig 6.2: Chancellor Willy Brandt kneeling at the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters Monument in December 1970. Credit: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild 00182585/photograph: Engelbert Reineke

which looked to the future – and those who maintained the omnipresence of the Holocaust rose higher.134 Willy Brandt’s arrival in Warsaw on December 7, 1970 to sign the treaty of reconciliation with Poland set the stage for one of contemporary history’s iconic political moments. After placing a wreath at the tomb of Poland’s Unknown Soldier, Brandt, at his own request, proceeded to the monument to the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. There, the German chancellor – in a stunning, spontaneous, and silent gesture – fell to his knees, head bowed and hands folded, and stayed still for an entire minute. While the film cameras clicked and buzzed, some three hundred Polish and German onlookers watched in shocked silence.135 134

135

In the Auschwitz memorial book, Scheel wrote: “In the face of these horrors, this inhumanity, it must be our task to preserve these highest values: the dignity of man and peace between nations.” [Angesichts dieses Grauens, dieser Unmenschlichkeit: Unsere Aufgabe ist es, diese Werte zu wahren: die Würde des Menschen und den Frieden zwischen den Völkern.] Text of protest by the chairman of the Polish Jewish Ex Servicemen’s Association, London, Nov. 19, 1970, The American Israelite, Nov. 26, 1970. New York Times, Dec. 8, 1970.

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To be sure, the Kniefall was almost eclipsed by the year-end debate over Brandt’s Ostpolitik. Influential US figures, including former secretary of state Dean Acheson, chastised his appeasement of the Soviets.136 Brandt’s West German critics accused the chancellor of abandoning the nation’s interests, violating the constitution, and committing treason.137 The Warsaw Treaty also revived the threat of right-wing violence in the Federal Republic and stirred renewed death threats against the chancellor.138 With his Kniefall, Brandt projected the essence of his bold diplomacy. The image of the kneeling chancellor, which appeared throughout the world, became the symbol of a new Germany: Twenty-five years after World War II and now led by an anti-Nazi émigré, the Federal Republic sought to solve the German question on its own terms through reconciliation with the Third Reich’s victims – and not only by offering substantial political and territorial concessions but also through its chancellor’s voluntary act of contrition. In that singular moment, Brandt personally accepted his nation’s guilt in order to move on to a more peaceful future.139 At the time, however, Brandt’s gesture received a mixed reception. His Polish hosts, still pursuing their anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli campaigns begun in 1967, were discomfited by the highly sensitive location; and the rest of the Communist world either downplayed the Kniefall’s significance or viewed it as masking Bonn’s militarists and revanchists.140 Although the New York Times, Le Monde, and other major newspapers gave it front-page coverage, Brandt’s Western allies were similarly reserved, and the French president was reportedly “shocked” by Brandt’s gesture.141 West Germans were profoundly divided by the Kniefall. Although the mainstream press reported the event either approvingly or without comment, Die Welt depicted it as a symbol of “capitulation and subjection.”142 In a poll conducted by Der Spiegel, only 41 percent of the population approved of Brandt’s gesture, 48 percent called it

136 137 138 140

141 142

New York Times, Dec. 20, 1970, Washington Post, Dec. 27, 1960. In “Hart Schläge für Israel,” Die Welt, Dec. 12, 1970, Wolfmann termed Brandt and Scheel “appeasers.” Boston Globe, Dec. 27, 1970. 139 Valentin Rauer, “Symbols in Action,” pp. 266 68. Wolffsohn and Brechenmacher, Denkmalsturz?, pp. 58 61. Brandt’s Warsaw visit was quickly overshadowed by the outbreak of protests and strikes in Poland’s northern coastal cities that ironically toppled his two independent Polish partners, party boss Władisław Gomułka and Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiecz, and brought the Moscow approved Edward Gierek and Piotr Jaroszewicz to power. Michel Jobert, Mémoires d’avenir (Paris: Grasset, 1974), p. 165. Die Welt, Dec. 10, 1970.

The Kniefall

153

“exaggerated,” and 11 percent had no opinion.143 Yet regardless of the public’s response, it was apparent that their kneeling chancellor had forever changed West Germany’s place in the world. For Israel, on the other hand, where images of Brandt’s Kniefall appeared on the front pages and also on television, the reaction was muted.144 Once more, the Meir government was embarrassed by Alfred Wolfmann’s savage attack on Brandt and did its utmost to reduce the political damage.145 Nonetheless, in the Springer press’s Welt am Sonntag on December 20, Wolfmann scolded the chancellor for his silence over Hitler’s Jewish victims during his Warsaw visit.146 From a longer perspective, Brandt’s Kniefall in Warsaw represented an important moment in West German–Israeli relations. In its pursuit of peace in Europe and the achievement of its national goals, the BrandtScheel government had accepted the post–World War II territorial status quo and publicly renounced the use of force to alter it. The chancellor’s public expression of penance underlined the new Germany’s determination to lift the burden of the past and embark upon ambitious foreign initiatives. Israelis recognized the underlying message of Brandt’s bold and silent gesture.147 Refusing to disarm and to cede territory without winning secure borders, their government intended to draw even closer to its new friends in Washington; and it would become even warier of those in Bonn intent on courting its enemies. 143

144 145

146 147

“Kniefall angemessen oder übertrieben?” Der Spiegel 51 (Dec. 14, 1970). Among those deeming it appropriate, 46 percent were between the ages of 16 and 29, 37 percent between 30 and 59, and 47 percent 60 or older (and 43 percent males, 41 percent females). Among those deeming it inappropriate, 42 percent were between 16 and 29; 54 percent between 30 and 59, and 41 percent older than 60 (47 percent males, 48 percent females). And among the undecided, 12 percent were between 16 and 29, 9 percent between 30 and 59, and 12 percent 60 or older (10 percent males, 11 percent females). Wolffsohn and Brechenmacher, Denkmalsturz?, pp. 135 36. On Dec. 20 in Yediot Ahronot, Wolfmann criticized Brandt’s “tactless gesture” in appearing before a “Jewish site of memory” with his head uncovered and castigated Brandt for excluding Jews from his Warsaw entourage while including the former Nazi Ernst Achenbach; government response in Avner to Editor, Yediot Ahronot, Jerusalem, Dec. 22, 1970, ISA 130 4573/4‫חצ‬. Seydoux to MAE, Bonn, Dec. 21, 1970, FMAE Europe/RFA 1961 70 Z1586. On Dec. 8, the Jerusalem Post characterized it as being aimed more at reconciliation with Poland than with Israel.

7

1971: A Dense Political Web

The Israelis must finally learn that because there are no old Nazis in this government it is not subject to blackmail.1 Every German is a son of death.2

In May 1971, West Germany’s third ambassador, Jesco von Puttkamer, arrived in Israel to a cordial but guarded reception.3 The fifty-two-year-old scion of Pomeranian aristocrats, Puttkamer was the son of a general and was also a former Wehrmacht officer who, following his capture in Stalingrad, had joined the officers’ unit of the Soviet-sponsored Nationalkomittee Freies Deutschland. After the war, Puttkamer had settled in West Berlin, become a journalist, and in his affecting 1948 memoir recounted his “mistakes and guilt.”4 In 1957, he joined the SPD and in 1959 was named chief editor of the party’s organ, Vorwärts, which over the next twelve years he transformed into a respected national weekly.5 Puttkamer’s unusual appointment was part of an ambitious political initiative by the Brandt-Scheel government to replace Adetnauer-era officials with supporters of Ostpolitik.6 Nominated by his friend Willy Brandt (although blocked by Walter Scheel from his preferred assignment to Warsaw, which went to a more seasoned 1 2 3 4

5

6

Walter Scheel, quoted in Der Spiegel 23 (May 31, 1971), p. 30, on the eve of his first visit to Israel in July. Protests by the right radical Betar youth group during the Deutsche Kulturwoche, Der Spiegel 47 (Nov. 15, 1971), p. 128. Davar, May 20, 1971; also Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, May 2, 1971, PA AA B36/461; Puttkamer to AA, May 10, 12, 17, 18, 19, 1971, ibid., B36/459. Jesco von Puttkamer, Irrtum und Schuld. Geschichte des National Komitees “Freies Deutschland,” 2nd ed. (Neuwied: Michael Verlag, 1948); Puttkamer, Von Stalingrad zur Volkspolizei: Geschichte des National Komitees “Freies Deutschland” (Wiesbaden: Michael Verlag, 1951). Martin Jung, “Jesco Freiherr von Puttkamer,” Deutsche Biographie, https://www.deutsche biographie.de/sfz103899.html; “Jesco von Puttkamer,” Der Spiegel 3 (Jan. 12, 1987), p. 178. “Schöne Diplomaten,” Der Spiegel 23 (May 31, 1971), pp. 22 23. The Springer press criticized the dispatch of an inexperienced SPD adherent to the sensitive post in Tel Aviv: Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 3, 1971, ISA 130 4573/4 ‫ ;חצ‬Die Welt, Mar. 20, 1971.

154

Whither Détente and Ostpolitik?

155

diplomat), Puttkamer, who had long-standing ties with the Israeli Labor Party, was determined to set West German–Israeli relations on a new footing.7 After a shaky beginning, Puttkamer moved quickly to draw the two peoples closer together. Yet less than five months after his arrival, with his announcement of the first German Culture Week (Deutsche Kulturwoche) in the state of Israel, the new ambassador would stir up a serious political crisis.8 Whither Détente and Ostpolitik? In 1971, the Soviet Union and the United States remained resolute rivals. Despite significant agreements – including the breakthrough in the SALT negotiations on ABMs in May, the Four Power Agreement on Berlin in September, and the surprise announcement in October of the first USSoviet summit in five years to be held in Moscow in May 1972 – the Superpowers continued to vie in the Middle East and in Asia. On May 27, 1971, the Kremlin, aiming to restrain Sadat’s overtures to the West, concluded its first pact outside the socialist camp: a fifteen-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Egypt; and on July 15 the Nixon administration, still bogged down in Vietnam, startled the world by announcing Kissinger’s visit to China and the president’s impending trip to Beijing – three months before the Moscow summit. Moreover, in December the Soviet Union and the United States supported the opposing sides during the brief but brutal Indo-Pakistani war. The course of Ostpolitik in 1971 was similarly uneven. With his commanding presence in the formulation of West German foreign policy, Brandt was more determined than ever to stake out an independent path toward the East, to be sure “in coordination with our [Western] partners.”9 Continuing Bonn’s activist personal diplomacy, Brandt met with Brezhnev in the Crimea in September, and Scheel met with Gromyko in Moscow in November.10 There were also international endorsements of Ostpolitik: in January 1971, Brandt was named Time 7 8 9

10

Knoke to AA, Mar. 25, 1971, PA AA B36/459; cf. “Puttkamers schwierige Aufgabe,” Münchner Merkur, Mar. 20, 1971. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 25, 1971, PA AA B36/462. Speech on June 25, 1971, before the assembly of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, reprinted in Willy Brandt, “Aktuelle Fragen der deutschen Aussenpolitik,” Europa Archiv 26, no. 13 (1971): 440; also “‘Was wir machen, musste gemacht werden’: Bundeskanzler Willy Brandt über seine Ostpolitik,” Der Spiegel 40 (Sept. 27, 1971). To be sure, there were important arrangements still to be made with Moscow over the creation of a joint economic commission to promote and facilitate bilateral trade as well as an agreement over expediting the release of ethnic Germans wishing to leave the Soviet Union, both connected to the still pending ratification of the Moscow and Warsaw treaties; Aufzeichnung, Bonn, Feb. 26, 1971; Beziehungen zur SU, Dec. 1970 1972, PA AA B1/517.

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magazine’s Man of the Year, and in October he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “stretch[ing] out his hand to former enemies and introduc[ing] a policy of reconciliation.”11 However, Bonn’s efforts in 1971 to woo its East European Communist neighbors ran aground because of political, historical, and practical obstacles.12 The Federal Republic’s attempts to expand scientific, trade, and cultural ties with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia were hamstrung by the absence of formal agreements; and its overtures for closer economic ties were thwarted not only by those countries’ centralized bureaucracies but also by their demands for reparations for Nazi atrocities. Moreover, Brandt’s envoys faced other sensitive issues: with Poland and Romania over allowing German emigration; with Czechoslovakia over the status of the 1938 Munich accord; and with East Germany over the myriad of details emerging from the Quadripartite Agreement.13 One of Bonn’s brightest moments occurred in May with the historic visits of President Gustav Heinemann and Foreign Minister Walter Scheel to Romania, although this renegade Communist country, falling increasingly under autocratic rule, now occupied a diminished political and economic role in the FRG’s Ostpolitik.14 Bonn’s Diplomatic Agenda Now entering his second year in power, Brandt faced several domestic challenges. In addition to fierce CDU/CSU opposition to his Ostpolitik and electoral setbacks in several states, Brandt had to fend off youthful left-wing critics demanding more radical economic policies. In the meantime, his government’s ambitious reform programs and the increasing budget deficits and inflation had drawn opposition from both industry and labor unions and forced a cabinet shakeup in May in which the

11 12 13

14

New York Times, Oct. 21, 1971. See “Beziehungen zu anderen osteuropäischen Staaten,” Nov. 30, 1971, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 107294. Extensive detail on all these issues in PA AA B1/518 and on emigration in particular in ibid., B2/202; also see Walter Schmid, “Deutsche Kulturbeziehungen zu Osteuropa,” Ausenpolitik 6 (1972): 331 39; Krzysztof Ruchniewicz, “Ostpolitik and Poland,” Oldřich Tůma, “The Difficult Path to the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Czechoslovakia and the Federal Republic of Germany,” and Milan Kosanović , “Brandt and Tito: Between Ostpolitik and Nonalignment,” in Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969 1974: European and Global Responses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 39 57, 58 79, 232 43. Robert R. King, “The Problems of Rumanian Foreign Policy,” Survey 20, no. 2 3 (1974): 110 11.

Bonn’s Diplomatic Agenda

157

controversial Schiller had become the “superminister” of economics and finance.15 On the diplomatic front, there were other problems. Bonn’s relations with the United States and its European partners were shaken by its unilateral decision in May to float the mark; and the turmoil in the international money markets, exacerbated by the August 15 “Nixon shock” ending the US dollar’s convertibility to gold, persisted until the end of the year.16 Bonn fretted over the threat of US troop reductions in Europe;17 and although the United States, Britain, and France, staunchly supported the safety of West Berlin, they were suspicious of Brandt’s Ostpolitik.18 Moreover, the FRG’s growing tensions with Paris over the European Economic Community’s agricultural policies and its partner’s foot-dragging over a closer European political and economic union erupted in July 1971 after Scheel reversed his adherence to the EEC’s first (French-led) initiative to play an active role in the Middle East.19 The FRG’s efforts to improve its ties with the Arab world achieved only partial success in 1971.20 While the Arab League, restrained by hardliners Iraq and South Yemen, continued to delay a collective decision to reverse the 1965 ban, Brandt dispatched Wischnewski on personal missions to Egypt, Algeria, and Sudan to encourage these governments to go 15

16

17

18

19

20

Sauvagnargues to MAE, Bonn, Feb. 8, 1971, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2980; also “Domestic Ills Threaten Brandt,” Washington Post, Mar. 25, 1971. In the first three months of 1971, FRG expenditures rose by 18 percent, while income increased by only 13.3 percent. See K. H. F. Dyson, “The Politics of Economic Management in West Germany,” West European Politics 4, no. 2 (1981): 35 55, Harald Scherf, Enttäuschte Hoffnungen vergebene Chancen: Die Wirtschaftspolitik der Sozial Liberalen Koalition, 1969 1982 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1986), pp. 16 33; Torben Lütjen, Karl Schiller (1911 1994): “Superminister” Willy Brandts (Bonn: Dietz, 2007), pp. 304 46. Aufzeichnung, Sept. 6, 1971, PA AA B1/361; also William Glenn Gray, “Floating the System: Germany, the United States, and the Breakdown of Bretton Woods, 1969 1973,” Diplomatic History 31, no. 2 (Apr. 2007): 307 15. Scheel conversations with Senator Edward Kennedy, Apr. 19, 1971, PA AA B1/471, and former ambassador George Kennan, June 25, 1971, ibid., Zwischenarchiv 107295 [B28/ 1873]. “Paris: Sorge um Bonns Ostpolitik,” Der Spiegel 40 (Sept. 27, 1971); also Holger Klitzing, “To Grin and Bear It: The Nixon Administration and Ostpolitik,” in Fink and Schaefer, Ostpolitik, 1969 1974, pp. 80 110; Dominik Geppert, “Großbritannien und die Neue Ostpolitik der Bundesrepublik,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 57, no. 3 (July 2009): 385 412. Gespräch des Staatssekretärs Frank mit dem französischen Botschafter Sauvagnargues, July 12, 1971, AAPD 1971 2:1113 17, during which the ambassador conveyed French foreign minister Maurice Schumann’s “outrage” over German behavior that had threa tened the future of Franco German cooperation; also Frank to Amb. Paris, July 13, 1971, ibid., pp. 1127 31. At his Jan. 29, 1971, semiannual meeting with French president Pompidou, Brandt had announced a “fresh look” at the Middle East. AN Pompidou 5AG 1010; also Redies Aufzeichnung, Apr. 19, 1971, AAPD 1971 1:633 35.

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1971: A Dense Political Web

Ostpolitik and Nahostpolitik 1969–1974 Federal Republic of Germany Ostpolitik Governments

1.

2.

Nahostpolitik Governments 1. German Democratic Republic – 1972 2. Poland – 1970 3. Czechoslovakia – 1973 4. Hungary – 1974 5. Yugoslavia – 1968 6. Romania – 1967 7. Bulgaria – 1974 8. Algeria – 1971 9. Egypt – 1972 10. Sudan – 1971 11. Syria – 1974 12. Lebanon – 1972 8. 13. Jordan – 1967 14. Iraq – 1974 15. Kuwait – 1972 16. Saudi Arabia – 1974 17. Yemen – 1974

3. 4. 6. 5. 7. 11. 12.

14. 15.

13. 9. 16. 10.

17.

Map 7.1: Between 1967 and 1974, West Germany for the first time established diplomatic relations with seven of its Communist neighbors and reestablished ties with the ten Arab governments that had broken relations in 1965.

it alone.21 However, these private talks were delicate on every level, not only raising French and Israeli suspicions but also affecting Bonn’s Ostpolitik: Because all three Arab countries had already established diplomatic relations with East Germany – an entity with which Bonn had not yet concluded a political accord – the restoration of diplomatic relations raised the unwelcome prospect of two hostile embassies in the same capital. Moreover, there would be heavy economic costs for recognition. Nonetheless, by the end of the year, after Bonn received positive signals from Algeria and Sudan – in defiance of the Arab League – West Germany prepared to restore diplomatic ties.22

21

22

Wischnewski Press Statement, Sept. 3, 1971, BAK B136/3636. On disputes within the Arab world, Cerles to MAE, Bagdad, Mar. 30, 1971, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3903. Cabinet meeting, Nov. 24, 1971, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0/k/k1971 k/kap1 1/kap2 43/index.html#Start. Dingels Aufzeichnung, Dec. 1, 1971, AdsD WBA 11.4/63; Frank Runderlass, Dec. 8, 1971, AAPD 1971 3:1928 31. On Algerian/ Sudanese sudden urging, and Bonn’s reservations: Lambert to FCO, Bonn, Dec. 3, 1971, GB NA FCO 39/781, Dec. 8, 1971, ibid., FCO 39/772.

Israel’s Diplomatic Goals

159

Israel’s Diplomatic Goals Israel also faced challenges at home and abroad. In the wake of galloping inflation and the Nixon shock, in August the government suddenly devalued the currency by 20 percent and also froze bank credits and imposed stiff price controls.23 By midyear, there was good news from the influx of six thousand Soviet Jews, which nonetheless strained the Israeli budget and social services; but there were also mounting class tensions arising from the wealth and educational gap between Israel’s Ashkenazi (European-origin) citizens and those from North Africa and the Middle East, erupting in violent demonstrations by the Black Panther movement.24 Some quarter million of the country’s inhabitants (out of a total population of three million Israelis) were living in poverty; but the Israeli government, with a $1.925 billion military budget (25 percent of GNP) in 1971, a fiscal deficit of $1.4 billion, and a national debt of $3.4 billion, was forced to limit spending on housing, education, health, social welfare, and infrastructure and to rely heavily on foreign aid and private philanthropy.25 Israeli diplomacy was dominated by the threat of new violence in the Middle East. Urged by the Nixon administration, Israel agreed to reopen the talks led by UN intermediary Gunnar Jarring. On February 15, Egypt’s new president, Anwar Sadat, determined to regain the Sinai, offered to make peace in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal; but Golda Meir’s cabinet, dominated by hawks intent on achieving territorial adjustments, refused.26 Sadat’s second initiative for an interim solution fared no better: Cairo’s proposal for an Israeli withdrawal to some forty kilometers east of the Suez Canal, a reduction of forces on the Egyptian side, and the reopening of the canal also met with skepticism in Jerusalem. However, it drew a positive response from the US State Department, which spotted a shift in Egypt’s orientation and an opportunity to remove Soviet forces from the Middle East. Stepping in as mediators, Secretary of State

23 24 25

26

Details in Barnes to FCO, Tel Aviv, Aug. 23, 1971, GB NA FCO 17/1559; also Barnes, Israel after Devaluation, Sept. 15, 1971, ibid. “Wir hilft mir?” Der Spiegel 40 (Sept. 27, 1971): 132 37; Sami Shalom Chetrit, Intra Jewish Conflict in Israel: White Jews, Black Jews (London: Routledge, 2010). Budget figures for 1971, released by the Finance Ministry on Jan. 4, 1971, published by Jewish Telegraph Agency, Jan. 5, 1971, http://www.jta.org/1971/01/05/archive/fiscal 19 71 deficit will reach 1 4 billion defense budget will be percent of gnp; see also “Poverty in the Backyard,” Financial Times, Aug. 5, 1971; Barnes to FCO, Oct. 20, 1971, GB NA FCO 17/1559. Details in Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York: Norton, 2014), pp. 302 4.

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1971: A Dense Political Web

William Rogers and his assistant Joseph Sisco shuttled between Cairo and Tel Aviv, but they failed to obtain Israel’s assent.27 Despite renewed pressure from Washington, Meir insisted on Sadat’s aggressive intentions. Moreover, she was reluctant to “go down in Israel’s history as the first prime minister who handed over territory.”28 Israel came under increasing pressure from Washington. In November, the Nixon administration, in anticipation of the 1972 Moscow summit (and requiring Brezhnev’s assistance to end the Vietnam War), passed on to Jerusalem a Soviet proposal for a twostage peace settlement, and the US president urged Meir to “show some flexibility.”29 But Nixon, who was preparing his reelection campaign, faced an Israeli prime minister still backed by a majority of her fellow citizens who were convinced they were locked in a “war of no choice.” During her visit to Washington in December 1971, Meir rejected any US-Soviet arrangement on the Middle East without Israeli agreement, called for a continued flow of American arms, and insisted that Israel, if necessary, could stand alone. Nixon on his part had now decided to bypass the UN and State Department démarches and turn Middle East questions over to his supple and activist National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.30 Israel’s relations with the Soviet Union, broken by Moscow in 1967, remained at a standoff. In May 1971, Meir and Eban signaled their interest in an improvement;31 and the Soviet leadership, suspicious of Sadat (and also fearing a new explosion of hostilities and its exclusion from a US-dominated Middle East), dispatched Yevgeny Primakov, a former Pravda Middle East correspondent and KGB agent, on 27 28

29 30

31

See reports of Sisco meetings with Eban, July 30, Aug. 2, 4, 1971, AE/0187. Shlaim, Iron Wall, p. 312, quotation by the director of military intelligence, Major General Aharon Yariv, based on his conversation with Golda Meir in New York on Dec. 2, 1971, after her meeting with Nixon. On Meir’s suspicions of Sadat: Huré to Raimond, Tel Aviv, Oct. 6, 1971, AN Pompidou 5AG2/1032. Craig Daigle, The Limits of Détente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1969 1973 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), p. 205. Aufzeichnung, Dec. 29, 1971 (Nixon Brandt discussions, Dec. 28, 1971), AdsD WBA A7/30; Brandt to Pompidou, Dec. 30, 1971, ibid., A7/51; also Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 201 6, Henry Kissinger, White House Years (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), p. 1289; Yitzhak Rabin Memoirs (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), pp. 206 9. Meir, attending the Socialist International meeting in Helsinki, ostensibly sent hints to Moscow through the Finnish foreign minister; and Eban on June 22 announced publicly, “We are ready for discussions.” Canton to MAE, Tel Aviv, June 21, Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, June 29, 30, Seydoux to MAE, Moscow, July 6, 1971, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z3903; also “US Woos Egypt, Reds Woo Israel in Two Ring Circus,” Boston Globe, July 4, 1971; “Durch die Hintertür,” Der Spiegel 28 (July 5, 1971), p. 68, Los Angeles Times, July 5, 1971, “Wandel durch Annäherung?” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Sept. 25, 1971.

Israel’s Diplomatic Goals

161

a secret mission to Jerusalem.32 Primakov, however, after his candid and occasionally heated meetings with Meir, Eban, and Dayan, concluded that although the Israelis desired better relations (among other reasons, to assert their independence from the United States), they were unready to evacuate the occupied territories under either Superpower or UN auspices.33 On the Israeli side, these talks with the Soviets not only sent a useful signal to Washington and the Arabs but also were aimed also at bolstering Israeli efforts on behalf of Soviet-Jewish emigration. Although the number of Jews leaving the USSR for Israel rose markedly, reaching more than thirteen thousand by the end of 1971, there were still impediments that Jerusalem hoped could be removed.34 But the Kremlin on its side resented Israel’s covert role in the burgeoning international anti-Soviet campaign. This included the international outcry over the trial and sentencing of the Leningrad hijackers,35 protests to the UN Human Rights Commission over Moscow’s treatment of its Jewish citizens,36 and especially the convocation of the February 1971 Brussels Conference for Soviet Jewry: a gathering of some 750 Jewish leaders from some forty countries and attended by the eighty-five-yearold David Ben-Gurion and Herut leader Menachem Begin, and which received a warm welcoming message from Golda Meir.37 After the Belgian government had rejected Moscow’s protests, the two-day 32

33

34

35

36

37

Seydoux to MAE, Moscow, Mar. 11, 13, 17, 25, May 30, July 6, 1971, Paux to Schumann, Cairo, Mar. 13, May 27,1971, Note, Paris, Apr. 23, 1971, Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, June 30, 1971, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z3903. E. M. Primakov, Russia and the Arabs: Behind the Scenes in the Middle East from the Cold War to the Present, trans. Paul Gould (New York: Basic Books, 2009), pp. 261 73; these talks were confirmed by Eban, Nov. 30, in his meeting with British foreign secretary Home, GB NA FCO 30/876. After a second round of talks over a partial settlement was held in Vienna October 7 15 between Primakov and two Israeli Foreign Ministry officials proved equally fruitless, the next meeting did not occur until March 1973. Primakov, Russia and the Arabs, pp. 274 79. Soviet law permitted the reunification of families in Israel; but applicants to emigrate were still subject to job loss and other forms of discrimination. George Ginsburgs, “Soviet Law and the Emigration of Soviet Jews,” Soviet Jewish Affairs 3, no. 1 (1973): 3 19. On June 15, 1970, a group of fourteen Soviet Jews and two supporters attempting to hijack an aircraft to reach Israel were captured, tried for high treason, and convicted in Dec. After two of the leaders received death sentences, worldwide protests, led by Israel, forced the Soviet government to reduce the sentences. Wallis to FCO, Tel Aviv, May 19, 1971, GB NA FCO 17/1572. Moscow was particularly sensitive to these protests, because 1971 was the first year that the HRC began investigating specific complaints. Gehlhoff to AA, New York, Aug. 18, 1971, PA AA B30/511. Information des ZK der KPdSU, BAL Büro Honecker DY 30/13945; also GB NA FCO 17/1572, 1573, 1574 (Jews in the Soviet Union/1971); Zvi Gitelman, “The New Transnational Politics: The Case of Soviet Jewry,” Shvut: Studies in Russian and East European Jewish Culture 1 (1973): 194 217.

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1971: A Dense Political Web

meeting took place February 24 and 25, 1971, and featured several fiery anti-Soviet speeches. The “Brussels Declaration” called upon the USSR to guarantee its Jewish citizens’ cultural and religious existence and their right to emigrate and “put an end to the defamation of the Jewish people and of Zionism,” and the delegates pledged to work through their governments, the United Nations, and every agency of public opinion on behalf of Soviet Jewry.38 Although Pravda dismissed the event as “a joint American-Israeli action aimed at . . . distracting the attention of world public opinion from the United States’ aggressive policy in Indochina and Israel’s aggressive policy in the Middle East,” the Kremlin was disturbed over this intervention in its internal affairs and the new threat to détente and to its relations with the Arab world.39 Thus despite press speculation over an imminent restoration of SovietIsraeli ties40 – fed by the well-publicized visit of a delegation of left-wing Israelis to Moscow in August 1971 – without an Israeli pullback from the occupied territories (which, Soviet authorities quietly insisted, would also facilitate Jewish emigration), there was little prospect of a change in the brittle status quo between Jerusalem and Moscow.41 Israel’s third diplomatic challenge was its relationship with the European Economic Community, which had recently become its largest export market ahead of the United States and the UK. There were four issues of concern.42 Because of Israel’s exclusion from the Group of 77 of developing countries (established in Geneva in 1964), it was omitted from the EEC’s generalized preference scheme that came into force on July 1, 1971, and which included the Arab states as well as countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.43 The Israeli government also feared the Europeans’ willingness to succumb to the Arabs’ pressure to observe their boycott.44 Moreover, the impending 38

39

40 41 42 43 44

“Brussels Declaration on Soviet Jews,” New York Times, February 26, 1971, p. 2. Organized by American Jewish Zionist activists, the Brussels delegates were, in fact, divided between those advocating the militant strategy promoted by the radical Jewish Defense League and the quiet diplomacy pursued by World Jewish Congress president Nahum Goldmann. See, esp., Goldmann to Dobrynin, Feb. 27, 1971, Goldmann papers CZA Z6/2406. Samson summary, Mar. 1, 1971, GB NA FCO 17/1572; also Frank Golczewski, “Jüdische Emigration und die sowjetische Staatsideologie,” Osteuropa 25, no. 1 (1975): 45 52; William Korey, “Decision Making and the Problems of Jewish Emigration Policy,” Survey 22, no. 1 (1976): 112 31; Lothar Mertens, “Die Auswanderung sowje tischer Juden,” Osteuropa 37, no. 7 (1987): 519 22. See, esp., New York Times, Aug. 27, Sept. 10, 14, 1971. Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, Oct. 26, 1971, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3903. June 8 report to Bonn embassy of Puttkamer Sapir conversation, June 7, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. Israel/EWG, Nov. 16, 1971, BAK B36/8000. Per Fischer to Brandt, Nov. 29, 1971, Ibid.; but also see “Israel Boykott: Völlig überflüssig,” Der Spiegel 15 (Apr. 5, 1971): 127 28.

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entry of Great Britain – a major low-tariff importer of Israeli plywood, citrus fruits, and agricultural products – represented a new threat to Israeli’s economic well-being.45 But, above all, Israel was alarmed by the decision taken at the first EEC foreign ministers’ gathering in Munich in November 1970 to formulate its first-ever unified foreign policy position, and to focus it on the Middle East.46 The initiative had come from France, with the threefold aim of adding a European presence to the Superpower and UN deliberations, unblocking the Middle East peace process, and promoting the common interests of the Six (among them, ensuring a stable energy supply from Arab oil producers). Israel responded swiftly to this development. In his protests in Bonn, Ben-Horin insisted the proposal had emanated from a “hostile” government, one that had broken its arms agreements with his country and was selling military supplies to its sworn opponents.47 But Israeli pressure on the Federal Republic was to no avail.48 On April 27–28, 1971 the EEC’s Political Committee, meeting in Paris, drew up a detailed proposal, which on May 13 it presented to a secret meeting of the six EEC foreign ministers at the Quai d’Orsay, chaired by French foreign minister Maurice Schumann.49 Despite their striking differences over the Israeli-Arab conflict, after two days of deliberation the six diplomats adopted Western Europe’s first collective proposal to bring peace in the Middle East.50 The “Schumann paper” (as it was and still is widely known) went considerably beyond the 1967 UN Resolution 242. It called for an 45 46

47 48

49

50

See, esp., GB NA FCO 30/524, Healey Memorandum, London, Oct. 28, 1971, ibid., FCO 30/875, Eban Home meeting, Nov. 30, 1971, ibid., FCO 30/876. Von Staden, Runderlass, Nov. 23, 1970, AAPD 1970 3:2101; Peled to FM, Nov. 24, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. Facing the prospect of EEC expansion, the Six had already agreed in 1969 and 1970 to create a unified foreign policy. Redies Aufzeichnungen, Feb. 3, May 3, 1971, AAPD 1971 1:222 23, 2:713 15. Avner and Meroz to Israeli Embassies in Bonn, Paris, the Hague, Rome, and Brussels, May 4, 5, 1971, ISA 130 7316/9‫חצ‬. Eban also appealed directly to Scheel either to prevent a vote or to block publicity of any decision. Redies Vermerk, May 11, 1971, AAPD 1971 2:715, n. 7. The two day Paris meeting also took up the question of EEC expansion and the Soviets’ proposal for a European Security Conference. French text of draft document: Redies Aufzeichnung, Apr. 28, 1971, AAPD 1:666 71. Résumé in Réunion ministerielle des six, Paris 13 14 mai 1971, FMAE Europe/ Communautés Européennes 1971 76 Z3791; also von Staden Runderlass, May 15, 1971, AAPD 1971 2:791 92; the EEC discussions reviewed in Note, June 9, 1971, Pompidou papers, Dossiers du sécretaire général adjoint de la présidence: AN Pompidou AG 5 2 91. Contrasting appraisals of the historic Schumann paper: Ilan Greilshamer, “The Failure of European ‘Initiatives’ in the Middle East,” Jerusalem Quarterly 33 (1984): 41; Philip Robin, “Always the Bridesmaid: Europe and the Middle East Peace Process,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 10, no. 2 (Winter/Spring 1997): 72.

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Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands (while also acknowledging the possibility of “minor” territorial rectifications) and for the creation of demilitarized zones policed by a multinational UN force; the internationalization of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem; and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem that included a choice of repatriation to their former homes. And while repeating the Security Council’s admonition against acquiring territory by force, the Schumann paper replaced the UN’s call for “the acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” with an only vague recommendation of a “system of collective guarantees.” Although the details were not published, Schumann immediately hailed the Six’s accomplishment and transmitted its recommendations to the UN and to interested governments in the region.51 Israeli reaction was swift and furious. Through diplomatic channels, in the press, and privately, the Meir government criticized the EEC’s “outrageous” interference in the currently delicate Israeli-Egyptian negotiations.52 While acknowledging the Six’s right to discuss foreign policy, Israel – using the analogy of the quadripartite negotiations over Berlin (of which the FRG was continually apprised by its allies) – contested the EEC’s issuing a collective statement without communicating with the affected party.53 Even though its protests ultimately resulted in the EEC’s abandonment of the Schumann paper,54 Israel had to acknowledge Western Europe’s determination to speak in a single voice and the will of Brandt’s government – seeking better relations with the Arab world and reluctant to act alone in the Middle East – to endorse this disquieting development.55

51 52 53 54

55

New York Times, May 15, 1971; also Washington Post, May 26, 1971. “Ärger mit Israel,” Die Zeit, May 28, 1971. Raphael to Meroz, June 16, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. On the omission of the Middle East issue from foreign ministers’ meeting in Rome: Ben Horin to FM, Nov. 6, 10, 1971, ISA 130 7316 ‫ ;חצ‬unsigned note Nov. 21, 1973, Dossiers du sécrétaire général adjoint de la présidence, AN Pompidou AG 5 2 92. On further French efforts to create a united European voice, Patrick Müller, “The Europeanization of France’s Foreign Policy towards the Middle East Conflict From Leadership to EU Accommodation,” European Security 22, no. 1 (2013): 117 19. In his June 9, 1971, statement to the cabinet on his European and Middle East policy, Brandt, while stressing the FRG’s “evenhandedness” and acknowledging “special ele ments” in its relationship with Israel, also insisted, “Because the Middle East problem affects the security of Europe, Western Europe must become involved in this question,” http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/1000/k/k1971k/kap1 1/kap2 20/para3 3 .html.

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Germany and Israel: Dealing with Tensions As part of its quest for closer ties with the Arab world, the Brandt government was determined to strike a new tone in its policy toward Israel, and the Israeli government did its utmost to resist. Brandt, in his carefully crafted speech on May 21, 1971, at the opening of West Germany’s annual Brotherhood Week, both acknowledged his country’s painful history and announced its intention to move forward in the new political environment.56 Ben-Horin, who had urged the chancellor to publicly reaffirm Bonn’s ties to Israel, was gratified by Brandt’s affirmation of the moral and historical justice behind the founding of his country in 1948; but the ambassador was also disgruntled by the chancellor’s reference to the resultant suffering of the Palestinians.57 Five days later during the Socialist International’s reunion of party leaders in Helsinki, there was a tense private meeting between Brandt and Golda Meir, who bluntly challenged the chancellor over the Schumann proposal: “What business is that of the Six?” And Brandt, although unfamiliar with the details, defended the West Europeans’ right to formulate their own political stand and denied France’s sole authorship of the document.58 But while attempting to assuage Meir’s suspicions, Brandt recoiled from the prime minister’s “combative” stance and, especially, her insistence on border adjustments, which would thwart UN, United States, and any European peace initiatives.59 To be sure, there were some small advances in West German–Israeli relations in 1971. In September came an announcement of the first twincity partnership, promoted by Israel, between two tiny entities: Dimona (population twenty-six thousand), a development town in the Negev desert established in 1953 (but also very near the country’s nuclear 56 57

58

59

“Toleranz und Solidarität mit den Mitmenschen,” in Willy Brandt, Frieden: Reden und Schriften des Nobelpreisträgers 1971 (Bonn: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1971), pp. 77 89. “It is bitter that the birth of this state required the price of new victims and new suffering. Who would wish to conceal this? Who would wish to hide the misery of the Palestinian Arabs?” Brandt, “Toleranz und Solidarität,” p. 88. Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 21, 1971, ISA 130/4572/39‫חצ‬. Willy Brandt, Erinnerungen (Berlin: Propyläen, 1989), p. 446; also Ben Horin to FM, May 26, 1971, Israeli Amb. Stockholm to FM, May 29, 1971, Raphael to Meroz, June 16, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. At Helsinki, Meir also encountered a new atmosphere among her socialist colleagues who had established a special Middle East Study Committee and become increasingly critical of Israel’s occupation of Arab territories and involved in the Palestine refugee question. Mordechaï Schenhav, Le socialisme international et l’État juif (1891 1973) (Paris: Éditions Connaissances et Savoirs, 2009), pp. 194 95. Brandt conversation with Pompidou, July 6, 1971, AN Pompidou 5AG2 105; also “Alte Gefühle,” Der Spiegel 23 (1971), p. 30; Hans Janitschek, The International, 1969 1971 (London: Socialist International Publications, 1971).

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research center), and Andernach (population twenty-nine thousand), on the left bank of Rhine and one of Germany’s medieval Jewish communities.60 More significantly, one month later Tel Aviv University opened Israel’s first Institute of German History, aimed at exploring a subject hitherto shunned by Israeli scholars.61 This controversial institute had been funded by a five-year, DM 1.7 million grant from the Volkswagen Stiftung, a sum its initiator and founding director assured his critics had not been awarded because of the donor’s “bad conscience” but as recognition of the accomplishments of Israeli scholarship. Nonetheless, under Walter Grab’s astute direction the institute’s research program, its journal, and its international symposia omitted the Holocaust from their agenda; but the institute also injected Israeli voices into the history of Germany’s democratic and working-class movements, into the historic ties between Germany and the Middle East, and into the pre-1933 relations between Germans and Jews.62 On the German side, the Israeli presence grew stronger. West Germans in 1971 viewed a growing number of Israeli art exhibitions, as well as theater, opera, music, and dance performances. Thanks to a $600,000 donation from Axel Springer (but only after a heated debate among the musicians, who included several Holocaust survivors), the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra made its first tour of West Germany, visiting all the principal cities. On September 12, the opening night of the Berlin festival, the orchestra’s conductor Zubin Mehta, responding to the enthusiastic audience, led the Israeli national anthem Hatikvah as an encore.63 There was an increase in Israeli guest professors at German universities; and while the Brandt government focused on its Ost- and Nahostpolitik, President Gustav Heinemann received a number of Israeli guests, among them a parliamentary delegation in March, members of the Histadrut 60 61

62

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Aufzeichnung, n.d. [Sept. 1971], PA AA B36/465. The initiative had emanated from the Vienna born Walter Grab, who in 1938 at age nineteen had fled with his family to Palestine. In the mid 1960s, he had left a successful business career to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Hamburg, writing his dissertation on the German Jacobins during the French Revolution; upon returning to Israel, he became a professor of German history at Tel Aviv University. Iris Nachum, “Es muss nicht immer Wiedergutmachung sein Walter Grab und das Minerva Institut für deutsche Geschichte an der Universität Tel Aviv,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 40 (2012): 237 76. Until the mid 1970s, the older and more prestigious Hebrew University in Jerusalem had neither a professor of German history nor one of German literature. Walter Grab, Meine vier Leben: Gedächtniskünstler Emigrant Jakobinerforscher Demokrat (Cologne: PapyRossa Verlag, 1999), pp. 230 35, 242; Nachum, “Es muss nicht immer Wiedergutmachung sein,” pp. 249 50; also Moshe Zimmermann, “Deutschland und Deutsche Geschichte in der israelischen Geschichtswissenschaft,” Internationale Schulbuchforschung 9, no. 3 (1987): 271 81. Ben Horin to FM, Aug. 5, 1971, Lapidot to Braun, Sept. 30, 1971, ISA 130 4573/5.

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Labor Union in July, and Justice Minister Yaakov Shapiro in September.64 On the bleaker side, because of both countries’ straitened economic circumstances, the number of youth exchanges remained modest.65 Contributing further to their estrangement, both countries’ media continued to promote stereotyped views of the other. The Israeli mainstream press remained alert to signs of Bonn’s abandonment of its historical responsibility in order to win Arab support.66 Except for the Springer press, the FRG mainstream publications swamped their readers with articles on Israel’s militarism and its domestic problems.67 Israel was also indignant over Bonn’s behavior in international forums. For example, on May 18, 1971, West Germany abstained from an ArabCommunist resolution in the World Health Organization accusing Israel of violating the human rights of Arab refugees in the occupied territories and threatening to suspend its voting rights and WHO services if the situation did not improve.68 A less-publicized source of friction emerged in 1971 from Nahum Goldmann’s renewed appeal on behalf of those who had been excluded from the 1952 restitution agreement.69 Goldmann, who had once been welcomed in Bonn by CDU officials (and indeed was still valued by Brandt for his dovish views), received a cool response from the parsimonious officials who now controlled Bonn’s purse strings, had distanced themselves from the Nazi past, and faced the likelihood of even larger claims emerging from Brandt’s overtures to Eastern Europe.70 And, as Goldmann acknowledged, the German public strongly supported these sentiments.

64 65

66 67

68 69 70

Die Welt, July 7, 1971; also Aufzeichnungen, n.d. [July 1971?], BAK B122/12329, n.d. [Aug. 1971?], ibid., B122/12325. In 1971, 2,500 Israelis went Germany, while 4,500 West Germans traveled to Israel. Deutsch israelische Jugendbegegnung, n.d. BayHStA StK), MK 64887. According to the American Jewish Year Book (1972), p. 524, the German government spent DM 2.3 million on the student exchange program in 1971. See, esp., Meroz to Washington and Bonn, May 20, 1971, ISA 130 7316/9. On Der Spiegel’s “tendentious, mocking, and hostile” tone: Meroz to Ben Horin, June 10, 1971, Peled to Gideon Sagi, Oct. 28, 1971, ISA 1304573/5; cf. Monika Halbinger, Das Jüdische in den Wochenzeitungen Zeit, Spiegel, und Stern (1946 1989): Berichterstattung zwischen Popularisierungsbemühung, Vereinnahmung und Abwehr (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2010), pp. 342 44. Puttkamer to AA, June 9, 1971, PA AA B36/468. The WHO vote was 42 2 (the United States and Israel) with 53 abstentions. Washington Post, May 19, 1971, p. 12. See Chapter 6; also Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 12, Apr. 6, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. Goldmann to Brandt, Oct. 21, 1971, CZA Z6/2412; also Carole Fink, “Negotiating after Negotiations: Nahum Goldmann, West Germany, and the Origins of the 1980 Hardship Fund,” Jahrbuch des Simon Dubnow Instituts (2016): 7 10.

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The Year of Visits In the first half of 1971, Israel, striving to reduce its isolation and enlist supporters from its stronger – and potentially straying – partner, hosted a procession of German politicians from all three major parties.71 The first visitor between February 17 and 25 was Hildegard HammBrücher, the left-liberal member of the FDP’s national executive committee and state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, who had come to alleviate Israeli concerns over her party’s proArab stance.72 During her long and candid conversations with Meir and Eban, Hamm-Brücher assured her hosts of her party’s good will, and afterward urged her colleague Scheel to hasten his trip to Israel and to “dispel its many concerns.”73 The next arrivals between April 30 and May 4, invited by Mapai, were an SPD delegation led by the chair of the party’s parliamentary faction, the strongly pro-Israel Herbert Wehner.74 Wehner’s group, which met with Israeli labor leaders and politicians, toured the occupied territories, and did its utmost (in what the French ambassador pithily labeled a “charm offensive”) to revive the Israelis’ confidence in Bonn’s fidelity by offering reassuring words about its diplomatic and economic support. Even Wischnewski, Israel’s most distrusted politician, who had a personal meeting with Meir, pledged publicly that the FRG’s efforts to renew its ties with the Arabs would not damage Israel.75 The next guest was a prominent opposition figure, the CDU deputy Kurt Birrenbach, a fierce opponent of Brandt’s Ostpolitik and long71 72 73

74

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Gehlhoff Aufzeichnung, Mar. 12, 1971, PA AA B8/1116; Redies Aufzeichnung, Apr. 19, 1971, AAPD 1971 1:634. Stirred by an anonymous article in the Freie Demokratischen Korrespondenz, Jan. 13, 1971, which the Israelis believed expressed Scheel’s foreign policy. Hamm Brücher to Scheel, Mar. 4, 1971, AdL Scheel A35/6; also Knoke to AA, Feb. 26, 1971, PA AA B36/461. Later that year, an FDP delegation led by Wolfgang Mischnick visited Israel between Nov. 21 and 26, 1971. Redies Aufzeichnung, Nov. 2, 1971, PA AA B36/462. Ben Horin to FM, Apr. 22, 27, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫ ;חצ‬Hensel to AA, May 4, 1971, PA AA B36/462; see also Dingels statement to SPD Parteivorstand, Oct. 29, 1971, GG/ 8833. Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, May 4, 1971, PA AA B36/462; Sauvagnargues to MAE, Bonn, May 5, 12, 1971, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z 2993. Rush to State Dept., Tel Aviv, May 14, 1971, NARA Nixon NSC Box 685 (Germany) reported Meir’s request that Wischnewski convey a peace message to Sadat, and the SPD secretary general’s reluc tance to act as a mediator between the two countries. Another important SPD visit took place in November when FRG finance minister Alex Möller traveled to Israel for private meetings with Meir and Sapir on restitution issues. See Goldmann to Brandt, Oct. 21, 1971, CZA Z6/2412, Meir to Brandt, Nov. 29, 1971, AdsD WBA A7/53.

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time friend of Israel who had taken part in the 1965 negotiations.76 During his extended stay between May 9 and 19, Birrenbach discussed foreign policy with government officials, Knesset members, diplomats, and industrialists and assured Meir and Eban of his party’s full support.77 The most politically significant of these encounters occurred between June 6 and 10, 1971 – on the fourth anniversary of the June 1967 war – when Israel for the first time hosted an official sevenmember Bundestag delegation, which was returning their Israeli counterparts’ visit to Bonn in March.78 Led by the esteemed jurist and Bundestag vice president Carlo Schmid (SPD), the delegation toured all of Israel and – much to the chagrin of the Auswärtiges Amt and of Arab observers – also visited the Golan Heights and Sharm el-Sheikh. During his talks with Meir and Eban, Schmid sought to assuage the Israelis’ outrage over the Schumann paper and reassure his hosts that Bonn’s Ostpolitik and its Nahostpolitik would not harm Israel.79 However, these propitiatory visits were only the prelude to the most controversial event of all: the four-day visit of Walter Scheel between July 7 and 10, which was the first trip to Israel by a West German foreign minister. The prospects were ominous. The Arab leaders had warned Bonn that this visit would impair their negotiations for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.80 And the long delay in Scheel’s response to Eban’s invitation for a reciprocal visit, combined with the foreign minister’s assent on May 13 to the Schumann paper and his alleged warning against Israeli “blackmail” 76 77

78

79

80

Meroz to Ben Horin, May 13, 1971, Eban to Birrenbach, May 21, 1971, ISA 130 4573/ 5; Birrenbach to Schröder, May 21, 1971, ACDP Birrenbach Nachlass 089/2. Between Sept. 5 and 10, 1971, Israel also hosted the CDU president of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Gerhard Schröder, who conducted talks with Israeli politi cians and military leaders. The former FRG defense minister met protests because of his Nazi past and his opposition to providing Israel with gas masks during the June 1967 war. Puttkamer to AA, Sept. 1, 1971, Auswertung der israelischen Presse, n.d., PA AA B36/ 462; Yediot Ahronot, July 26, 1971; “Israel begegnet Gerhard Schröder mit Skepsis,”Frankfurter Rundschau, Sept. 7, 1971. In addition to Schmid, the group included Ernst Benda, Otto Schmidt, and Jürgen Warnke (CDU), Annemarie Renger and Harry Tallert (SPD), Detlef Kleinert (FDP), and Heinrich Killian (chief of protocol). ISA 130 4573/21‫חצ‬. Hensel to AA, May 4, 1971, Aufzeichnung, n.d., PA AA B36/462; Meroz to Ben Horin, June 13, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫ ;חצ‬Huré to MAE, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z1993; Critical view in “Carlo Schmid beschwichtigt in Israel,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 9, 1971. Another high profile visit occurred in November with Ernst Benda (CDU) and Heinz Westphal (SPD), leading a delegation of the German Israeli Association. Ott to AA, Oct. 4, 1971, PA AA B36/462. See, e.g., Jesser to AA, Cairo, Dec. 16, 1970, Jan. 30, Feb. 12, 1971, PA AA B36/361.

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published in Der Spiegel on May 31, had all created a tense backdrop to this historic moment.81 Both sides attempted to prepare as calm a visit as possible. The Israeli government was visibly nervous over the large number of contentious issues to be placed before its reluctant guest.82 But Scheel, after consulting with Brandt, sent a mollifying signal to Jerusalem, labeling the contested Schumann paper simply a “working document” subject to further EEC discussion.83 On the other hand, Bonn officials insisted that the Israelis treat their visitor respectfully. Brandt’s chief of staff Horst Ehmke warned the Israeli ambassador of Scheel’s acute sensitivity to any form of external pressure, and the government’s official spokesperson Conrad Ahlers pointedly cautioned against any reference to the foreign minister’s Nazi past.84 The Auswärtiges Amt also stepped in, vetoing an official visit to the occupied territories or the Holy Sites in Jerusalem.85 The visit opened on a formal note. At the airport ceremony, both Eban and Scheel acknowledged the shadows of the past but expressed their hopes to work together for a better future.86 But jarring incidents soon erupted: On the winding route to Jerusalem, along the roads to Mount Herzl and Yad Vashem, and throughout most of their travels in Israel, Scheel and his wife would be greeted by small groups of youthful demonstrators carrying placards and shouting anti-German slogans.87 And at Yad Vashem, the Council’s chairperson Gideon Hausner (the former prosecutor at the Adolf Eichmann trial), in his combative forty-minute 81

82 83 84 85

86 87

“Scheels Reise nach Israel,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 6, 1971, “Scheels schwierige Mission in Israel,” ibid., July 8, 1971, and “Einer war Scheel schon zuvorge kommen,” ibid., July 10, 1971 (an ironic reference to Kaiser Wilhelm’s famous visit to Palestine in 1898); also “W. Germany Mending Fences with Israel,” New York Times, July 8, 1971. Appeals for an earlier Scheel visit, Blumenfeld (a Holocaust survivor and influential CDU deputy) to Scheel, Oct. 14, 1970, PA AA B36/361; Knoke to AA, Dec. 14, 1970, ibid., and numerous inquiries by Ben Horin; the delay was caused by Scheel’s spring travel schedule, but, especially, the Bonn government’s awaiting the results of the Jarring mis sion. Redies Aufzeichnung, Mar. 22, 1971, Vermerk, Apr. 7, 1971, PA AA B36/461; Israeli response to the Schumann paper: Eban to Ben Horin, May 28, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39 ‫חצ‬, calling for a public renunciation; the tendentious Spiegel article: Ben Horin to FM, ibid. Meroz to Raphael, Jerusalem, June 16, 1971, also FM to Ben Horin, June 8, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. Ben Horin to Meroz, July 1, 1971, Ibid. Ben Horin to Meroz, June 2, 22, 1971, Ibid. Ben Horin to FM, Bonn, June 30, July 1, 1971, Ibid. Scheel, a decorated Luftwaffe officer in World War II, had applied to join the NSDAP in 1941, although he consistently denied his membership. (See Chapter 6.) Contrary to diplomatic custom, the German national hymn was not performed at the ceremony, although the West German flag was on display. Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, July 9, 1971, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2993.

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address, declared that “Germany’s only way to repent for its crimes and for the death of six million Jews is to assure Israel’s survival and to support its security . . . and let Israel decide for herself what her secure boundaries should be.”88 Nonetheless, the official talks went relatively smoothly. Coached by Brandt, in his meetings with Meir and Eban on July 7 and 8 a wellprepared Scheel agreed that their history “could not be forgotten,” and listened attentively to Israeli charges of Soviet intrigue in the Middle East and their negative views on partial solutions and international guarantees. But the FRG foreign minister forcefully refuted Israeli accusations of the (oil-hungry) Europeans’ bias toward the Arabs, cautioned his hosts against confusing Israel’s expanded borders with the attainment of security, and startled them by complaining about the anti-German expressions of the Israeli government and public.89 Drawing on his previous experience as foreign aid minister, Scheel was even more direct on July 9 during his two-hour session with Eban and Finance Minister Zvi Dinstein. Once more, he listened attentively to their overview of the Israeli economy and their country’s dire need for trade, investment, and foreign aid; their concerns over the EEC’s prejudicial policies; and their specific issues with Bonn, including the new claims on behalf of Holocaust survivors. Thereupon the foreign minister reminded his hosts that the current “military/political situation” in the Middle East had created an “undoubted impediment” to closer ties between Israel and the EEC. As to their bilateral relations, he rejected the Israelis’ proposal for a special investment agreement between the two governments, insisted that their future economic ties conform to the FRG’s “evenhanded” policies in the Middle East, and gave scant encouragement to the new restitution claims.90 The formal events concluded, Scheel and his wife, who were visiting Israel for the first time, spent their remaining time as tourists, paying private visits to the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and also visiting Bethlehem. Their Israeli guides accompanied them to the Christian sites in Tiberius, 88

89

90

Frank to AA, Tel Aviv, July 7, 1971, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 152535. Scheel was also jarred by Hausner’s reference to the “considerable number” of Nazi war criminals not yet brought to trial and by the “ridiculously light” sentences by the West German courts. He agreed on the necessity of justice but cited “the difficulties of bringing people to trial after so many years.” “Scheel Starts Israel Visit at Yad Vashem,” Jerusalem Post, July 8, 1971, p. 8. Gespräch des Bundesministers Scheel mit Ministerpräsidentin Meir in Tel Aviv, July 7, 1971, AAPD 1971 2:1098 1102; Gespräche des Bundesministers Scheel mit dem israe lischen Aussenminister Eban in Tel Aviv, July 7 8, 1971, ibid., pp. 1102 12. Lebsanft Aufzeichnung, July 12, 1971, AAPD 1971 2:1120 27.

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Nazareth, Capernaum, and Tabgha, and they also visited David BenGurion at Sde Boker. On the evening of July 8, Scheel celebrated his fiftysecond birthday by hosting a large gala dinner at the King David Hotel.91 On the Israeli side, there were mixed appraisals of Scheel’s visit.92 Eban somewhat fancifully pronounced it “perfect in every respect,” reaffirming the special relationship between the two countries.93 However, the Israeli press detected a “new cool wind” from Bonn, brought by a figure with an only slight interest in their country.94 At the Jerusalem city hall, Scheel had stated emphatically, “What has been done to the Jewish people by my people cannot be forgotten. But we have decided not to live only in the past and to look to the future.”95 On the German side, the visit’s results were even more contested. Initially, the press characterized Scheel’s efforts to dispel Israeli mistrust as a success.96 But when Die Welt, two days after the foreign minister’s return, published a leaked copy of the Schumann paper (whose source – presumably either Israel or France – has never been identified), the CDU lashed out against the government’s diplomatic acrobatics. During the heated Bundestag debate on July 19, Birrenbach accused Scheel of attempting to balance between two stools, thereby damaging the country’s credibility.97 And not only were the Arabs furious over the visit, but now the French government was irate over Bonn’s interpretation of Security Council Resolution 242.98 Scheel’s visit brought a certain amount of clarity to West German–Israeli relations. Israel, despite all the high-profile visits in 1971, had failed to stem Bonn’s new direction or to elicit solid guarantees 91 92 93

94 95

96 97 98

Jennie Hestermann, Inszenierte Versöhnung: Reisediplomatie und die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen von 1957 bis 1984 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2016), pp. 170 71. This was, in fact, Scheel’s only trip to Israel, even after he became FRG president in 1978. Foster to FCO and other missions, Tel Aviv, July 12, 1971, GB NA FCO 17/1488; also Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, July 12, 1971, AN Pompidou 5 AG 2 1032; Bente Aufzeichnung (discussion with Ben Horin), July 21, 1971, PA AA B36/461. Jerusalem Post, July 7, 1971. Quotation in “Israelis Still Uneasy as Scheel Talks Close,” Los Angeles Times, July 10, 1971, p. 17; Sauvagnargues to MAE, Bonn, July 12, 1971, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2993. See, esp., Theo Sommer, “Zwischen zwei Feuern,” Die Zeit, July 16, 1971; also “Israel Besuch,” Der Spiegel 29 (July 12, 1971). StenBer, Deutscher Bundestag. 6. Wahlperiode. 133 Sitzung, July 19, 1971, pp. 7764 65. Jackling to FCO and other missions, Bonn, July 15, 1971, GB NA FCO 17/1488. In Israel, Scheel had restated Bonn’s adherence to the English text, calling for an Israeli withdrawal from “occupied territories,” whereas, because of a drafting error in 1967, the French version called for a withdrawal from “the occupied territories.” But in view of the Rogers proposals allowing for minor territorial adjustments, France’s outrage was somewhat questionable.

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of its support.99 Despite the West Germans’ repeated assurances – public and private – that their ties with Israel would not be impaired by their Ostand Nahostpolitik, the anti-Soviet bond that had long linked the two countries was no longer operative;100 and, as Scheel had made clear, the Brandt government’s determination to pursue an active role in the Middle East – alone and with its European partners – had set strict limits on what would be diplomatically possible. Excursus: Arms and Aid The public encounters between West Germans and Israelis in 1971 also affected two key areas of their relationship: arms and aid. Both issues had diplomatic as well as domestic consequences, needed to be conducted with the utmost secrecy, and stirred internal debates in Bonn.101 Despite the brakes that had been applied by the new German government in 1969, Israel’s military ties with the FRG had continued. Israel had an ardent defender in Defense Minister Helmut Schmidt, who considered Israel “very important” to Germany and to Europe in the defense of the eastern Mediterranean against Soviet expansion; Schmidt also maintained that Israel contributed to Bonn’s military capabilities.102 But the Auswärtiges Amt, bolstered by protests from the FRG’s Cairo emissary, opposed any expansion of the arrangements between the two countries’ military establishments, which, they claimed, endangered Bonn’s Nahostpolitik and also encouraged further GDR and Soviet-bloc incursions into the Middle East.103 On September 7, 1971, the Auswärtiges Amt exerted its muscle. It came in the form of a negative response to London’s request, delivered three months earlier, for official approval of the export of three pieces of German equipment for the production of three German-designed submarines by the British firm Vickers, which 99

100 101 102 103

“Israel has our support, but not our blind adherence. We support it diplomatically when its existence is at stake but we must not sanction all its expansionist claims, or its domestically motivated vagueness. Peace in the Middle East is too precious a goal for us to be determined by only one party in the conflict.” Sommer, “Zwischen zwei Feueren,” Die Zeit, July 16, 1972. Horch Aufzeichnung, Mar. 24, 1971, PA AA B36/456, based on extensive talks with Israeli Foreign Ministry officials. Helga Haftendorn, “Am Waffenhandel die Finger verbrannt: Rüstungsexporte haben Bonn nur politische Nachteile gebracht,” Die Zeit, 10 (Mar. 5, 1971). Schmidt statement to cabinet, June 9, 1971, quoted in Redies Aufzeichnung, AAPD 1971 2:953; Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 21, June 22, 1971, ISA 130 4572/39‫חצ‬. Onken Aufzeichnung, Jan. 21, 1971, Dietrich Aufzeichnung, Mar. 4, 1971, Braun Aufzeichnung, Apr. 14, 1971, AAPD 1971 1:103, 403 7, 609 10.

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would be sold to Israel.104 Overruling the Defense Ministry’s positive recommendation, disregarding British and Israeli appeals, and also ceding a lucrative opportunity for German manufacturers, Scheel based his refusal on the Brandt government’s official guidelines prohibiting the sale of weapons to areas of tension;105 but above all, AA officials feared a disruption of Bonn’s negotiations with Egypt, Algeria, and Sudan, who were still incensed over the foreign minister’s visit to Israel and over reports of secret West German arms deliveries to Israel via the Netherlands. In the end, however, the Brandt government would smooth the way for the submarines to be built in Britain.106 The Auswärtiges Amt also attempted to curb the FRG’s direct military ties with Israel.107 For more than a decade, the two countries had quietly collaborated in military purchases and in research and development; and the West German Defense Ministry, working in concert with the Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst), had engaged in extensive intelligence sharing with Israel on enemy weapons systems, to the benefit of both sides.108 After extensive consultations in December 1970 with Israeli diplomats, defense officials, and arms manufacturers, the Defense Ministry had decided to challenge the AA and push for an expansion of bilateral trade and of joint military projects with Israel.109 104 105 106

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Redies Aufzeichnung, June 16, 1971, AAPD 1971 3:1260 61, n. 5; details in Bensien to Mommsen, Sept. 16, 1971, BAF BW1/185994. Willy Brandt, Regierungserklärung in StenBer, Deutscher Bundestag. 6. Wahlperiode. 5 Sitzung, Oct. 28, 1969, vol. 71, p. 32. Staden/Robert Aufzeichnung, Aug. 24, 1971, Redies Vermerk, Sept. 7, 1971, AAPD 1971 3:1260 62. British reactions: Richards to FCO, Bonn, Sept. 10, 1971, Beaumont to FCO and Missions, Cairo, Sept. 11, 1971, Barnes to Missions, London, Sept. 13, 1971, Douglas Home to Missions, London, Sept. 15, 16, 1971, Douglas Home to Missions, Sept. 22, 1971, GB NA FCO 15/1571. Jackling, Bonn, Nov. 3, 1971, ibid., noted Bonn’s permission for Vickers to consult with the submarine’s German designer, Ulrich Gabler, and the builder, Howaldtswerke, but urging secrecy “as long as possi ble.” The three submarines were built between 1972 and 1974 (during which time the German navy provided training), completed in 1975, and launched in Israel in 1976. US Naval Intelligence Support Center (document AD A129008), W. A. Flume and J. Rower, “Submarine Construction in Germany,” trans. Daniel Peters, www.dtic.mil /get tr doc/pdf?AD=ADA129008, pp. 4, 11. Oncken Aufzeichnung, Jan. 21, 1971, Dietrich Aufzeichnung, Mar. 4, 1971, AAPD 1971 1:93 96, 106, 403 7, setting out the AA’s position against providing arms to Israel. “Rüstungswirtschaftliche Beziehungen zu Israel,” Bonn, Nov. 19, 1970, BAF BW1/ 185994; also Shlomo Shpiro, “Know Your Enemy: West German Israeli Intelligence Evaluation of Soviet Weapons Systems,” Journal of Intelligence History 4, no. 1 (2004): 57 65. Paehler Sprechzettel, Nov. 24, 1970, Walder Vermerk, Dec. 2, 1970, Bensien Aufzeichnung, Dec. 8, 1970, Vermerk über die Besprechung mit der israelischen Delegation, Dec. 12, 1970, Verschlussmappe, Dec. 15, 1970, Beschaffungen in Israel,

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On March 18, 1971, a well-prepared and forceful Schmidt brought his case before the chancellor and the Federal Security Council (Bundessicherheitsrat), consisting of the foreign, defense, and economics ministers, and he won approval for all but one of his proposals.110 And at its April 2 meeting the council, overriding Scheel’s objections, approved the Defense Ministry’s modest proposal for a new purchase from Israel of 150,000 illuminating mortar cartridges and the sale of German detonators required for their production (although some of these, it was known, were destined for re-export to Iran).111 The year 1971 also witnessed a flourish of military visits. In January, Israeli officers for the first time traveled to Germany, where they met secretly in Hamburg with their German counterparts and with Defense Ministry officials to discuss technical and tactical problems and prepare the way for future consultations;112 and in June, Yeshayahu Lavie, director-general of Israel’s Defense Ministry, went to Bonn to propose new trade deals as well as a mutual security agreement.113 On the German side, in April 1971 Major General Dietrich Willikens called on Israeli political and military leaders to discuss their current research and equipment production;114 in the summer a three-person Defense Ministry delegation inspected the two major Israeli arms firms;115 and in October Brigadier General Peter Bensien, responding to Lavie’s invitation, toured Israeli laboratories and chemical, arms, and aircraft factories and reported favorably on their state-of-the art equipment, high level of quality control, and excellent work ethic; but he also noted potential problems in their providing ammunition, uniforms, fuel, and engine fittings to the Bundeswehr.116 Collaborative research projects between West Germany and Israel expanded in 1971, particularly in the electronics field and also in rocket

110

111

112 113 114 115 116

Dec. 21, 1970, Bensien to Mommsen, Dec. 23, 1970, Vermerk, Jan. 26, 1971, Mommsen to Schmidt, Jan. 27, 1971, BAF BW1/185994. Besprechung beim Bundeskanzleramt, Mar. 18, 1971, BAF BW1/185994. The excluded item was the contract with Israel for the overhaul of the motors of some two hundred Leopard tanks. Vermerk, Jan. 26, 1971, ibid. Mommsen Aufzeichnung, Apr. 5, 1971, Vermerk, Apr. 7, 1971, BAF BW1/185994; Herbst Aufzeichnung, Mar. 31, 1971, AAPD 1971 1:407, n. 18; Braun Aufzeichnung, Apr. 14, 1971, ibid., p. 609; also Schmidt to Brandt, Apr. 2, 1971, Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, Partner und Rivalen: Der Briefwechsel (1958 1992), ed. Meik Woyke (Bonn: Dietz, 2015), p. 351. Erfahrungsaustausch mit Offizieren der israelischen Streitkräfte, Bonn, June 2, 1971, BAF BW1/185995. Aufzeichnung, June 2, 1971, Bensien Aufzeichnungen, June 11, 1971, Schiffers Aufzeichnung, June 11, 1971, Ibid. Willikens, Bericht über verschiedene Besprechungspunkte in Israel, Apr. 14, 1971, Ibid. Bericht, Aug. 12, 1971 über die Dienstreise nach Tel Aviv . . . vom 25.7 bis 2.8.1971, Ibid. Bensien Vermerk, Oct. 12, 15, 1971, Ibid.

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engines.117 The Bundesnachrichtendienst was also actively engaged: In 1971, it coordinated joint research and testing of electronic countermeasure devices, and Israel, in return for Soviet weapons, received 265 tons of German steel.118 In his response to the AA’s protests, Bensien assured State Secretary Frank that the FRG was the greater beneficiary of all these covert arrangements.119 On another key issue, the FRG’s annual aid package, Scheel kept the promise he had made in Israel on July 9. In a secret session on October 28, 1971, the German cabinet approved the identical DM 140 million figure as in the previous year, but once more set aside DM 20 million for specific projects.120 And although AA officials had failed to reduce the amount or alter the terms, they were able to limit government guarantees of Israeli development loans from private lenders “in order not to endanger the normalization process” with the Arab states.121 Deutsche Kulturwoche Six years after the establishment of diplomatic ties between West Germany and Israel in 1965, a significant gap remained between the two countries: the absence of a bilateral cultural agreement. Despite Bonn’s efforts and the urging of successive FRG ambassadors, neither the Eshkol nor the Meir government had been inclined to expand the relationship beyond the economic, military, and diplomatic spheres. Indeed, this was the one area in which Israel held the upper hand.122 117

118 119

120 121 122

In one instance: a joint test in the Negev of a trilateral (German/English/Italian) rocket manufactured by a German company, which caused uproar in Egypt. Bensien to Frank, n.d. [Feb. 1972], BAF BW1 185995; Redies Aufzeichnung, Apr. 12, 1972, AAPD 1972 1:386 87. Bensien Aufzeichnung, Feb. 9, 1972, Aufzeichnung, May 26, 1972, BAF BW1 185995. “In general Israel is the giving partner; our armaments collaboration has been designed to benefit from its military experience.” Bensien Aufzeichnung, Feb. 9, 1972, BAF BW1 185995. This collaboration was greatly expanded in Oct. 1972 with the launch of the top secret “Operation Caligula” (later changed to “Cerberus”): the joint development of a radar deception jammer enabling NATO forces to penetrate Soviet airspace with minimal losses and for which Germany paid Israeli firms DM 1.6 million over the course of twelve years. Shlomo Shpiro, “Intelligence Services and Foreign Policy: German Israeli Intelligence and Military Cooperation,” German Politics 11, no. 1 (2002): 34 36; Shlomo Shpiro, “Cold War Radar Intelligence: Operation Cerberus,” Journal of Intelligence History 6, no. 2 (Winter 2006): 61 74. Kabinettssitzung, Oct. 28, 1971, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0/k/k197 1k/kap1 1/kap2 39/index.html. Herbst Aufzeichnung, Oct. 25, 1971, AAPD 1971 3:1615 16. Pauls to AA, Feb. 15, 1967, PA AA B36/459. Also, Marie Laurence Haenggli, Deutsche Kulturpolitik in Israel (Geneva: Institut universitaire de hautes études internatio nales,1994), pp. 49 53.

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To be sure, German culture was strongly imprinted in the state of Israel. Because of the influx of German and Austrian Jews into Palestine after 1919, followed by the arrival of tens of thousands of largely middleclass and professional Central European refugees after 1933, German culture was manifest in many places: in the structure of Israel’s early childhood education and in its high school textbooks; in the content and methodology of its university faculties of law, medicine, and the sciences, as well as in philosophy, history, and the social sciences; in the country’s classical music and its urban architecture; and even in the organization of the state archives.123 It was also present in the media, where the mass-circulation newspaper Neuste-Nachrichten (which had adopted the Hebrew name Yediot hadachot [in German Jedioth Chadashoth]) was still avidly read in 1971 by the 6 percent (a shrinking percentage) of Israel’s population who were German-speaking, and known as the yekkes, and who were disproportionally concentrated in the country’s three main cities and major supporters of the arts.124 Nonetheless, a formal cultural arrangement was still unwelcome to the majority of the Israeli population, which included the world’s largest number of Holocaust survivors. They retained bitter memories of the Nazis’ mobilization of German Kultur and remained fearful of the old foe’s capacity to dominate their country. They were supported by a government that not only heavily subsidized the country’s artists and cultural institutions but also heavily controlled artistic expression. And in 123

124

F. Wilder Okladek, “Austrian and German Immigration in Israel,” International Migration 4, no. 2 (Apr. 1966): 83 93; also Robert Jütte, “Der Einfluß deutsch jüdischer Einwanderer auf Geschichtsunterricht und Erziehungswesen in Eretz Israel,” Internationale Schulbuchforschung 16, no. 1 (1994): 27 47; S. Ilan Troen, “Higher Education in Israel: An Historical Perspective,” Higher Education 23, no. 1 (1992): 45 63; Philip Vilas Bohlman, “The Land Where Two Streams Flow”: Music in the German Jewish Community of Israel (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1989); Fania Oz Salzberger and Eli Salzberger, “The Secret German Sources of the Israeli Supreme Court,” Israel Studies 3, no. 2 (1998): 159 92; Gilbert Herbert, “Bauhaus Architecture in the Land of Israel,” Architectura 25, no. 2 (1995): 224 28. Curt R. Wohrmann, “German Jews in Israel: Their Situation since 1933,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 15, no.1 (1970): 73 103. On Yekke culture in Israel: see Ruth Gay, “Danke Schön, Herr Doktor: German Jews in Palestine,” The American Scholar 58, no. 4 (Autumn 1989): 567 77; Philip Bohlman, “Of Yekkes and Chamber Music,” in Stephen Blum, Philip V Bohlman, and Daniel M Neuman, eds., Ethnomusicology and Modern Music History (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1991), p. 267; Henriette Dahan Kalev, “Stereotype Discourse in Israel,” The European Legacy 1, no. 2 (1996): 683; Dani Kranz, “Changing Definitions of Germanness across Three Generations of Yekkes in Palestine/Israel,” German Studies Review 39, no. 1 (2016): 100 32. On the debate over the historic German Jewish “symbiosis,” see Gershom Scholem, “Wider den Mythos vom deutsch jüdischen Gespräch,” Judaica 2 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp,1970), pp. 7 11; also, Julius Schoeps, “Deutsche und nichts anderes,” Spiegel Spezial 2 (Feb. 1, 1992): 94 112.

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1961 this government had set strict limits on intellectual and cultural contacts between Germany and Israel that included banning the German language from radio broadcasts and public halls and restricting the showing of German films and the performances of Nazi-sympathizer composers and musicians.125 (Significantly, the Israeli government did not restrict youth- or sports-exchange programs with the FRG, which grew rapidly after 1965.)126 In 1967, the antipathy toward German culture began to wane, spurred by a rising Israeli self-confidence and increased foreign travel. The new direction was exemplified by the lifting of the ban on German films; the stream of visits by German writers, scholars, artists, and musicians; and the steady flow of Hebrew translations of contemporary and older German literature.127 It was also signaled by the quiet opening of the first German Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv in 1969, supported by the West German embassy, which, with its well-stocked library and popular courses, films, and lectures, quickly became a vibrant meeting place between German visitors and Israelis.128 However, the Deutsche Kulturwoche, which took place in the period between November 6 and November 15, 1971, exposed this still-sensitive element of West German–Israeli relations. The initiative had come from Israel. In April 1970, the municipal government of Tel Aviv, which had organized commemorative weeks of Italian and British culture in 1969 and 125

126 127

128

Rolf Vogel, ed., Deutschlands Weg nach Israel (Stuttgart: Seewald, 1967), pp. 297 301; see also Bernhard Levin, “Ein Stück Scheinheiligkeit: Das Wagner Verbot in Israel,” Der Spiegel 30 (July 19, 1971). Background in: Ilan Ben Ami, “Artistic Censorship in Israel, 1949 1991,” Contemporary Jewry 16, no. 1 (Jan. 1995): 6 7; Na’ama Sheffi, “Rejecting the Other’s Culture: Hebrew and German in Israel, 1933 1965,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 27 (1998): 318 19; Sheffi, “Who’s Afraid of Richard Wagner? The Israeli Press, Politics and Music, 1938 1994,” Patterns of Prejudice 33, no. 4 (1997): 35 51; Sheffi, “Cultural Manipulation: Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss in Israel in the 1950s,” Journal of Contemporary History 34, no. 4 (1999): 619 39; Sheffi, “Between Collective Memory and Manipulation: The Holocaust, Wagner and the Israelis,” Journal of Israeli History, 23, no. 1 (2004): 65 77. The Wagner taboo was first broken in 2000 when the Rishon LeZion orchestra, conducted by Holocaust survivor Mendi Rodan, performed the Siegfried Idyll. Robin Streppelhoff, “‘Zur Verbesserung der Beziehungen’ Deutsche Sportler in Israel 1966 1971,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für Deutsche Geschichte 41 (2013): 253 68. Na’ama Scheffi, “The Bitter Interval,” in Efraim Karsh, ed., Israel: The First Hundred Years (London: Routledge, 2014), 1:169 71. Nonetheless, prominent Nazi sympathi zers, such as Herbert von Karajan, the renowned conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, and the famed opera singer Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, were still banned. AJR Information 26, no. 1 (Jan. 1971): 10; Inspektion des deutschen Kulturinstituts in Tel Aviv, Mar. 12, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104782. The Cultural Institute, which had incorporated the private library established by the German Jewish émigré Walter Hirsch in the 1960s, became the Goethe Institut Tel Aviv in 1978.

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1970, had invited the West German embassy to plan a similar event.129 By the time Puttkamer arrived in May 1971, preparations for the Kulturwoche were well under way under the direction of the embassy’s Hebrew-speaking cultural officer Christoph Niemöller, nephew of the famed anti-Nazi theologian Martin Niemöller, who had been posted to Israel two years earlier and had guided the establishment of the country’s first German Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv.130 In August 1971, the mayors of Haifa and Jerusalem had offered their collaboration along with the principal Israeli universities, cultural institutions, and media. Moreover, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Education and Culture, which had all received detailed information, had given their assent to the program; and Meir, Eban, and Yigal Allon had all agreed to welcome Günter Grass, an important participant, who had close ties to the West German chancellor.131 The Deutsche Kulturwoche had an ambitious program comprising twenty-seven events over nine days and aimed at showcasing traditional as well as contemporary German culture for Israeli audiences.132 Following a gala opening on November 6 by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv, there would be events in all three cities: chamber music concerts; performances by Berlin’s renowned Schiller Theater; readings by Grass from his new work, From the Diary of a Snail; and lectures in Hebrew by the esteemed German-born Israeli philosopher Akiva Ernst Simon on “German-Jewish Interaction: Consequences and Boundaries.” There would also be extended exhibitions in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem of the works of the German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine and of antiwar artist Käthe Kollwitz. The program, aimed at underlining the political and cultural ties between Germans and Jews, omitted works directly related to the Holocaust.133 Not unexpectedly, the German ambassador’s announcement of the Deutsche Kulturwoche on October 20 roiled Israeli politics.134 The press was disquieted by Puttkamer’s display of satisfaction – delivered somewhat tactlessly in German – on having overcome a sensitive barrier between their two countries and also by the festival’s title, which evoked 129 130

131 132

133 134

Stuttgart had organized the first week of Israeli culture in March 1969, followed by several other West German cities. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 15, 1971, PA AA B97/329. In his youth, Niemöller had spent three months in Israel working for the International Christian Peace Service and, while, serving in the West German consulate in Chicago, had graduated from the College of Jewish Studies. Chicago Tribune, May 19, 1963. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 28, Nov. 15, 1971, PA AA B97/329. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 20, 1971, Ibid. The National Library of Israel, “German Culture Week in Israel, 1971,” http://web.nli.org.il/sites/NLI/English/collections/personalsites/ Israel Germany/Division of Germany/Pages/German Culture Week.aspx. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 4, 1971, BAK B145/667; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nov. 8, 1971. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 28, 1971, PA AA B97/329.

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the language of the Nazis.135 Also at issue was the timing – November 6–15 – which overlapped with the thirty-third anniversary of the attack on the Jews throughout Nazi Germany on the night of November 9–10, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. The one-month-delayed opening – which had been requested by the Israel Philharmonic because of its European tour – had initially raised no objections from the Israeli side. Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day occurred in April, November 9 was not a day of remembrance in Israel, and officials at the Yad Vashem memorial had given their approval to the schedule.136 Nonetheless, these sinister dates gave Israel’s right-wing opposition – which only recently had protested Eban’s careless comment on US television of his personal lack of interest in the further punishment of Nazi war criminals – another opportunity to assail the Meir government for insulting the victims of the Shoah.137 Herut and its supporters, which included numerous Holocaust survivors, insisted it was still “too early” for a Deutsche Kulturwoche, and representatives of former Jewish partisans and survivors called for a boycott.138 Working with the Tel Aviv mayor to calm the atmosphere, Puttkamer agreed to remove his speech from the opening ceremony and delay the gala reception from November 10 until November 15, and the survivor organizations had agreed to confine the demonstrations to silent marches outside the performance halls.139 Moreover, the Meir government did its part, burying the opposition’s motion in the Knesset to cancel the Kulturwoche by referring it to the Internal Affairs Commission.140 But Puttkamer’s November 4 statement, denying a plot to impose “forgetfulness” of Nazi atrocities or to create a “superficial harmony,” and his characterization of the Kulturwoche as an effort to promote understanding 135

Articles by Evron Ram and Israel Neumann, Davar, Oct. 24, 1971; also Ma’ariv, Nov. 5, 1971. 136 Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 15, 1971, PA AA B97/329. 137 The Eban statement: http://www.tv.com/shows/the david frost show/october 25 1971 1285786/; “Abba Eban’s Weak Moment,” Jewish Advocate, Oct. 28, 1971; Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 23, 1971, PA AA B97/329. 138 Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 28, 1971, PA AA B97/329. Menachem Rosensaft, “German Culture Week,” Jewish Quarterly (UK) 19, no. 4 (1971): 10 11: “Israel desperately needs every friend and ally she can possibly get. . . . However, I am wondering whether large scale testimonials to German culture less than thirty years after the Holocaust are necessary for Israel’s continued existence. They seem to me more than a little degrad ing” (p. 11). 139 Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 29, Nov. 4, 1971, PA AA B97/329; Puttkamer, who had originally refused this concession, was overruled by the Auswärtiges Amt: Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 3, 1971; Steltzer to Puttkamer, Nov. 3, 1971, PA AA B130/97664; also “Befriedungsaktion vor Beginn der ‘Deutschen Kulturwoche,’” Jedioth Chadashoth, Nov. 5, 1971. 140 Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 3, 8, 10, 1971, PA AA B97/329.

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for the “new Germany” drew a mixed reaction from the Israeli press, which wavered between cautious support and strong opposition from the Far Right and the Left.141 Neither the ambassador nor the mayor nor the Israeli government was prepared for the actions of the Herut party’s Betar youth organization, which had routinely protested West German officials’ visits – most recently by Walter Scheel – and was now joined by newly arrived militants of the USbased Jewish Defense League led by Rabbi Meir Kahane.142 On the first night, some thirty shouting, placard-waving youths repeatedly interrupted the performance of the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem on November 9, they struck again when a small but noisy group halted Günter Grass’s reading at the Hebrew University, and on November 11 when they disrupted the Schiller Theater’s performance with shouts and by pelting eggs at the performers.143 Anti-German graffiti were painted outside the German embassy, which was also hit by a stone (causing no damage or injuries). Widely reported at home and abroad, these incidents appeared to demonstrate a still-unbridgeable barrier between the two countries.144 Rather than risk the political fallout of condemning the rioters, Israeli officials hastened to distance themselves from the Kulturwoche. Responding to renewed criticism of the festival’s poor timing – and its very name – the prime minister, foreign minister, and minister of education and culture all denied any foreknowledge of the event; and, much to Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek’s chagrin, his city council withdrew its sponsorship.145 Meeting with reporters on November 9, Meir issued a cautious statement: “There was no easy way out of a situation where the ‘cold logic’ of today’s world was pitted against the ‘justified emotions’ linked with the past.”146 But the Israeli prime minister was also reluctant to alienate Bonn.147 On the day after Grass’s reading was halted, Meir met with the author and 141 142 143

144 145 146

147

Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 4, 5 (2 tels.), Nov. 7, 1971, Ibid. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 12, 15, 1971, Ibid. Also, on the night of November 8 9 swastikas and the slogan “Remember Kristallnacht” were painted in front of the West German embassy and on parked cars, and stones were thrown at the gate, resulting in increased police presence. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 9, 1971, Ibid. “Tel Aviv is Upset by Festival Week of German Culture,” New York Times, Nov. 8, 1971; “Reading Disrupted in Israel,” Washington Post, Nov. 11, 1971. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 8, 1971, PA AA B97/329; Jedioth Chadashoth, Nov. 9, 10, 11, 1971. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 10, 1971, PA AA B97/219; Washington Post, Nov. 11, 1971. Meir reportedly also announced, “I have no right to criticize [the demonstrators]. . . . I have no number on my arm.” New York Times, Nov. 14, 1971. On the morning of November 8, two days after the first demonstration, the Jerusalem Post announced the Bonn government’s annual grant of DM 140 million.

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his wife, apologized for the disruption, and sent a request to Brandt to convene an informal meeting of Social Democratic leaders in the coming year to coordinate their Middle East policies with Israel’s.148 Although the protests ceased after November 11, and the Deutsche Kulturwoche – as measured by its sold-out performances and glowing reviews – was an artistic and commercial success, analysts termed the German initiative a diplomatic debacle. The list of culprits included the inexperienced FRG diplomat who had committed a tactless act of scheduling; a timid (or deceptive) Israeli government; and a tiny but vocal minority that had seized the spotlight.149 The debate lasted for several weeks. Puttkamer, defending his actions, disputed criticisms of the festival’s “excessively grand title,” insisted that the disruptions had been minimal, and maintained that cultural collaboration between the two countries was steadily advancing, even without a formal agreement. He also protested the abandonment of his Israeli partners, insisting they had approved the dates and content of the Kulturwoche.150 Puttkamer’s complaints over Israel’s “double game” were echoed by mainstream Israeli journalists, who questioned the Meir government’s disclaimers, its failure to rein in the protestors, and the shabby treatment of its German guests.151 Both West Germans and Israelis criticized the rioters: Günter Grass in his November 11 press conference lashed out at their “irrational militancy,”152 and Kollek termed them 148

149 150 151

152

Meroz to Ben Horin, Nov. 10, 1971, ISA 130 4572/40; Grass to Brandt, Nov. 25, 1971, GG/2528. Grass delivered a brief formal letter to Meir from Brandt, thanking her for her congratulations on his Nobel Peace Prize. At the last minute, Grass was also invited to meet with Eban, who added his apology. Markus Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), pp. 219 20. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 23, 1971, PA AA B97/329; also Yediot Ahronot, Nov. 11, 1971; Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nov. 11, 1971. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 12, 15, 1971, PA AA B97/329. “The country with the best secret service in the world has been unable to discover who organized the Kulturwoche,” Davar, Nov. 23, 1971; also Herbert Freeden, “Israeli German Cacophony: The Controversial ‘Deutsche Kulturwoche,’” AJR Information 26, no. 12 (Dec. 1971): 6. Grass, who recoiled at the insults hurled at him and his people, at the “scapegoating” of German culture, and at the Israeli government’s refusal to conclude a cultural agree ment with Bonn, also plunged into his host’s internal politics, warning that the demon strators’ behavior boded badly for Israel’s treatment of its Arab neighbors, that Israel was no longer an “innocent state” but an “occupying power,” and that its reigning mantra “We have no choice” (ein breira) compelled its friends to offer criticism as well as support. “Grass fragt in Israel: Sind wir alle böse?” Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nov. 12, 1971; New York Times, Nov. 17, 1971, and, esp., Grass, “Politische Tagebuch: Wo sich das Wasser scheidet,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nov. 20, 1971.

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more “dangerous to Israeli society” than the Kulturwoche.153 Israel’s leading daily also chided the protestors’ supporters. In a lengthy editorial on November 14, Ha’aretz pointed out the discrepancy between its fellow citizens’ “yea’s” to the FRG’s economic support and to their Grundig televisions and Volkswagen and Mercedes cars and their “no” to Günter Grass. The storm over the Kulturwoche also resonated in West Germany.154 The mainstream press, while acknowledging the Israelis’ deep-seated anger against the festival, also detected their malaise over the current state of bilateral relations – especially on the eve of the FRG’s reopening its ties with the Arab world.155 The Brandt government did its utmost to assuage its CDU critics, assuring the Bundestag of the careful and bilateral preparations for the Kulturwoche, the small number of disruptions, and the large and appreciative audiences; and the chancellor denied any intention of curtailing German visits to Israel.156 On the other hand, Brandt assured the German public that Grass had not functioned as his special emissary to the Israeli prime minister.157 The year 1971 ended on a sour note in West German–Israeli relations. Both countries, facing significant problems at home and abroad, were continuing to draw apart.158 Puttkamer questioned Israel’s refusal to “deepen” their bilateral relations, especially because its “unfavorable geographic position” made it necessary to “avoid isolat[ing] itself.”159 And Yohanan Meroz, the director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s European section, who deemed relations with Germany a “crucial cornerstone of our foreign affairs,” concurred, recognizing that the recent cascade of small and negative

153 154 155

156 157 158 159

Grass’s From the Diary of a Snail, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972), p. 112, recounted his disagreeable experience in Israel. Jedioth Chadashoth, Nov. 15, 1971. Ben Horin to Meroz, Nov. 16, 1971, Meroz to Ben Horin, Nov. 24, 1971, ISA 130 4572/40. “Missklänge in Tel Aviv,” “Mit Zwischenfällen,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nov. 7, 8, 1971, “Deutsche Kulturwoche weckt Emotionen,” Die Welt, Nov. 8, 1971, “Israeli Protest gegen deutsche Kulturwoche,” Kölnische Rundschau, Nov. 8, 1971, “Wieder Demonstrationen gegen deutsche Kulturwoche,” “Wieder Störung bei der Kulturwoche,” “Proteste gegen die Kulturwoche reissen nicht ab,”Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nov. 10, 11, 14/15. 1971. StenBer, Deutscher Bundestag 6.Wahlperiode 155.Sitzung, Dec. 3, 1971, p. 8947. Ibid., Dec. 21, 1971, Drucksache VI/2980; cf. “Grass erfüllt in Israel keine diplomat ische Mission,” Die Welt, Nov. 12, 1971. Ben Horin to Meroz, Nov. 16, 1971, Meroz to Ben Horin, Nov. 24, 1971, Ben Ari to FM, Bonn, Dec. 30, 1971, ISA 130 4572/40. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 23, 1971, PA AA B97/329.

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incidents had created a “grim totality.” But during their end-of-theyear consultation, Meroz also reassured Puttkamer that by removing “pseudo-emotions” from their deliberations and conducting “thorough discussions,” a “clearer atmosphere” could yet emerge, even if no formal bilateral cultural agreement was in prospect.160

160

Meroz to Eban, December 30, 1971, ISA 130 4572/40.

8

The Year of Munich

Dear Chancellor and Comrade, I greatly appreciated our full exchange of views in Vienna. . . .1 Life demands reconciliation. Reconciliation must not fall victim to terror.2

In still another sign of the Federal Republic’s growing prestige, one year after Willy Brandt had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 19, 1972, the fiftyfour-year-old Heinrich Böll became the first West German author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature for his contributions to the “resurrection of German culture.”3 The Cologne-born, Catholic humanist and anti-militarist World War II veteran was widely regarded as a “good German” – a defender of the “lambs against the buffalos.”4 A prominent human rights activist, Böll in 1971 became the first West German to be elected president of PEN International, the organization dedicated to freedom of expression worldwide. And as an outspoken critic of the FRG’s postwar “fat capitalism,” Böll had opposed all three CDU chancellors,5 endorsed the APO between 1966 and 1969, cautiously welcomed the SPD/FDP coalition, and in January 1972, in a hastily written article, 1 2 3 4

5

Meir to Brandt, Sept. 4, 1972, ISA, http://israelsdocuments.blogspot.com/2012/08/a hon eymoon goes sour crisis between.html. Excerpt from speech by President Gustav Heinemann, Munich, Sept. 6, 1972, https:// www.bundesarchiv.de/oeffentlichkeitsarbeit/bilder dokumente/03626/index 8.html.de. Press release: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel prizes/literature/laureates/1972/press .html; New York Times, Oct. 20, 1972. “Der gute Deutsche,” Der Spiegel 44 (Oct. 23, 1972); “Integrity and a Dash of Genius,” New York Times, Nov. 5, 1972; also, “Heinrich Böll and the Common Man,” Washington Post, Sept. 10, 1972; “A National Writer,” New York Times, Oct. 20, 1972. That year Böll had also weighed in on the US presidential campaign, castigating the Nixon administra tion’s conduct of the war in Vietnam: New York Times, June 19, 1972: “I cannot see what misfortune can occur for America to lose a war.” Böll had famously sent fifty roses to the journalist and anti Nazi activist Beate Klarsfeld, who had been sentenced to a one year imprisonment for shouting “Nazi” and slapping Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger in Nov. 1968: Heinrich Böll, “Blumen für Beate Klarsfeld,” Die Zeit, Jan. 10, 1969; cf. interview in Davar, May 15, 1969.

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raised a storm of criticism over his defense of the left-wing radical journalist Ulrike Meinhof against the attacks of the Springer press.6 Böll, who was in Greece when his prize was announced, proceeded as planned to Israel for a visit with his youngest son, Vincent, a twenty-two-year-old conscientious objector who was fulfilling his alternative military service at the Institute for the Blind in Jerusalem.7 It was Böll’s second trip to Israel. Between May 11 and May 19, 1969, as a guest of the foreign ministry, he and his wife had toured the country, met with government officials and Israeli writers (some equally critical of their government’s policies after 1967), delivered a biting critique of West Germany’s democracy gap in Israel’s three major cities, and recounted to Israeli journalists his postwar search for a “humane” German language that had not been “vandalized by the Nazis.”8 But Böll’s visit between October 24 and November 8, 1972 (he was accompanied by his wife and his second son, René), occurred at an unpropitious moment, even for an honored writer. The Israeli press and public, still smarting over the Germans’ bungled rescue of their nine captive Olympic athletes, became further incensed on October 29 when, in exchange for the hijacked Lufthansa flight 615, Bonn released the three surviving Palestinian perpetrators. Böll, who was actively campaigning for Brandt, was in a delicate position. Although declining another press conference, he met for an hour with Golda Meir, who briefed him on Soviet-Jewish emigration, Middle East conditions, and

6

7

8

“Will Ulrike Gnade oder freies Geleit?” Der Spiegel 3 (Jan. 10, 1972). Over the next six months, after Böll also opposed the government’s Jan. 28, 1972 Radicals Decree (Radikalenerlass) barring from the public service those suspected of disloyalty to the “free democratic order,” he was labeled a “right wing anarchist” by conservative journal ists and Bundestag deputies, and on Oct. 20, 1972, responding to his Nobel Prize, Die Welt dismissed him as a “minor left wing writer.” A. Wiss Verdier, “L’Affaire Heinrich Boell,” Documents: Revue des Questions Allemandes 27, no 2 (1972): 59 75; J. H. Reid, Heinrich Böll: A German for His Time (Oxford: Berg, 1988), pp. 165 67; Robert C. Conrad, Understanding Heinrich Böll (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1992), pp. 117 18. Heinrich Böll’s private papers, which he donated in 1984 to the municipal archive of Cologne, disappeared in 2009 when the building collapsed in the landslide caused by the municipality’s subway construction, but Böll’s letters to Jenny Aloni and Lev Kopelev, already being prepared for publication, survived. Böll to Lev Kopelev, Sept. 16, 1972, in Heinrich Böll Lew Kopelew: Briefwechsel, ed. Elsbeth Zylla (Göttingen: Steidl, 2011), p. 202; Böll to Jenny Aloni, Sept. 24, 1972, in Jenny Aloni Heinrich Böll Briefwechsel, ed. Hartmut Steinecke (Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2013), p. 112. Details in Jenny Aloni, “Ich muss mir diese Zeit von der Seele schreiben . . .” Die Tagebücher 1935 1993: Deutschland Palästina Israel, ed. Hartmut Steinecke (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2006), pp. 546 47; Speech: “Deutsche Meisterschaft,” in Heinrich Böll, Werke: Kölner Ausgabe, vol. 16, 1969 71, ed. J. H. Ried (Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2008), pp. 75 81, 537 41; meetings with Israeli writers: Kommentar, Böll to Aloni, Aug. 29, 1969, Aloni Böll Briefwechsel, pp. 180 81; press conference: Ma’ariv, Davar, May 15, 1969, Al HaMishmar, May 30, 1969.

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German-Israeli relations. The prime minister also appealed for a PEN meeting in Jerusalem.9 For two weeks, guided by Vincent, the Böll family explored Israel in a rented car – from the Upper Galilee to the Negev and then from the “dreadful” Gaza strip across the Sinai to the Red Sea. Böll, unimpressed by the traditional Holy Sites – brimming with tourists and souvenir shops – was spiritually uplifted by the vast Sinai, despite their several encounters with Israeli guard posts blocking their way.10 Apart from the pleasures of his family’s reunion and his meetings with Israeli friends, the Nobel laureate’s second visit was a disquieting experience. Not only was Böll struck by the persistence of Israeli-Arab antagonism, but also, as part of the generation that had perpetrated the Holocaust, he could not escape the “stigma” of either the “good” or the “bad” German in that fiercely contested environment.11 1972: The United States Ascendant The Nixon administration, although still bogged down in the Vietnam War (which continued to draw domestic and worldwide condemnation12), reached its highest point in 1972. Despite the war, the US economy 9

10 11

12

Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 8, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1687, nn. 9, 10. Despite strong opposi tion from PEN members, Böll scheduled a congress in Jerusalem in December 1973, which, because of the October war, was delayed until Dec. 15 23, 1974, when he paid his third and final visit to Israel. Kommentar: Böll to Aloni, Dec. 17, 1973, Nov. 29, 1974, Aloni Böll Briefwechsel, pp. 192 93, 196 99; Aloni, Tagebücher, pp. 621 22. Böll’s speech to the 1974 congress acknowledging the Israeli contribution to this gathering: “Ich bin ein Deutscher,” Heinrich Böll, Werke. Kölnische Ausgabe, vol. 19, ed. J. H. Reid (Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2008), pp. 54 60. Böll to Kopelev, Jan. 10, 1973, in Böll Kopelew: Briefwechsel, p. 212. Böll, introduction to Hilla Jacoby and Max Jacoby, The Land of Israel, trans. Leila Vennewitz (London: Thames & Hudson, 1986), pp. 7 11; also Bölls Besuche in Israel, Aloni Böll Briefwechsel, pp. 226 28; Bernard Sowinski, Heinrich Böll (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1993), p. 117. Closer to home, however, Heinrich Böll was not hesitant to become involved in Jewish issues. In1959, he had helped establish West Germany’s largest Jewish historical archive in Cologne whose purpose, in his words, was to document the “2000 year history of Jewish life in Germany” and combat the reemergence of antisemitism. “Was will die ‘Germania Judaica’?” Heinrich Böll, Werke. Kölner Ausgabe, vol. 24, ed. J. H. Reid and Ralf Schnell (Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2009), pp. 20 21; also as a champion of the rights of Soviet Jewry, Böll was esteemed by the FRG’s small Jewish community. Van Dam to Zentralrat Directory, Dec. 29, 1970, ZEJD B. 1/7/218. Especially after the publication of the June 8, 1972, photograph showing a screaming, naked Vietnamese girl with napalm burns on her arm and back a “symbol of the horror of war in general, and of the Vietnam war in particular.” See Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, “Public Identity and Collective Memory in U.S. Iconic Photography: The Image of ‘Accidental Napalm,’” Critical Studies in Media Communication 20, no. 1 (2003): 38 42.

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remained prosperous, and as Nixon headed into his reelection campaign there were the two spectacular diplomatic feats: the visit to China in February that normalized Sino-US relations, and the visit to Moscow in May for the signing of the SALT and ABM treaties, where he and Brezhnev agreed on principles governing US-Soviet relations in the world’s trouble spots. The Soviet Union, burdened by its rivalry with China, heavy aid obligations to its clients and allies, and a restive population – but also bolstered by the buildup of its strategic forces – was still prepared to broaden and deepen détente in order to reap the economic benefits for its sluggish economy.13 Washington also enjoyed predominance in the Middle East as the sole power capable of advancing the peace process by influencing Israel. Although Moscow continued to seek friends in the Arab world, Egypt’s expulsion of the Soviet military advisors in July reflected both the futility of its costly attempts to purchase allies and its inability to force an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories.14 And in Europe too, despite concerns within the Nixon administration that an expanded EEC would create a rival power, America’s special relationship with Britain remained solid.15 But one global problem eluded Washington’s control: the marked expansion of international terrorism in 1972. That year there were some thirty violent incidents, which included airline hijackings, hostage taking, assassinations, and bomb explosions.16 Although at least twenty countries were targets of terrorist groups, Israel was far the principal sufferer with three major attacks: the May 8 PLO seizure of a Sabena Airlines flight to Tel Aviv (which was thwarted by a daring Israeli commando raid 13 14

15

16

Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1985), pp. 289 318. Anwar el Sadat, “Where Egypt Stands,” Foreign Affairs 51, no. 1 (1972): 114 23; Sadat, In Search of Identity: An Autobiography (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), pp. 229 31, 320 24; Robert O. Freedman, “Soviet Policy toward Sadat’s Egypt: From the Death of Nasser to the Fall of General Sadek,” and E. V. Badolato, “A Clash of Cultures: The Expulsion of Soviet Military Advisors from Egypt,” both in Naval War College Review 26, no. 3 (Nov. 1973): 63 79, and 37, no. 2 (Mar. 1984): 69 81, respectively. But also see Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez, “The Origins of a Misnomer: The ‘Expulsion’ of Soviet Advisers from Egypt in 1972,” in Nigel J. Ashton, ed., The Cold War in the Middle East: Regional Conflict and the Superpowers, 1967 1973 (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 136 63. Roy Pryce, “Political Aspects of an Enlarged European Community,” International Journal 27, no. 1 (Winter 1971): 98 112; Alex Spelling, “Edward Heath and Anglo American Relations, 1970 1974: A Reappraisal,” Diplomacy and Statecraft 20 (2009): 638 58. René Carrère and Pierre Valat Morio, “Mesure du terrorisme de 1968 à 1972,” Études Polémologiques 3, no. 8 (1973): 47 57; Andrew Pierre, “The Politics of International Terrorism,” Orbis 19, no. 4 (1976): 1251 69.

Bonn: Diplomatic Achievements/Domestic Challenges

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at the airport); the grisly attack inside Lod Airport on May 30 by Japanese Red Army (JRA) members trained in Palestinian camps in Lebanon, killing twenty-six people and wounding seventy;17 and Black September’s seizure and murder of eleven Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics (discussed in a subsequent section of this chapter). To be sure, the terrorists’ grievances were diverse, they predated the Cold War, and they were inspired more by anticolonial and national separatist movements than by the global struggle between capitalism and Communism. Nonetheless, after the Soviet Union – competing with China for leadership over the Third World – began providing funds and training for Palestinian groups and lending diplomatic support to their cause in the United Nations, the struggle against terrorism became another East-West battleground.18 On December 11, 1972, a US-sponsored UN motion calling for strong legal action against terrorists and their state supporters suffered a stunning defeat by a Communist–Third World proposal to focus instead on the “causes” of international terrorism.19 Bonn: Diplomatic Achievements/Domestic Challenges The FRG achieved a string of diplomatic successes in 1972. Displaying a new assertiveness toward its West European partners, Bonn played a major role in the EEC’s January decision to admit Britain, Ireland, and Denmark.20 It also led the community’s and NATO’s preparations for the first meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which was held in Helsinki in January 1973.21 Despite 17 18

19

20 21

Details in Van Dam to Genscher, Jan. 8, 1973, ZEJD B. 1/7 420; also Puttkamer to AA, Tel Aviv, June 6, 1972, PA AA B36/542. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World (New York: Basic Books, 2005), pp. 143 45, 246 59; Bernhard Blumenau, “The Other Battleground of the Cold War: The UN and the Struggle against International Terrorism in the 1970s,” Journal of Cold War Studies 16, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 61 84. To be sure, Moscow’s insouciance toward terrorism stopped short at the hijacking of Soviet planes and attacks on Soviet diplomats, in which its position stood closer to the West’s. Gehlhoff to AA, New York, Nov. 30, Dec. 13, 1972, PA AA B30/678; Bush to Secretary of State, New York, Dec. 15, 1972, FRUS 1969 1972, vol. E 1 (Documents on Global Issues, 1969 1972), https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969 76ve01/d120; also New York Times, Dec. 12, 17, 1972. Soviet accusations of the “imperialist powers’” responsibility for international terrorism in Sh. Sanakoyev, “The UN and the Security of Nations,” International Affairs (Moscow) 12 (1972): 16 21; critique of UN vote: William Korey, “Moral Bankruptcy at the UN,” Midstream 19, no. 2 (1973): 34 42. Carlo Masala, “Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Italien, und der Beitritt Grossbritanniens zur EWG,” Zeitgeschichte 25 (Jan. 1998): 46 68. Kristina Spohr Readman, “National Interests and the Power of ‘Language’: West German Diplomacy and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe,

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some friction, Bonn’s relations with the United States remained solid: During his visit in June, Brandt underlined the FRG’s key role as a link between Washington and Europe.22 In addition, Bonn achieved a signal triumph in the Arab world, which was now seeking more freedom from Superpower domination and closer ties with the EEC. Brandt and Scheel’s long and patient efforts (along with Wischnewski’s vigorous missions) bore fruit with the resumption of diplomatic relations with Algeria and Sudan in January, with the Arab League’s formal withdrawal of its boycott in March, and with the reestablishment of ties with Lebanon in April and (most important of all) with Egypt in June.23 The only dark cloud was the specter of Palestinian terrorism, exemplified in late February by the PFLP’s hijacking of a Lufthansa Tokyo–Frankfurt flight and leading to a $5 million ransom payment by the Bonn government.24 Ostpolitik also made considerable progress in 1972, although Bonn was concerned over the Communists’ reluctance to release their German citizens wishing to emigrate.25 The FRG signed a new trade agreement with the USSR in July; in the fall there was an exchange of ambassadors with Poland; and in December the signing of the Basic Treaty with the GDR prepared for the entry of both German states into the United Nations.26 In addition, Bonn expanded its economic reach without risking its ties with Moscow, announcing, on the occasion of Scheel’s visit to

22

23 24 25

26

1972 1975,” Journal of Strategic Studies 29, no. 6 (Dec. 2006): 1077 20; Petri Hakkarainen, A State of Peace in Europe: West Germany and the CSCE, 1966 1975 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2011). Bonn’s extensive preparations documented in PA AA B28/1560, 1570, 1571, 1972, 1873; Zwischenarchiv 109292; see, esp., “Unsere KSZE Ziele, n.d. [July 1972], ibid., B1/520. Judith Michel, Willy Brandts Amerikabild und politik, 1933 1992 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2010), pp. 349 50. In his speech accepting an honorary doctorate at Harvard, marking the twenty fifth anniversary of the Marshall Plan, Brandt announced a $46 million grant creating the German Marshall Fund of the United States to expand scientific and cultural ties between the two countries. Boston Globe, June 6, 1972. Dietrich Strothmann, “Nach sieben Jahren der Entfremdung: Bonn und Kairo tauschen wieder Botschafter aus,” Die Zeit (June 9, 1972). “Jumbo Entführung: Neue Gelüste,” Der Spiegel 10 (Feb. 28, 1972), pp. 22 24. The number of Germans leaving Poland dropped from twenty five thousand in 1971 to twelve thousand in 1972: Fink Osiander, Umsiedlung aus Polen, Jan. 26, 1972, PA AA B1/519; Aufzeichnung, Apr. 11, 1972, with figures from 1950 to 1971, ibid., B1/517; details in files B1/517, 519, B2/194, 202. After numerous German complaints (Smirnov Braun meeting, Feb. 14, 1972, Gromkyo Memorandum, Apr. 10, 1972, Sahm Kuznetzov meeting, July 17, 1972, AVP RF 757/17/97/7), the Soviet Union on the eve of the November federal election, and presumably to help Brandt’s candidacy suddenly sped up the release of ethnic Germans wishing to emigrate to the FRG. New York Times, Nov. 17, 1972. Peter Merkl, “The German Janus: From Westpolitik to Ostpolitik,” Political Science Quarterly 89, no. 2 (Winter 74/75): 803 24.

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Beijing in October, the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and a most-favored-nation treatment for the PRC in December.27 At home, however, the Brandt-Scheel government faced serious challenges, among them a 6.4 percent rise in consumer prices and the defections of coalition members (including the key cabinet minister Karl Schiller).28 On January 28, 1972, responding to the growing threat of left- and right-wing extremism, the chancellor and the ministerpresidents of West Germany’s eleven federal states issued the controversial Radicals Decree (Radikalenerlass, also known as the Berufsverbot), barring those holding anti-democratic views from the civil service.29 Between March and May came an outburst of bombing attacks by the Red Army Faction (RAF) – notably on the US Army bases, the Springer Publishing Company, and the Bavarian police – only partially suppressed when its leaders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, were captured in June. Then in early September came the shock of the murders at Munich.30 The government also achieved string of political successes: In April, Brandt survived a no-confidence vote by a razor-thin majority, in May he secured his Ostpolitik with the passage of the Eastern Treaties with Moscow and Warsaw in the Bundestag; and in the November federal elections – widely termed a “Willy referendum” and in which a record 91.2 percent of the West German electorate participated – the SPD-FDP coalition won an unexpectedly solid 48-seat majority.31 At the end of this

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30 31

Martin Albers, “Business with Beijing, Détente with Moscow: West Germany’s China Policy in a Global Context, 1969 1982,” Cold War History 14, no. 2 (May 2014): 237 57. On Schiller’s demission: “Ein guter Abgang ziert die Übung,” Der Spiegel 29(July 10, 1972); also Gérard Bökenkamp, Das Ende des Wirschaftswunders (Oldenbourg: De Gruyter, 2010), pp. 56 57. Gerard Braunthal, Political Loyalty and Public Service in West Germany: The 1972 Decree against Radicals and Its Consequences (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990). Matthias Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat und transnationaler Terrorismus (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2011), pp. 57 128. Rolf Zundel, “Das Kreuz der Wähler,” Die Zeit 47 (Nov. 24, 1972), http://www.zeit.de /1972/47/das kreuz der waehler/komplettansicht; also Werner A. Perger, “Wahlkampf 1972: Die Mutter aller Wahlschlachten,” Die Zeit, Aug. 10, 2013. https://www.zeit.de/ politik/deutschland/2013 07/wahlkampfzeiten 1972. Brandt’s victory was also celebrated in the context of social democratic gains in seven other general elections that year (including Australia, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, and New Zealand). SD parties were now represented in nineteen governments, there were twelve SD prime ministers, and two hundred million people were living under social democratic rule. Bureau Meeting of the Socialist International, Dec. 9 10, 1972. IISH SI 43/C6693/27.

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arduous year, a visibly exhausted chancellor vowed to focus more heavily on domestic policy.32 Israel: Another Difficult Year By contrast with West Germany, Israel’s diplomacy in 1972 was characterized by mounting problems. In the Middle East, it was dominated by immobilism.33 Meir, fearful of relinquishing her country’s territorial gains without a guarantee of its full security – and leading a cabinet deeply divided over domestic issues and foreign policy – continued to reject outside mediation and the interim proposals promoted by the Soviets and the Arabs that fell short of a full-fledged peace. Israel pursued a strategy of attrition aimed at forcing its adversaries into direct negotiations in which it would insist on altering the 1967 borders.34 Moreover, by 1972 the steady growth of new settlements in the Sinai and West Bank, creating faits accomplis on the ground, had made it even more difficult for Israeli leaders to accept any form of territorial compromise.35 In this US presidential election year, Israel could still count on Washington’s full support to maintain the status quo.36 Not only was there a strong personal rapport between Meir and Nixon, but the president’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger avidly promoted the prolongation of the Middle East status quo in order to eliminate Soviet influence and bring Egypt into Washington’s orbit while he first pursued a settlement in Vietnam.37 On the other hand, after the Moscow summit produced no breakthrough on the Middle East, Sadat’s surprise 32 33 34

35

36

37

New York Times, Dec. 16, 1972, p. 8. Avi Shlaim and Avner Yaniv, “Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy in Israel,” International Affairs 56, no. 2 (Apr. 1980): 242 62. Heath Brandt talks, London, Apr. 21, 1972, GB NA Prem 915; Rückriegel to AA, July 19, Nov. 13, 1972, in BayHStA, StK 16182; also Abba Eban, An Autobiography (New York: Random House, 1977), p. 488; Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York: Norton, 2014), pp. 313 23. After the Oct. 1973 war, Eban, who was increasingly marginalized during this period, nonetheless insisted that between 1967 and 1973 Israel had undertaken “a more inten sive quest for peace than in any other period of our history . . . hemmed in on one side by our own political right wing and on the other side by an Arab nationalism that did everything possible to frustrate the hopes of Israeli moderates.” Ibid., pp. 453 54. Die Lage in Nahen Osten, Sept. 18, 1972, PA AA B30/677; Gershon Shafir, “The Miscarriage of Peace: Israel, Egypt, the United States and the ‘Jarring Plan’ in the early 1970s,” Israel Studies Review 21, no. 1 (2006): 3 26. However, the Israeli government immediately distanced itself from Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin’s “undiplomatic” urging of US Jews to support Nixon. Washington Post, June 11, 15, 1971. Henry Kissinger, White House Years (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), pp. 368 69, 372 73; Boaz Vanetik and Zaki Shalom, The Nixon Administration and the Middle East Peace Process, 1969 1973 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2013), pp. 93 201.

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announcement on July 18, 1972, to expel the Soviet mission along with his overtures to Washington, posed a potential threat to Israel’s exclusive ties to the United States.38 Moreover, by 1972 Israel was becoming increasingly isolated in the world community. Its relations with the Soviet bloc remained frozen. Although Moscow increased the numbers of Soviet Jews allowed to leave that year, the prospect of resuming diplomatic relations had been extinguished.39 One renegade Communist leader seeking outside recognition and support, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, promoted a face-to-face meeting between Meir and Sadat that, not unexpectedly, failed to materialize.40 Israel’s ties to the two European permanent Security Council members, France and Great Britain were equivocal. Despite its hopes for a thaw with Georges Pompidou and the exertions of its ambassador Asher Ben-Natan, France, with its growing Muslim population, dependence on Arab oil, and ambition to rival the United States in the Mediterranean and Middle East, continued to distance itself from Israel, refusing to lift its arms embargo (while selling 110 Mirage jets to Libya) and declining visits from Eban and Meir.41 Britain’s Heath government, despite the two countries’ strong economic and personal ties, was alarmed over the dangers of another Middle East war and was moving toward a more “balanced” role in the region.42 Moreover, in the Socialist 38

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40 41

42

According to France’s ambassador in Moscow, based upon the remarks by US envoy Jacob Beam, Nixon after his reelection planned to be “quite tough” with the Israelis.” Seydoux to MAE, July 3, 1972, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3704. On the expulsion: Anwar Sadat, In Search of Identity: An Autobiography (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), pp. 228 31, 317 24; Craig Daigle, The Limits of Détente: The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1969 1973 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), pp. 228 42, but also Ginor and Remez, “The Origins of a Misnomer,” pp. 137 63. “Moscow does not wish to ameliorate its relations with Israel.” Seydoux to MAE, Moscow, Feb. 25, 1972, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 3704; Israel FM to embassies, June 11, 1972, ISA 130 7329/1; Heinemann/Ben Horin conversation, Dec. 1, 1972, PA AA B36/544. Brandt, in his conversation with Pompidou, Feb. 10, 1972, labeled Soviet policy toward Israel “inconsistent.” AN Pompidou 5 AG2 /106. Golda Meir, My Life, paperback ed. (New York: Dell, 1985), pp. 385 86; details in Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 213 15. Notes: Raimond, Feb. 8, 1972, Guillaud, May 15, 1972, Huré to Raimond, Tel Aviv, Oct. 31, Dec. 26, 27, 1972, Raimond to Pompidou, Nov. 3, 1972, Raimond to Huré, Paris, Dec. 22, 1972, AN Pompidou 5 AG 2 1032; Puttkamer to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 11, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104776. Also André Fontaine, “Pompidou’s Mediterranean Policy,” Interplay 3, no. 8 (1970): 11 14; Edward Kolodziej, “French Mediterranean Policy: The Politics of Weakness,” International Affairs 47, no. 3 (July 1971): 503 17; Pauline Peretz, “La France et la Guerre du Kippour,” Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique 120, no. 2 (June 2006): 143 54. See, esp., Heath remarks to Brandt, Apr. 21, 1972, GB NA Prem 15/915; Trend to Heath, July 28, 1972, ibid., Prem 15/1483; Hase to AA, London, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104776. Also Anthony Buzzard, “Israel, the Arabs, and British

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International, where Meir still played an active role (and which supported her efforts to free Soviet Jewry and deplored the terrorist attacks on Israel), the new leadership expressed increasing concern over the Palestinians’ condition and the dim prospects of a Middle East peace.43 There was also friction with the European Economic Community, Israel’s major trading partner, which was now looming larger in world affairs due to its imminent expansion to nine members, its formal recognition by the Soviet Union in March 1972, and its impending participation in the CSCE. Israel faced not only difficult negotiations with Brussels over the renewal of its preferential trade agreement (due to expire in 1975), but also the more immediate threat that Great Britain – a major importer of its citrus and manufactured wood products – would be obliged after its entry to raise its tariffs to EEC levels. Also, with the launching of the EEC’s negotiations over a preferential trade agreement with Egypt, there was the heightened threat of an expansion of the Arab economic boycott against Israel.44 Except for the Netherlands, Israel found little support in Brussels. France vetoed a two-year waiver on British tariffs on Israeli goods; and West Germany, intent on restoring relations with the Arabs, announced its more “open-minded” stance toward Israeli-Arab questions.45 Suddenly France, on the occasion of the EEC’s first expansion, in 1972 launched an ambitious initiative aimed at strengthening the EEC’s economic and political role in North Africa and the Middle East: a proposal to replace its piecemeal arrangements with individual countries with a uniform free trade zone encompassing the entire region, including Israel.46 Eban, who guardedly welcomed the

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Responsibilities,” The World Today 27, no. 7 (July 1971): 310 18; Geraint Hughes, “Britain, the Transatlantic Alliance, and the Arab Israeli War of 1973,” Journal of Cold War Studies 10, no. 2 (Spring 2008): 3 40. Bureau Meeting, London, June 11 12, 1972; 12th Congress Vienna, June 1972, IISH SI 263, 291; New York Times, June 27, 28, 1972; also, Mordechaï Schenhav, Le socialisme international et l’État juif (1891 1973) (Paris: Connaissances et Savoirs, 2009). Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 27, 1972, Sachs to AA, Brussels, Jan. 31, 1972, Puttkamer to AA, Mar. 14, 1972, PA AA B36/545; Steltzer to AA, Cairo, Dec. 7, 1972, BAK B102/ 168333; also Donald L. Losman, “The Arab Boycott of Israel,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 3, no. 2 (1972): 99 122. Die Lage im Nahen Osten, Sept 18, 1972, PA AA B30/677. “Mitteilung der Kommission der Europäische Gemeinschaft an den Rat vom 22. September 1972,” Europa Archiv 27, no. 21 (1972): D509 19; “L’approche globale Méditerranéenne,” Revue du Marché Commun 15 (1972): 710 14; Gian Paolo Papa, “Le politique méditerranéenne de la communauté européenne,” Annuaire Européen/European Yearbook 20 (1972) 24 69; but also this critique of the new French challenge to US economic hegemony: “EWG: Offensichtlich unheimlich: Nach ihrer Erweiterung zur Neunergemeinschaft will die EWG eine große Freihandelszone mit allen Mittelmeerländern bilden,” Der Spiegel 44 (Oct. 23, 1972), pp. 146 48.

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French scheme, would have greatly preferred more immediate and concrete concessions from Brussels;47 and indeed, Israel was to receive a less than evenhanded treatment from Brussels in the ensuing free trade negotiations.48 An unexpected blow came from Africa in 1972 when Idi Amin’s Uganda, followed by Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, and Niger, suddenly broke off diplomatic relations. Within the next year, in the wake of the October 1973 war, the number of defections would swell to twentyfive.49 The defeat of Israel’s long, costly efforts to win over Black Africa had several causes, among them the failures of its technical assistance programs and its small amounts of financial aid along with its interventions in internal African disputes and its ties to the reviled South Africa.50 The African tilt away from Israel in 1972 was also the result of mounting Arab (especially Libyan) pressure, a rising sentiment of continental solidarity against an “aggressor” state and an occupying power, and the

47

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Eban press conference, Aug. 7, 1972, quoted in Sergio I. Minerbi, “Israel and the Enlarged European Economic Community,” in Charles Boasson and Max Nurock, eds., The Changing International Community: Some Problems of Its Laws, Structures, Peace Research, and the Middle East (Paris: Mouton, 1973), pp. 394 95; also Ma’ariv, Jan. 24, June 23, 1972; Puttkamer Länderaufzeichnung Israel, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768. In the wake of the Oct. 1973 war, the Arab oil shock, and the initiation of the Euro Arab Dialogue, EEC negotiators working on the free trade area quickly abandoned the goal of uniformity and adopted more specific and politically pragmatic practices toward each partner. Loukas Tsoukalis, “The EEC and the Mediterranean: Is Global Policy a Misnomer?” International Affairs 53, no. 3 (July 1977): 422 38, Jean Siotis, “L’Europe communautaire et la Méditerranée : Les cheminements tortueux d’un ‘grand dessein,’” Études Internationales 9, no. 1 (1978): 57 65; Maria Pia Belloni, “La politica Mediterranea della CEE (trattative, accordi, dissensi),” Il Politico 44, no. 3 (Sept. 1979): 547 71; also, Yaacov Cohen, “The Implications of a Free Trade Area between the EEC and Israel,” Journal of World Trade Law 10 (1976); 252 64; Richard Pomfret, “The Economic Consequences for Israel of Free Trade in Manufactured Goods with the EEC,” Review of World Economics 114, no. 3 (1978): 526 39; and, esp., J. Silber and Zeev Berrebi, “The 1975 Free Trade Agreement and its Impact on Israeli Exports to the EEC,” in Ilan Greilshammer and Joseph H. H. Weiler, eds., Europe and Israel: Troubled Neighbors (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1988), pp. 136 58; Sergio Minerbi, “The EEC and Israel,” in A. Shlaim and G. N. Yannopoulos, eds., The EEC and the Mediterranean Countries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 243 61. Aufzeichnung, Nov. [?] 1972, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104776, Hase to AA, London, Jan. 25, 1973, ibid. By the end of 1973, only four African states, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mauritius (all heavily dependent on South Africa), retained ties with Israel. Details in Ethan A. Nadelmann, “Israel and Black Africa: A Rapprochement?” The Journal of Modern African Studies 19, no 2 (June 1981): 199 201. Farouk Sankari, “The Cost and Gain of Israeli Pursuit of Influence in Africa,” Middle Eastern Studies 15, no. 2 (May 1979): 270 79; details in Samuel Decalo, “Afro Israeli Technical Cooperation: Patterns of Setbacks and Successes,” in Michael Curtis and Susan Gitelson, eds., Israel in the Third World (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1976), pp. 81 99.

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Africans’ identification with the Palestinians as a kin subjugated people fighting for national liberation.51 Also occurring in 1972, the Arab countries, bolstered by the Soviet bloc, continued their offensive against Israel in the United Nations, which now had a large Third World majority. The principal arena was the Human Rights Commission, which after 1968 had been transformed from a site of Cold War polemics into a tribunal against Israel and South Africa.52 In a major escalation, on March 22 the commission, in a 15–4 vote (with 11 abstentions), adopted a resolution sponsored by Egypt, Lebanon, Tanzania, India, and Pakistan accusing Israel of committing war crimes in the occupied territories.53 Recoiling over this link with the Nuremberg trials, Israel was also stung by France’s vote in favor of the resolution.54 Then on June 26, in a 13–0 vote (with 2 abstentions), the UN Security Council – for the fourth time in two years – adopted a resolution introduced by France condemning Israeli attacks on the Palestinian guerrilla camps in Lebanon in reprisal for the Lod massacre. During the heated three-day debate, Soviet representative Yakov Malik

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This was reinforced by the failed peace mission of the Organization of African Unity in November 1971, followed by the Rabat OAU summit in June 1972 castigating Israeli intransigence: Ran Kochan, “An African Mission to the Middle East,” African Affairs 72, no. 187 (Apr. 1973): 186 96; Susan Gitelson, “The OAU Mission and the Middle East Conflict,” International Organization 27, no. 3 (Summer 1973): 413 19; also Benjamin Rivlin and Jacques Fomerand, “Changing Third World Perspectives and Policies toward Israel,” in Curtis and Gitelson, eds., Israel in the Third World, pp. 325 60. James Frederick Green, “Changing Approaches to Human Rights: The United Nations, 1954 and 1974,” Texas International Law Journal 12 (1977): 223 38; also James H. Lebovic and Erik Voeten, “The Politics of Shame: The Condemnation of Country Human Rights Practices in the UNCHR,” International Studies Quarterly 50, no. 4 (2006): 861 88. Gehlhoff to AA, New York, Mar. 23, 1972, PA AA B36/542; “UN Body Condemns Israeli Occupation,” New York Times, Mar. 23, 1972. Compare Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid, “Israeli Practices and Human Rights in the Occupied Territories,” The International Lawyer 7, no. 2 (1973): 279 88, with Morris Greenspan, “Human Rights in the Territories Occupied by Israel,” Santa Clara Lawyer 12 (1972): 377 402, and Asher D. Grunis, “The United Nations and Human Rights in the Israel Occupied Territories,” The International Lawyer 7, no. 2 (Apr. 1973): 271 78. Jerusalem Post, Apr. 18, 1972, Ruete to AA, Paris, Apr. 21, 1972, PA AA B36/542. Guillaud to Jobert, May 15, 1972, AN Pompidou 5 AG 2 1032 The four negative votes came from Guatemala, the Netherlands, the United States, and Zaire, the eleven absten tions from Austria, Ghana, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, the Philippines, and the five Latin American members. The culmination of this Arab led and Soviet bloc campaign occurred on Nov. 10, 1975, when the UN General Assembly, by a vote of 72 35 (with 32 abstentions) voted to classify Zionism as a form of racism. Howard Tolley, The U.N. Commission on Human Rights (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987), p. 88. (The resolution was repealed Dec. 26, 1991.)

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accused Israel’s leaders of committing the same “state crimes” for which the Nazis had been condemned at Nuremberg.55 Israel’s domestic conditions were only slightly less tumultuous. The postwar economic boom continued, and unemployment was at a record low of 2.7 percent but at the cost of rising prices, a 20 percent inflation, and some 260 strikes in industry and the public sector, forcing substantial pay raises and increases in health and welfare benefits at the end of the year.56 Immigration increased by 34 percent in 1972 to a total of 56,000, including (despite Moscow’s new “diploma tax”57) 32,000 Soviet Jews – twice as many as in the previous year – which strained the country’s resources, particularly in housing construction. Israel’s trade deficit, although reduced by 16 percent and balanced by US military and economic aid, West German loans and payments to Holocaust victims, and contributions from the Jewish Diaspora, amounted to $433 million; and despite an 11 percent reduction, its expenditures for defense still consumed 33 percent of the total budget.58 Political tensions rose in 1972 in anticipation of the October 1973 parliamentary and local elections. Meir, despite her protestations, was widely expected to run again to avoid a conflict between the two rivals, Allon and Dayan. But her fragile coalition was divided over the future of the occupied territories, while the opposition stood firm against any withdrawal.59 Moreover, in the summer of 1972 only Meir’s forceful intervention tamped down a bitter conflict between secular and religious cabinet members over civil marriage and conversion and prevented the collapse of her government and an immediate election.60 Meir also deftly balanced the advocates and opponents of expanding Israel’s military, security, and religious settlements – now numbering forty-four – in the Sinai and Golan Heights and on the West Bank, and in Gaza, issuing

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58 59 60

New York Times, June 27, 1972; Security Council Resolution 316 on Israeli Military Action in Lebanon, June 26, 1972, http://repository.un.org/handle/11176/73325?show= full. The United States and Panama abstained. Some of Israel’s labor shortage was compensated by the influx of fifty thousand Palestinian workers from the occupied territories. Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104779, June 29, 1973, BAK B136/3636. Details of the tax imposing a stiff monetary reimbursement for the Jewish emigrants’ higher education in Boris Morozov, ed., Documents on Soviet Jewish Emigration (London: Frank Cass, 1999), pp. 166 70. Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104779. Rückriegel to AA, Nov. 13, 1972, BayHStA StK 16182; Jerusalem Post, Dec. 8, 1972; Länderaufzeichnung über Israel, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768. “A Deputy Minister in Israel Is Ousted,” New York Times, July 17, 1972; Rückriegel to AA, July 19, 1972, BayHStA StK16182.

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ambiguous statements over their endurance in any future peace arrangements.61 West Germany and Israel: A Brandt Visit? In the wake of the tensions unleashed by the Kulturwoche, Israeli-German relations were resumed on a cautious note in 1972. No high-level visits had been scheduled, although in May Albert Osswald, the SPD ministerpresident of Hesse, paid a ten-day visit to Israel.62 In June, Scheel told a press conference that the FRG had “good” but not “special” relations with Israel.63 Meir took steps to reverse the drift between Bonn and Jerusalem. Overcoming considerable personal and political qualms, on February 6 she bowed to Eban’s proposal and invited Willy Brandt to become the first sitting West German chancellor to pay a visit to Israel.64 It was an audacious gamble, widely considered a spoiling action at a moment when the FRG was absorbed in delicate negotiations with Israel’s Arab opponents.65 But it also expressed more ambitious Israeli aims, among them to increase the possibility of more financial aid, gain additional support within the EEC, obtain an ally in the campaign to free Soviet Jewry, and even establish a counterweight to the Superpowers’ dominance of Middle Eastern affairs.66 Brandt was disconcerted by Meir’s invitation and even more by its unconventional delivery. First announced in the Israeli press a full week before the formal message arrived, the prospective visit stirred outrage and threats in Arab capitals only weeks before the Arab

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65 66

“Israel Intensifying Settlement of Seized Territories,” New York Times, July 25, 1972; American Jewish Yearbook, 1973 (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1973), pp. 500 1. Paul Henry to Schumann, Tel Aviv, Oct. 26, 1972, FMAE Nations Unies et Organisations Internationales 1971 76 1203, reported an Israeli proposal to plant one hundred thousand settlers in the next eight years in three compact West Bank settlements within fifteen kilometers of Jerusalem. On Bonn’s dismissal of Eban’s request for another official visit: Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 18, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:37. Ben Horin to FM, June 9, 1972, ISA 130 5332/16‫חצ‬. Meir to Brandt, Feb. 6, 1972, PA AA B36/545. Unlike her mentor, Ben Gurion, who had embraced the new Germany, Meir held strong anti German sentiments and shrank from assuming an obligation to pay a reciprocal visit to the FRG. Niels Hansen, Aus dem Schatten der Katastrophe: Die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen in der Ära Konrad Adenauer und David Ben Gurion (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2004), pp. 440 1. Redies Aufzeichnung, Feb. 8, 1972, PA AA B36/545. Carole Fink, “The Most Difficult Journey of All: Willy Brandt’s Trip to Israel in June 1973,” International History Review 37, no. 3 (2015): 506.

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League’s March 10–11 meeting to lift the diplomatic boycott against the FRG.67 Brandt, who “because of the German past” could not refuse to visit Israel,68 moved quickly to appease both sides. To the Arabs, he announced his intention to postpone the trip until relations with the Arab nations had been “regulated” and only after consultations with Arab leaders.69 And to Israel, while assenting to Meir’s “important initiative,” he asked for a delay until the Eastern Treaties were ratified by the Bundestag.70 On June 27, there was another postponement. Three weeks after the FRG and Egypt resumed diplomatic relations, and on the day of the Security Council’s overwhelming vote against Israel, Brandt and Meir met in Vienna at the Socialist International Congress. In this largely cordial, private exchange, Brandt easily won Meir’s agreement to defer his journey to Israel until after the November 1972 federal elections.71 But in the fall of 1972 the visit was put on ice. Following Brandt’s stunning electoral victory in November, the Israeli government and public still hoped he would come. However, the reigniting of anti-German sentiment after Munich and Zagreb, and the real danger of hostile demonstrations – plus Brandt’s post-election exhaustion – convinced Bonn to drop this difficult prospect for another half year.72 September 5, 1972 The role of host to the 1972 summer Olympics represented a significant honor for the Federal Republic. Despite the immense cost, Germany’s second invitation to lead the Olympics73 symbolized its 67

68 69

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Hensel to AA, Tel Aviv, Jan. 30, 1973, AAPD 1972 1:121, n. 28; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 1, 1972; tels. from German representatives, Baghdad, Feb. 1, Damascus, Feb. 3, Khartoum, Feb. 9, Cairo, Feb. 11, Tripoli, Feb. 17, 1972, PA AA B36/545. Brandt/Heath conversation, London, Apr. 20, 1972, Aufzeichnung, Apr. 24, 1972, AdsD WBA A3/31. Redies Runderlass, Feb. 8, 1972, AAPD 1972 1:121, n. 29; Gesprächsaufzeichnung (Brandt Tunisian amb. Mestiri), Feb. 24, 1972, BAK B36/150. In an interview aired on Egyptian television on March 7, Brandt stressed the FRG’s desire to play a positive role in a region whose conditions were closely tied with Europe and also his hope to expand Bonn’s relations with the Arab world with trade and economic exchanges as well as cultural and human ties. AAPD 1972 1:161, n. 4. Brandt to Meir, Mar. 9, 1972, PA AA B36/545. Schilling Aufzeichnung, June 28, 1972, AdsD WBA A9 3/29; Puttkamer to AA, Tel Aviv, June 28, 1972, PA AA B36/544; Jerusalem Post, June 28, 1972. Also Willy Brandt, People and Politics: The Years 1960 1975, trans. J. Maxwell Brownjohn (Boston: Little, Brown, 1978), p. 455. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 21, 1972, BayHStA StK 16182; Dec. 14, 1972, BAK B136/ 1620; Länderaufzeichnung Israel, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768. In 1931, the International Olympic Committee had awarded the 1936 summer games to Berlin in recognition of Germany’s peaceful return to the world community after World

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people’s remarkable transformation after World War II. Moreover, the selection of Munich enabled the West German Olympic Committee (OC) to display a youthful, thriving middle-sized Bavarian metropolis and dispel that city’s negative past as the birthplace of the NSDAP, the location of the Nazi regime’s first concentration camp in its Dachau suburb, and the site of the 1938 mutilation of Czechoslovakia.74 For Israel, which had participated in every Olympic competition since 1952, the Munich Olympics represented an equally significant opportunity to ease its political isolation and display its flag at the very center of the continent it aspired to join. The Israeli press and public expressed almost no reservations over the locale, although there were a few signs of right-wing disapproval that the Olympics had returned to Germany “too soon.”75 Like the international competitions held in Melbourne in 1956 and in Mexico City in 1968, the Munich Olympics offered a giant stage for political protests before thousands of journalists, hundreds of thousands of spectators, and hundreds of millions of viewers connected by satellite television. Thus the issue of public order would be paramount; but because the West German constitution had assigned security matters to the individual states, the Bavarian government was in charge of the arrangements, with federal officials in a secondary role. Faced with a long list of potential threats from domestic and foreign groups, the OC’s Ordnungsdienst (security force) had enlisted the Munich police, summoned additional officers from other German states, borrowed federal and state security officials, and called for stronger border controls.76 To be sure, the German organizers’ overriding concern was to supplant the police-state atmosphere of the 1936 Olympics with the serenity and democratic values of 1972. These were embodied not only in Munich’s official motto (the “happy games”) and the adorable dachshund mascot “Waldi,” the Olympic stadium’s stunningly transparent Zeltdach (tent

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War I, although five years later Adolf Hitler exploited the global spotlight to showcase the Third Reich’s might. David Clay Large, Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936 (New York: Norton, 2007). Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), pp. 26 28. At the end of 1965, Willy Brandt, then mayor of West Berlin (and who had already submitted an unsuccessful application to the IOC), had endorsed Munich: David Clay Large, Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror and Triumph at the Olympic Games (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), pp. 33, 48 49. Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 190 91. Sicherheitsmassnahmen im Zusammenhang mit den Olympischen Spielen, July 17, 1972, Spiele der 20 Olympiade 1972 in München. Lagebericht, Aug. 23, 1972, BAK B106/78702. Also Hans Dietrich Genscher, Erinnerungen, 2nd ed. (Berlin: Siedler, 1995), pp. 148 50.

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roof), and the city’s rich and varied cultural programs, but also in the absence of barbed-wire atop the two-meter-high chain-link fence encircling the Olympic Village and the two thousand unarmed, pale-blueuniformed “Oly” patrols. After reviewing dozens of possible threats to the Olympics, the OC had decided against providing any special protection to participants;77 and Israel had raised no objections to the Germans’ security arrangements.78 Several months before the opening of the Olympics, however, three members of the Palestinian group Black September had begun plotting a spectacular action in Munich.79 This loosely organized faction, named after the September 1970 massacre of Palestinian fighters and refugees by King Hussein’s army and led by Yasser Arafat, had originally focused on attacking Jordanian targets (including the assassination of its prime minister in 1971); but in 1972 Black September had expanded its prey to include West Germany – the February bombing of the Strüver Factory in Hamburg exporting military equipment to Israel; and also Israel – the May hijacking of the Brussels–Tel Aviv flight, and aiding the JRA assassins.80 On the night of September 4, eight Black September operatives, led by “Issa” (Luttif Afif, twenty-seven years old) and “Tony” (Yussef Nassal, twenty-five), assembled at the Munich central train station to plan the next morning’s action; and at 4:00 a.m. on September 5, after entering the lightly protected Olympic Village armed with eight Kalashnikov rifles and ten grenades, they made their way into the Israeli quarters at 31 Connollystrasse where they shot two men who resisted and seized nine hostages.81 77

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Details in Large, Munich 1972, pp. 112 27; Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 95 126, 148 56; Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 61. Six months earlier, Munich police chief Manfred Schreiber had dismissed a police psychologist’s detailed model of what would actually happen on Sept. 5; it also appears that the Soviet delegation received extra security. Schreiber Interview, “Mal der eine Falke, mal der andere Taube,” Der Spiegel 38 (Sept. 11, 1972), p. 32; confirmed in Meir Statement to the Knesset, Oct. 16, 1972, PA AA B36/505. Christopher Dobson, Black September (New York: Macmillan, 1974), pp. 80 83; Abu Iyad, with Eric Rouleau, My Home My Land: A Narrative of the Palestinian Struggle, trans. Linda Butler Koseoglu (New York: Times Books, 1981), pp. 106 12; Abou Daoud, with Gilles du Jonchay, Palestine: De Jérusalem à Munich (Paris: Éditions Anne Carrière, 1999), pp. 569 637. “Schwarzer September an Rhein und Ruhr: Die Palästinenser in der Bundesrepublik,” Der Spiegel 38 (Sept. 11, 1972), p. 24; “The Black September Guerrillas: Elusive Trail in Seven Countries,” New York Times, Oct. 12, 1972, pp. 1, 8; also Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 58 61; Large, Munich 1972, pp. 199 200. For a résumé of the events of Sept. 5: Matthias Dahlke, Der Anschlag auf Olympia ’72 (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2006), Large, Munich 1972, Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, Simon Reeve, One Day in September (New York: Arcade, 2000).

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There were two immediate goals behind Black September’s action, symbolically labeled Operation Ikrit and Biram.82 The most obvious was to publicize the Palestinians’ national demands before a vast world audience and avenge their exclusion from the Olympics;83 the terrorists also aimed at raising Arafat’s stature vis-à-vis his more radical PFLP and Fatah rivals;84 and another may well have been to avenge the death of their two comrades when Israeli commandos had stormed the hijacked Sabena plane that had landed in Lod in May.85 This rogue Palestinian action also served broader political purposes: It was a rebuke to Egypt and other Arab leaders for currying favor with the West; to Jordan for its lingering designs on the West Bank;86 to Israel for aspiring to permanent control over the Palestinians; and to the Federal Republic for its longtime support of Israel.87 And it is also possible that the attack was aimed at placing the Soviet Union on notice that, unlike its other Arab clients, the Palestinians intended to defy Moscow’s cautious directives.88

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This narrative also draws on the following: (1) the records in the Staatsarchiv Munich (Staatsanwaltschaft 37430/1 14 “Olympiaattentat”) containing transcripts of the inter rogations conducted immediately after the events of Sept. 5; (2) Bayerisches Staatsministeriums des Innern, Erste Zusammenfassung . . . 5 6 September, Sept. 7, 1972, BayHStA MInn/88552; (3) the joint seventy one page federal/Bavarian Report, Sept. 19, 1972, ibid., St K 17083; and (4) Report by Israeli Mossad chief Zvi Zamir, Sept. 6, trans. into English and sent by Golda Meir to the German government: AdsD WBA A9/22. Named after two Christian villages in the Upper Galilee near the Lebanon border whose inhabitants in October and November 1948 had been pressured by the Israeli occupying forces to evacuate on the promise that they would be allowed to return to their homes, a promise endorsed by Ben Gurion. But when the region was declared a security zone in 1951, the villagers’ homes were destroyed, their properties confiscated and turned over to Israeli settlements, and only the ruins of their churches remained. Although some inhabitants fled to Lebanon, where they were housed in refugee camps, others settled in nearby Arab villages where, as Israeli citizens, they have continued to petition for the restoration of their homes and property. David Grossman, Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel, trans. Haim Watzman (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977), pp. 210 24; “Cabinet Rejects Biram and Irkit Villagers’ Plea to Return,” Ha’aretz, Oct. 10, 2001. Iyad, My Home, pp. 106 7. Large, Munich 1972, p. 198; Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 194 95. Michael Rubner, “Massacre in Munich,” Middle East Policy 13, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 179. “No Takers for Hussein Proposal,” New York Times, March 19, 1972, describing the veto by West Bank notables and Israel of the king’s proposal for an autonomous Palestinian state in a permanent federation with Jordan. Arafat depicted Hussein’s plan as an attempt to “finish” the PLO. Alan Hart, Arafat: A Political Biography, rev. ed. (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1994), pp. 219 20. “München: Ein Sieg der Partisanen in Nahost?” Der Spiegel 39 (Sept. 18, 1972), pp. 100 1. On Arafat’s July visit to Moscow, where he was discouraged from armed action against Israel: Seydoux to MAE, Moscow, July 19, 1972, Merillon to MAE, Moscow, Aug. 3,

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On September 5, 1972, the city of Munich once more became the center of an international drama.89 At 5:10 a.m., Issa presented Black September’s two-page ultimatum to the West Germans: They would free the nine hostages in exchange for the release of 234 Palestinians and the surviving JRA attacker Okamoto Kozo held in Israeli prisons, along with the recently captured RAF leaders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof currently held in a maximum security prison near Stuttgart. They threatened to kill the Israelis if their demands were not met.90 German officials, shocked and unprepared, hastily assembled a political crisis team of municipal, state, federal, and Olympic officials.91 The German team won an extension until noon; but by then the Israeli ambassador had arrived, conveying his government’s refusal to release any prisoners.92 Now solely responsible for the fate of the nine Israelis, the German team dragged out the negotiations. They enlisted support from local Arab representatives, futilely offered money and substitutes for the hostages, and won three further postponements while attempting (and discarding) two rescue operations.93 Brandt also sent a personal appeal to Arab leaders, stating that “the whole world expects you to bring your influence to bear immediately [in this crisis].”94 In the meantime, the drawn-out negotiations in the Olympic Village occurred in a surreal atmosphere

89 90 91

92

93 94

1972, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z 3704; Brenon to FM, Washington, Sept. 1, 1972, ISA 130 7329/1. On Moscow’s sense of Arafat’s unreliability, Andrew and Mitrokhin, The World Was Going Our Way, p. 251. “A 23 Hour Drama,” New York Times, Sept. 6, 1972. Large, Munich 1972, pp. 207 10. Headed by the Munich police chief Manfred Schreiber and consisting of former Munich mayor and vice president of the Organizing Committee, Hans Jochen Vogel; the Bavarian minister of the interior Bruno Merk, federal interior minister Hans Dietrich Genscher (later joined by his security officer, Ulrich K. Wegener), and the head of the German Olympic Committee Willi Daume (who was in almost constant contact with the IOC president Avery Brundage). Reportedly, Walther Tröger, the informal mayor of the Olympic Village, Bavarian minister president Alfons Goppel, the interior minister of North Rhine Westphalia, Willi Weyer, and the CSU leader Franz Josef Strauss also took part in the team’s deliberations. Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 197 99; Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, p. 27, Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 63; Large, Munich 1972, pp. 208 9; Reeve, One Day in September, p. 17. Also a ten member crisis staff at the Auswärtiges Amt, headed by State Secretary Sigismund von Braun, was in constant contact with Munich, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sept. 8, 1972. FM to Ben Horin, Sept. 5, 1972 (2 tels.), ISA 130 5334/4. ISA 130/5331, contains transcripts of the phone calls on Sept. 5 6 between Ben Horin and his staff and the foreign ministry in Jerusalem. In one of their telephone conversations, Brandt assured Meir that the Israeli athletes would be freed on German soil and he rejected on West German constitutional grounds the prime minister’s offer to dispatch forces to rescue the hostages. Large, Munich 1972, pp. 215 16. Details in Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 199 200. Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, p. 14; also Niemöller to Germ. emb. Tunis, Nov. 5, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:1246, n. 11.

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Fig 8.1: FRG interior minister Hans Dietrich Genscher and Munich police chief Manfried Schreiber conferring with one of the eight Palestinian captors of the nine Israeli athletes during the September 1972 Summer Olympics. Credit: Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images #515403514

observed by hundreds of television cameras and broadcasters, thousands of armed German police, and tens of thousands of onlookers who had gathered at the perimeter of the Olympic Village.95 The situation changed dramatically at 5:00 p.m. when a fatigued Issa, after several phone calls (including one to a mysterious contact in Tunis), demanded a plane to fly the Palestinians and their hostages to Egypt where the prisoner exchange would occur under less fraught conditions.96 Even after obtaining Meir’s assent, the Germans were in a quandary, fearing to abandon the Israelis (and also endanger their pilots and crew) but also under pressure not to break off the Olympic Games, which – for the first time in 95 96

Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 197; Large, Munich 1972, p. 214; Reeve, One Day in September, pp. 67 69. Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, p. 12.

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their modern history – had been suspended in the late afternoon until the memorial service the next morning for the two murdered Israeli athletes.97 After the Egyptian government refused Brandt’s plea to assume responsibility for the captive Israelis, the Germans were now backed into a corner.98 The crisis team, although acceding to Issa’s terms, had decided to stage an armed rescue mission at the Fürstenfeldbruck Military Airport, located fifteen miles northwest of Munich.99 But as the grim procession of masked and heavily armed captors and blindfolded captives exited Connollystrasse en route to the airport, the Germans – along with the newly arrived Mossad chief Zvi Zamir and his Shin Bet colleague Victor Cohen – suddenly discovered a total of eight heavily armed Palestinians guarding the nine Israeli athletes.100 Not unexpectedly, the last-minute rescue attempt was a failure. Issa, upon inspecting the empty Lufthansa craft,101 recognized the Germans’ deception and rushed back to the helicopters. Ordered by the police chief to fire, the five sharpshooters stationed around the airfield began shooting, wounding two Palestinians and one of the helicopter pilots. But instead of surrendering (as the crisis team had hoped), the Palestinians, taking shelter in the choppers’ – shadows, shot back at the control tower, damaging the spotlights (for which no replacement bulbs were available), and blanketing large parts of the field in darkness. During the mêlée, a Bavarian police officer, who was shot in the head, became the sole German casualty.102 And despite the presence of scores of armed police, the German team – awaiting the arrival of armored vehicles – refused to storm the airfield, fearing to endanger the helicopter crews and the hostages.103 Suddenly there was an eerie pause. Mounting the roof, Cohen, speaking in Arabic, appealed to the Palestinians to surrender, whereupon they 97 98 99

100 101

102

103

Large, Munich 1972, pp. 219 20. Schilling Aufzeichnung, Sept. 5, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:1187 88. But only after abandoning a plan to overpower Palestinians as they left the building on foot, which miscarried when Issa spotted hidden sharpshooters in the underground garage and insisted that a bus carry them to the helicopter pad five hundred meters behind the Olympic administration building. Reeve, One Day in September, pp. 99 100. But which Schreiber neglected to inform his team at the airport. Large, Munich 1972, pp. 224 25. At the last minute, the seventeen police officers, disguised as Lufthansa personnel and fearing for their lives against the armed Palestinians, had abandoned the plane. Ibid., p. 225. Police officer Anton Fliegerbauer, who was hit by a stray bullet while observing the shooting from the ground floor of the tower, received a large civic funeral on September 8. Large, Munich 1972, pp. 247 48. Zamir Report, Sept. 6, ISA archives, http://www.archives.gov.il/chapter/d didnt make even minimal effort save human lives zvi zamirs reports events munich/ document 15 (in Hebrew).

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resumed shooting at the tower. Almost an hour later, the four armored vehicles finally arrived at Fürstenfeldbruck, whereupon the surviving Palestinians began systematically shooting the nine bound prisoners and also tossed a grenade into one of the helicopters, consuming it in fire. When the firing ended shortly after midnight, five Palestinians – including Issa and Tony – were dead, and three had been captured.104 Adding to the grim outcome, were the two contradictory news releases: the first, at around 11:30 a.m. (based on unconfirmed rumors while the gun battle was still raging) reporting that all the hostages had been freed, which stirred worldwide elation; and the second, at 2:30 a.m. on September 6, confirming the deaths of all the Israelis.105 There were ample criticisms of the West Germans’ improvised rescue operation, which Zamir bluntly labeled “exceptionally amateurish” (ausgesprochener Dilettantismus).106 The remote location of Fürstenfeldbruck added to the risks. On a practical level, the airfield was insufficiently lit; there was no radio contact between the command team and the rescuers; and the five sharpshooters were inadequately trained and equipped (without infrared equipment), badly positioned, and reluctant to kill the Palestinians.107 There was also a serious leadership gap. Throughout the day, despite the active participation of Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and the almost constant monitoring by Brandt and the Auswärtiges Amt, the federal government had essentially ceded the initiative to the Bavarian Interior Ministry and to police officials lacking experience in military or diplomatic affairs but unready to summon federal or Israeli forces.108 Pitted against eight highly trained Palestinian guerrillas, the crisis team’s acute concern for West Germany’s self-image and its fatalism toward the captive Israelis109 contributed to the disaster. At 10 a.m. on September 6, three thousand athletes and eighty thousand spectators assembled in the Olympic Stadium for the memorial 104 105

106 107

108 109

Large, Munich 1972, pp. 224 28; Reeve, One Day in September, pp. 105 24. Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 201. Reeve, One Day in September, pp. 125 34; Large, Munich 1972, pp. 229 31, faults the German authorities for impos ing a lockdown on news coverage at Fürstenfeldbruck. Quoted in “Die schlimmste Nacht der Bundesrepublik,” Der Spiegel 38 (1972), p. 19. Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 201. The firefighters refused to approach one of the burning helicopters, fearing that one of the fedayeen might be lurking nearby. Large, Munich 1972, p. 228. “Die schlimmste Nacht,” Der Spiegel 38 (Sept. 11, 1972). Also Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 68 70. Once Meir refused the Palestinians’ terms, Schreiber became convinced that the Israelis were doomed. Interview, Der Spiegel 38 (Sept. 11, 1972), p. 32; also Merk: “All we could do was hope for a mistake. But these people were not amateurs.” Daily Telegraph, Sept. 8, 1972.

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service, which was also broadcast throughout the world. Two of the five speakers created shockwaves: Gustav Heinemann, who, defying Scheel’s warning, satisfied the Israelis and infuriated the Arabs not only by condemning Black September as a “criminal organization” but also by chastising “those countries that had failed to prevent its actions.”110 And IOC president Avery Brundage who, despite pleas from all sides and the withdrawal of the Israeli delegation and of athletes from several other teams, announced, “The Games must go on.”111 World leaders condemned the Palestinians’ attack on the Israeli team and their violation of the Olympic Truce. Nixon, who had kept abreast of the crisis, described the guerrillas as “international outlaws” and announced the creation of a cabinet-level antiterrorism team; British prime minister Heath called it an “insane assault,” and French foreign minister Maurice Schumann expressed his indignation over the “use of a sports event . . . for criminal gains.” Even Moscow deplored the attack, followed by the Communist governments of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary. And although Egypt and Tunisia were silent, Jordan’s King Hussein – the bête noire of Black September – called the killers “morally sick.”112 In the wake of the debacle, Brandt’s government faced daunting challenges. Although it was not the first foreign-terrorist attack on German soil (there had been eight since September 1969), this was the first time the FRG had responded not as the principal target but as a middleman placed between the assailants and their victims and in the full glare of an international spotlight.113 While the national press immediately criticized 110 111

112

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Vermerk, Sept. 7, 1972, BAK B120/15033; Van Well to FCO, Bonn, Sept. 8, 1972, GB NA FCO 17/1740; also Washington Post, Sept. 7, 1972. New York Times, Sept. 7, 1972; Large, Munich 1972, pp. 243 45, for a critique of Brundage’s tactlessness in equating the murder of the Israeli athletes with the earlier exclusion of the Rhodesian team (“two savage attacks”) from the Munich Olympics. The IOC’s decision was and is still contested between those who believe(d) it was correct to deny the terrorists a victory by halting the Olympics and those who believe(d) it improper to continue after the massacre of the Israelis. Probably the most influential vote at the time came from Washington, DC, where the Nixon administration although sensitive to the political backlash in an election year refused Meir’s plea to call for the cancellation of the Olympics. Details in Large, Munich 1972, pp. 239 40. “Leaders around the World Express Horror at the Guerrilla Attack at Olympics,” New York Times, Sept. 6, 1972; DPA [Deutsche Presse Agentur], Sept. 6, 1972, in BayHStA StK 17083. The Bureau of the Socialist International also condemned the attack, as did the Vatican and the UN secretary general. The one dissenting voice came from Ugandan present Idi Amin, who in a message to Kurt Waldheim praised Hitler’s murder of six million Jews and insisted that Germany was “the right place” for the Palestinians’ attack on the Israelis. New York Times, Sept. 13, 1972, p. 4. Eva Oberloskamp, “Das Olympia Attentat: Politische Lernprozess im Umgang mit dem transnationalen Terrorismus,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 60, no. 3(2012): 321 30. Details on the earlier attacks in Report, Sept. 6, 1972, UNA SG 0899 0016 06.

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its unpreparedness and “bungling,”114 foreign critics also questioned Bonn’s self-characterization as the victim of a ruthless and meticulously planned plot and its assigning major responsibility to Israeli intransigence and the Arabs’ refusal to cooperate.115 The government weighed the domestic consequences. Brandt, who was about to call new federal elections in order to break the current parliamentary deadlock and fearing that the opposition would exploit the debacle, raised hackles in CSU-led Bavaria with his call for a “frank” and “ruthless” federal/Land inquiry;116 but rather than appointing an independent national or international commission, the chancellor deputized the very officials who had been responsible on September 5. A more important decision was to fill the security gap. Within days after Munich, Genscher set plans in motion for the creation of a federal counterterrorism unit GSG (Grenzschutzgruppe) 9, modeled on Sayeret Matkal, the special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces.117 However, because of the Nazi past and the constitutional ban on a national police force, the new organization would consist of specially trained volunteers from federal police units – rather than the country’s military forces – prepared to support the Länder police and also to operate outside the country.118 Bonn also moved swiftly to allay the public’s fears of further terrorism.119 It immediately provided special protection for West 114

115

116

117 118

119

See, esp., “Auf das Attentat nicht vorbereitet,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 7, 1972; “Fragen an den Bundeskanzler,” Bild, Sept. 7, 1972; “Erst aufklären, dann urteilen,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sept. 8, 1972; “Die schlimmste Nacht der Bundesrepublik,” Der Spiegel, Sept. 22, 1972; “Die Münchener Polizeiaktion,” Die Zeit, Sept. 15, 1972; also “Das Massaker von München,” Stern 25, no. 39 (Sept. 17, 1972), pp. 19 36, 222 23. “Munich Chief Admits ‘Loss of Control,’” Boston Globe, Sept. 7, 1972, “West Germans Say Airport Ambush Was Last Resort,” Washington Post, Sept. 8, 1972; “Hostage Decision Israel’s,” “The Munich Tragedy,” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 8, 10, 1972. DPA Reports (3), Sept. 8, 1972, BayHStA StK 17083 Bulletin Bayerische Landtags Dienst, Sept. 8, 1972, ibid., MInn 88552; Milo to FM, Bonn, Sept. 9, 1972, ISA 130 5334/4; also New York Times, Sept. 9, 1972. The Bundestag’s Internal Affairs Committee launched its own investigation. Ben Horin to FM, Sept. 20, 1972, ISA 130 5331/11. “Sondertruppe gegen Terroristen,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 14, 1972, p. 1; also Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, pp. 55 57; Large, Munich 1972, pp. 298 99. Stephan Scheiper, Innere Sicherheit: Anti Terror Konzepte in der Bundesrepublik während der 1970er Jahre (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2010), pp. 298ff.; Ulrich Wegener, “‘Esprit de Corps!’ Die Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG 9),” in Reinhard Günzel, Wilhelm Walther, and Ulrich Wegener, eds., Geheime Krieger: Drei deutsche Kommandoverbände im Bild (Selent: Pour le Mérite, 2007), pp. 87 125; Reinhard Scholzen and Kerstin Froese, GSG 9: Innenansichten eines Spezialverbandes des Bundesgrenzschutzes (Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, 1997). Meinhof, however, in Nov. 1972 from her prison cell praised Black September’s “anti imperialist” struggle. “Die Aktion des Schwarzen September in München: Zur Strategie

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German Jews, who were threatened with further violence.120 And, responding to widespread anti-Arab sentiment, Bonn tightened border controls and expanded restrictions on Arab visitors and immigrants.121 Most controversially, it ordered the Länder to round up and deport all foreigners living illegally in Germany, and in early October it outlawed the Palestinian Workers’ Union (GUPA) and the Palestinian Student Association (GUPS).122 Not unexpectedly, these measures provoked left-wing demonstrations, drew questions from the press, and stirred outrage in the Arab world.123 But while critics deplored the Brandt government’s “ballooning” executive power and assault on the Rechtsstaat, its supporters championed the liberal state’s obligation to ensure freedom by combating violence and terror.124 On the diplomatic front, Brandt had a full agenda, including high-level talks at Munich with Pompidou and Kissinger as well as the current negotiations for a basic treaty with the GDR, which would be crucial for his reelection.125 But the trauma of Munich also spurred the Bonn government into a new diplomatic direction: a search for international solutions to global terrorism. On September 12, at the EEC foreign ministers’ meeting in Rome, Scheel urged his partners to support Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim’s proposal to the General Assembly

120

121 122

123

124

125

des antimperialistischen Kampfs,” in Rote Armee Fraktion Texte und Materialen zur Geschichte der RAF (Berlin: ID Verlag, 1997), pp. 151 77. On Sept. 7, 1972, fifty graves in the Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt were desecrated. DPA, Sept. 8, 1972, in BayHStA StK 17083. On the threats to the Jewish communities in West Germany during and after Munich: Van Dam to Zentralrat members, Sept. 4, to Ehmke, Nov. 17, 1972, ZEJD B. 1/7/420; Van Dam to Warburg, Sept. 12, to Bubis, Oct. 4, to Directory, Oct. 22, Nov. 7, Dec. 4, 12, 1972, ibid., B1.7/179. Increasing waiting time for visas and extending visa requirements to formerly exempt Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco. Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 213. Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, 47 48; Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 214. According to Redies Aufzeichnung, Oct. 2, 1972, PA AA B30/672, the impact was exaggerated: Only some one hundred Palestinian activists were expelled; and Abdallah Frangi, the PLO’s unofficial representative in the FRG who was connected with Black September, left on his own. Ben Ari to FM, Sept. 26, Oct. 23, 1972, ISA 130 5332/16‫“ ;חצ‬Der Araber dem ist nicht zu trauen,” Der Spiegel 39 (Sept. 18, 1972), pp. 24 34, “Die grosse Araberrazia,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 29, 1972; additional articles in ibid., Sept. 28, 30, 1972; Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sept. 29, 1972; Die Welt, Oct. 3, 1972. See also Quinn Slobodian, “The Borders of the Rechtsstaat in the Arab Autumn: Deportation and Law in West Germany, 1972/73,” German History 31, no. 2 (June 2013): 204 24. Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, “Freiheit, die sie meinen. Nach München: Gewalt scheidet die Geister,” Die Zeit 37 (Sept. 15, 1972), https://www.zeit.de/1972/37/freiheit die sie meinen. Bahr Aufzeichnungen, Sept. 11, 13, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:1214 27, 1256 61, Herbst Aufzeichnung, Sept. 13, 1972, ibid., pp. 1263 70; Bräutigam Aufzeichnung, Sept. 16, 1972, ibid., pp. 1289 1306; Frank to Bahr, Sept. 19, 1972, ibid., pp. 1312 18.

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to discuss the prevention of international terrorism.126 And because all of Western Europe was now at risk, Scheel also proposed that the Nine begin coordinating their intelligence-gathering activities and forging other forms of anti-terrorist collaboration.127 But Bonn’s most urgent diplomatic task – with its “every statement [coming] under intense scrutiny”128 – was to propitiate the Arabs and Israel, and both publics were highly incensed. The Arab press condemned the Germans’ “deceit” of the Palestinians, Heinemann’s censure of their governments, and Bonn’s radical anti-Arab measures, and it compared Brandt’s Germany with the Third Reich. Moreover, there were hostile demonstrations throughout the Middle East.129 Israeli journalists, probing the failed rescue at Fürstenfeldbruck, questioned the Germans’ commitment to save Jewish lives.130 The West German embassy in Tel Aviv became the target of threatening phone calls, demonstrations, and bomb threats, forcing Puttkamer to request special protection, including a bodyguard.131 Brandt, downplaying his compatriots’ outrage over the Arabs’ refusal to condemn Black September,132 set to work patching up Bonn’s newly established relations with the Arab League. Both he and Scheel distanced themselves from Heinemann’s scolding words, insisting on a “differentiated” stance toward friendly and hostile governments.133 The chancellor’s task was facilitated by the restrained stance of the Egyptian and Tunisian presidents, who refused the Palestinians’ demand to break their ties with Bonn.134 126

127 128 129

130 131 132

133 134

As a non UN member, the FRG was unable to propose an agenda item. James Daniel Ryan, The United Nations under Kurt Waldheim, 1972 1981 (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001), p. 30, states that German officials “importuned” the secretary general, who had attended the Olympics, to take action on terrorism. Von Hassel Aufzeichnung, Sept. 8, 1972, BAK B136/5039; Aufzeichnung, Sept. 12, 1972, PA AA B30/678; “Erfolg für Waldheim,” Die Zeit, Sept. 29, 1972. EG Aussenministerkonferenz am 12.9.1972, PA AA B36/510; details in Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 122 24. Schiller and Young,1972 Munich Olympics, p. 208. Collins to FCO, Algiers, Sept. 7, 13, 1972, Beaumont to FCO, Cairo, Sept. 7, 8, 1972, FCO 17/1741; “Antideutsche Kampagne der Araber,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, Oct. 12, 1972; details in Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 214. See, esp., articles by Ya’akov Erez, in Ma’ariv, Sept. 6, 1972, Aharon Lahav in Davar, Sept. 7, 1972; also Puttkamer to AA, Sept. 6, 1972, PA AA B36/506. Puttkamer to AA Sept. 8, 1972, PA AA B36/544, Oct. 30, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1617. Especially after reports of their representation at the elaborate “heroes’ funeral” held in Tripoli on Sept. 13 for the five slain Palestinians whose bodies had been flown from Munich two days earlier. Washington Post, Sept. 17, 1972; Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 210 11. Brandt interview, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sept. 8, 1972; Ben Ari to Meroz, Sept. 10, 1972, ISA 130 5334/4. See, esp., Steltzer to AA, Cairo, Sept. 7, 1972, Naupert to Frank, Tunis, Sept. 9, 12, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:1193 96, 1231 34, 1245, n. 8. On the delicate issue of Tunisia’s

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The Brandt government also reached out to Jerusalem. On the morning of September 6, the chancellor phoned Meir, and he and Heinemann sent condolence telegrams as well; two days later, they also sent messages at the start of the Jewish New Year.135 And on September 11, without a formal acknowledgment of its responsibility, the Brandt government announced the establishment of a DM 3.2 million fund to pay an immediate compensation to the victims’ families, which would be distributed through the German Red Cross.136 Meir’s initial response was restrained: She thanked the chancellor for his government’s efforts to rescue the Israeli athletes and sent her condolences to the family of the German victim.137 And from the Israeli embassy in Bonn came an urgent plea from Yitzhak Ben-Ari to withhold criticism at a precarious political moment for Brandt and Genscher.138 But public outrage quickly forced Meir to alter her moderate stance, especially after Bonn appeared to be downplaying the tragedy and spending its main efforts pacifying the Arabs.139 Responding to charges of major security lapses (which she had already acknowledged), Meir appointed a three-member committee to examine both countries’ intelligence errors.140 Moreover, Meir, who had staunchly defended her reliance on the Germans to protect the hostages, was shaken by the highly critical eyewitness accounts presented to the cabinet on September 11 by Zamir and Ben-Horin.141 On September 19, the Israeli government and press exploded in outrage when the joint report prepared by federal and Bavarian officials completely absolved the

135 136

137 138 139 140 141

connection with Black September: MacKenzie to FCO, Tunis, Sept. 24, 27, Nov. 26, 1972, GB NA FCO 17/1741. Large, Munich 1972, p. 232; Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 108 9, 219. Cabinet meeting, Sept. 6, 1972, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0/k/k1972 k/kap1 1/kap2 35/para3 1.html?highlight=true&search=israel&stemming= true&field=all#highlightedTerm. Milo to FM, Bonn, Sept. 11, 1972, ISA 130 5331/11; Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 219; also Large, Munich 1972, pp. 300 2, on the ensuing contro versy between the victims’ families and the Bonn and Bavarian governments over the Germans’ culpability and negligence and the Israeli athletes’ death. “Ankie Spitzer’s 40 Year Crusade for Olympic Justice,” Times of Israel, July 13, 2012. Meir to Brandt, Sept. 6, 1972, ISA 130 5334/4; also article by Yosef Harif in Ma’ariv, Sept. 6, 1972. Ben Ari to Eban and Zamir, Sept. 10, 1972, ISA 130 5334/4. Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, pp. 211 12. http://www.archives.gov.il/chapter/f koppel committee report gss arrangements regarding security abroad not keep changing needs israeli enquiry/. Puttkamer to AA, Tel Aviv, Sept. 12, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:1243, n. 2.

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German rescuers from responsibility for the athletes’ deaths and underlined the Israelis’ refusal to negotiate.142 Brandt, discomfited by the harsh tone from Jerusalem, fended off Meir’s plea to punish Arab governments for their refusal to disown Black September, emphasizing his government’s delicate position before the trial of the three captured Palestinians.143 But in view of the impending West German elections, he also warned the Israeli prime minister to avoid airing their differences in public (which “would not be in the interest of the Israeli or the German side”144). Although ostensibly agreeing not to make the chancellor’s life “more difficult,” Meir on October 16 devoted the bulk of her fortyfive-minute address before the Knesset to the events at Munich. Referring to the secret Israeli investigation, she announced the dismissal of three high-level intelligence officials, but she also lambasted West Germany for its negligence in protecting the Israeli athletes. And while repeating her gratitude for the Germans’ unprecedented armed action on behalf of the Israeli captives, she noted that “from an operational standpoint, there [was] indeed room for thought and a critical attitude.”145 In this speech Meir also addressed Israel’s six-week, air and land campaign against Palestinian bases in Lebanon and Syria, which had abruptly ended the Middle East’s two-year truce. On September 8, without consulting Washington, Meir, bowing to the hawks in her cabinet and an inflamed Israeli public, had launched air attacks against PLO bases in Syria and Lebanon, followed by a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Two days later, the Security Council – paralyzed by Soviet and US vetoes – condemned neither the Palestinian attack at Munich nor the Israeli retaliation against its neighbors.146

142

143 144 145 146

Puttkamer to AA, Sept. 22, 26, 1972, PA AA B1/509; text of the report in BayHStA St K 17083, published in Bundesrepublik Deutschland/Bundesregierung Bayern, Die Überfall auf die israelische Olympiamannschaft: Dokumentation (Bonn: Bundesdruckerei, 1972). The report incorporated the similar conclusion of the Bundestag’s Internal Affairs Committee’s investigation, which had decided against calling for a parliamentary inquiry that would have affected the forthcoming election. Ben Horin to FM, Sept. 19, 1972, ISA 130 5331/11. Among the report’s findings was confirmation that all the Israelis had died from Palestinian bullets. Brandt/Ben Horin meeting, Sept. 13, 1972, AdsD WBA A9/25. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 13, 1972, AAPD 1972 2:1534 37 (here 1534 35). Prime Minister’s Statement at the opening of the Knesset Winter Session 10.10.1972, in PA AA B36/505; New York Times, Oct. 17, 1972, p. 1. Record of deliberations of the UN Security Council, Sept. 10, 1972, GB NA FCO 17/ 1741; New York Times, Washington Post, Sept. 11, 1972.

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Aside from assuaging the irate public, Israel’s military campaign achieved minimal success. Few Palestinian guerrillas were captured, and the mounting civilian casualties in Lebanon fed the Arabs’ antiIsrael propaganda and quickly diminished the world’s sympathy over the murders at Munich.147 Moreover, Black September’s retaliation against Israeli targets abroad sharply increased the country’s vulnerability, restraining its officials’ and citizens’ foreign travel and forcing their hosts to provide exceptional security measures.148 Conversely, Israel, with US support, intensified its accusations against the Arab governments for their complicity in Palestinian terrorism. Consequently, while calling for a heightened international effort to combat terrorism, Eban announced that the already-stalled Middle East peace negotiations would not be able to proceed “until this obstacle is out of the way.”149 Paradoxically, this represented a victory for the PLO, which had hitherto been ignored in the UN and Superpower initiatives. Zagreb There was little surprise over the events on October 29, 1972, although some significant details remain obscure to this day.150 For almost two months, the FRG’s intelligence services and Bavarian justice officials had expected another terrorist strike to free the three Palestinian prisoners; but once again, the two governments were unprepared and their response, on the eve of the federal elections, roiled domestic and international politics.151 Early on that Sunday morning, Lufthansa flight 615, en route to Frankfurt with a crew of seven, left Damascus and stopped in Beirut where thirteen passengers boarded. Among them were two armed Palestinian commandos,152 who shortly after takeoff threatened to blow up the craft unless the three captives were released. After refueling in Cyprus and passing directly over Zagreb, before noon the hijacked plane arrived in Munich and circled the fog-laden city for almost two hours while the West German 147

148 149 150 151 152

“Retribution and Justice,” New York Times, Sept. 11, 1972, p. 36; “Arab Terrorism Spreading beyond Munich,” The Jewish Exponent, Sept. 15, 1972, p. 1; “Israel: ‘Abwehr allein reicht nicht,’” Der Spiegel 40 (Sept. 25, 1972) pp. 102 3. “Israel: Kleine Menschlein,” Der Spiegel 45 (Oct. 30, 1972), pp. 140 41, 143. “Israeli Says Peace Talks Must Await End of Terror,” New York Times, Sept. 22, 1972, p. 1. Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 72. Details in Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 219; Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, p. 20. Either from the PFLP or Black September, both of which claimed credit. Washington Post, Oct. 30, 1972.

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government, failing to obtain help from the Arab League (but also ignoring Israeli ambassador Ben-Horin’s pleas) ordered the Bavarian authorities to free the Palestinians and transport them by helicopter to the Riem airport.153 This contentious German decision set off another international drama. Just as the three Palestinians arrived at Riem, the hijack leader commanded the Lufthansa pilot to return to Zagreb, announcing that the plane and passengers would be released only after the Palestinians were flown to the Croatian capital. Now the hostages’ fate also depended on the Communist leader Josip Broz Tito, who – although an avowed enemy of terrorism – greatly valued his prestige in the Arab world.154 The drama intensified when the crisis teams in Munich and Bonn,155 attempting to obtain the hijackers’ guarantee of an exchange (and also to gain Yugoslav assistance in liberating the hostages), delayed the departure of the three fedayeen, seated in a Condor aircraft with Lufthansa CEO Herbert Culmann and two plain-clothes Bavarian police officers. In the meantime, the captain of the hijacked plane – circling Zagreb and now running out of fuel – sent an urgent appeal to Munich.156 Thereupon, Culmann, defying his government’s directive,157 ordered the plane’s departure, arriving in Zagreb at 5:05 p.m.158 However, there was no prisoner/hostage exchange in Yugoslavia. Before agreeing to land, the hijackers demanded the unconditional release of the three fedayeen, and after arriving in Zagreb, they insisted that the plane be refueled for an immediate departure to Tripoli, threatening to blow up the Lufthansa aircraft. After the German Condor pilot surrendered the three prisoners, Croatia’s interior 153

154

155

156

157 158

Large, Munich 1972, p. 292; Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 71. Philipp Held, the Bavarian minister of justice, ordered the lifting of the arrest warrant and issued official emigration papers for the three. Jaenicke to AA, Belgrade, Nov. 2, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1635 38. It is not clear whether the commandos’ order was due to weather conditions or to avoid another armed confrontation on German soil, or if the Zagreb exchange had been decided in advance. In Munich consisting of Mayor Georg Kronawitter, Police Chief Manfred Schreiber, and Interior Minister Bruno Merk; in Bonn of Brandt Scheel, Genscher, and Transportation Minister Lauritz Lauritzen. Details in Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 72; also Andrees Eltern and Jürgen Scherzer, “Gleich fliegen wir alle in die Luft,” Stern 25, no. 47 (Nov. 12, 1972), pp. 18 24, 260 67, reporting the testimony of Lufthansa pilot Walter Claussen. He was later exonerated for his insubordination. Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 73, n. 212. See Cullman Interview, Der Spiegel 46 (Nov. 6, 1972), pp. 90 97. At the last minute a Bavarian justice ministry official, expected to fly to Zagreb with the prisoners and negotiate with the hijackers, had been ordered by a superior not to board the plane. Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 72.

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minister (on orders from Tito) and with the assent of the West German consul general (who had no time to consult either Munich or Bonn) agreed to refuel.159 Within minutes, the Boeing 727 departed for Tripoli, where the freed Palestinians were given a heroes’ welcome; and after spending the night as guests of Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the twenty hostages and the plane returned to West Germany.160 Once more, the FRG had displayed its incompetence in the public glare. Again, under time pressure, there had been hasty decisions as well as poor communication, deficient coordination between federal and Land officials, and serious diplomatic shortcomings.161 At home, the CDU/ CSU labeled the Brandt government a “feeble guardian of law and order”;162 and abroad, Bonn’s allies – especially the United States, criticized its “capitulation to terrorism.”163 The Brandt government responded forcefully. Its spokesperson Conrad Ahlers informed the press on October 29 that the FRG bore no responsibility for the Arab-Israeli conflict but had now become its “victim.”164 A day later Scheel repeated these sentiments, reminding the Bundestag’s Internal Affairs Committee that Israel had also conducted a prisoner exchange in 1968.165 And in the cabinet meeting on October 31 Brandt insisted on the priority of saving human lives and maintained that the FRG was “not in a state of war.”166 Furious over these explanations, Israel launched formal protests in Bonn and with the West German ambassador in Tel Aviv.167 In its message to the UN, Israel rebuked the FRG’s “shocking release” of the 159 160 161

162 163 164

165 166

167

Jaenicke to AA, Belgrade, Nov. 2, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1635 38. “Flugzeugentführung: Terroristen befreit,” Die Zeit 44 (Nov. 3, 1972), http://www.zeit .de/1972/44/terroristen befreit; details in Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 72 74. Among these were the AA’s inability to convince Belgrade not to release the hostages and to substitute an Arab plane for the Lufthansa craft. AAPD 1972 3:1637, n. 9; Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 74 75. “Nase abbeissen,” Der Spiegel 46 (Nov. 6, 1972), pp. 24 25; Günter Gaus, “Schlapper Staat?” ibid., p. 25. “A Triumph for Terrorism,” Chicago Tribune, Oct. 31, 1972; “Israel Hits Guerrilla Bases,” New York Times, Oct. 31, 1972. ZDF Interview, cited in Daniel Gerlach, Die doppelte Front: Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Nahostkonflikt, 1967 1973 (Berlin: LIT, 2006), p. 180; also Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 30, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1617. Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 112. Cabinet meeting, Oct. 31, 1972, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0/k/k1972 k/kap1 1/kap2 44/para3 1.html. “Brandt Defends 3 Arab Releases,” Chicago Tribune, Nov. 1, 1973; see also Dietrich Strothmann, “Terror ohne Ende? Nach dem letzten Piratenakt: Bonn unter Beschuss,” Die Zeit 44 (Nov. 3, 1972), http://www.zeit.de/1972/ 44/terror ohne ende. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 30, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1615 17; Ben Horin to FM, Oct. 31, 1972, ISA 130 5331/16.

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Palestinian prisoners.168 The Knesset debate on October 31 exploded with anti-German sentiments;169 and the cabinet, upon hearing the report of the recalled Ben-Horin, declared its “confusion, consternation, anger, and indignation.”170 Once more, Puttkamer became the target of hostile demonstrations and even death threats.171 The Israeli press was alive with accusations, claiming there were alternatives to surrender and accusing the FRG of sabotaging the global battle against terrorism, especially after the three released Palestinians announced that “they intended to continue their work.”172 Israelis debated ways of punishing Bonn – from returning the compensation paid to the athletes’ families to imposing sanctions, to cancelling Brandt’s visit.173 Journalists and politicians also voiced suspicions – still held to this day – of a plot between the FRG and the hijackers to get rid of an unwanted problem.174 Moreover, for the first time in its history, the 168 169

170 171

172

173 174

Letter from the Israeli UN delegate to Security Council President, Oct. 30, 1972, copy in GB NA FCO 17/1741. Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 1, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1617, n. 3; also Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, Nov. 1, 6, 1972, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z 2993; “Israel: Deutsche Feigheit,” Der Spiegel 46 (Nov. 6, 1972), pp. 120 22. “Bonn’s Explanation of the Arabs’ Release Assailed by Israel,” New York Times, Nov. 6, 1972; Huré to MAE, Nov. 6, 1972, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2993. Puttkamer to AA Oct. 30, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1617; afterward, the distraught ambas sador was briefly hospitalized for medical observation: Rückriegel to AA, Nov. 13, 1972, Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 16, 1972, PA AA B36/544. Eban declared the German action not only a “blow to the memory and dignity of the Munich victims” but also a new threat against all Israelis. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 30, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1615; “Israel: Deutsche Feigheit,” Der Spiegel 46 (Nov. 6, 1972), pp. 120 22; “Liegt München nun doch bei Dachau?” ibid., pp. 124 30. At a press conference on Oct. 31, Yediot Ahronot correspondent Alfred Wolfmann asked whether the Bonn government, if the incident were repeated, would release the Baader Meinhof prisoners. Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 104. Ma’ariv, Oct. 30, 1972; also Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, Nov. 1, 1972, FMAE Europe/ RFA 1971 76 Z2993. HaTzofe, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 1972; Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 1, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1686, n. 3. Due to the small number of male only passengers on the Lufthansa flight (which had been scheduled to stop in Ankara before heading to Munich and Frankfurt) and the speed with which the West German government complied with the hijackers’ demands, the Israeli public immediately suspected a conspiracy between Bonn and the Palestinian hijackers to “get rid of a troublesome problem” on the eve of the German elections: Jerusalem Post editorial, Oct. 30, 1972; Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 1, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1686, n. 3; also Doc. I: ISA, Fortieth Anniversary of the Massacre of the Israeli Athletes in Munich. http://www .archives.gov.il/chapter/eban degree action passes death sentence israelis hijacking lufthansa plane release munich terrorists/. This interpretation is presented in the docu mentary film One Day in September (London: Lionsgate, 1999), which features interviews with future GSG 9 chief Ulrich K. Wegener, Hans Jochen Vogel, and Jamal al Geshey, one of the freed Palestinians, and also by journalists: e.g., “Bonn Faked Hijack to Free Killers,” The Guardian, Mar. 25, 2000; and Reeve, One Day in September, p. 158, Aaron Klein, Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics and Israel’s Deadly Response (New York: Random House, 2007), pp. 125 28 and Michael Wolffsohn, Friedenskanzler? Willy Brandt zwischen

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Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland entered the fray, lodging protests with the federal and Bavarian governments, suggesting that the FRG’s $5 million ransom to the hijackers in February was helping to finance Palestinian terrorism, and declaring their new sense of insecurity.175 With only two weeks left before the federal elections, Brandt sent a carefully crafted message to Meir, which was delivered verbally by Puttkamer on November 8. Without responding directly to the Israelis’ accusations and expressing indignation over their harsh criticisms – especially those comparing him with Hitler – Brandt repeated his commitment to combating terrorism and to maintaining their bilateral relations.176 Yet despite this hopeful signal (which facilitated Ben-Horin’s return to Bonn),177 neither side had, in fact, accepted the other’s perspective. In an exceptionally sharp exchange on November 15, AA State Secretary Paul Frank defended the FRG’s neutrality in the Middle East conflict and its work to “internationalize” the terrorist problem while Ben-Horin futilely sought a German pledge to fight on Israel’s side.178 Both sides headed in separate directions. Brandt, after his stunning victory in November, intended to focus on ameliorating conditions at home and preparing for the FRG’s entry into the United Nations the next year.179 In line with this latter goal, the Auswärtiges Amt moved quickly to repair Bonn’s frayed relations with the Arab world, manifested by its restrained stance toward Libya on the question of extraditing the Palestinians.180

175 176 177 178

179

180

Krieg und Terror (Munich: DTV, 2018), pp. 94 104; but it has been challenged by scholars such as Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 216, Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, pp. 21 24, Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, pp. 21 24, Oberloskamp, “Das Olympia Attentat,” p. 333, n. 55, Large, Munich 1972, pp. 294 95, and Wolfgang Kraushaar, “Wann endlich beginnt bei Euch der Kampf gegen die Heilige Kuh Israel?” München 1970: Über die antisemitischen Wurzeln des deutschen Terrorismus (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rohwolt, 2013), pp. 594 96. Van Dam to Brandt and to Bavarian minister president Alfons Goppel, Oct. 31, 1972, ZEJD B. 1/7/179. Brandt to Meir, Nov. 6, 1972, AdsD WBA A9/22; Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 8, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1685 88. Washington Post, Nov. 9, 1972, p. 30; Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, Nov. 9, 1972, FMAE Europe/ RFA 1971 76 Z2993; Church to FCO, Tel Aviv, Nov. 9, 1972, GB NA FCO 17/1741. Niemöller Aufzeichnung, Nov. 15, 1972, PA AA B36/544; also Redies Aufzeichnung, Nov. 14, 1972, ibid. The Israeli ambassador’s statements that night on West German television concerning bilateral collaboration forced the AA to mollify the Arabs and counsel restraint on Ben Horin. Redies Aufzeichnung, Nov. 16, 1972, ibid.; Schiller and Young, 1972 Munich Olympics, p. 217. Erklärung des Bundeskanzlers und Vorsitzenden der SPD, Willy Brandt, zum Ausgang der Bundestagswahl am 19. November 1972, http://www.willy brandt.org/willy brandt /bedeutende reden/. Frank Aufzeichnung, Nov. 13, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1699 1700; Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, pp. 76 81.

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But on the threat of terrorism, Bonn took a firm stance, underlining its neutrality toward the Middle East conflict but also warning Arab governments against the extension of violence to German soil.181 And while strengthening its own security forces, it also intended to work closely with the enlarged EEC and with the UN.182 Refuting Israeli claims of its special ties with the FRG, Scheel’s reportedly announced that Israel could not force the Social-Liberal government – which, he once more maintained, had no members with a Nazi past – to do something that was “not in West Germany’s interest.”183 Israel now faced a world newly alerted to the Palestinians’ national claims, represented by the PLO, whose 1968 charter challenged its existence, whose leader had approved the Munich operation, and whose adherents were committed to a global struggle. Without allies to oppose these claims, Israeli leaders opted for armed reprisals: One day after the Zagreb handover, the Israeli air force conducted heavy raids on guerrilla installations in Syria. Another result was to accelerate the launch of the secret and still controversial operation “Wrath of God,” the targeted killings devised by Zamir and Aharon Yariv (former head of Israeli military intelligence) and approved by Meir on September 15 to track down and assassinate Black September operatives responsible for Munich, to prevent a recurrence, and to deter others from joining or assisting Palestinian terrorist organizations.184 Despite its bungling performances at Munich and Zagreb, the FRG emerged at the end of 1972 with an even stronger focus on its national priorities as well as on its European and global future. Israel, on the other hand, faced the exposure of its vulnerability and its near isolation against a ruthless and resolute enemy. One side’s pragmatism and the other side’s militancy had further widened the gap between the two countries as the baleful German-Jewish past continued to recede.

181 182 183

184

Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, pp. 80 81. Redies Aufzeichnungen, Nov. 16, 27, 1972, Redies to Rückriegel, Dec. 11, 1972, PA AA B36/544; Redies to Germ. emb. Libya, Dec. 11, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1794 95. American Israelite, Nov. 30, 1972, p. 20. Scheel had expressed similar sentiments in his Oct. 30 briefing to the Bundestag’s Internal Affairs Committee, Dahlke, Anschlag auf Olympia, p. 69. Reeve, One Day in September, pp. 160 254, Large, Munich 1972, pp. 296 98; Rubner, “Massacre in Munich,” pp. 176 78, 180 84; see also George Jonas, Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter Terrorism Team (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005); Klein, Striking Back; Ronan Bergman, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, trans. Ronnie Hope (New York: Random House, 2018).

9

Annus Terribilis

Our policy has [necessitated] the painful abandonment of illusions and the willingness to break free of restrictive taboos. We had to face reality, if we wanted to change it.1 Israel’s problem, however, is that it ultimately stands alone.2

The final day of Brandt’s visit to Israel was almost his last. On Monday morning, June 11, 1973, at 9:30 a.m., the chancellor and his party departed Jerusalem for Masada, the Herodian fortress where, according to the testimony of Josephus Flavius, Jewish rebels in 73 CE had committed mass suicide to avoid captivity by the Romans, and which had become a major part of Israel’s national identity.3 But as Brandt’s helicopter attempted to land on the craggy plateau some 450 meters above the Dead Sea and the pilot cut the engine, a sudden gust of wind produced a hard jolt stirring clouds of sand and dust. The chancellor prepared to exit, but when the chopper continued to move he was restrained by Israeli and German security personnel. (The three passengers who leaped from the moving craft were slightly injured and treated at the scene.)

1 2 3

Willy Brandt, Speech to the Central Committee of the Israeli Labor Party, Beit Berl, June 10, 1973, AdsD WBA/501. Golda Meir, quoted in Deutsch israelische Regierungsgespräche in Tel Aviv, June 7, 1973, AAPD 1973 2:963. Beginning in 1956, Dayan had ordered the Israeli army to conduct its swearing in ceremony at Masada to symbolize the Jews’ ancient ties with the land and their will to survive (expressed by the slogan “Masada shall not fall again”). Between 1963 and 1965, Yigael Yadin, the former IDF chief of staff, had led an extensive, largely foreign funded excavation project at Masada, and published an heroic narrative that strayed significantly from Josephus’s account. Yigael Yadin, Masada: Herod’s Fortress and the Zealots’ Last Stand (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1966). Within a decade, however, scholars began challenging the “Masada myth” (Pierre Vidal Naquet, “Flavius Josèphe et Masada,” Revue Historique 260 [July Sept. 1978]: 3 21; and, esp., Nachman Ben Yehuda, in The Masada Myth: Collective Memory and Mythmaking in Israel [Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995]). Nonetheless this imposing archaeological site remains an important element in Israeli national consciousness, a major tourist attraction, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Annus Terribilis

Before a stunned audience of journalists who had been waiting up to four hours in a blazing sun, the helicopter rolled some thirty meters toward the rim of the cliff, while Israeli soldiers attempted to stop the chopper. In the meantime, the pilot, who had restarted the engine, steered the craft sideways until it hit an old stone wall, halting only three meters from the precipice.4 Pulled from the crippled machine, Brandt slipped, recovered his balance, and immediately regained his composure. Thereupon, under the guidance of Yigael Yadin he made a ninety-minute tour of Masada; and when he and his party prepared to descend by cable car, Brandt chided the agitated journalists: “What accident? In this country, one can still expect miracles.”’5 Nonetheless – and much to the embarrassment of his hosts – the danger Brandt had faced made headlines throughout the world.6 Foreword Scholars have long recognized 1973 as a pivotal year marked by the fourth Middle East war and renewed Superpower confrontation and also by the October oil crisis, which shattered the post-1945 Western-dominated economic order and shaped the anarchic globalized environment of the rest of the twentieth century.7 Moreover, because many of the sources of economic and political instability were already in evidence, observers that year had become alert to the momentous changes occurring in their region and throughout the world.

4 5

6

7

Jerusalem Post, Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Times [London], and Guardian, June 12, 1973. Jochum to AA, Tel Aviv, June 11, 1973, AAPD 1973 2:966, n. 2. Also, Willy Brandt, Begegnungen und Einsichten: Die Jahre 1960 1975 (Hamburg: Hoffmann and Campe, 1976), p. 597; Klaus Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt: Tagebuch der Jahre mit Willy Brandt (Reinebek: Rowohlt, 2000), pp. 206 7; Rüdiger von Wechmar, Akteur in der Loge: Weltläufige Erinnerungen (Berlin: Siedler, 2000), pp. 279 80; Reinhard Wilke, Meine Jahre mit Willy Brandt (Stuttgart: Hohenheim, 2010), p. 143. Ten days later, recalling the incident with Pompidou, Brandt, dismissed Asher Ben Natan’s (the Israeli ambassador to France) fanciful response to accusations of his govern ment’s negligence that it had been “a French helicopter plus an Arab wind . . . [but] fortunately . . . a great Jewish god!” joking back that it had been a US made craft, a wind off the Mediterranean, and he would not take up the issue of God. Brandt, Begegnungen und Einsichten, p. 597; but Wilke, in his memoir, Mein Jahre, p. 143, cited an Israeli poem: that the “ghosts of murdered Jews” had stirred this gust to frighten the Germans. “The history of the twenty years after 1973 is one of a world which has lost its bearings and slid into instability and crisis.” In Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914 1991 (New York: Pantheon, 1994), p. 403; cf. Fiona Venn, The Oil Crisis (London: Pearson, 2002), pp. 154 62.

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Threats to Superpower Détente Shortly after his second inauguration on January 20 and the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on Vietnam one week later, Richard Nixon suddenly became a beleaguered leader, plagued not only by the Watergate investigation and the dollar crisis – which almost immediately triggered the oil producers’ demands for higher prices and raised panic among the Western industrialized powers – but also by his administration’s increasingly strained relations with Western Europe over its unilateral dealings with the USSR.8 Moreover, following Nixon’s striking expansion of presidential power during his first term in office and his landslide victory in November, the US Congress suddenly asserted itself not only with the prospect of the televised Senate Watergate hearings but also with legislation curbing further US military involvement in Southeast Asia and limiting presidential war powers as well. In addition, there was a direct attack on détente itself. Responding to Moscow’s imposition in August 1972 of a diploma tax on Soviet Jews applying to emigrate, Senator Henry F. Jackson and Congressman Charles Vanik teamed up in February with an amendment to the administration’s Trade Reform Act denying mostfavored-nation tariff treatment, credits, and investment and credit guarantees to governments that violated a universal human right – “the right to leave” – thus threatening to cancel one of the Soviets’ major gains from détente.9 Nonetheless Leonid Brezhnev was still determined to pursue détente, even with a weakened US president.10 Fearing the territorial ambitions of a nuclear-armed China, the Soviet leader pressed his colleagues on the urgency of continuing to work with Washington to diminish the tensions and the arms race between the two Superpowers and also to avert a USChinese alignment. Thus, in March, fearing to jeopardize the upcoming summit in Washington, the Soviet general secretary ordered the suspension (but not the repeal) of the diploma tax, which, between August 1972

8 9

10

Nixon’s woes were compounded by a toxic relationship with the American press: see, esp., “USA: Nixon gängelt die Presse,” Der Spiegel 11 (Mar. 12, 1973), pp. 80 84. Dan Caldwell, “The Jackson Vanik Amendment,” in John Spanier and Joseph Nogee, eds., Congress, the Presidency and American Foreign Policy (New York: Pergamon Press, 1981), 1 21. According to Brandt (who conveyed this information to the Israeli ambassador, who relayed it to Meir), the Soviet general secretary refused to recognize the constitutional issues surrounding Watergate but viewed it as a “plot of certain circles in America working against détente.” Ben Horin to FM, May 25, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4‫חצ‬. See also Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents (New York: Times Books, 1995), pp. 270 71.

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and February 1973, had raised some 6 million rubles from Jewish emigrants.11 Like Nixon, Brezhnev faced domestic critics of his courting the capitalist enemy; but, invoking the old Leninist policy of peaceful coexistence he insisted that détente was an “absolute necessity” to enable the USSR to reap economic benefits – among them the development of the oil and gas fields of Siberia, the acquisition of advanced Western technology, and the expansion of East-West trade – along with winning the West’s acknowledgment of the post-1945 borders at the upcoming CSCE – all which would benefit Soviet citizens and also bolster his leadership.12 By most measures, the eight-day Superpower summit in June 1973 was a striking success. The first Soviet leader to visit the United States since 1959, Brezhnev was hosted at the White House, Camp David, and Nixon’s private residence in San Clemente, California, and the two signed nine separate agreements on a host of important issues, including the prevention of nuclear war, a mutual reduction of forces in Europe, and preparations for the CSCE process, which opened in July in Helsinki.13 However, on one pressing issue – joint action to prevent a new war in the Middle East – there was conspicuously no accord. After the Vietnam agreement was concluded, Brezhnev on January 30 had sent a clear signal to Washington on the urgency of continuing to work together to bring peace to the Middle East;14 and immediately afterward, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, under intense domestic and Arab pressure, had 11

12

13

14

“Zionism Is Making us Stupid.” Brezhnev comment quoted in “Excerpt from the Minutes of a Politburo Meeting, Mar. 20, 1973,” in Boris Morozov, ed., Documents on Soviet Jewish Emigration (London: Frank Cass, 1999), pp. 170 76, quote, p. 175; Victor Dönninghaus and Andrei Savin, “‘Don’t Be Seen Repealing the Decree on the Jews Just Don’t Enforce It’: L.I. Brezhnev, Détente, and Jewish Emigration from the USSR,” Russian Studies in History 52, no. 4 (Spring 2014): 24 29. Cf. “Jackson’s Victory,” Washington Post, Apr. 23, 1973, p. 18. See, esp., Vimont to MAE, Moscow, May 30, Oct. 24, 1973, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3705; also Vladislav Zubok, “The Soviet Union and Détente of the 1970s,” Cold War History 8, no. 4 (Nov. 2008): 428 32. “The Nine Pacts of Brezhnev’s Visit,” New York Times, June 25, 1973; Sh. Sanakoyev, “USSR US Relations: A Historic Turning Point,” International Relations (Moscow) 9 (1973): 3 10; also Dobrynin, In Confidence, pp. 281 86; Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (Boston: Little, Brown, 1982), pp. 286 301. Nixon privately assured Brezhnev that the United States would make no arrangement with China directed at Russia. Craig Daigle, The Limits of Détente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1969 1973 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), p. 274. New York Times, Jan. 31, 1973, p. 1; Nazelle to MAE, Moscow, Feb. 6, 1973, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3705. On the Soviet role in the Vietnam accord: Lorenz Lüthi, “Beyond Betrayal: Beijing, Moscow, and the Paris Negotiations, 1971 1973,” Journal of Cold War Studies 11, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 57 107.

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launched another diplomatic initiative to force an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and to gain international recognition of the rights of the Palestinians, which Moscow had dutifully supported.15 But after the failure of Egypt’s appeal to the Security Council in June, Brezhnev had good reason to fear a new war that would place the Superpowers on opposite sides and destroy détente.16 Moreover, the Soviet leader’s apprehensions were widely shared; America’s European allies, and especially the FRG, were terrified of a Superpower conflict and of an even more punishing Arab oil boycott than in 1967.17 By late June, however, Nixon was deeply enmeshed in Watergate. Despite his earlier pledges to tackle the Middle East problem after the US elections and a Vietnam agreement, he was unready to do so. Moreover, the president was backed by his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who insisted that no progress could be made until after Israel’s October 30 elections. Also, Kissinger had no intention of enhancing Brezhnev’s role in the Arab world or including the Soviets in a future Middle East settlement.18 Consequently, despite Brezhnev’s last-minute plea during an unscheduled, almost four-hour nighttime meeting at the end of his US visit, the final communiqué simply acknowledged their differences and contained the anodyne statement that “both parties agreed to continue to exert their efforts to promote the quickest possible settlement in the Middle East.”19 15

16 17

18

19

Uri Bar Joseph, “The Last Chance to Avoid War: Anwar Sadat’s Peace Initiative of February 1973 and Its Failure,” Journal of Contemporary History 41, no. 3 (July 2006): 545 56; Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 237 60. A more critical view of Sadat in Moshe Gat, In Search of a Peace Settlement: Egypt and Israel between the Wars, 1967 1973 (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Mikhail Narinskiy, “L’URSS et le conflit du Proche Orient de 1973,” Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique 120, no. 2 (June 2007): 129. T.G. Memo, June 13, 1973, UNA S0904 0015 01 FRG; also Brandt, Gespräch mit Nixon, Washington, May 1, 1973, AdsD WBA A9/32, Brandt to Nixon, May 23, 1973, ibid., A9/60, Nixon to Brandt, June 25, 1973, ibid., A9/20. Henry Kissinger, Crisis: The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), pp. 10 12; Thomas Schwartz, “Legacies of Détente: A Three Way Discussion,” Cold War History 8, no. 4 (Nov. 2008): 520. The text read: “The parties expressed their deep concern with the situation in the Middle East and exchanged opinions regarding ways of reaching a Middle East settlement. Each of the parties set forth its position on this problem. Both parties agreed to continue their efforts to promote the quickest possible settlement in the Middle East. This settlement should be in accordance with the interests of all states in the area, be consistent with their independence and sovereignty and should take into due account the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people.” Joint US USSR Communique, June 24, 1973, http://www .washingtonpost.com/wp srv/inatl/longterm/summit/archive/com1973 1.htm. Israel’s “relieved” response: Puttkamer to AA, June 29, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104765. On the late night Nixon Brezhnev meeting: Memorandum for the President’s File by the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), San Clemente, June 23, 1973, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969 76v15/d132.

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True, Brezhnev had succeeded in inserting the first-ever Superpower acknowledgment of the “legitimate interests of the Palestinian people.” But the Soviet leader’s failure to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough with Washington left him vulnerable to fierce Arab criticism, and it also made the prospect of war more likely.20 The FRG: After Brandt’s November Triumph Willy Brandt’s government declaration on January 18, 1973, was a long, carefully worded address, replete with optimism: “Never before,” he announced, “has a German state lived in such good harmony with the free spirit of its citizenry, with its neighbors, and its international partners.” Having accomplished the major part of his Ostpolitik – and now with a comfortable forty-six-seat parliamentary majority – the chancellor promised to focus on domestic problems but without providing details. Brandt pledged his firm commitment to his West European and US allies. In his brief reference to one of the world’s foremost trouble spots, the Middle East, he evoked the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Third Reich as the core of the FRG’s responsibility for Israel’s survival. He nonetheless also noted the Arabs’ growing “understanding of our position,” Bonn’s recognition of their problems, and the Federal Republic’s intention to cultivate friendly relations with all the Arab peoples.21 The SPD-FDP government set to work on combating inflation, preparing legislation on tax reform, improving working-class conditions, and curbing land speculation. At the same time, it had to cope with effects of the international monetary crisis: On the first day of March, $2.7 billion flowed into West Germany, which was twice forced to revalue the mark. Although the government’s hard decisions disadvantaged some West German export industries (especially automobiles), they also bolstered

20

21

Pompidou [who met with Brezhnev on the Soviet leader’s trip back from Washington] to Brandt, June 30, 1973, AdsD WBA A9/51; also “Brezhnev Calls for Peace Settlement; Moscow Reassures Arabs,” June 27, 1973, CIA RDP85T00875R00030060026 1, https:// www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/1973 06 27.pdf. “Arab World Press Bitter toward Summit,” Washington Post, June 27, 1973, p. 26; “Soviet Seeking to Convince Arabs of Continued Backing,” New York Times, July 1, 1973, p. 10; “For Arabs a Reappraisal of Soviet Ties,” New York Times, July 10, 1973, p. 6, “Cairo Envoy’s Talks in Moscow Postponed,” Washington Post, July 13, 1973, p. 8. Presse und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung. Bundeskanzler Brandt, Regierungserklärung des zweiten Kabinetts Brandt/Scheel von 18.Januar 1973. http://library .fes.de/pdf files/netzquelle/a88 06578.pdf. See also “Ein bisschen zuviel Handschrift der SPD,” Der Spiegel 2 (Jan. 8, 1973), pp. 17 18. Henderson to FCO, Bonn, Jan. 19, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/232.

The FRG: After Brandt’s November Triumph

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the Bundesbank’s efforts to create domestic price stability and strengthened Bonn’s stature in international monetary circles.22 There was also a political challenge to Brandt’s leadership. Some 25 percent of the SPD’s newly elected Bundestag deputies belonged to the Jungsozialisten (Jusos), a group of articulate and ambitious left-wing politicians under thirty-five years of age, who had taken the reins of local party cells and now called for a more ideologically driven party. At their annual national congress in early March, the Jusos adopted a radical domestic program demanding state control over German banks and industry that raised objections from the SPD rank and file and from Brandt’s FDP partners. The Jusos also called for a revamping of Bonn’s foreign policy that included the removal of US troops from Europe, cancellation of Brandt’s visit to Israel, and provision of greater support to the Palestinians, stirring alarm among the FRG’s allies, and, especially, in Israel.23 To be sure, aside from airing their goals as “the party of the 1980s,” the Jusos’s leaders were unprepared to overthrow the popular chancellor and sabotage his program.24 Nonetheless, Brandt was forced to respond. Taking time off from his hectic diplomatic schedule, on April 11, in a masterful twohour address to the SPD congress in Hanover Brandt defended the reformist 1959 Bad Godesberg principles that had enabled the party to win its greatest electoral victory in November; but as a former revolutionary, he was also reluctant to suppress the voices of German youth.25 Although Brandt was overwhelmingly reelected party chairman and the party endorsed his centerleft domestic and foreign policies, in the executive committee vote three venerable SPD figures were surprisingly defeated and the well-disciplined Jusos secured ten of the thirty-two seats, bringing a more destabilizing mix into the ruling party’s governing body.26 22

23

24

25 26

The FRG’s anti inflationary action was reinforced by the Mar. 12 decision of six EEC members (Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, France, West Germany, and Denmark) on a joint float against outside currencies. Michael B. Cohn, “Float in Hindsight,” Economic and Political Weekly 8, no. 23 (June 9, 1973): 1018 20; Otmar Emminger, The D Mark in the Conflict between Internal and External Equilibrium, 1948 75. Essays in International Finance, no. 122 (Princeton, NJ: International Finance Section, Department of Economics, Princeton University, 1977), pp. 37 39, https://www .princeton.edu/~ies/IES Essays/E122.pdf. Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 17, 19, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104771; Puttkamer to AA, Mar. 19, 1973, ibid., Mar. 27, 1973, ibid., 104770, Apr. 3, 1973, Ibid., 104771; Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 12, 26, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4‫ ;חצ‬also “Young Socialists Assail Brandt Policy,” New York Times, Mar. 11, 1973, p. 6; Yediot Ahronot, Apr. 19, 1973. “SPD: Nichts ist durchgespielt,” Der Spiegel 10 (Mar. 5, 1973), pp. 21 23; Mar. 10, 1973, p. 6; “Jusos gegen Spaltung,” Die Zeit 12 (Mar. 16, 1973); also “The Left against Brandt,” Ha’aretz, Mar. 20, 1973. Willy Brandt, Erinnerungen (Frankfurt: Ulstein, 1994), pp. 273 74. Bruno Friedrich, “Machtfrage als Lektion,” Die Zeit 15 (Apr. 6, 1973); Carl Christian Kaiser, “Parteitagsbeginn im Kammerton,” Die Zeit 16 (Apr. 13, 1973); Carl Christian

226

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In foreign affairs, the FRG’s first priority was to deal with the Arabs in order to mitigate the fallout from Munich and Zagreb. To prevent new attacks on West German soil, Bonn sent emissaries to Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt requesting intelligence collaboration and other forms of assistance.27 The Brandt government also reached out directly to the Palestinian leadership. On December 29, 1972, and January 3, 1973, AA official Helmut Redies held talks with the PLO functionary and GUPA leader Abdallah Frangi, who had fled the FRG after Munich to escape arrest and was prepared to offer a “truce.”28 Redies on February 28 authorized a meeting between West Germany’s head envoy in Beirut and PLO deputy chairman Abu Youssef (who was also Black September’s operations officer), which took place on April 5, 1973; with Frangi as interpreter, Walter Nowak and Youssef discussed the political and financial terms for establishing a “basis of trust” between the Palestinians and the FRG.29 Bonn also moved to restore its shaken ties with Egypt, whose leader, Anwar Sadat, was now under pressure from Arab rivals, a restive military, and student protests, along with an increasingly acute foreign-exchange shortage and massive foreign debt.30 But the Brandt government moved cautiously. On February 8, after difficult negotiations, the FRG and Egypt quietly signed a Capital Assistance Treaty of DM 160 million,

27

28 29

30

Kaiser, “Der Sturz vom Partei Olymp,” Die Zeit 17 (Apr. 20, 1973); cf. “Brandt Clears the Air,” New York Times, Apr. 13, 1973, p. 38. Redies to embassies in Tunis and Tripoli, Dec. 11, 1972, Redies Aufzeichnung, Dec. 22, 1972, AAPD 1972 3:1794 95, 1880 83; Redies Aufzeichnung, Jan. 5, 1973, AAPD 1973 1:18 19. Audland to FCO, Jerusalem, Jan. 19, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/129; also Ben Ari to FM, Bonn, Mar. 13, 1973, ISA 130 2332/15‫חצ‬. Libya, which supplied 28 percent of the FRG’s oil, had been ruled since 1969 by Muammar Gaddafi, an avid Palestinian supporter who nonetheless wished to expand his country’s economic ties with Germany; Tunisia, ruled by Habib Bourguiba, had very close economic, political, and personal ties with Bonn. Redies Aufzeichnung, Jan. 5, 1973, AAPD 1973 1:19 21. Redies to Embassy Beirut, Feb. 28, 1973, AAPD 1973 1:470, n. 2; Nowak to AA, Beirut, Apr. 3, 1973, AAPD 1973 1:470, n. 3; Nowak to AA, Apr. 7, 1973, ibid., pp. 470 73. Five days after this meeting, Abu Youssef and two other top Palestinian officials were killed during a daring Israeli commando raid in Beirut, which the German envoy deplored for removing “moderates” and further radicalizing the PLO. ibid., p. 473, n. 15. “Libanon: Gute und Schlechte,” Der Spiegel 16 (Apr. 16, 1973), pp. 118 20; also “Zeitgeschichte: Böses Blut,” Der Spiegel 35 (Aug. 27, 2012), pp. 34 36. “Ägypten: Zerschlissener Mantel,” Der Spiegel 1 (Jan. 1, 1973), p. 58. Paralleling his diplomatic turn to the West, Sadat was in the early stages of abandoning Nasserist socialism and introducing an open door economic policy (Infitah) aimed at revitalizing the Egyptian economy by promoting foreign investment and increasing Egyptian exports, a policy both highly unpopular and unsuccessful: John Waterbury, The Egypt of Nasser and Sadat: The Political Economy of Two Regimes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983), pp. 378 79.

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but the West German negotiators also arranged for interest repayment on Egypt’s existing DM 469 million debt.31 On the diplomatic front, Brandt was even more circumspect. On March 1, he received Sadat’s National Security Advisor, Hafez Ismail, who was at the end of a whirlwind two-week journey to Moscow, London, Washington, and New York, seeking Great Power and UN support to restart the Middle East negotiations.32 Brandt, although endorsing the “traditional friendship” between their two countries, underlined the “historical burdens” that inhibited the FRG from taking an active role in the Middle East conflict. Moreover, while agreeing on the importance of the Palestinian question, Brandt warned Cairo against seeking a “final” (endgültige) solution, recommending instead the policy of “intermediate steps” that had guided his Ostpolitik.33 In late May – scheduled deliberately before Brandt’s trip to Israel, but delayed a few months because of the foreign minister’s illness – Walter Scheel embarked on a weeklong journey to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, the first visits by a major West German official since relations were ruptured in 1965.34 Prepared to do business, Scheel discussed West German financial and technical support, including joint oil and gas projects with Egypt; increasing Jordan’s development aid to DM 100 million; and granting Lebanon a low-interest DM 20 million loan.35 But in its first major diplomatic initiative outside Europe, the FRG had little to offer the divided and dispirited Arabs. While endorsing Security Council Resolution 242 and calling for justice for the Palestinians, Scheel added to Sadat’s frustration by repeating Brandt’s cautions against clinging to the maximalist “illusions,” which Bonn had courageously abandoned in pursuing its Ostpolitik. He suggested that instead of relying on the Superpowers, the countries involved – following the FRG’s example – should boldly seize the initiative for peace.36 31 32 33

34 35 36

Bergstraesser to Schmidt, Bonn, Jan. 5, 1973, AdsD Schmidt 1HSSA/A006064; Steltzer to AA, Cairo, Feb. 12, 1973, AAPD 1973 1:234 35. Sadat’s diplomatic campaign had begun in January with his visit to Yugoslav president Tito, New York Times, Jan. 12, 1973, p. 4. Brandt Ismail talks, Mar. 1, 1973, AdsD WBA A 9/26. Ben Horin, whom the AA later briefed on this meeting, bristled over Ismail’s insistence apparently not challenged by Brandt that a regional peace required Israel to drop its Western ties and “become a Middle East state,” something Bonn had not been required to do by the Soviets in pursuit of its Ostpolitik. Ben Horin to FM, May 16, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4 ‫חצ‬. Macan to FCO, Bonn, May 30, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/232; Falin to Gromyko, Bonn, June 4, 1973, AVP RF 757/18/103/34. TG memoranda (2): Summary of Scheel Visit to the Middle East, June 13, 1973, UNA S0904 0015 1 FRG. Steltzer to AA, Cairo, May 29, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104771, Redies Aufzeichnung, May 30, 1973, AAPD 1973 2:896 901; Lankes to AA, Beirut, June 12, 1973, ibid., pp. 977 81.

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Although Kissinger, by pronouncing 1973 the “year of Europe,” had suggested an augmented US involvement with the continent, it was the FRG – more financially and politically stable and about to enter the United Nations – that took the more active role in Europe. In the winter, Bonn led the financial discussions between the EEC and Washington.37 And in the spring, the Brandt government devised two key compromises that completed its Ostpolitik: settling its long-standing dispute with Yugoslavia over the latter’s demand for war reparations by substituting a generous capital assistance program;38 and concluding the drawn-out negotiations with Czechoslovakia by resolving their political and legal dispute over the legitimacy of the 1938 Munich Accord.39 By contrast, the FRG assumed a largely passive role in the looming Middle East crisis. Brandt, in his private talks with European and US leaders, encountered a deepening fatalism. French president Georges Pompidou insisted that it was up to the Superpowers to restrain their respective clients;40 but in April, Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito, who had met with Sadat in January and sent warnings to the five permanent Security Council members and the pope, stressed the “extraordinary danger” posed by the Egyptian leader’s increasing desperation, the Israeli refusal to withdraw from the occupied territories, and US inactivity.41 Even before the June summit, the Superpowers were at an impasse. In Washington on May 1, Brandt met with a distracted and noncommittal Nixon.42 Three weeks later, during Brezhnev’s historic visit to Bonn, the

37 38

39

40 41 42

Also “Scheel in Nahost,” Die Zeit 22 (May 25, 1973), “Nahost: Angst vor Kniefall,” Der Spiegel 22 (May 28, 1973), p. 34. Questioned by an Egyptian journalist about Bonn’s special relationship with Israel, Scheel responded: “What we have is normal good rela tions but of a special nature or background, which is dictated by the history that Jews and Germans have undergone in recent decades.” New York Times, May 23, 1973, p. 13. Before and after his trip, Scheel briefed the Israeli ambassador: Ben Horin to FM, May 15, 29, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4 ‫חצ‬. See, esp., Brandt Heath discussions, Mar. 1 2, 1973, Weber Aufzeichnung, Mar. 8, 1973, AdsD WBA A9 3/29. Milan Kosanović , “Brandt and Tito: Between Ostpolitik and Nonalignment,” in Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969 1974: European and Global Responses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 236 37. Oldřich Tůma, “The Difficult Path to the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Czechoslovakia and the Federal Republic of Germany,” in Fink and Schaefer, Ostpolitik, 1969 1974, pp. 66 69. Puttkamer to AA, June 12, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768, reporting strongly positive Israeli press responses: “The crown of Brandt’s Ostpolitik,” “Brandt’s place in history is now assured,” “He has recognized the verdict of World War II and undermined the raging Cold War in Europe.” The formal treaty was signed in Prague on December 11, 1973. Entretien Jan. 22, 1973, AN Pompidou 5 AG 1012. Gründel Protokoll, April 18, 1973, AdsD WBA A9 3/31. Gespräch mit Präsident Nixon, Washington, May 1, 1973, AdsD WBA A 9 3/32.

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229

Soviet leader criticized Sadat’s saber rattling (which he had tried to curb) but still hoped for a US-Soviet-brokered agreement.43 Upon Scheel’s return from the Middle East, there were candid AngloGerman talks.44 Prime Minister Edward Heath scored Israel’s hard-line policies and Washington’s dangerous complacency toward the Arab threat to the West’s oil supply. Given the real possibility of a “suicidal” move by Sadat, there could be no preventing a Superpower conflict that would engulf Europe as well.45 Brandt, with a renewed sense of urgency, headed for Jerusalem on June 7, 1973, intent on listening but also on conveying his and his partners’ concerns.46 Israel: Awaiting the October Elections Despite the international tension focused on the Middle East, Israel entered the year 1973 on an upbeat note. On January 8, Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir delivered an early present for Israel’s twenty-fifth anniversary: the first balanced budget in its history. There would be no new taxes; included was a 26 percent increase in expenditures on education, housing, health and welfare; and for the first time since 1967, Israel would allocate more money for social services (40 percent) than for security (31 percent).47 Nonetheless, the Israeli military remained exceptionally strong, with the most modern weapon systems (including advanced rocketry), an outsized local armaments industry, highly trained personnel, and nuclear potential as well.48 Indeed, Israel’s might was proudly on display during the May 7 Independence Day celebration in Jerusalem.49 43 44 45

46 47

48 49

Vieraugengespräch mit Breschnew, May 20, 1973, AdsD WBA A9 3/32. Anders Aufzeichnung, June 1, 1973, ibid. See Gore Booth to Brit. Embassy Bonn, June 27, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/129. Two views on Britain’s differences with Jerusalem and Washington on the eve of the Oct. 1973 War: Alex Spelling, “‘Recrimination and Reconciliation’: Anglo American Relations and the Yom Kippur War,” Journal of Cold War History 13, no. 4 (2013): 488 90; Geraint Hughes, “Britain, the Transatlantic Alliance, and the Arab Israeli War of 1973,” Journal of Cold War Studies 10, no.2 (2008): 8 17. Ben Horin to FM, May 25, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4‫ ;חצ‬Brandt interview, Israeli television, June 1, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104772. “$4.6 Billion Budget Offered in Israel,” New York Times, Jan. 9, 1973, p. 6; Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 19, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104777; Puttkamer to AA, June 29, 1973, ibid., 104782. Sieber Aufzeichnung, Feb. 7, 1973, BAF BW1/183469; unsigned Aufzeichnung, n.d. [Aug. 1973] ibid., BH 28/2/600. New York Times, May 8, 1973, p. 2, reported the highlight: Before a 300,000 member audience, “a spectacular flypast by scores of Israeli Phantom, Skyhawk, and Mirage fighters thunder[ed] over the city . . . leaving brilliant white trails over a flawless blue sky,” which Jordan, in a protest to the UN, called an “ugly exhibition of force in the heart of a city of peace and holiness,” ibid., May 9, p. 17. For another view: Amos Elon, “Israel

230

Annus Terribilis

Israel’s economic boom in the early 1970s (although marred by a 20 percent inflation rate that triggered strikes and social unrest)50 had been largely fed by the step-by-step integration of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights – expanding its imports and exports and also providing some sixty thousand Arab laborers commuting from their homes to work in construction, agriculture, and manufacturing and paid lower wages than Israeli citizens; by the new industries set up in the occupied territories with special economic privileges and the subcontracting by Israeli companies to West Bank firms; and by the settlementbuilding in the territories, now numbering forty-four in 1973 and housing five thousand Israelis and with an additional thirty-five planned.51 Israelis were divided over their country’s rule over the occupied territories and over one million additional Arabs, between security advocates (buttressed by business interests and religious militants) and those concerned with the future of their democracy and regional peace. Polls in 1973 indicated that a majority favored maintaining control over the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan, and key parts of the Sinai; but the ruling coalition was deeply split between Dayan’s insistence on more intense Israeli settlement and Sapir’s cautions against the domestic and international consequences of this form of “creeping annexation,” with the prime minister standing in the middle.52 Meir, who turned seventy-five in April, was still widely admired by the Israeli populace.53 One month earlier, she had announced her candidacy for reelection, thereby averting a fratricidal conflict between the Labor Party’s hawks and doves. Yet despite her self-presentation abroad as a conciliatory diplomat seeking peace,54 Meir had decided to yield to her country’s rightward drift. Alarmed by Dayan’s challenge to her

50 51

52

53

54

at 25: Self Confidence and a Subdued Sadness,” New York Times Magazine, May 6, 1973, p. 33. Puttkamer to AA, June 29, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104782. Trumpf Aufzeichnung, Feb. 22, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104779; New York Times, Apr. 12, 1973, p. 16, Aug. 23, 1973, p. 2; Washington Post, July 2, 1973, p. 20, Aug. 26, 1973, p. 6; also Yoram Ben Porath, ed., The Israeli Economy: Maturing through Crises (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 165 66, 276, 280, and passim; Arie Arnon, “Israeli Policy toward the Occupied Territories: The Economic Dimension, 1967 2007,” The Middle East Journal 61, no. 4 (Autumn 2007): 573 81. Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 18, 1973, copy in BayHStA StK 16182; also Puttkamer to AA, June 29, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104765, July 21, 1973, ibid., 104768, July 31, 1973, ibid., 104765. Ha’aretz, Apr. 23, 1973. According to another poll conducted on May 10, 73 percent of the Israeli public wanted Meir to remain in office, far ahead of Dayan (32.5 percent), Allon (15.5 percent), Begin (6.5 percent), Sapir (6 percent), Eban (5 percent), and Rabin (2.5 percent), Puttkamer to AA, May 17, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104765. Golda Meir, “Israel in Search of a Lasting Peace,” Foreign Affairs 51, no. 3 (Apr. 1973): 447 61.

Israel: Awaiting the October Elections

231

leadership (reinforcing the fiery opposition leader Menachem Begin’s refusal to return the captured territories), Meir threw her support behind the popular defense minister. Consequently, on August 22, after spirited debate, the Mapai leadership approved the ostensible compromise (but in fact hard line) Galili plan as its electoral program on dealing with the occupied Arab territories.55 And on September 3, the entire party – braving US displeasure, international censure, and its doves’ protests – unanimously adopted the document, which called for a $298 million allocation for the economic integration of the West Bank and Gaza, including an expansion of the settlements and increasing land purchases (together with the abrogation of the current ban on private sales). The Galili plan also included government incentives for Israeli businesspeople in the occupied territories and a concession to the doves: enhanced infrastructure and social and economic services for the Arab inhabitants and refugees.56 Israeli foreign policy was exceptionally active through most of 1973. To refute charges of her country’s isolation (and also of her physical decline), Meir began the year with a strenuous journey to Europe.57 Her first stop was Paris, where on January 13 and 14 she took part in the Executive Bureau of the Socialist International.58 Speaking to her socialist colleagues, Meir vigorously defended Israeli policies and also 55

56

57

58

Statement by Government Ministers of the Israeli Labor Party on Proposed Policy in the Occupied Territories, Aug. 1973, in Yehuda Lukacs, ed., The Israeli Palestinian Conflict: A Documentary Record, 1967 1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 184 86; also CIA, The President’s Daily Brief, 18 Aug. 1973, p. 2, https://www.cia.gov /library/readingroom/docs/DOC 0005993906.pdf. The ostensibly compromise proposal was authored by Israel Galili, Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet. Rückriegel to AA, Sept. 5, 14, 17, 22, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104767; New York Times, Aug. 23, 1973; Washington Post, Sept. 1, 1973, p. 13, Ma’ariv, Sept. 4, 1973; Ha’aretz, Sept. 4, 5, 1973; Avi Shlaim, “Israel and the Occupied Territories,” The World Today 29, no. 10 (Oct. 1973): 421 29; Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, 2nd ed. (New York: Knopf, 2003), pp. 740 41. Richard Holbrooke, “Israel’s Next Step,” Washington Post, Sept. 9, 1973, predicted that the controversial Galili plan would be dropped after the election; and following the Oct. 1973 war and Labor’s victory in Dec., the party indeed abandoned it. But also undertaken under extremely tight security arrangements because of threats of assassination by Black September and of anti Israeli demonstrations by French radical leftists and Palestinians. Although four other socialist prime ministers were present, the Pompidou government singled out Meir for attending the gathering, hosted by opposition leader François Mitterrand on the eve of France’s Mar. elections and thereby “blatantly interfering” in its domestic affairs. MAE to Fr. Amb. Tel Aviv, Paris, Dec. 22, 1972, Huré to Raymond, Tel Aviv, Jan. 3, 1973, AN Pompidou 5 AG 2 1032; Blomeyer to AA, Paris, Jan. 8, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104776. Anxious to avoid a clash with Pompidou, Willy Brandt had sent the newly elected Bundestag president Annemarie Renger to represent his party.

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helped block a resolution censuring America’s Christmas bombing of North Vietnam.59 Despite the misgivings of her foreign minister and the snub by French officialdom, Meir made a bold appearance in a capital that had frozen bilateral relations with Israel for six years and she stirred a small measure of popular pressure for a thaw.60 Proceeding to Rome, Meir became the first Israeli prime minister to meet privately with the pope, although the visit, which lasted an hour and twenty minutes and began with a tense exchange, was stronger in symbolism than substance.61 Despite Meir’s upbeat (and unprecedented) press statement immediately afterward, Paul VI – who was reluctant to antagonize the Arab world – continued to refuse diplomatic relations with Israel, insisted on the internationalization of the Holy Places in Jerusalem, and defended the rights of the Palestinian refugees.62 On her last stop in Geneva, Meir met an old friend, Ivory Coast president Félix Houphouët-Boigny, one of Israel’s last partners in Africa, who held out little hope of stemming the tide of broken relations with other countries on the Continent.63 In late February, Meir embarked on another demanding but also highly successful two-week journey to the United States, during which she collected two honorary degrees, addressed large and sympathetic audiences in several cities, and faced only small crowds of anti-Israel protestors. Arriving in Washington on the heels of the unproductive talks between Sadat’s envoy, Hafez Ismail, and Nixon and Kissinger,64 Meir was gently prodded by the two US leaders to show more flexibility and also warned of the looming oil crisis. Combining her emphasis on Israel’s military strength with an endorsement of peace negotiations, Meir agreed 59 60 61

62

63 64

Aufzeichnung, Jan. 15, 1973, AdsD WBA A 11/4; Puttkamer to AA, Feb. 14, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768. Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 11, 12, 1973, Hase to AA, London, Jan. 26, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104776. Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 26, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768; earlier, on Oct. 6, 1969, the Pontiff had received Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban. New York Times, Oct. 7, 1969, p. 14. Edwin Eytan, “Audience with the Pope Fails to Change Vatican Policy,” JTA Report, The Jewish Exponent, Jan. 19, 1973, p. 1; cf. Washington Post, Jan. 18, 1973, p. 22; New York Times, Jan. 20, 1973, p. 1. Cf. Golda Meir, My Life, paperback ed. (New York: Dell, 1975), pp. 392 94. Hase to AA, London, Jan. 25, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104776; Puttkamer to AA, Feb. 14, 1973, ibid., Zwischenarchiv 104768. Details of the talks: Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 242 56, Boaz Vanetik and Zaki Shalom, The Nixon Administration and the Middle East Peace Process, 1969 1973: From the Rogers Plan to the Outbreak of the Yom Kippur War (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press), pp. 206 13, Gat, In Search of a Peace Settlement, pp. 205 8. Sadat’s conclusion, reported in Newsweek (Apr. 9, 1973): “If Hafez Ismail had conducted these talks with Golda Meir, the results would have been less ridiculous.”

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233

to a possible interim agreement with Egypt, but she refused to allow the United States to make any commitments on Israel’s behalf and rejected any final peace arrangement with Egypt without full recognition.65 Two weeks later, news leaked of Nixon’s commitment to Meir on March 1 to provide Israel with four squadrons of Skyhawk and Phantom jets over the next two years and to help it develop an advanced jet of its own design, infuriating Sadat and elating Meir’s supporters.66 Tensions continued to escalate in the Middle East in 1973 as the Superpowers continued to arm their clients, Palestinian guerrillas continued their assaults on Israeli and Western targets,67 and Israel continued to issue forceful responses. But after a series of politically damaging incidents, Israel elicited increasing international disapproval. On February 22, two Israeli fighter jets shot down a civilian Libyan airliner en route from Tripoli to Cairo that had strayed over the occupied Sinai desert, stirring widespread denunciations and universal sympathy for the 106 victims.68 One month later, Israel’s daring sea and airborne attack on Black September bases in northern Lebanon was condemned by the UN Security Council in an 11–0 vote.69 In July, the Mossad’s assassination of a Moroccan waiter in Norway (who had been mistaken for Black September leader Ali Hassan Salameh) resulted in the arrest of a half dozen Israeli agents and a deeply embarrassing diplomatic episode.70 And in August, Israeli jets intercepted a Lebanese airliner en route from Beirut to Baghdad with eighty-five passengers and crew on 65 66 67

68

69

70

Vanetik and Shalom, The Nixon Administration, pp. 214 17; also Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 257 58, Gat, In Search of a Peace Settlement, pp. 208 9. New York Times, Mar. 14, 1973, p. 1. Among the most dramatic terrorist incidents in 1973 was Black September’s Mar. 1 seizure of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum, detaining ten hostages and demand ing the release of prisoners in Israeli jails and members of the Baader Meinhof group as well as Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted murderer of Robert Kennedy being held in a US prison. After the Nixon administration refused to negotiate, the Palestinians murdered one Belgian and two US diplomats. Timothy Naftali, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism (New York: Basic Books, 2005), pp. 69 73. New York Times, Feb. 22, 1973, p. 1, Feb. 23, 1973, p. 32; also commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 22, 1973, Rheinische Post, Feb. 23, 1973. The United States, the USSR, and China all abstained. Although the United States had watered down the originally strong anti Israeli language, it objected to the resolution’s failure to condemn the terrorism involved in the recent killing of two US envoys as well as a Belgian diplomat in Khartoum; the Soviets wanted anti Israeli sanctions; and China disapproved of the resolution’s “ambiguity” between aggressor and victims. New York Times, Apr. 22, 1973, p. 1; Washington Post, Apr. 22, 1973, p. 1; also Nowak to AA, Beirut, Apr. 11, 1973, Hassell to AA, New York, Apr. 24, 1973, copies in BayHStA StK16182. Peter Maxwill, “Israelisches Tötungskommando ‘Caesarea,’” Spiegel Online (July 19, 2013), http://www.spiegel.de/einestages/israelisches toetungskommando caesarea a 95 1203.html.

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board, forcing it to land in northern Israel where authorities had vainly hoped to seize PFLP leader George Habash, author of the 1972 Lod Airport attack.71 A unanimous Security Council condemned the skyjacking.72 Caught in a deadly cycle of violence and retaliation and aggrieved by the UN’s failure to condemn Palestinian terrorism, Israel continued to seek diplomatic support. In July, Meir and Eban signaled their interest in a much-publicized mediation offer by Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba, which failed to materialize.73 In August, Eban traveled to Latin America in a futile attempt to counter Arab pressure in the region and stem the disaffection of Israel’s former diplomatic allies.74 Israel was cheered by Nixon’s nomination of Henry Kissinger as the new US secretary of state75 but stoic over Kurt Waldheim’s failed fivenation Middle East mission (the first by a UN secretary-general in six years).76 Another blow fell on September 10 when, in the midst of the Fourth Non-Aligned Summit Meeting in Algiers, Fidel Castro announced the severing of Cuba’s relations with Israel, threatening a new wave of diplomatic 71 72

73

74

75 76

Who, it turned out, had not boarded the flight: “Libanon: Signale von Meere,” Der Spiegel 34 (Aug. 20, 1973), pp. 57 59. New York Times, Aug. 31, 1973, p. 1. The US delegate, who presided over the meeting, had assented only after economic sanctions against Israel were withdrawn: “Israel kaperte Flugzeug: Weltweite Empörung UN Verurteilung Tel Avivs,” Die Zeit 34 (Aug. 17, 1973), https://www.zeit.de/1973/34/israel kaperte flugzeug. On August 30, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization overwhelmingly adopted an Arab sponsored motion condemning the Israeli action, but without recommending sanctions. New York Times, Aug. 31, 1973, p. 1. Brandt Pompidou Gespräch, June 21, 1973, AAPD 1973 2:1032; “Arab Ice Breaker?” New York Times, June 22, 1973, p. 34, July 9, 1973, p. 15; Washington Post, June 21, 1973, p. 26, July 1, 1973, pp. 6, 27, 1973, p. 24; JTA Bulletin, June 25, 1973; also, Tullia Zevi, “The View from Tunis,” Africa Report 18, no. 3 (May 1, 1973): 24 26. Waldheim/ Bourguiba Conversation, July [?] 1973, UNA S 0899 0012 04 00001 Middle East; Michael M. Laskier, Israel and the Maghreb (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2004), p. 217. Barry Rubin, “Latin America and the Arab Israeli Conflict,” Wiener Library Bulletin 19, no. 37 38 (1976): 30 39; changing votes in the UN General Assembly, Regina Sharif, “Latin America and the Arab Israeli Conflict,” Journal of Palestine Studies 7, no. 1 (Autumn 1977): 103 11; Edy Kaufman, Yoram Shapira, and Joel Barromi, Israel Latin American Relations (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1979). Earlier that year, the peripatetic Eban had also traveled to Geneva in Jan., to London twice in Feb. and May, to Austria in Mar., and to the United States and Canada in May. New York Times, Aug. 24, 1973, p. 11. Brandt to Waldheim, Aug. 23, 1973, Waldheim to Brandt, Sept. 14, 1973, UNA S 0904 0062 15. See also Dietrich Strothmann, “Konflikt im Abseits,” Die Zeit, Aug. 31, 1973. http://www.zeit.de/1973/36/konflikt im abseits. Although the secretary general, in an unguarded remark, caused “surprise and plea sure” for Israelis by referring to Jerusalem as their capital. Washington Post, Aug. 24, 1973, p. 24.

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ruptures. Moreover, during this tumultuous five-day meeting, the seventy-six Third World delegates – facing the thaw in the Cold War, the near end of Western colonialism, and the reality of their vastly different politics and wealth – could agree on only one issue: condemning Israel’s occupation of Arab territory and threatening diplomatic and economic boycotts.77 Finally, on the first day of the Jewish New Year there was another terrorist attack in Europe. In an echo of the events a year earlier in Munich, early on the morning of September 28 two heavily armed Palestinians, calling themselves the Eagles of the Palestinian Revolution, seized five Soviet Jews as their train crossed the border into Austria.78 They then forced an Austrian customs official to drive them in a commandeered Volkswagen bus to Vienna’s Schwechat Airport, where the weapon-loaded vehicle was parked on the tarmac. Thereupon they demanded a plane to take them and the hostages to an Arab country where they would trade their captives for Palestinians in Israeli jails. They also demanded the cessation of Soviet-Jewish passage through Austria.79 Now in the spotlight, Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky sought to end the crisis peacefully; but he also refused to allow the hostages to be flown out of his country or to bar the entry of Soviet Jews. After thirteen hours of negotiations, aided by the Egyptian, Iraqi, and Lebanese ambassadors, a deal was concluded: In return for the hostages’ release, Kreisky offered to close the Schönau Transit Camp – the heavily guarded facility operated since 1965 by the Jewish Agency where more than seventy thousand Soviet Jews had been processed before their flight to Israel – and also to provide a plane and crew to carry the Palestinians to Libya.80 77

78

79

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4th Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non Aligned Movement Algiers, Algeria, 5 9 September 1973, http://cns.miis.edu/nam/index.php/si te/documents?forum id=5&forum name=NAM+Summits&doctype id=7&doctype n ame=Official+Documents; see also New York Times, Sept. 6, 9, 10, 1973. Although both Superpowers were also criticized at the conference, the Soviet Union came off worse, with only Castro defending Moscow’s support of the Third World. Nazelle to MAE, Moscow, Sept. 8, Nègre to MAE, Damascus, Sept. 13, Kosciusko Morizet to MAE, Moscow, Oct. 12, 1973, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3705. After the USSR and its allies had broken off diplomatic relations with Israel in 1967 and banned direct flights between Moscow and Tel Aviv, Jews immigrating to Israel from the Soviet Union as well as from Poland and Czechoslovakia had been forced to travel by train to Austria (which issued transit visas at the border) before flying to Tel Aviv. Meir, My Life, pp. 399 400. Paul Thomas Chamberlin, “Schönau and the Eagles of the Palestinian Revolution: Refugees, Guerillas, and Human Rights in the Global 1970s,” Cold War History 12, no. 4 (Nov. 2012): 595 614. Austria. Bundeskanzleramt, Die Ereignisse vom 28/29 September: Ein Dokumentarbericht (Vienna: Bundeskanzleramt, 1973); additional details in Matthias Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat und transnationaler Terrorismus: Drei Wege zur Unnachgiebigkeit in Westeuropa, 1972 1975 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2011), pp. 191 214.

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Predictably, Kreisky came under heavy criticism, and especially from the United States and from Israel. Nixon, although sympathetic to Austria’s delicate geopolitical position, insisted, “We simply cannot have governments, small or large, give in to international blackmail by terrorist groups.”81 Golda Meir, after delivering a passionate plea to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg to “wipe out terrorism,” traveled to Vienna to confront her fellow socialist (and Jewish) comrade, who refused to reverse his decision.82 And Abba Eban scored Austria’s “encouragement to terrorism” at the UN General Assembly.83 Escalating its criticism, the Israeli government termed the closing of Schönau an assault on the essential human right to move freely and safely between one country and another, and the press likened Kreisky’s decision to the 1938 Munich agreement.84 In fact, Kreisky’s decision – which was supported by 79 percent of the Austrian public – had almost no effect on Soviet-Jewish emigration: The number of Soviet Jews transiting Austria was not diminished; there were no further Palestinian attacks on immigrants on Austrian soil; and, after the UN High Commissioner for Refugees turned down Kreisky’s proposal to take over the transit camp, Soviet Jews continued to be processed in a more low-profile Red Cross facility no longer under Israeli control.85 To be sure, this new arrangement now enabled the émigrés to choose destinations other than Israel.86

81 82 83 84

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Kreisky had long wished to close the facility, guarded both by Austrian police and Israeli forces, which impinged on Austria’s sovereignty and compromised its neutral status; it had also become a tourist attraction visited by Israeli dignitaries and therefore a security risk: “Spiegel Interview mit Österreichs Bundeskanzler Kreisky,” Der Spiegel 41 (Oct. 8, 1973), p. 120; also Bruno Kreisky, Memoiren: Im Strom der Politik, vol. 2 (Vienna: Kremayr & Scheriau, 2000), p. 322. Indeed, earlier that year Austrian authorities, aided by French and Swiss intelligence, had thwarted a Black September attack on Schönau: Thomas Riegler, “Das ‘Spinnennetz’ des internationalen Terrorismus: Der ‘Schwarze September’ und die gescheiterte Geiselnahme von Schönau 1973,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 60, no. 4 (2012): 579 601. Richard Nixon Press Conference, Oct. 3, 1973, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/in dex.php?pid=3987. Details in Kathryn Bathleitner, “Golda Meir and Bruno Kreisky A Political and Personal Duel,” Israel Studies 23, no. 1 (2018): 26 49. Meir, My Life, pp. 400 4; Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, pp. 226 31. Davar, Oct. 1, 1973; also “Herr, öffne das Herz Österreichs,” Der Spiegel 41 (Oct. 8, 1973), pp. 118 22; New York Times, Oct. 2, 1973, p. 4; Oct. 3, 1973, p. 1, Oct. 7, 1973, p. 233. Thomas Riegler, Im Fadenkreuz: Österreich und der Nahostterrorismus, 1973 1985 (Vienna: Universitäts Verlag, 2010), pp. 32 33; Chamberlin, “Schönau,” p. 611. Ironically, Schönau subsequently became the headquarters of Austria’s antiterrorism unit Cobra, modeled on West Germany’s GSG 9. Dahlke, Demokratischer Staat, p. 190. Fred Lazin, “Israel’s Demographic Needs versus ‘Freedom of Choice’: The Case of Soviet Jewish Emigres, 1967 1990,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für Deutsche Geschichte 35 (2007): 273 91.

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The Schönau crisis may also have had another result – more immediate and damaging. The weeklong clamor may have diverted the Israeli leadership’s attention from the Syrian military buildup on its northern border.87 West Germany and Israel New Strains Although Willy Brandt’s long-delayed visit dominated West German– Israeli relations during the first half of 1973, there were other difficult issues between the two countries. Despite Puttkamer’s strong efforts, cultural ties between the two countries – except for youth exchanges – remained brittle.88 Another sensitive matter was the languishing campaign launched three years earlier by Nahum Goldmann for a new restitution arrangement for the victims of National Socialism who had been excluded from the original 1952 agreement. Although lacking an official role in Goldmann’s negotiations with Bonn, Israel, as the primary destination of the post-1965 immigrants, had a major stake 87

88

Davar on Oct. 2, 1973, downplayed the Syrian reinforcement near the Golan, ascribing it to the “improvement in Syrian Jordanian relations” and a movement of troops to “where they were more needed”; but on Nov. 7 it reported a Stern interview in a secret place outside Beirut with one of the two Palestinians, who claimed that the Schönau attack had succeeded in drawing Israel into a “trap.” Adherents of the Schönau diversion thesis include John Hughes Wilson, Military Intelligence Blunders (London: Random House, 2001), pp. 247, 250, which underlines Israel officials’ misreading of the Syrians’ mobilization as a defensive measure against their expected retaliation for the closing of the camp. Israel Defense, Was the Hijacking of an Austrian Train Filled with Soviet Jews a Diversion before the Yom Kippur War? Dec. 18, 2011, http://www.israeldefense.co.il/en/content/was hijacking austrian train filled soviet jews diversion yom kippur war, linked the Palestinian Eagles with the Syrian terror organization As Sa’iqa [storm or thunder], as did Diane Tueller Pritchett, “The Syrian Strategy on Terrorism: 1971 1977,” Journal of Conflict Studies 8 no. 3 (1988): 31 32, and Rodney Richardson, “Yom Kippur War: Grand Deception or Intelligence Blunder,” Global Security (1991), http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/lib rary/report/1991/RRC.htm, which notes that the Schönau incident preoccupied Israeli political and military leaders for an entire week. Even without recognizing the Schönau feint, Israeli leaders misjudged the Syrian buildup despite a warning by King Hussein of Jordan of a planned attack to regain the Golan. Thus, at a secret government meeting on Oct. 3, during which Dayan fretted that this mobilization appeared to be neither a “normal defensive move” nor preparation for a retaliatory action following the air battle two weeks earlier, Chief of Staff David Elazar insisted that according to Israeli intelligence neither Syria nor Egypt was prepared for war. Uri Bar Joseph, The Watchmen Fell Asleep: The Surprise of Yom Kippur and Its Sources (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2005), pp. 122 31; background and details: pp. 81 89, 92 99, 107 8, 114, 117 18. Länderaufzeichnung, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768, Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 9, July 4, 1973, ibid., 104782.

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in their success;89 but Goldmann’s high hopes for a new agreement in 1973 made no headway against the resistance of Finance Minister Helmut Schmidt and the near disappearance of supporters in the second Brandt government.90 Moreover, there was also considerable delay in settling Bonn’s annual DM 140 million capital aid to Israel, which, although finally signed in the beginning of October, was then delayed until the close of hostilities and brought the predictable Arab protests.91 The Brandt Visit Six months before his historic trip, Brandt had dispatched an SPD luminary to Israel to test the political climate. Between December 30, 1972, and January 3, 1973, the mayor and senate president of Bremen, Hans Koschnick, met with Israeli Labor officials and youth leaders, and also with Mapai MPs and cabinet members, including Eban and Meir.92 Koschnick, who combined reassuring words with acknowledgment of their differences, strongly rebutted Israeli protests over Bonn’s appeasement policy toward the Palestinians, insisting that they understand “the German government with which they were dealing” – a country not at war 89

90

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Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 12, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104771. At the same time, Israel had also submitted new claims to Bonn on behalf of medically incapacitated Holocaust survivors that it hoped to keep separate from Goldmann’s negotiations. Sapir to Ben Horin, Apr. 11, 1973, Ya’acovi to Sapir, May 18, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4‫חצ‬. Ben Horin to FM, Feb. 7, 1973, Ben Horin to Sapir, Apr. 6, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4‫חצ‬. In August, after the seventy eight year old Jewish emissary had threatened to unleash a public campaign against the FRG’s foot dragging, Brandt asked for a concrete propo sal. The timing, however, was unpropitious: When two months later Goldmann pre sented Bonn with a DM 1 billion figure, the outbreak of the October war forced the restitution issue off the table. Ya’acovi to Sapir, Aug. 30, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4 ‫חצ‬, Katzenstein to Kagan, Sept. 15, 1973, CC Post 1965; Per Fischer to Brandt, Oct. 5, 1973, Scheel to Brandt, Oct. 8, 1973, Brandt to Scheel, Nov. 5, 1973, AdsD Schmidt 1HSAA 008999; also Katzenstein to Kagan, Oct. 11, 19, Nov. 5, Dec. 13, 1973, CC Post 1965; Ya’acovi to FM and Sapir, Sept. 14, Oct. 19, 1973, Ben Horin to FM, Oct. 15, 17, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4 ‫חצ‬. Shlaich (AA) to Economics and Finance Ministries, July 25, 1973, Redies, Text of Agreement, Sept. 5, 1973, Verbal Note, Oct. 1, 1973, Lahn Aufzeichnung, Oct. 17, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Oct. 20, 1973; Ben Horin to FM, Oct. 1, 1973, Milo to FM and Sapir, Oct. 20, 1973, Ben Horin to Meroz and Sapir, Oct. 30, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4‫ ;חצ‬Ben Horin to FM, Nov. 12, 1973, ibid., 130 5331/15. Reports from German embassies in Cairo and Tunis, Oct. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780. However, the Auswärtiges Amt, invoking diplomatic complications with the Arabs, had vetoed an ambitious Israeli capital investment proposal: Hermes Aufzeichnungen, Apr. 10, 25, June 7, 1973, Redies Aufzeichnung, Aug. 2, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104779. As a member of the SPD leadership council, Koschnick was representing his party and not the Brandt government.

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with the Arabs. Hinting that Brandt’s much-desired visit required a positive signal from Jerusalem, Koschnick encouraged the Meir government to quell the anti-German clamor.93 Finally, on April 2 West Germany and Israel jointly announced the Brandt visit, which would begin on June 7.94 Because of the Scheel visit beforehand to Egypt, Sadat raised no objection; but he also invited Brandt to visit Cairo in 1974.95 The Auswärtiges Amt, which had insisted on the delay, now had to fend off Arab criticism of the sensitive date – the sixth anniversary of the June 1967 war – but it refused another postponement.96 Not unexpectedly, the chancellor’s five-day journey fell under a glaring public spotlight.97 As Israel prepared to welcome a world leader whose support it required, the German public, the Arab world, and the FRG’s eight European partners uneasily awaited the results. Not only was Brandt the first sitting West German chancellor to visit Israel; he was also the first major foreign leader to visit that country since the 1967 war and also shortly after Israel’s gala twenty-fifth anniversary celebration.98

93

94

95 96

97

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Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA B150/271, Koschnick to Brandt, Jan. 5, 1973, AdsD WBA 000442; Koschnick to Bahr, Jan. 9, 1973, Koschnick to Scheel, Jan. 9, 1973, AdsD Schmidt 1/HSAA009172; Davar, Jan. 5, 1973. On the anti German atmosphere: Länderaufzeichnung über Israel, Jan. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768, Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 9, 1973, ibid., 104782. New York Times, Apr. 3, 1973, p. 39, Washington Post, Apr. 3, 1973, p. 9; also Kidron to Ben Horin, Mar. 28, 1973, ISA A 370/5. http://www.archives.gov.il/archivegov/pirsumyginzach/ historicalpublications/brandtgermany/brandtgermanydoclist.htm (accessed Dec. 22, 2013). Steltzer to AA, Cairo, Apr. 3, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104771; “Scheel im Nahost,” Die Zeit Online, May 25, 1973, http://www.zeit.de/1973/22/scheel in nahost. Weiss to AA, Amman, Apr. 9, 1973, unsigned Aufzeichnung, Apr. 11, 1973, Gesprächszettel for meeting with ambassadors of Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Apr. 17, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104771. According to Wolf Dietrich Schilling [who served in the Chancellor’s Office] Aufzeichnung, Apr. 9, 1973, no day in the calendar was entirely free of a controversial anniversary. Jenny Hestermann, Inszenierte Versöhnung: Reisediplomatie und die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen von 1957 bis 1984. (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2016), p. 189. On the eve of his journey, Brandt also faced a major political scandal: CDU deputy Julius Steiner’s announcement that he had received a DM 50,000 bribe from the SPD to abstain from his party’s Apr. 27, 1972, no confidence motion (which, it was revealed in the 1990s, had come from the Stasi), resulting in the motion’s failure. Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt, pp. 173 76; cf. “Barzels Waterloo Brandts Watergate,” Die Zeit Online, June 8, 1973, http://www.zeit.de/1973/24/barzels waterloo brandt watergate; “Die sind alle so mistrauisch,” Der Spiegel 23 (June 4, 1973), pp. 24 29, “Das ist nur die Verhölle,” ibid., 24 (June 11, 1973), pp. 21 27; further details in Peter Merseburger, Willy Brandt, 1913 1992: Visionär und Realist (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 2002), pp. 689 92. Brandt had initially wished to delay the trip until September (after the FRG’s entry into the UN) but recognized the difficulty of arriving in Israel on the eve of its Oct. elections. Carole Fink, “‘The Most Difficult Journey of All’: Willy Brandt’s Trip to Israel in June 1973,” International History Review 37, no. 3 (June 2015): 507.

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Fig 9.1: Prime Minister Golda Meir welcoming West German chancellor Willy Brandt at Lod Airport, June 1973. Credit: Government Press Office of Israel, D176 050/Moshe Milner

The reluctant guest, who was aware of the journey’s historic importance, chose his entourage as carefully as possible to include several figures sympathetic to Israel.99 But Brandt arrived in Israel neither as a penitent nor an ally but as a deft, bold, and charismatic politician who on several journeys had already acknowledged the difficult German past while focusing primarily on the present and future.100 Thus, at the airport ceremony a somber Brandt, speaking in English, announced, “The sum 99

100

State Secretary Reinhard Wilke and speechwriter Klaus Harpprecht (accompanied by his wife, Renate, a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen); Walter Hesselbach, chairman of the board of the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft with close ties to Israel; Werner Nachmann, chairman of the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, and Günter Grass, now on his third trip to Israel who balanced the three more reserved foreign ministry officials, state secretary Paul Frank, ministerial director of the Political Section Lothar Lahn, and the Middle East Section director Helmut Redies. Willy Brandt, Begegnungen und Einsichten: Die Jahre 1960 1975 (Hamburg: Hoffmann and Campe, 1976), p. 592. But among the significant absentees were Finance Minister Helmut Schmidt, World Jewish Congress president Nahum Goldmann (who, because of his outspoken dovish views, was on extremely bad terms with Meir and Eban), and Brandt’s wife Rut; Wilke, Meine Jahre mit Willy Brandt, pp. 141 42. Ledwidge to Douglas Hume, Tel Aviv, June 20, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/129; also Fink, “‘The Most Difficult Journey of All,’” p. 504.

West Germany and Israel

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of the suffering and the horror cannot be removed from the consciousness of our people,” but he also called for a “new beginning.” And at the ceremonial wreath-laying in the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, there was no gesture of contrition. In an audible German, the chancellor read from Psalm 103: “Merciful and gracious is the Lord . . . Not forever will he retain his anger . . . As far as day is from night, so hath he relieved us from our transgressions.”101 Brandt, who had braced himself for frank discussions,102 met with every major Israeli politician. The private talks covered two major issues, the Middle East and the Israeli–West German relationship, and there was considerable divergence on both sides. On the prospects for peace, Brandt and Meir shared their recent conversations with third parties.103 Brandt urged Israelis to display “flexibility”; but Meir (like the Egyptians) rejected the parallel with his Ostpolitik and brushed aside the chancellor’s endorsement of Superpower- or UN-mediated negotiations.104 In separate talks, Israeli officials rebutted the Germans’ alarm over a looming war and oil crisis, insisting that the Israeli-Arab conflict was a local issue that would eventually be settled by the local actors.105 On their bilateral ties, the Israelis resisted the chancellor’s formulation of “normal relations with a special historical character,” an ambiguous commitment at best.106 Despite Brandt’s efforts to put paid to the past, 101

102 103

104

105 106

Huré to FMAE, Tel Aviv, June 8, 1973, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z 2993. Details in Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt, pp. 183 84; Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 682 83. Israeli suspicions of Scheel’s effort to block another Kniefall (which would complicate Bonn’s Arab diplomacy) in Hestermann, Inszenierte Versöhnung, p. 192. Earlier, at the airport arrival ceremony, Brandt had declared that Meir’s warm reception constituted an important step in overcoming the past and facing the “require ments of the present.” New York Times, p. 5, Washington Post, June 8, 1973, p. 1. But in his late night interview with the young journalist Wibke Bruhns (Nachrichtenzeit: Meine unfertigen Erinnerungen [Munich: Droemer, 2012], pp. 103 4), the chancellor stressed the “urgency” of this visit. Ben Horin to FM, May 25, 1973, ISA 130 5331/8. Meir was also conducting secret negotiations with King Hussein over settling the Palestinian problem (Moshe Shemesh, “On Two Parallel Tracks: The Secret Jordanian Israeli Talks, July 1967 September 1973,” Israel Studies 15, no. 3 [Fall 2010]: 87 120) as well as with Soviet emissaries (Guy Laron, “Secret Soviet Israeli Negotiations on the Eve of the Yom Kippur War,” Cold War International History Project, E Dossier no. 31, http:///www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/e dossier no 31 secret soviet israeli negotiations [accessed Dec. 29, 2013], the details of which she had shared with Nixon, but did not divulge to Brandt. Notes of Meir Brandt conversation, June 7, 1973, ISA A 370/5, http://www.archives .gov.il/archivegov/pirsumyginzach/historicalpublications/brandtgermany/brandtgerma nydoclist.htm (accessed Dec. 22, 2013). Delegationsgespräch, June 7, 1973, AdsD WBA A9 3/29; Israeli report, June 7, 1973, ISA 130 5331/8. Craig Memorandum, July 10, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/129, suggested that it threatened an EEC consensus on the Arab/Israel problem.

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Meir insisted throughout his visit on Germany’s “historical responsibility” to Israel.107 Lamenting Israel’s isolation, she and her colleagues were skeptical over German assurances that Israeli interests were not threatened by the FRG’s expanding relations with the Arabs and its entry into the UN, or by the political ambitions of the enlarged EEC.108 These concerns were reinforced by Brandt’s refusal to make commitments to expand military ties between the two countries, make additional restitution payments, or conclude an investment agreement and also by Brandt’s repeated rejection of the role of an intermediary in the Middle East conflict.109 In his public appearances, the chancellor underlined his determination to redefine the German–Israeli relationship.110 Before arriving, Brandt, in an interview on Israel television, had confirmed the growing pro-Palestinian sentiment among German youth and declared that almost three decades after the Holocaust a growing number of his compatriots felt themselves unconnected with the Nazi past.111 In addressing the Central Committee of Israel’s governing Labor Party, he acknowledged the FRG’s commitment to defend Israel’s existence but added that his government would also stand for the “rights of the victims of the Middle East conflict” and resist all forms of pressure to choose its friends or its enemies.112 Brandt’s minutely scripted itinerary reflected the message of a gracious, self-confident German guest with an impeccable anti-Nazi record, a Nobel Peace Prize, and a leadership position in the EEC. There were few hostile demonstrations.113 The chancellor’s schedule included 107

108

109 110 111

112 113

Golda Meir, Welcoming Speech in the Knesset, June 7, 1973, Government of Israel Press Bulletin, in GB NA FCO 93/129; see also Dietrich Strothmann, “Brandt in Israel: Stirbt die Sünde mit den Menschen?” Die Zeit Online, June 15, 1973, http://www.zeit.de /1973/25/stirbt die suende mit den menschen. Enumerating the betrayals by France, Britain, and the United States in 1948, 1956, and 1967, Meir added: “We cannot entrust our destiny even in the hands of our best friends.” Zweites Delegationsgespräch, June 8, 1973, AdsD WBA A9 3/29; also Brandt, Begegnungen und Einsichten, pp. 593 96. Brandt/Sapir talks, June 10, in Puttkamer to AA, June 13, 1973, AAPD 1973 2:984 86. “Israeli West German Watershed,” New York Times, June 12, 1973, p. 8. Sauvagnargues to MAE, Bonn, June 6, 1973, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76, Z1974. Although the Springer press continued to support Israel, in mid June Der Spiegel and the mass market Stern had published highly critical articles on the occasion of Israel’s twenty fifth anniversary, and a forty minute television documentary had described the ill treatment of Israeli Arabs; in addition, the “compensation issue” was not helping Israel’s image in the FRG. Ben Ari to Meroz, Bonn, May 15, 1973, ISA 130 6808/4. According to a national public opinion poll on June 1, 1973, only 37 percent of the West German population recorded pro Israeli sentiments, a dramatic drop in six years. Ben Horin to FM, June 1, 1973, ibid., 5332/5 (5 percent favored the Arabs, 37 percent supported neither side and 21 percent had no opinion). Text in AdsD WBA A3/500; Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt, pp. 201 2. New York Times, June 11, 1973, p. 3.

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a private Old City tour, unaccompanied by Israeli officials, to the three major religious sites; a welcoming Sabbath stay on a kibbutz combined with a fishing adventure on the Galilee; a giant reception for the Israeli intellectual and cultural elite hosted by Puttkamer where he addressed former German Jews in their native tongue and met briefly with David Ben-Gurion; and the dramatic Masada trip followed by an honorary doctorate at the Weizmann Institute of Science (which was heavily funded by the FRG) and a speech calling peace the new “normality.”114 The final leave-taking on June 11 was cordial. Meir, who had once refused to set foot in Germany, used the word “friendship” in her closing remarks and accepted Brandt’s invitation for a reciprocal visit.115 The chancellor on his part agreed to Meir’s request to set up a direct channel of communications and also to transfer a secret message to Sadat,116 but he declined to sign a formal agreement or issue a joint communiqué.117 Under a bright sun, the two leaders simply restated their positions, Meir recalling the “dreadful tragedy that Nazi Germany had inflicted on the Jewish people” and calling on the chancellor to remain conscious of his country’s “historic responsibility” toward Israel, and Brandt responding that they both were aware of the duties owed “to our respective offices and to our peoples.”118 114

115 116

117 118

Hans Ulrich Kemski, “With Brandt in Jerusalem,” Encounter (Sept. 1973): 79 84; also Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 682 84; Fink, “‘The Most Difficult Journey of All,’” 511 12. New York Times, June 9, 1973, p. 1. This pledge was first made known in the spring of 2013 when the Israeli government released selected documents pertaining to Brandt’s visit in Hebrew (http://www .archives.gov.il/archivegov/pirsumyginzach/historicalpublications/brandtgermany/bran dtgermanydoclist.htm) and in English (http://www.archives.gov.il/ArchiveGov Eng/ Publications/ElectronicPirsum/BrandtGermany/), accompanied by a commentary by three historians holding Brandt responsible for the outbreak of the October 1973 war based on the chancellor’s refusal to deliver Meir’s message personally and the AA’s dispatch of Lothar Lahn to Cairo, thus facilitating Sadat’s rejection of an offer that the Egyptian leader had, in fact, already repeatedly refused. Press response: “Wie Willy Brandt den Nahost Frieden verspielte,” Die Welt, 9 June 2013; “Willy Brandt and Israel’s Secret Approach to Egypt,” June July 1973, http://israelsdocuments.blogspot .com/2013/06/willy brandt and israel (accessed Dec. 15, 2013); “Historiker: Willy Brandt hätte Jom Kippur Krieg verhindern können,” http://www.israelnetz.com/aus senpolitik/detailansicht/aktuell/hirtoriker (accessed Dec. 15, 2013); “Historiker: Willy Brandt vermasselte israelische Friedensinitiative,” FinanzNachrichten, June 9, 2013, ht tp://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten 2013 06/27065827 historiker (accessed Dec. 15, 2013). “Wie Willy Brandt den Nahost Frieden verspielte,” Die Welt, June 9, 2013; “Willy Brandt and Israel’s Secret Approach to Israel,” June July 1973, http://isr aelsdocuments.blogspot.com/2013/06/willy brandt and israel (accessed Dec. 15, 2013). Also Michael Wolffsohn, Friedenkanzler? Willy Brandt zwischen Krieg und Terror (Munich: DTV, 2018), pp. 130 33. Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt, pp. 209 10; Wechmar, Akteur in der Loge, pp. 276 77. New York Times, June 12, 1973, p. 8; Washington Post, June 12, 1973, p. 16. Fink, “‘The Most Difficult Journey of All,’” p. 512.

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In almost every press account, Brandt’s visit was judged a far greater success for the chancellor than for Israel. West German journalists lauded his forceful assertion of Bonn’s interests.119 The International Herald Tribune on June 13 termed the five days “the end or at least the revamping of the special relationship.” After warily scrutinizing the details, the Arab press offered no criticisms of Brandt’s words or his deeds.120 Brandt had made a strong case for normalization between the two countries, but without specifying its character. The Israelis tried hard to swallow their disappointment. The visit had been touted as “one of the most important . . . since our founding.”121 Soon afterward, Israel hosted leaders of the German– Israeli Association who offset Brandt’s reserved stance with strong expressions of support.122 But Israeli attempts that summer to secure additional West German loans and investment capital, expand trade, and increase arms purchases all met resistance in Bonn, and its effort to obtain concessions on its agricultural and industrial exports hit a stone wall in Brussels.123 Indeed, the entire international scene had darkened in mid-1973, with a plunging dollar, a Franco-German verbal spat over the EEC’s future, and rising tensions in the Middle East, culminating in an aerial dogfight – the largest since 1967 – over Syria as well as the coup in Chile on September 11.

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Neue Ruhrzeitung, June 13, 1973, scored this a “five round contest: Israel 1, Bonn 4”; also Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 12, 1973, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 13, 1973. Steltzer to AA, Cairo, June 13, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104772; Falin to Gromyko, Bonn, June 19, 1973, AVP RF 757/18/103/34. High expectations: Yediot Ahronot, May 16, 1973; but cf. Ha’aretz, June 7, 1973. Aftermath: “Enttäuschung in Israel über Brandts Besuch,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, June 19, 1973; an anonymous Israeli official in the International Herald Tribune, June 15, 1973: “We may look back to the period before this visit as the good old days.” Also Ha’aretz, June 13, Davar, June 13, 15, 19, 1973, Ma’ariv, June 13, 15, 1973, Jerusalem Post, June 14, 15, 1973. Puttkamer to AA, June 12, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104772, Puttkamer to AA, June 18, 1973, BAK B136/6305; Huré to MAE, Tel Aviv, June 14, 1973, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2993; Ledwidge to FCO, Tel Aviv, June 20, 1973, GB NA FCO 371 93/129. Meir, who had not shared her compatriots’ fears or high expectations, later stated that she had not expected significant results: Interview Vorwärts, Sept. 13, 1973. Redies Aufzeichnung, Apr. 27, 1973, Puttkamer to AA, July 2, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104783. Inconclusive negotiations in Bonn: Niemöller Aufzeichnung, June 25, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780; Aufzeichnung, July 2, 1973, BAK B136/6305; Vermerk, July 9, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104777; Ben Horin to FM, July 5, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4‫חצ‬, and in Brussels: Lebsanft to AA, Brussels, July 23, 1973, BAK B136/ 6260.

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Together in the UN A historic moment occurred on September 18, 1973, in New York City: the culmination of détente. East and West Germany became the 133rd and 134th members of the United Nations, and this was also the first partitioned country to enter the world organization.124 The Federal Republic, now a full-fledged member of the world community, would be scrutinized for its voice and its votes, especially over the Middle East. Testing Bonn’s fidelity, the Israeli ambassador warned against “submerging [West Germany’s] identity into the EEC,” which brought a sharp retort from State Secretary Paul Frank: “We cannot enter the UN enslaved to all kinds of automatic commitments.”125 Israel stood alone on September 18. Defying one of the capstones of détente and Ostpolitik, Ambassador Josef Tekoah announced his opposition to the admission of East Germany, because of that country’s refusal to assume moral and financial responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich. When this announcement generated strong rebuttals from Egypt and Saudi Arabia over Israeli violations of the UN charter and threats to oppose West Germany’s entry, the United States pressed Tekoah to withdraw his motion for a separate vote.126 Willy Brandt’s debut speech before the United Nations General Assembly clouded the picture. Speaking in German, in an address that stressed the links between peace, justice, and human rights, Brandt echoed Meir’s position and called for direct negotiations between Arabs and Israelis.127 Thereupon, on the eve of a new war

124

125 126

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New York Times, Sept. 19, 1973, p. 1; details in Gehlhoff to AA, New York, Oct. 5, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1512 16; Bangladesh was admitted to the UN in 1974, Vietnam in 1997, and the two Koreas in 1991. Ben Horin to FM, Sept. 11, 1973, ISA 130/6803/4‫חצ‬. Tekoah statement and rebuttals in Official Records of the General Assembly Twenty Eighth Session, Plenary Meetings, vol. 1, Verbatim Records of Meetings, 2117th Plenary Meeting, Sept. 18, 1973, A/PV 2117, 10. Rückriegel to AA, Sept. 19, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104767; “2 Germanys Join UN,” New York Times, Sept. 19, 1973, p. 1. On failed Israeli efforts to extract reparation from the GDR: Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 3, 1973, Zwischenarchiv 104776, Feb. 6, 1973, ibid., 104781; involvement of the American Jewish Committee: Karlikow to Geller, Jan. 15, 1973, AJCA Bertram H, Gold executive files, Box 91; East German side: Entschädingen durch die DDR an den israelischen Staat, BAL DY 30 IV B 2/20 85. Also, Jesser Vermerk, Sept. 14, 1973, Redies Aufzeichnung, Sept. 19, 1973, Rückriegel to AA, Tel Aviv Sept. 25, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104770. Rede des Bundeskanzlers, Brandt, vor der Vollversammlung der Vereinten Nationen, 26. Sept. 1973, in Willy Brandt, Berliner Ausgabe, ed. Frank Fischer (Bonn: Dietz, 2005), 6:508.

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Scheel had to face nine irate Arab emissaries over the Bonn government’s seeming abandonment of its neutrality.128 The Fourth Arab-Israeli War Shortly after 2:00 p.m. on October 6 – on the tenth day of Ramadan and on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement – Egyptian and Syrian troops launched a coordinated and an almost complete surprise attack on the Israeli forces on the East Bank of the Suez Canal and on the Golan Heights.129 By the next evening, after heavy fighting and major casualties on both sides, Egypt had broken Bar Lev line and Syrian forces threatened the Galilee. Israel, after having discounted numerous intelligence warnings in the belief that its military power and its enemies’ weakness had made such an assault impossible, belatedly mobilized its reserves, while scores of its tanks and planes were lost to Soviet-made missiles.130 Given the actual military imbalance, almost all observers – and also Anwar Sadat – fully expected Israel to repulse its attackers. Indeed, on the second day of the war the Egyptian president, disregarding his Syrian partner, informed US and Soviet officials that he had no intention of “widen[ing] the confrontation” beyond the territory already gained, but was instead aiming at a political settlement that would bring about a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai and peace in the region.131 Consequently, while during the next seven days the Syrian army bore the brunt of Israeli air power, tanks, and artillery, the Egyptian army (as observed by Israeli intelligence) dug in.132 Nonetheless, the Arabs’ initial victories and Israel’s delayed response immediately drew in the two Superpowers in order to curtail the fighting 128 129

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Lahn Aufzeichnung, Oct. 4, 1973, Gespräch des BM Scheel mit den Botschaftern arabischen Staaten, Oct. 8, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1510 12, 1528 30. The Israeli government, which for twelve hours had known about the attack (although not the exact time), had decided against a preemptive strike as in 1967, fearing the political and international risks. Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 294 95. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 12, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1546 47; on intelligence lapses: Marcel Serr, “Angriff an Jom Kippur: Israels nationales Trauma,” Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift 51, no. 6 (2013): 668 78; Uri Bar Joseph, “The Wealth of Information and the Poverty of Comprehension: Israel’s Intelligence Failure of 1973 Revisited,” Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 4 (1995): 229 40, but see also Janice Gross Stein, “‘Intelligence’ and ‘Stupidity’ Reconsidered: Estimation and Decision in Israel, 1973,” Journal of Strategic Studies 3, no. 2 (1980): 147 77. Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 296 98. That day, Sadat also sent the same message to the French and British ambassadors in Cairo, adding that Egypt’s action “was not aimed against the existence of Israel within its established borders.” AAPD 1973 3:1611, n. 9. Yehuda Ud Blanga, “The Egyptian War Plan and Collaboration with Syria in the October 1973 War,” The Maghreb Review 41, no. 2 (2016): 281 82.

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The Fourth Arab Israeli War

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LEBANON Israeli Hermon

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River Jordan Golan Heights Israel’s international border on 6 October 1973 The ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, 1949–1967 Israeli counterattacks 8–10 October

ISRAEL

Tiberias

Israeli offensive after 10 October 1973

Sea of Galilee

The syrian advance, 6–8 October 1973 Israeli settlements overrun by Syrian forces, 6–8 October

JORDAN

Israeli towns and settlements hit by Syrian shells and rockets after 6 October Furthest Israeli advance into Syria at the ceasefire, 24 October

Map 9.1: At the opening of the October 1973 war, a large Syrian force attacked the Golan Heights overlooking Israeli settlements in the Galilee. Subsequently, the Israeli counterattack drove to within twenty miles of Damascus.

and preserve détente.133 When none of the combatants agreed to a ceasefire – but all pleaded for additional arms – Moscow and Washington moved to contain their clients and also maintain their competitive 133

From day one both sides stayed closely in touch and used the hot line between Washington and Moscow. Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 298 99.

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Forts of the Bar-Lev line Furthest Egyptian advance Egyptian fortified position Israeli counter-attacks

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The Egyptian Third Army at the ceasefire

Suez

Ismailia

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Sinai Desert Refidim Air Base Great Bitter Lake

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Cairo–Suez road Kilometre 101 Mitla Pass

Suez City

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Map 9.2: After Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal and moved into the Sinai Peninsula, the Israeli counterattack encircled the Egyptian Third Army on the West Bank of the canal.

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advantage. Thus, on October 10, after Israel had recaptured the entire Golan Heights and turned against the Egyptian forces, Brezhnev ordered a Soviet Air Bridge to transport some fifteen thousand tons of military equipment to Damascus and Cairo. And that day Nixon, responding to urgent Israeli pleas, domestic pressures, and his deep Cold War commitment to stem Soviet expansion, authorized Operation Nickel Grass, a massive airlift from the United States to Israel via the Portuguese Azores of jets, tanks, artillery, ammunition, and other supplies – far larger than the famed relief of Berlin in 1948–1949 – that began on October 14 and proved crucial to the war’s outcome.134 Behind this Superpower arms buildup were the two leaders’ complicated domestic politics: Nixon’s deepening Watergate morass forced him to hand a major part of decision making over to Kissinger,who confronted an increasingly erratic Brezhnev and his hawkish politburo.135 Western Europe, facing a war it had long predicted but was unable to prevent, became a collateral victim. There were two separate but related blows: On October 16, OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), which had wrested control over crude oil prices and production from the multinational oil companies, increased the price of oil by 70 percent, from $3.01 to $5.12 per barrel.136 One day later, in response to Operation Nickel Grass, OAPEC, the seven-member Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) announced a 5 percent reduction in oil production until Israel evacuated the occupied Arab territories. The EEC, already divided in its responses to the Arab attacks, became even more fragmented after OAPEC divided the continent into friendly, neutral, and unfriendly countries, thereby impeding a common West European front.137 134

135

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Memorandum, Oct. 10, 1973, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969 1976, vol. 25, doc. 143; Richard Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978), p. 924. On Kissinger’s spoiler role in delaying the arms deliveries: Arnon Gutfeld and Boaz Vanetik, “‘A Situation That Had to Be Manipulated’: The American Airlift to Israel during the Yom Kippur War,” Middle Eastern Studies 52, no. 3 (2016): 419 47. Bahr to Brandt, Nov. 5, 1973, AdsD WBA A7/190; see also William B. Quandt, “Soviet Policy in the October Middle East War II,” International Affairs (London) 53, no. 3 (July 1977): 587 603; Dobrynin, In Confidence, pp. 287 88, 295 96; Viktor Israelian, Inside the Kremlin during the Yom Kippur War (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1995), pp. 32 33. And also raised the producer governments’ share from $1.99 to $3.44 per barrel. Venn, The Oil Crisis, p. 7. But with prices rising as high as $20 per barrel in Dec. and threatening a global depression, OPEC stepped back and in Jan. 1974 set the posted price at $11.65, including a government take of $7.00. ibid., p. 9. France, Great Britain, and Spain were considered friendly; the United States, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Denmark were subject to a total embargo, and the rest of Europe

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Moreover, while Communist Eastern Europe hewed obediently to the Soviet line, America’s NATO allies, given their vulnerability and their distinctly separate political views, insisted on their neutrality in the ArabIsraeli conflict. Hence Britain infuriated Kissinger on October 12 by refusing to sponsor a cease-fire resolution in the Security Council, which Egypt, in fact, had opposed.138 And the weakened Nixon administration, instead of suffering a rebuff, declined to request transit or refueling rights from its allies for the airlift, relying instead on Portugal (in return for US support for its colonial policies in Africa).139 While the Superpowers tried to maintain control, the combatants acted. On October 14, Sadat, pressured by his Syrian ally Hafez alAssad, made the fateful decision to abandon his strong defensive position east of the canal. Without SAM cover or adequate intelligence, the Egyptian army launched a broad attack into the Sinai desert that was easily repulsed by the well-prepared, heavily reinforced and rearmed Israeli troops. After scoring its first major victory on the Suez front, the IDF began its westward advance, crossing the canal two days later and encircling the Egyptian Third Army on October 21.140 Facing another Arab military defeat, the Superpowers took charge. On October 20,141 Kissinger flew to Moscow to draft a joint cease-

138

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was subject to a gradual reduction in supplies. Details in Raymond Vernon, “Europe,” in Romano Prodi and Alberto Clô, eds., The Oil Crisis (New York: Norton, 1976), pp. 97 103; David Painter, “Oil and the October War,” in Asaf Siniver, ed., The Yom Kippur War: Politics, Legacy, Diplomacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 174 93. Hughes, “Britain, the Transatlantic Alliance, and the Arab Israeli War of 1973,” pp. 22 25. In order to underline its neutrality, the Heath government had declared an embargo on arms transfers to the Middle East and also refused Washington’s request to support reconnaissance flights over the Sinai and Golan Heights, although some intelli gence collaboration between the two countries may well have continued, ibid., pp. 20 21. Silvia Pietrantonio, “The Year That Never Was: 1973 and the Crisis between the United States and the European Community,” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 8, no. 2 (June 2010): 167 68. Uri Bar Joseph and Amr Yossef, “The Hidden Factors That Turned the Tide: Strategic Decision Making and Operational Intelligence in the 1973 War,” Journal of Strategic Studies 37, no. 4 (2014): 598 605; Khalid Sindawi and Ephraim Kahana, “The Yom Kippur War: The Successes of Israeli Intelligence,” International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 28, no. 4 (2015): 771; also Patrick Seale, Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 212 14. At precisely the moment when Nixon’s presidency was imperiled over the “Saturday night massacre.” (After both attorney general Elliot Richardson and deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus, had resigned after refusing the president’s order to fire the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox [who had subpoenaed the president to release the tapes made in the Oval Office], on Oct. 20, US solicitor general Robert Bork, accepted Nixon’s order to fire Cox.) Washington Post, New York Times, Oct. 21, 1973.

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fire resolution, which the Security Council adopted unanimously two days later. According to Kissinger’s design, Resolution 338 contained something for all sides: the reaffirmation of Resolution 242 demanded by the Arabs, but leaving Israel occupying additional Arab territory as leverage in future negotiations and preserving USSoviet détente.142 The war was not yet over, though. To dispel Meir’s fury over the lack of prior consultations, Kissinger gave Israel a green light to ignore the cease-fire. However, as the IDF continued to advance on the West Bank of the canal, an incensed Kremlin went into action, on October 24 proposing either the establishment of a joint USSoviet military force to enforce the UN resolution or the dispatch of a unilateral Soviet force. Caught off guard at the prospect of a Soviet intervention, Washington raised the stakes dramatically, placing its military forces on a worldwide nuclear alert and ordering the redeployment of its aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. A day later, Moscow backed down and the Security Council voted still another cease-fire resolution, to which the Israeli cabinet on October 26 reluctantly agreed.143 Israel had vanquished its foes, but at a terrible price: in less than three weeks there were some 11,000 casualties (including 2,700 dead) and 300 IDF soldiers taken prisoner.144 The Arab attack on October 6 had punctured the myths of Israel’s superior intelligence and military invincibility and shattered public confidence in its government’s diplomatic strategy. It had also undermined the country’s long-standing scorn of the Arabs’ fighting skills, its underestimation of the potency of Soviet weaponry, and its overestimation of Moscow’s ability to restrain its clients.145 Even the indispensable American military aid had come with a heavy price: The United States, joining with the Soviets, had denied Israel a total 142 143 144

145

Daigle, Limits of Détente, p. 316. Ibid., pp. 316 27. “Stumbling toward Armageddon,” New York Times, Oct. 9, 2018, p. 25, cites newly declassified documents on the crisis. Ha’aretz, Sept. 24, 2013, citing declassified documents, reported that at least 86 Israeli POWs were killed by the Egyptian and Syrian forces. (The total Jewish population of Israel in Oct. 1973 was 2.8 million.) Casualties on the other side: Egypt, 12,000 dead, 35,000 wounded; Syria, 2,200 dead, 5,600 wounded. Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), p. 224, n. 113. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 12, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1546 47; Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 14, 26, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104765; “Israels Mythos ist schwer erschüttert,” Der Spiegel 42 (Oct. 15, 1973), http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/a 111353.html. The surprise attack on Oct. 6 was all the more shocking to a public that only three weeks earlier had cheered the Israeli air force’s downing of thirteen Syrian jets in the largest air battle since 1967. New York Times, Sept. 14, 1973, p. 1.

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Fig 9.2: Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (seated right) in the Golan Heights with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan (seated center) and Chief of the Northern Command Yitzhak Hofi (seated left) in November 1973 after the Yom Kippur War. Credit: Government Press Office of Israel, D334 092/Ron Frenkel

victory.146 Arriving in Washington on November 1, Golda Meir faced an administration determined to dictate the terms of an Arab-Israeli peace.147 The FRG was deeply involved in the twenty-day Middle East war. Throughout the war, 57 percent of the German public had sympathized with Israel, as did much of the SPD establishment and the opposition CDU.148 However, the Brandt government’s responses were stumbling and inconsistent, reflecting not only its internal differences but also

146

147 148

Meir told her cabinet: “There is nothing to be ashamed of when a small country like Israel, in this situation, has to give in sometimes to the United States.” Meir, My Life, p. 426. “Mrs. Meir’s Visit Held Test of Ties,” New York Times, Nov. 1, 1973, p. 19; also Meir, My Life, p. 431; Daigle, Limits of Détente, p. 328. Milo to FM, Bonn, Oct. 16, 1973, ISA 130 6803‫ ;חצ‬P. C. Petrie, to FCO Western European Department, Bonn, Dec. 12, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/531; but Dohms Runderlass, Oct. 19, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1610, indicates weaker public support for Israel.

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Bonn’s unique role as an outside actor whose words and gestures were heavily scrutinized by all sides. From the outset, Brandt appeared to tilt toward a beleaguered Israel. On October 10, the chancellor denounced the Arabs’ “illusion” of a military solution to the Middle East problem.149 Despite Bonn’s official neutrality, the chancellor repeatedly denied a “neutrality of the heart” and castigated the Arabs’ oil “blackmail.”150 Also, early in the war, he had secretly (and illegally) supplied Israel with an indispensable electronic military device from the Bundeswehr’s stores.151 And afterward, starting a tradition that lasted until 2006, he refused to allow German troops to participate in the UN Middle East peacekeeping mission where they might have to engage with Israeli forces.152 Nonetheless, the fatigued and politically embattled chancellor had also ceded a major role to Scheel and the Auswärtiges Amt, which viewed the crisis as a major threat to Bonn’s security – including the threat of new terrorist attacks.153 Bonn lined up with its European colleagues at the United Nations;154 and on October 13, it adhered to the Nine’s futile call for a cease-fire.155 Working quietly behind the scenes, West German diplomats also worked to prevent a diplomatic break with Bonn’s old and new Arab partners.156 After October 16, the FRG, which imported 71 percent of its oil from the Arab countries, was vulnerable to the OPEC price hike and the Arab boycott – especially as these affected its export industries. There were also 149 150

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Brandt, Oct. 10, 1973, Speech at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair, AAPD 1973 3:1556, n. 7; Ben Ari to FM, Oct. 10, 1973, ISA 130 5331/15. West European Dept. Memo, Nov. 9, 1973, GB NA PREM 1565; Joseph Kaskell, “The Middle East Crisis, Kissinger, and Brandt,” Dec. 4, 1973 (paper presented to American Council on Germany), in Bacharach Baker to AA, New York, Feb. 3, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104769. Details in Klaus Harpprecht,“Der falsche Verdacht,” Die Zeit Online, Apr. 27, 2000, http://www.zeit.de/2000/18/Der falsche Verdacht/komplettansicht. Brandt’s party followed suit, as witnessed by the pro Israel speech by West Berlin mayor Klaus Schütz and the pro Israeli sentiments of SPD Bundestag deputies and at the Party council Oct. 16 17, Petrie to West European Department, Bonn, Dec. 12, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/731. West European Department, Report, Nov. 9, 1973, GB NA PREM 1565; but Bonn consented to provide air transport for the UN mission and to contribute 7.1 percent of its expenses. Ben Ari to FM, Dec. 26, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4‫חצ‬. “Was der Regierung fehlt, ist ein Kopf,” Der Spiegel 41 (Oct. 8, 1973), pp. 25 34; “Der führungsschwache Kanzler,” ibid., 50 (Dec. 12, 1973), p. 32. AAPD 1973 3:1531, n. 6. 155 Text: GB NA FCO 93/266. Described in Brandt Heath meeting, Nov. 12, 1973, AdsD WBA A9 3/32; earlier: Gespräch des BM Scheel mit den Botschaftern arabischen Staaten, Oct. 8, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1528 30. There were also meetings between Hans Eberhard Dingels, international secretary of the SPD, and Arab ambassadors in Bonn: Dingels Reports, Oct. 10, 16, Nov. 5, 14, 1973, AdsD WBA Partei Vorstand/28.

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the shocks of “carless Sundays” and grounded Lufthansa flights.157 On the other hand, Bonn expected that its Ostpolitik would increase its gas and oil imports from the Soviet Union.158 Despite its fears of a Superpower confrontation, Bonn’s relations with the Soviet Union remained remarkably stable throughout the crisis (something Washington noted suspiciously159). Communications with Moscow remained open, with each side acknowledging the other’s Middle East interests: the special character of the FRG’s relations with Israel, Moscow’s obligations to the Arabs, and Europe’s limited possibilities for intervention.160 And notwithstanding the GDR’s charges in various Arab capitals of Bonn’s continuing military ties with Israel,161 there were no major threats to West Berlin. Not unexpectedly, US–West German relations underwent a major break, one that was only partially repaired. The FRG, although heavily dependent on America’s military shield, had grown increasingly critical of the US tendency to ignore its and Europe’s interests; and Washington now insisted on its allies’ complete adherence to its Middle East policies. The principal clash between the United States and Bonn centered on the American arms transfer to Israel (which the Europeans had generally opposed because it prolonged the fighting). The United States, in addition to the air lift, had clandestinely sent military supplies to Israel from its army bases in West Germany. Scheel, who was given the details at an October 16 meeting with US ambassador Martin Hillenbrand, had initially agreed, despite this clear and risky violation of the FRG’s 157

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Dohms, Runderlass, Oct. 19, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1610; Ben Horin to FM, Oct. 22, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4‫ ;חצ‬also “Ölkrise: Kein Verlass auf Grossmütter,” Der Spiegel 45 (Nov. 5, 1973), pp. 23 27; “Ölscheichs gegen Europa,” Der Spiegel 46 (Nov. 12, 1973), pp. 110 18. Nonetheless, Germany’s still robust gas and oil reserves made up for the 5 percent reduction in petroleum between December 1973 and March 1974. Vernon, “Europe,” pp. 100 2; details in Jens Hohensee, Der erste Ölpreisschock 1973/74: Die politischen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen der arabischen Erdölpolitik auf die Bundesrepublik Deutschland und Westeuropa (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1996), pp. 109 73. Frank Bösch, “Energy Diplomacy: West Germany, the Soviet Union, and the Oil Crises of the 1970s,” Historical Social Research 39, no. 4 (2014): 165 76; also Iran until the 1979 revolution provided 20 percent of the FRG’s energy supply, Bösch,“Zwischen Schah und Khomeini,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 63, no. 3 (July 2015): 322. Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 685 86. Ambassador Sahm Gromyko conversation, Oct. 13, 1973, AVP RF 757/18/Pk 100/D8; also Schilling Vermerk [on Brandt Falin discussion over Brezhnev’s Middle East mes sage], Oct. 24, 1973, AdsD WBA A9/25; AAPD 1973 3:1554 57, 1634 38, 1706 35, 1742 47, and, esp., Bahr to Brandt, Nov. 5, 1973, ibid., 1747 50. Aufzeichnung, Oct. 17, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 1040948; also Nègre to MAE, Damascus, Nov. 16, 1973, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2993; Petrie to West European Dept., Bonn, Dec. 12, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/531.

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neutrality and the breach of NATO’s rules.162 But eight days later, Bonn reversed its stand because of several factors, including mounting Egyptian protests, the October 22 UN cease-fire resolution, and US assurances that the arms issue had thus been settled. However, on October 23 and 24, there were official and press reports that two Israeli freighters had loaded military cargo – tanks, trucks, jeeps, artillery, and other heavy equipment – and not from US-controlled bases but from German soil: the Nordenham harbor near Bremerhaven.163 In a striking display of defiance, Germany on October 24 ordered the third Israeli ship docked in Bremerhaven to depart at once and issued a press release justifying its decision. Attempting to placate the Arabs, Bonn disingenuously denied any knowledge of the earlier arms shipments and publicly accused the United States of violating its neutrality.164 Nixon and Kissinger were furious over Bonn’s actions, and defense secretary James Schlesinger warned that the United States might withdraw its troops and materiel from the FRG.165 Jumping on the bandwagon, the CDU/CSU opposition accused the Brandt government of alienating the United States, and the US press reviled the West German chancellor for caving in to Arab pressure.166 Surprisingly, Israeli journalists were “exceptionally silent” over the US-German spat, although deploring Bonn’s “surrender” to the Arabs.167 The already tense situation between Washington and Bonn was exacerbated on October 25 when the United States launched the nuclear alert without consulting its NATO allies. Responding to European objections, Washington insisted on linking the Soviet threat in the Middle East 162

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Gespräch des BM Scheel mit dem americanischen Botschafter Hillenbrand, Oct. 16, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1557 63; on NATO: Bernhard Blumenau, “West Germany and the United States during the Middle East Crisis of 1973: ‘Nothing but a Semi Colony’?” in Basil Germond, Jussi M. Hanhimäki, and Georges Henri Soutou, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Transatlantic Security (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 126 27. Frank Cash Gespräch, Oct. 24, 1973, AAPD 3:1639, n. 5; Milo to FM, Oct. 26, 1973, ISA 130/ 6803/4‫“ ;חצ‬Wir standen dicht an der Kippe,” Der Spiegel 44 (Oct. 29, 1973), pp. 25 26; Frank Hillenbrand Gespräch, Oct. 25, 1973, AAPD 3:1647 53; Brandt speech in Bundestag, Oct. 26, 1973, Deutscher Bundestag, 7 Wahlperiode, 62 Sitzung, StenBer, p. 3630; Milo to FM, Oct. 26, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4‫ ;חצ‬New York Times, Oct. 26, 1973, p. 20; also Blumenau, “West Germany and the United States,” pp. 128 29. Von Staden to Scheel, Washington, Oct. 26, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1663 68; Milo to FM, Oct. 26, 1973, ISA 130 6803/4‫“ ;חצ‬Bonn Is Singled Out,” New York Times, Oct. 27, 1973, p. 65; also Note, Nov. 5, 1973, France AN Pompidou AG 5 2/92. Hibbert telegram, Bonn, Oct. 30, 1973, GB NA Prem 15/1567; however, Springer’s Die Welt, Oct. 30, while joining the condemnation, also wondered why West Germany, which alone with Portugal had aided the resupply of Israel, was being singled out by Washington for censure. Puttkamer to AA, Oct. 29, 1973, PA AA B36/6260; cf. Davar, Oct. 26, 1973.

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with the defense of the European continent; but led by Bonn, the Europeans protested their treatment as an “American colony.”168 Thus, even after an exchange of letters between Brandt and Nixon somewhat mitigated US-German tensions, ill-feelings remained.169 There was more to come. On November 6, Bonn took part in the EEC foreign ministers’ conference in Brussels that, under French pressure, drew up a peace plan for the Middle East: (1) negotiations were to be held under UN auspices; (2) Israel would withdraw to its June 4, 1967, borders; and (3) the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people would be respected.170 Kissinger, who was outraged by the Europeans’ independent gesture – and particularly by their challenge to his solo diplomatic strategy – dismissed the Brussels declaration as an attempt to appease the Arabs and to escape the brunt of their oil weapon.171 Israel now moved into the fray. Spurred by Axel Springer’s arrival on November 5 and his expressions of “shame” over his government’s behavior, the Israeli press castigated the Nine for intruding in the US-led negotiations and preferring oil to a Middle East peace.172 Meir traveled to London where, on November 11, addressing an emergency meeting of the Socialist International leadership – convened at her request (via Willy Brandt) by the pro-Israeli British opposition leader Harold Wilson – she scolded her European comrades for barring the US relief planes from refueling.173 She also denounced the EEC’s Brussels proposals as exceeding UN Resolution 242 and pointedly dismissed Brandt’s defense of the Nine and the importance of international guarantees.174 168

169

170 171

172

173 174

Frank Hillenbrand Gespräch, Oct. 29, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1670 77; Hibbert to FCO, Bonn, Nov. 2, 1973, GB NA Prem 15/1567; Brandt Pompidou conversation, Nov. 26, 1973, AN Pompidou 5AG/1012; also “What ‘Year of Europe’?” New York Times, Oct. 31, 1973, p. 44; “US NATO Dispute Still Unresolved,” ibid., Nov. 11, p. 1. Brandt to Nixon, Oct. 28, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1668 70; Nixon to Brandt, Oct. 30, 1973, AdsD WBA A9/20; also Aufzeichnung, Nov. 13, 1973, ibid., WBA A9 3/32, Kaskell, “The Middle East Crisis, Kissinger, and Brandt;” Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt, p. 375; Paul Frank, Entschlüsselte Botschaft: Ein Diplomat macht Inventur (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 1981), pp. 268 72. Brandt, in his first speech to the European Parliament on Nov. 13, warned, “Partnership cannot mean subordination.” New York Times, Nov. 14, 1973, p. 18. Van Well Runderlass, Nov. 7, 1973, AAPD 1973 3:1777 80. Daniel Möckli, European Foreign Policy during the Cold War: Heath, Brandt, Pompidou and the Dream of Political Unity (London: Tauris, 2009), pp. 203 5; Pietrantonio, “The Year That Never Was,” pp. 168 69. Davar, Nov. 6, 1973, Ma’ariv, Nov. 7, 1973, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 1973; also Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 6, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104768, Nov. 11, 1973, ibid., 104770; La Ferrière to MAE, Tel Aviv, Nov. 7, 11, 13, 1973, FMAE Communautés Européennes/Relations avec le Moyen Orient/1971 76 3804. Meir, My Life, pp. 430 31. Harpprecht to Brandt, Nov. 11, 1973, AdsD WBA Gen. Korr/10; Aufzeichnung, Nov. 13, 1973 [Brandt Heath conversation in London, Nov. 12, 1973], ibid., A9/32,

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Nonetheless, under French pressure, the EEC continued to attempt to coordinate its diplomacy, defense, and economic strategies. There was a hastily organized Copenhagen summit convened in December in the shadows of the UN’s Conference in Geneva: the joint US-Soviet initiative to bring peace to the Middle East.175 In Copenhagen on December 14, the Nine adopted a historic document defining the “European Identity.176 The limits of EEC solidarity, however, were also exposed at Copenhagen.177 The appearance of five uninvited Arab ministers (possibly encouraged by Paris) created embarrassment and disarray. The Nine reaffirmed the November 6 Brussels declaration, but German-led opposition thwarted a Franco-British proposal to strengthen its anti-Israel clauses.178 Moreover, the West Europeans were unable to harmonize their oil policies. The loosening of the Arab boycott along with Kissinger’s adept appeal for a US-European energy conference blocked a coordinated EEC energy policy and further steps to a unified European entity.179 Aftermath After a two-month postponement, Israel’s national elections were finally held on the last day of 1973. It was a notably subdued campaign,

175

176 177

178

179

GB NA Prem 1565; details of secret SI meeting in undated memorandum, ACSP Strauss PV 1214. See also New York Times, Nov. 12, 1973, p. 17, Washington Post, Nov. 12, 1973, p. 15, Harpprecht, Im Kanzleramt, pp. 402 4. From which Britain and France (on Israel’s insistence) had been excluded, which Syria refused to attend, and which was suspended in Jan. 1974. Die Zeit 51 (Dec. 14, 1973), http://www.zeit.de/1973/51/krieg der worte, ibid., 52 (Dec. 21, 1973), http://www.zeit .de/1973/52/genfer friedenskonferenz ohne syrien. “Declaration on European Identity,” https://www.cvce.eu/content/publication/1999/1/ 1/02798dc9 . . . /publishable en.pdf. Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, “Bonn: Umworben und erpresst,” Die Zeit 13 (Mar. 17, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/13/bonn umworben und erpresst; Françoise de la Serre, “L’Europe des neuf et le conflit israélo arabe,” Revue Française de Science Politique 24, no. 4 (1974): 801 11; Gianfranco Martini, “Copenhagen: Un passo indietro per l’eur opa,” Civitas: Periodico di studi politici 25, no. 2 (1974): 27 42; Möckli, European Foreign Policy, pp. 240 44. Puttkamer to AA, Dec. 17, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104770; Carstens Vermerk, Dec. 20, 1973, BAK Nachlass Erik Blumenfeld N1388/17; Sanne, Vermerk, Jan. 17, 1974, AdsD WBA A9 3/26. Puttkamer to AA, Dec. 17, 1973 PA AA, Zwischenarchiv 104770; also “Einig in der Energiekrise,” Die Zeit, Dec. 21, 1973, http://www.zeit.de/1973/52/einig in der energiekrise. Over Kissinger’s strong objections, the Nine in July 1974 met with twenty one members of the Arab League, with only limited results. Rory Miller, “The Euro Arab Dialogue and the Limits of European External Intervention in the Middle East, 1974 1977,” Middle Eastern Studies 50, no. 6 (2014): 936 59.

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overshadowed by the war’s immense casualties. The country’s sour mood was intensified by leaks from the Commission of Inquiry appointed in late November by Meir under pressure from all the political parties to determine what had gone wrong. Moreover, the country had received another blow on December 1 with the death of the eighty-six-year-old founder, David Ben-Gurion, the legendary embodiment of its former strength and decisiveness.180 The sole piece of good news came from Geneva where at the Middle East conference in late December there was a “historic handshake” between Abba Eban and Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko, a private meeting between the two, and hints of a resumption of diplomatic relations.181 The October war had shaken the pillars of Israel’s security concept and challenged the belief that its occupation of Arab territory would provide security against an attack.182 It had also forced Israelis to acknowledge painful diplomatic realities, among them the almost complete diplomatic break with African countries, the increased estrangement from Western Europe, and (as in 1956) the US and Soviet resolve and power to deny them a decisive military victory.183 Above all, the October war had increased Israeli dependence on the United States for its economic, military, and diplomatic security. The war’s stalemate-ending had enabled Kissinger to control the peace process and to exclude the Soviet Union, the UN, and America’s NATO allies from his bilateral disengagement arrangements. Under US pressure, Israel reluctantly took the first steps toward a withdrawal from Egyptian territory that it had opposed two years earlier.184 On the other hand, Soviet conduct during the war had stirred anti-détente sentiment in the United States, bolstering a pro-Israeli movement among Kissinger’s critics.185 Although not nearly as calamitous for the Federal Republic as for Israel, the October war also had important repercussions for the Brandt government. The German military scrutinized the nineteen-day Middle 180 181

182 183 184 185

New York Times, Dec. 2, 1973, p. 1; see also “David Ben Gurion,” Der Spiegel 50 (Dec. 10, 1973), p. 50. Herly to MAE, Tel Aviv, Dec. 23, 1973, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z3705; Unsigned tel. to Meroz, Jan. 3, 1973, ISA 130 6811/9; also Galia Golan, Yom Kippur and After: The Soviet Union and the Middle East Crisis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 165 66. Amos Perlmutter, “Israel’s Fourth War, October 1973: Political and Military Misconceptions,” Orbis 19, no. 2 (June 1975): 434 61. Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 1973. Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York: Norton, 2000), p. 327. See, esp., John Rosenberg, “The Quest against Détente: Eugene Rostow, the October War, and the Origins of the Anti Détente Movement, 1969 1976,” Diplomatic History 39, no. 4 (Sept. 2015): 720 44.

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259

East conflict in which highly sophisticated Soviet weapons – including the fixed, mobile, and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles as well as the Sagger anti-tank missiles – had been effectively wielded by Egyptian forces against the Israelis; but concluded that there was no new threat to NATO’s overall strategy.186 On the other hand, BND and Bundeswehr experts, after carefully inspecting the Soviet T-62 tanks that Israel had dispatched to the FRG in early 1974, decided to replace NATO’s 105mm cannons with 120-mm smooth-bore cannons on the new Leopard II tanks, which entered service in 1979.187 To be sure, the oil crisis put a brake on the FRG’s economic growth and intensified inflation and worker protests, although the harshest domestic effects would recede within six months. Despite the soaring price of oil – which rose fourfold between 1972 and 1974 – Germany’s robust exports – including its increased trade with the Arab countries and with Eastern Europe – made it one of the few Western governments to achieve a trade surplus in 1974, and its heavy industry quickly drew substantial OPEC petrodollar-investments.188 The war’s principal impact on Germany was diplomatic and political. In foreign affairs, the further erosion of US-Soviet détente threatened the preparations for the CSCE. Also, Bonn’s spat with Washington took time to heal, and the FRG’s dispute with Paris over Europe’s direction greatly contributed to the EEC’s disarray during the oil crisis and also crushed the incipient deliberations over creating a freer European market with a single currency.189 In the political realm, the war exacerbated Willy Brandt’s deteriorating political situation.190 Only one year after his spectacular electoral triumph and on the eve of his sixtieth birthday, the chancellor and SPD leader came under fire from disgruntled party comrades, workers, and 186 187 188

189 190

Vermerk für SS Dr. Mann, Nov. 12, 1973, BAF BW1/183469; also NATO report, n.d., ibid. Shlomo Shpiro, “Know Your Enemy: West German Israeli Intelligence Evaluation of Soviet Weapon Systems,” Journal of Intelligence History 4, no. 1 (Summer 2004): 65 66. C. C. Joyner, “The Petrodollar Phenomenon and Changing International Economic Relations,” World Affairs 138, no. 2 (1975): 155, 159; D. J. Gerner, “Petro Dollar Recycling: Imports, Arms, Investments, and Aid,” Arab Studies Quarterly 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1985): 5 7; also Michael Kreile, “West Germany: The Dynamics of Expansion,” in Peter J. Patzenstein, ed., Between Power and Plenty: Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrial States (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), pp. 191 224. Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 684 90; also Edward Heath, The Course of My Life: My Autobiography (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998), p. 401. A particularly damaging attack came in October from his former ally, Herbert Wehner, who in a Moscow interview had publicly criticized Brandt for impeding the progress of Ostpolitik. “Wehner traf den Nerv der Koalition,” Die Zeit 41 (Oct. 5, 1973), http://www .zeit.de/1973/41/wehner traf den nerv der koalition; also “Was der Regierung fehlt, ist ein Kopf,” Der Spiegel 41 (Oct. 8, 1973), pp. 25 34.

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previously sympathetic journalists for having failed to institute the promised domestic reforms and for bowing too deeply to his FDP partners. Although Brandt’s personal popularity had not diminished, his critics termed him a weak leader whose key ministers were engaged in ruinous rivalries, whose cabinet meetings, run by consensus, were poorly prepared, and who was incapable of handling a serious international crisis.191 Finally, the fourth Arab-Israeli war heightened the already tense relationship between Bonn and Jerusalem. In December, in a modest display of friendship the Federal Republic dispatched three official delegations to Israel (including the attendees at Ben-Gurion’s funeral).192 Also, Puttkamer arranged visits by the Berlin Concert Choir and the Munich Kleine Komödie theater company: the first foreign artists to visit the war-scarred country.193 But the political rift between the two countries had further widened. Not only had the German foreign minister and chancellor’s resolve to “vote European” expanded the breach; the Bonn government’s illcoordinated foray in 1973 into the complexities of Middle East politics – proclaiming the merits of its singular Ostpolitik but also insisting on its evenhanded stance and on the necessity of a Superpower-guaranteed solution – had alienated the Israeli government and population, adding to their sentiments of “irritation, misunderstanding, disappointment, and aversion.”194 And on the German side, despite the outpouring of popular sympathy at the outbreak of the October war, pro-Israeli sentiment swiftly plummeted in the difficult aftermath.195 191

192 193 194

195

“Der Wind bläst Brandt ins Gesicht,” Die Zeit 48 (Nov. 23, 1973), http://www.zeit.de /1973/48/der wind blaest brandt ins gesicht; “Willy Brandt 60: Das Monument bröckelt,” Der Spiegel 50 (Dec. 10, 1973), pp. 28 47; Rudolf Augstein, “Der Führungsschwache Kanzler,” ibid., p. 32; also Ben Horin to Meroz, Dec. 12, 1973, ISA 130 5331/15. Rumors of intra party conspiracies and of Brandt’s imminent resignation had already circulated before the October war. Moreover, the public reacted negatively to the chancellor’s departure for a Riviera vacation at the moment the full weight of the oil crisis descended on the country and to his delay in addressing the country on its impact. Merseburger, Willy Brandt, p. 712. In a Nov. 29 television interview, Brandt’s former partisan Günter Grass characterized the chancellor as “listless” and “dwelling in the clouds.” Ibid. Peled to Ben Horin, Dec. 5, 1973, ISA 130 5331/10; Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, p. 233. Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 16, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104783. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, p. 235; also Hans Reif [the seventy five year old FDP luminary, deputy from Berlin, and president of the German Friends of the Hebrew University] to Genscher, Jan. 30, 1974, AdL N19/148, reporting the Israelis’ “feeling of desertion by the German Kulturwelt.” Falling, according to an Allensbach Institut poll, from 57 percent in early October to 39 percent by November: Werner Bergmann and Rainer Erb, Antisemitismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Ergebnisse der empirische Forschung, 1946 1989 (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1991), pp. 184, 200, n. 10.

10

Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

Never before, since the establishment of the state, have the Israelis appeared as gloomy as now. They see themselves surrounded by ene mies not only the Arabs but also from foreign lands such as Cuba and North Korea; and they have been displaced from Africa and abandoned by friends, even from the guilty Germans.1 Neither spiritually nor physically able to lead Europe, the Bonn govern ment hovers anxiously between several foreign policy positions trying to get along with all parties.2

As part of the “flood” of West German notables visiting Israel after the October war on February 9, 1974, the forty-seven-year-old SPD West Berlin mayor Klaus Schütz arrived at Lod Airport as a guest of the Israeli government.3 Widely regarded by Israelis as a “friendly and engaged” figure, Schütz in the early days of the war had participated in a pro-Israeli demonstration in his city, stirring strong Arab protests.4 Moreover, after becoming the youngest leader of the West’s Cold War showpiece in 1967, the pragmatic SPD politician (and close friend and colleague of Willy Brandt) had coolly confronted radical leftwing student protesters, led his city’s cultural, political, and economic revival, and also developed warm relations with the Jewish community.5 1 2 4

5

“Israel: ‘Wir sind ein kopfloser Staat,’” Der Spiegel 17 (Apr. 22, 1974), p. 101. Shlomo Aronson in Ha’aretz, Mar. 13, 1974. 3 Davar, Feb. 15, 1974. Reporting on Schütz’s remarks, AAPD 1973 3:1658; Die Welt, Oct. 9, 1973, p. 2; Dingels Memorandum, Oct. 10, 1973, AdsD WBA 28/Partei Vorstand; Puttkamer to AA, Feb. 20, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104775; also Klaus Schütz, “Auf die Mehrheit war immer Verlass: Deutsche Sozialdemokraten und Israel,” in Reinhard Renger, ed., Die deutsche “Linke” und der Staat Israel (Leipzig: Forum Verlag, 1994), p. 35. Klaus Schütz, Logenplatz und Schleudersitz: Erinnerungen (Berlin: Ullstein, 1992), p. 147. On Schütz’s views toward the German past, see: “Eine Grundlage für die moralische Existenz heute: Ansprache des Regierenden Bürgermeisters von Berlin Klaus Schütz am 19. Juli 1974 im Plenarsaal des Reichstagsgebäudes, Berlin” commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the July 20 assassination attempt against Hitler. www.20 juli 44 .de/uploads/tx redenj2044/pdf/1974 schuetz.pdf. See also Thomas Schmid, “Klaus Schütz: West Berlins Bürgermeister in grosser, grober Zeit,” Die Zeit, Nov. 30, 2012,

261

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Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

Schultz’s five-day visit to Israel was replete with high moments for the mayor and his hosts. In Tel Aviv, where he was enthusiastically greeted by five hundred former Berliners (including the popular new mayor Shlomo Lahat, who addressed him in German), Schütz – evoking John F. Kennedy’s words before the Rathaus Schöneberg eleven years earlier – announced that he was also a “citizen of Israel” and that “the struggle for freedom and peace was identical for Israelis and West Berliners.” He also took time to visit a convalescent home for wounded Israeli soldiers.6 Schütz repeatedly stressed the links between his beleaguered city and Israel.7 In Beersheba, he visited the library of Ben-Gurion University, whose construction had been supported by the West Berlin senate and was named after Nobel Prize–winner S. Y. Agnon, who had lived in the former German capital during World War I. In Jerusalem, Schütz held political discussions with Eban and Meir and exchanged city portraits with mayor Teddy Kollek. In the formerly divided capital, Schütz delighted Israelis, drew more Arab protests, and stirred rebukes from Moscow and East Berlin by announcing to the local press, “The partition of cities is the wrong solution.”8 In the Aftermath of War During the first half of 1974, international politics displayed this striking paradox: In contrast with Richard Nixon’s weakness at home, Henry Kissinger exerted an outsize US influence abroad, single-handedly leading the Middle East peace negotiations. But instead of a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, the US secretary of state launched a step-by-step process drawing in Israel and the moderate Arab regimes and concluding two key interim agreements, ending the Arab boycott against the United States and restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Egypt, Syria, and Algeria.9

6 7 8

9

https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article111733870/West Berlins Buergermeiste r in grosser grober Zeit.html. Ma’ariv, Feb. 12, 1974, p. 12; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 14, 1974; Davar, Feb. 15, 1974. Ma’ariv, Feb. 13, 1974, p. 4, Feb. 14, 1974, p. 7. Puttkamer to AA, Feb. 14, 15, 20, 1974, Jesser Aufzeichnung, Feb. 14, 1974, unsigned Aufzeichnungen, Feb. 18, 20, 1974, Sahm to AA, Moscow, Feb. 20, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104775. See also Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 20, 1974; Davar, Feb. 15, 1974; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 20, 1974. After resigning his office in 1977, Schütz served as German ambassador to Israel for four eventful years until 1981. Schütz, Logenplatz und Schleudersitz, pp. 178 88. Amos Perlmutter, “Crisis Management: Kissinger’s Middle East Negotiations (October 1973 June 1974),” International Studies Quarterly 19 no. 3 (Sept. 1, 1975): 338 39; David Painter, “Oil and Geopolitics: The Oil Crises of the 1970s and the Cold War,” Historical Social Research 39 (2014): 186 208. Indispensable sources by partici pants (although requiring critical reading): Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (Boston:

In the Aftermath of War

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Kissinger’s accomplishments were impressive. His crisis diplomacy, requiring five arduous trips to the Middle East, raised America’s stature and won plaudits at home. But there was also resistance to Washington’s domination of the diplomatic stage. France, stepping up its initiatives to develop European Middle East political and oil policies, opposed Kissinger’s management of the February Washington Energy Summit;10 and, despite the US secretary of state’s strong objections, France convinced the Nine to proceed with a Euro-Arab dialogue.11 The Kremlin dispatched Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to trail Kissinger on three largely unproductive missions to the Middle East;12 and profiting from the spike in oil and gas prices, Moscow dangled new deals with the energy-hungry West.13 Finally, China, America’s new, ostensibly anti-Soviet partner, suddenly adopted Mao’s Three World doctrine denouncing all forms of Great Power– and UN-intervention into local and regional conflicts.14 Nixon, in the waning months of his presidency, did his utmost to underscore his diplomatic prowess and cement his historical legacy.

10

11

12

13

14

Little, Brown, 1982); William B. Quandt, Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab Israeli Conflict since 1967 (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2005). Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 930 31; Henning Türk, “The Oil Crisis of 1973 as a Challenge to Multilateral Energy Cooperation among Western Industrialized Countries,” Historical Social Research 39, no. 4 (2014): 209 30; Aurélie Élisa Gfeller, Building a European Identity: France, the United States and the Oil Shock, 1973 1974 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2012); also Maria Gainar, Aux Origines de la diplomatie européenne: Les Neuf et la coopération politique européenne de 1973 à 1980 (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2012). Silvio Labbate, “The Beginning of the Euro Arab Dialogue and the Trans Atlantic Relations (1973 1975),” Nuova Rivista Storica 101, no. 2 (2017): 347 70. Rory Miller, “The Euro Arab Dialogue and the Limits of European External Intervention in the Middle East, 1974 1977,” Middle Eastern Studies 50, no. 6 (2014): 936 59. Which Kissinger dismissed as “clumsy” and “a confession of weakness,” Years of Upheaval, pp. 953, 969, as did France (Politique et Tactiques Communistes, mars 1974: L’Union Soviétique et le Proche Orient, FMAE Europe/URSS 1971 76 Z 3705), Israel (memorandum for Meroz, Mar. 15, 1974, ISA 130 7329/3‫)חצ‬, and even Moscow’s ally, Hungary (Kersting to AA, Budapest, Mar. 12, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104956). Details in New York Times, Feb. 26, 1974, p. 5, Feb. 28, p. 6, Mar. 2, 1974, p. 2, Mar. 8, 1974, p. 8, May 6, 1974, p. 7, May 28, p. 7. Balser to AA, Moscow, Apr. 10, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104957; also Jeronim Perović and Dunja Krempin, “‘The Key Is in Our Hands’: Soviet Energy Strategy during Détente and the Global Oil Crises of the 1970s,” Historical Social Research 39 (2014): 128 31; Frank Bösch, “Energy Diplomacy: West Germany, the Soviet Union, and the Oil Crises of the 1970s,” Historical Social Research 39, no. 4 (2014): 173 76. Edmund Clubb, “China and the Superpowers,” Current History 67, no. 397 (Sept. 1974): 97 100, 134; Werner Gabriel, “Bündnis und Widerstand: Die Theorie der Drei Welten als Grundlage der Chinesischen Aussenpolitik,” Wissenschaft und Weltbild 30, no. 2 (1978): 85 95; Kuisong Yang and Yafeng Xia, “Vacillating between Revolution and Détente: Mao’s Changing Psyche and Policy toward the United States, 1969 1976,” Diplomatic History 34, no. 2 (Apr. 2010): 415 18, 422 23.

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Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

In June, despite a serious physical ailment and the growing threat of impeachment, he was on the road for more than three weeks, conducting a triumphal tour of the Middle East, speaking at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, and meeting with Brezhnev in Moscow. However, his administration had failed to heal the rift between Washington and its Western partners or to halt the backlash against détente in Congress and in the Pentagon, resulting in a major reduction in US-Soviet trade in 1974, the stalled Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) and Salt II negotiations, and a largely unproductive third summit.15 On the Soviet side, Leonid Brezhnev also strove to salvage détente in order to block China and achieve his cherished diplomatic goal: the security pact ratifying the division of Germany and Europe that was languishing in Geneva. But Brezhnev’s conciliatory goals were undermined by Moscow’s heightened crackdown on Soviet dissidents and especially on the esteemed nuclear scientist Andrei Sakharov.16 The February 13 expulsion of Alexander Solzhenitsyn (whose Gulag Archipelago, an exposé of the Soviet forced labor system dating back to the first years of the Bolshevik Revolution, had just been published abroad) also stirred the international human rights community.17 Moreover, Moscow provoked Washington by courting the Arab refusal front – Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Algeria, along with the Palestinians – and with its attempts to undermine Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy between Israel, Egypt, and Syria. 18 But equally damaging to Brezhnev’s Western policy was the sudden loss of his two familiar

15

16

17 18

C. L. Sulzberger, “Who’s Spoking Whose Wheel?” New York Times, Mar. 27, 1974, p. 43, Chalmers M. Roberts, “Foreign Policy under a Paralyzed Presidency,” Foreign Affairs 52, no. 4 (July 1974): 675 89; George F. Kennan, “The United States and the Soviet Union, 1917 1976,” ibid., 54, no. 4 (July 1976): 687 88; Robin Ranger, “Weighing Chances for Progress in the Field of Arms Control,” International Perspectives 5 (Sept. Oct. 1974): 27 31. Also Joan Hoff Wilson, “‘Nixingerism,’ NATO, and Détente,” Diplomatic History 13, no. 4 (Sept. 1989): 501 25. Details on the administration’s failure to thwart the Jackson Vanik Amendment in Noam Kochavi, “Insights Abandoned, Flexibility Lost: Kissinger, Soviet Jewish Emigration, and the Demise of Détente,” Diplomatic History 29, no. 3 (2005): 503 30. Elisabetta Vezzosi, “Scienziati statunitensi tra distensione e diritti umani: La Committee of Concerned Scientists negli anni Settanta,” Contemporanea: Rivista di Storia dell’800 e del‘900,” 19, no. 3 (July Sept. 2016): 419 30; Benjamin Nathans, “The Disenchantment of Socialism: Soviet Dissidents, Human Rights, and the New Global Morality,” in Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn, eds.,The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), pp. 33 48; and, esp., Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), pp. 146 54. “Solschenizyn ‘Hier ist ihm alles viel zu eng,’” Der Spiegel 8 (Feb. 18, 1974), pp. 66 78. Galia Golan, Yom Kippur and After: The Soviet Union and the Middle East Crisis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), pp. 196 202; Roland Dannreuther, The Soviet Union and the PLO (New York: St. Martin’s, 1998), pp. 50 54.

“The Earthquake”: Israel after the Elections

265

European partners, Georges Pompidou, who died suddenly on April 4,19 and Willy Brandt, who resigned from his chancellorship on May 7.20 “The Earthquake”: Israel after the Elections The Israeli election results were announced on the first day of 1974. Eighty percent of the country had turned out to vote on December 31, and the outcome was not unexpected. Because a majority was unready to shed Israel’s current, if discredited, leadership, the Labor Alignment, with fifty-one seats, remained the largest party in the Knesset despite losing five seats; but its fiery opponent Likud, with thirty-nine seats, had gained seven.21 Over the next two months, an ailing Meir, heading a caretaker cabinet, attempted to hold the fragmented Alignment together and strove to win over the obstreperous Dayan and the National Religious Party (NRP), who both demanded a coalition with Likud.22 Meir also faced a widespread eruption of veterans’ protests, led by two military heroes, who called for Dayan’s resignation and also for a more just and equitable Israeli society.23 Despite Meir’s success in forming a new government

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20

21 22

23

A. Gorokhov, “The Line of Developing Friendly Conversation,” International Affairs (Moscow) 5 (May 1974): 10 15; Ye. Osipov, “Pompidou Brezhnev: Documents from the French Archives,” ibid., 57, no. 3 (2011): 249 60. On the official Soviet view of Brandt, see V. D. Ezhov, “Ot kholodnoi voiny k razriadke i Sotrudnichestvu” [From the Cold War to détente and cooperation], Novaia i Noveishaia Istoriia 3 (May 1974): 59 69. Jerusalem Post, Jan. 2, 1974, termed the outcome “a grudging vote of confidence.” “Israel: Gebrochener Arm,” Der Spiegel 1 (Jan. 7, 1974), p. 66. Puttkamer to AA, Feb. 2, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104765. The NRP, Labor’s traditional ally, had changed from a dovish, religiously oriented party to a hawkish coalition whose younger members in the winter of 1974 had formed Gush Emunim [Block of the Faithful]: a militant neomessianic settlement movement opposed to any territorial concessions. Also, by insisting on an Orthodox definition of Judaism and demanding greater religious control over conversions, the NRP had made it difficult to add secular parties to the coalition. New York Times, Feb. 27, 1974, p. 12. One of the two, Captain Motti Ashkenazi, who had commanded the outpost “Budapest” at the northern end of the Suez Canal the only fortification that had not fallen had lost thirty two men in his unit. See “Dayan Is Subject of Rare Protest,” New York Times, Feb. 18, 1971; “Dajan hat völlig versagt: Interview mit Dajan Gegner Aschkenasi,” Der Spiegel 10 (Mar. 4, 1974), p. 86. The other, Lt. Colonel Moshe Meller, after being wounded in a tank battle on the Golan Heights, had led his unit on crutches. “Israeli Army Veterans Lead Social Revolt,” Los Angeles Times, Mar. 29, 1974, p. D4. See also Eva Etzioni Halevy and Moshe Livne, “The Response of the Israeli Establishment to the Yom Kippur War Protest,” Middle East Journal 31, no. 3 (Summer 1977): 281 96; Francine Klagsbrun, Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel (New York: Schocken Books, 2017), pp. 654 55.

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on March 8 – sealed by her last-minute threat to resign – most observers predicted a “rough road ahead.”24 Israel’s somber mood was reinforced by a sharp decline in SovietJewish immigration.25 Among the causes was not only Moscow’s backlash against US congressional pressure but also, on the part of Soviet Jews, their uncertainty over a replacement for Schönau and, possibly, their reluctance to enter a battle zone. With the near-disappearance of twenty- to forty-five-year-old Soviet immigrants, Israeli social welfare agencies were now burdened by an influx of aged immigrants and young children. Moreover, polls were now indicating that 12 percent of Israel’s population – almost half between the ages of eighteen and twentynine – was thinking of leaving.26 The war, which cost the country over $7 billion, had a shattering effect on the Israeli economy. Inflation had soared because of mounting government expenditures on arms, manpower, and veterans’ benefits. Israeli citizens were hit with forced loans, higher taxes, and double and triple price rises on basic necessities, along with heavily reduced services, transportation bottlenecks, and closed businesses and factories.27 US loans and grants, and contributions from overseas Jewish communities helped fill some of the financial gap, reaching 13.9 percent of Israel’s GNP after 1973.28 Meir also faced a bleak diplomatic scene. Israel’s relations with the EEC remained cool; and Europe’s socialist leaders, now at the helm of six countries, were determined to play a more independent and “evenhanded” role in Middle Eastern affairs.29 Eban’s hopes for 24

25 26 27

28 29

“Israels Querelen,” Die Zeit 11 (Mar. 8, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/11/israels querelen. Also New York Times, Feb. 10, 1974, p. B1, Feb. 27, 1974, p. 12, Mar. 7, 1974, p. 3. Mar. 9, 1974, p. 192, Mar. 11, 1974, p. 63; Washington Post, Mar. 10, 1974, pp. A14, A18. Dropping from five thousand to four thousand people in January, February, and March. New York Times, Mar. 27, 1974, p. 8. Rückriegel to AA, Mar. 27, 1974 PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104769. “Israel’s Economy Burdened by War,” New York Times, Jan. 27, 1974, p. 158; “Magere Kühe,” Der Spiegel 14 (Apr. 1, 1974), pp. 90 91. Because between 150,000 and 200,000 reservists remained on duty until Mar., there were major labor shortages in key industries and shuttered small firms and shops. Yair Aharoni, “The Changing Political Economy of Israel,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 555 (Jan. 1998): 133. “Socialist Views on Arabs Shifting,” New York Times, Mar. 17, 1974, p. 17. Despite strong Israeli reservations, in Mar. 1974 a delegation of the Middle East Committee of the Socialist International, led by Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky, conducted a weeklong “fact finding” mission to the Middle East for the purpose of establishing contacts with the Arab world. The group held talks with leaders in Egypt (that included an interview with PLO chief Yasser Arafat), Syria, and Israel. “Nah Ost Reise der Sozialistischen Internationale 6 16 3 1974,” IISH “Middle East 1974”; detailed account in Dingels to Schilling, Mar. 25, 1974, AdsD WBA SPD Partei Vorstand 29.

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a resumption of ties with Moscow had not materialized; and, except for Romania,30 Israel had no official contacts with other Soviet-bloc governments. Israel had become even more isolated from the rest of the world.31 Except for South Africa, which had provided open support during the October war, Israel was now estranged from nearly the entire African continent and from most of Asia and Latin America.32 Two earlier trade partners, Japan33 and Turkey,34 stung by the oil crisis and the Arab boycott, were also drifting away; a formerly friendly Australia had adopted a pro-Palestinian position;35 and Iran, once considered an unspoken ally, was now gravitating toward its Arab rivals.36 The United States thus remained Israel’s indispensable diplomatic advocate as well as its sole military supplier; but under Kissinger’s direction, it had shifted to an honest-broker role in the Middle East conflict. Washington now viewed its generous aid to Israel as a prod to induce

30

31

32

33 34

35

36

Whose leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, hoping to expand US aid, sought a high profile Middle East role as mediator, comparable to Tito’s. On Eban’s three day visit to Bucharest after the Oct. war: Puttkamer to AA, Nov. 8, 1973, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104773; also, Orna Almog, “Unlikely Relations: Israel, Romania and the Egyptian Israeli Peace Accord,” Middle Eastern Studies 52, no. 6 (2016): 881 87. Rückriegel to AA, Mar. 18, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104791, saw Israel now pursuing a more practical foreign policy. See also Irving Louis Horowitz, “From Pariah People to Pariah Nation: Jews, Israelis, and the Third World,” in Michael Curtis and Susan Aurelia Gitelson, eds. Israel in the Third World (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1976), pp. 361 91. Arye Oded, “Africa in Israeli Foreign Policy Expectations and Disenchantment: Historical and Diplomatic Aspects,” Israel Studies 15, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 132 35, 140; Zack Levey, “Israel’s Exit from Africa: The Road to Diplomatic Isolation,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 35, no. 2 (Aug. 2008): 205 26; Barry Rubin, “Latin America and the Arab Israeli Conflict,” Wiener Library Bulletin 29, no. 37/38 (1976): 30 39. Also, Ovadia Sofer, “The Third World Dimension of the Arab Israeli Conflict and Its Impact on the Peace Process,” International Problems 17, no. 1 (1978): 36 49; Benjamin Rivlin and Jacques Fomerand, “Changing Third World Perspectives and Policies towards Israel,” in Curtis and Gitelson, Israel in the Third World, pp. 325 60. Kurt W. Radtke, “Japan Israel Relations in the Eighties,”Asian Survey 28, no. 5 (May 1988): 526 27, 530 33. Turkey, although a NATO member, during the October war had forbidden the United States to use its military facilities to ship aid to Israel and US aircraft from flying over its territory, although it had allowed Soviet resupply aircraft heading for Egypt and Syria to use its airspace. New York Times, Oct. 25, 1973, p. 1; Mahmut Bali Aykan, “The Palestinian Question in Turkish Foreign Policy from the 1950s to the 1990s,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 25, no. 1 (Feb. 1993): 97 98. Chanan Reich, “From ‘Endemically Pro Israel’ to Unsympathetic: Australia’s Middle East Policy, 1967 1972,” Australian Journal of Politics and History 56 no. 4 (2010): 574 91. M. G. Weinbaum, “Iran and Israel: The Discreet Entente,” Orbis 18, no. 4 (Winter 1975): 1070 87; but also R. K. Ramazani, “Iran and the Arab Israeli Conflict,” Middle East Journal 32, no. 4 (Autumn 1978): 413 28.

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Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

concessions, and its tiny client lacked the means to bargain with its powerful patron.37 Thus Meir in her final months dutifully followed US direction, providing Kissinger with decisive – although not unlimited – control over the negotiations.38 Abandoning her unrealistic hopes for a formal peace treaty with Egypt – and also braving the protests of Begin and General Ariel Sharon (who had led the audacious Canal crossing the past October), Meir accepted the terms of “Sinai I” – the January 18, 1974, Disengagement Agreement – in which Israel for the first time withdrew from territory conquered in 1967. Not only would it evacuate the West Bank of the canal but it would also pull back some twenty kilometers from the East Bank, although the strategic Gidi and Mitla Passes stayed in its hands.39 Moreover, both sides agreed on the creation of a fourteen-member UN buffer force (UNEF) on both sides of the Suez Canal.40 Pressed by Kissinger and Sadat, who was reluctant to be the sole Arab signatory with Israel, Meir also agreed to enter the far more difficult disengagement talks with Syria.41 Necessitating intense shuttle diplomacy between Jerusalem and Damascus by the dogged and energetic US secretary of state – and requiring pressure on two fragile governments and a last-minute Kissinger threat to withdraw – the Israeli-Syrian Disengagement Agreement was finally concluded 37

38

39

40

41

“We can’t say to the United States, ‘You won’t do this, so we will invite Gromyko to come.’ He won’t come, and we have no oil to stop pumping.” Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, p. 1046. Excerpts from Meir’s Knesset speech, May 30, 1974, New York Times, May 31, 1974, p. 8; cf. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 1078 79: “We had achieved our pivotal position because it was perceived that we alone could move Israel but also that this was a Herculean task. If it once appeared that we were prepared to break the back of our ally [sic], every later deadlock would be ascribed to lack of American determination. Israel might lash out in desperation. The Soviet Union would see a clear field for aggressive meddling”; also, earlier, pp. 483 84. “Auf einer Piste zum Frieden?” Der Spiegel 6 (Feb. 2, 1974), p. 76; also Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 809 53; Quandt, Peace Process, pp. 141 43. Israel, according to Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 2014), p. 317, “made greater concessions in 1974 than those it had refused to make in return for an interim agreement in the first half of 1971. It is reasonable to suppose, though this can never be proved, that had Israel made these concessions in 1971 the Yom Kippur War could have been averted.” Kissinger to US State Dept., Jan. 19, 1974; Excerpt of Kissinger report to Cabinet, Jan. 23, 1974, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969 1976, vol. 26, Arab Israeli Dispute, 1974 1976, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969 76v26/d16; text in “Egypt Israel: Agreement on the Disengagement of Forces,” International Legal Materials 13, no. 1 (Jan. 1974): 23 25. “Naher Osten: Schwache Partner für Kissinger,” Der Spiegel 9 (Feb. 25, 1974), pp. 68 69, compares Meir’s fragile political situation with the challenges to Assad from Syria’s generals.

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on May 31, 1974.42 It also included a UN buffer force as well as a token Israeli withdrawal from the ruined and deserted town of Quneitra, which had been captured in 1967 (but not the heights surrounding it), stirring a new round of protests from Likud, the National Religious Party, and the Golan settlers.43 Six months after the October disaster and on the eve of her departure from office, Meir had achieved several significant diplomatic gains. Thanks to Kissinger’s whirlwind diplomacy, Israeli prisoners of war would be released; two of Israel’s borders were now far more secure; and, although no formal peace agreements had been concluded, Israel’s neighbors had tacitly accepted its existence. The Soviets had failed to revive the dormant Geneva talks; the Saudis had stood behind Kissinger’s efforts; and the Arab rejectionist regimes in Tripoli, Baghdad, and Algiers had not thwarted the accords with Egypt and Syria. Moreover, following the two Palestinian attacks inside Israel during the negotiations, not only had Assad privately assured Kissinger that terrorist acts would not be launched from his territory, but Meir had also received a written US acknowledgment of her country’s right to retaliate.44 Now, however, the Palestinian problem had moved to the forefront of the world stage and become a major diplomatic and security problem. Although the Palestinians had played no role in the October war, the fleeting prospect of a comprehensive Middle East peace conference – one that would lead to an Israeli return to its1967 borders – had stirred the PLO’s demand for a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. In November 1973, both the Soviet Union and the Arab Summit Meeting in Algiers had recognized the PLO as the Palestinians’ official representative and called for its participation at the UN conference in Geneva. But the newly turned moderate Yasser Arafat was fiercely opposed by the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, whose leader, George Habash, rejected negotiations with Israel and the creation of a truncated Palestinian state.45 On December 17, 1973, the struggle between rejectionists and moderates had erupted when five Palestinian 42

43 44

45

Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 935 45, 953 66, 970 74, 1032 36, 1044 1110; Quandt, Peace Process, pp. 143 52; Yinon Shlomo, “The Israeli Syrian Disengagement Negotiations of 1973 74,” Middle East Studies 15, no. 4 (2015): 636 48, adds documen tation from the Israeli archives. Text in New York Times, May 31, 1974. Henry Tanner, “A Pact That Could Reshape the Arab World,” New York Times, June 1, 1974, p. 8; also Craig Daigle, The Limits of Détente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1969 1973 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), pp. 332 38; Quandt, Peace Process, pp. 151, 152; Klagsbrun, Lioness, p. 667. Paul Thomas Chamberlin, The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post Cold War Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 221 31.

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guerrillas – ostensibly hoping to sabotage the Geneva Conference – attacked a US airliner and hijacked a German plane at the Rome Airport, killing thirty-three people.46 Kissinger recognized the swell of international support for the Palestinian cause, especially among his potential Arab partners. However, the Rome assault – despite the condemnations by Arab leaders, including Arafat – reinforced his personal reluctance to include the Palestinians in the peace process.47 To be sure, although the Nixon administration had officially ignored the PLO, US intelligence operatives had over the past four years established informal contacts with Palestinian leaders in Beirut, and these had been considerably expanded during the tumultuous events of 1973.48 Nonetheless, the United States, which was closely allied with the proWestern King Hussein, still officially advocated the West Bank’s return to Jordan, the PLO’s sworn enemy. In the winter of 1974, the king, hoping to preempt the PLO’s diplomatic offensive, had appealed to Israel for a withdrawal from the West Bank. But Meir, facing the mounting religious, nationalist, and strategic claims to the region, could only offer the establishment of a Jordanian civilian administration, which the king refused.49 And Kissinger, undoubtedly reluctant to add to his burdens by putting pressure on Israel, allowed this perhaps unrealizable opportunity to pass.50

46 47

48

49

50

New York Times, Dec. 18, 1973, p. 1; also “Luftpiraten: Anschlag auf den Frieden,” Der Spiegel 52 (Dec. 24, 1973), pp. 56 58. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 624 27, According to Quandt, Kissinger had a “blind spot toward the Palestinians,” Peace Process, p. 173, “gear[ing] much of his diplomacy to trying to circumvent this crucial issue, to putting off the moment of truth, and to weakening the appeal of the Palestinian movement, all the while hoping that some alternative would appear.” J. R. Stocker, “A Historical Inevitability? Kissinger and US Contacts with the Palestinians (1973 76),” International History Review 39, no. 2 (Apr. 2017): 319 22; Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 624 29; see also Simen Zernichow and Hilde Henriksen Waage, “The Palestinian Option: Nixon, the National Security Council, and the Search for a New Policy, 1970,” Diplomatic History 38, no. 1 (2014): 208. Wikileaks, “Rumors of Jordan Israel Deals about West Bank,” From Jerusalem to Department of State, 5 February 1974 (No. Document 1974JERUSA00213 b), http s://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974JERUSA00213 b.html; Wikileaks, “Rabin’s Views on Negotiations with Jordan,” From Tel Aviv to Department of State, 11 January 1974 (No. Document 1974TELAV00204 b), https://wikileaks.org/plusd/ca bles/1974TELAV00204 b.html, cited in Yonen Ritzhak, “From Cooperation to Normalization? Jordan Israel Relations since 1967,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 44, no. 4 (2017): 565, n. 37; but see also Rückriegel to AA, Apr. 3, 8, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104957. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 976 78; Daigle, Limits of Détente, pp. 339 40; Chamberlin, Global Offensive, pp. 232 34.

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Nor did Meir seriously contemplate direct or indirect negotiations with the PLO, whose charter called for an armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine.51 Meir viewed Arafat’s acceptance of a ministate on the West Bank and Gaza as more a change of tactics than final aims. Moreover, the horrific attacks on Kiryat Shmona in April and on Ma’alot in May – although failing to halt the agreement with Syria – reinforced her resistance to treating with a terrorist organization and insistence that Washington shun the PLO.52 In the midst of the Syrian negotiations, Israel faced another political crisis. On April 2, the five-member Commission of Inquiry, headed by Supreme Court president Shmuel Agranat, released an interim report on the background and early conduct of the October war, one for which the country had been manifestly unprepared because of blunders already acknowledged by the leadership.53 In the bluntest of language, the Agranat Commission castigated Israel’s intelligence services for refusing to credit the abundant reports of Egyptian and Syrian mobilization,54 thereby negating its obligation to provide advance warning of an imminent attack and resulting in a delayed and disorganized mobilization of the reserves; it censured the IDF leadership for the army’s unpreparedness; and it also criticized the government for relying on limited intelligence sources and having failed to create a crisis team to deal with emergencies. However, in its calls for disciplinary action, the commission recommended the dismissal of four top intelligence leaders and the IDF chief of staff, Lt.-General David Elazar; but it refused to assign direct responsibility either to Dayan or to Meir.55 A public storm erupted over punishing Elazar, the valiant commander who had directed Israel’s resurgence during the war, but not the civilian 51 52

53

54

55

“I don’t know how you negotiate with somebody who tells you that you are doomed to die.” Time (Dec. 10, 1973), p. 55; also Quandt, Peace Process, p. 154. Shlaim, Iron Wall, 2nd ed., p. 335; Chamberlin, Global Offensive, p. 232. On the two attacks: Pierre Rondot, “Palestine: Peace Talks and Militancy,” The World Today 30, no. 9 (Sept. 1974): 379 87. Text in “The Agranat Report: The First Partial Report,” Jerusalem Journal of International Affairs 4, no. 1 (1979): 69 90. The commission held 140 secret meetings, heard 58 witnesses, and appointed 6 high ranking reserve officers to examine the written material submitted to it by army personnel. Summary in: S. Z. [Zalmon] Abramov, “The Agranat Report and Its Aftermath,” Midstream 20, no. 6 (June/July1974): 19. Abramov, a member of the Israel Liberal Party, was deputy speaker of the Knesset; also Puttkamer to AA Apr. 8, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780. “Based on an ‘obdurate adherence’ to what was known as ‘the conception,’ according to which ‘Egypt would not launch war against Israel before she had first ensured herself of sufficient air power to attack Israel in depth,’ which . . . was not adequately reconsidered in view of . . . further information that reached the Director of Military Intelligence concerning the build up of enemy strength with additional armaments systems. This ‘conception’ had, therefore, in practice become obsolete.” “The Agranat Report,” p. 74. Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 3, 4, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104770.

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chiefs under whom he had served.56 When Dayan refused to resign, Begin, seizing the moment, threatened a no-confidence motion that was expected to succeed and bring down the government. Meir, in the final act of her long political career, took charge. Responding to the protests of broad swaths of Israeli society as well as the defection of key Labor members, on April 10 she informed her party of her “irrevocable” decision to resign and a day later informed the Knesset, thereby bringing down the entire cabinet.57 Israel – in the words of famed Israeli writer Moshe Shamir – had suddenly become a “headless” country.58 Along with Meir, Abba Eban, Pinhas Sapir, and Moshe Dayan – the last members of the Old Guard that had ruled for a quarter of a century – had been swept into the political wilderness, and a new generation prepared to take charge.59 Israel’s glum mood was expressed on April 25 in the subdued commemorations of its twenty-sixth anniversary but also in the thousand-person peace marches that passed through Jerusalem.60 Meir lingered on for almost two months, heading another caretaker cabinet while the Labor Party elected her successor, the fifty-one-yearold former chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s first native-born prime minister, who formed a new government. In the meantime, she remained at the helm until the conclusion of the Disengagement Agreement with Syria, one whose terms have survived until the present.61 Golda Meir’s critics have dealt harshly with her five years as prime minister, faulting her intransigency toward Sadat for provoking the 1973 war and her high-handed dismissal of the Palestinians’ national 56

57

58

59

60 61

“Israeli War Report Broadly Criticized,” New York Times, Apr. 3, 1974, p. 1; Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 8, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780; “Israel: Dunkle Wolk,” Der Spiegel 15 (Apr. 8, 1974), p. 116; “Konflikt um Dayan,” Die Zeit 16 (Apr. 12, 1974), http://www .zeit.de/1974/16/konflikt um dayan. But not avoiding a fierce six hour debate, led by Begin (and with little defense from her party), over her government’s mishandling of the October war. New York Times, Apr. 11, 1974, p. 1, Apr. 12, p. 30; “Israel: Sünde im Oktober,” Der Spiegel 16 (Apr. 15, 1974), pp. 72 73; “Ende der Ära Golda Meir,” Die Zeit 17 (Apr. 19, 1974), http://www.zeit.de /1974/17/ende der aera golda meir; also Golda Meir, My Life, paperback ed. (New York: Dell, 1975), pp. 441 42. Klagsbrun, Lioness, pp. 658 61. “Israel: ‘Wir sind ein kopfloser Staat,’” Der Spiegel 17 (Apr. 22, 1974), pp. 100 18. Dayan, however, would reemerge three years later as foreign minister in Begin’s Likud government. Dingels Aufzeichnung, Bonn, April 24, 1974, AdsD WBA 28 SPD Partei Vorstand; “Wachwechsel in Jerusalem?” Die Zeit 18 (Apr. 26, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/18/ wachwechsel in jerusalem; “Israel: Flotter fünfziger,” Der Spiegel 18 (Apr. 29, 1974), pp. 94 96. New York Times, Apr. 26, 1974, p. 3. New York Times, May 31, 1974, p. 8; Klagsbrun, Lioness, pp. 667 68; Quandt, Peace Process, pp. 152 53.

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claims and also criticizing her lackluster domestic performance.62 But Meir’s resignation on April 10, ending a fifty-year-long political career, was a bold and courageous gesture, reflecting three of her lifelong traits: “her concern for Israel’s well-being, strength of will, and tough-minded realism.”63 By answering the popular clamor against a discredited government, she preserved her party’s hold on power, removing the recalcitrant Dayan and opening the way for new leadership. By staving off new elections, she gave her successor a chance to breathe life into Israel’s weakened ruling party; but the war hero and diplomat Rabin – less experienced in coalition maintenance, with an only narrow parliamentary majority, and faced with political infighting and a cooler relationship with Washington – made a shaky start and barely survived in office until his defeat in the May 1977 elections.64 After resigning the Knesset, Golda Meir remained active as a public speaker, host to visiting dignitaries, best-selling memoirist, and energetic good-will ambassador, doing her utmost to bolster her successor. Six months after her old enemy Begin became prime minister (with the defector Moshe Dayan as his foreign minister), Meir on November 19, 1977, was among the Israeli dignitaries to greet Anwar Sadat on his dramatic arrival in Jerusalem; but feisty as ever, she immediately condemned the Egyptian president for criticizing her earlier intransigency and also faulted Begin for his illusions.65 West Germany: Spotlight on the Chancellor Despite his substantial parliamentary majority, Willy Brandt had also faced a turbulent domestic scene in the beginning of 1974. With 62

63 64

65

See, esp., Shlaim, Iron Wall, 2nd ed., pp. 328 29; also Amir Oren’s critique of the 700 page commemorative volume issued by the Israel state archives as an attempt to “rehabilitate Golda Meir’s image.” Ha’aretz, Sept. 20, 2016, https://www.haaretz .com/israel news/.premium 1.742714. Balanced appraisals in: Hagai Tsoref, “Golda Meir’s Leadership in the Yom Kippur War,” Israel Studies 23, no. 1 (2018): 50 72; Meron Medzini, “Golda Meir: A 40 Year Perspective,” ibid., pp. 73 85. New York Times, Apr. 11, 1974, p. 10. Stephen Orin, “The Rabin Government,” Midstream 20, no. 7 (Aug./Sept. 1974): 13 19; Shlomo Avineri, “Israel: The Age of Transition,” ibid., 20, no. 8 (Oct. 1974): 9 18. Critical appraisal in Itamar Rabinovich, Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017), pp. 104 40; but Janice Gross Stein, “Leadership in Peacemaking: Fate, Will, and Fortuna in the Middle East,” International Journal 37, no. 4 (Autumn 1982): 535 37, takes a more positive view. Klagsbrun, Lioness, pp. 681 82. Golda Meir died Dec. 8, 1978, three months before the final Israeli Egyptian treaty, brokered by US president Jimmy Carter, was signed. “The Tortuous Path to Peace,” New York Times, Mar. 18, 1979, p. E2.

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a public disgruntled over rising inflation and unemployment, his approval rating had plunged to 33 percent.66 Returning from a twoweek holiday in Bavaria, an exhausted and depressed Brandt once more contemplated resigning.67 He nevertheless plunged into the fray.68 Seeking to fulfill one of his major campaign pledges, the chancellor on January 24 announced a hardfought cabinet decision to increase workers’ voices in the management of large companies, although that decision failed to satisfy the SPD, the FDP, or the unions.69 The outcry was also swift from the CDU/CSU opposition and from German industry. Hanns Martin Schleyer, the new president of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, accused Brandt of threatening the country’s economic recovery by raising costs, inhibiting investment, and attempting to seize control over German industry.70

66 67

68

69

70

New York Times, Jan. 25, 1974, p. 7. On the decline of Brandt’s political leadership during his second term: Ferdinand Müller Rommel, “The Chancellor and His Staff,” in Stephen Padgett, ed., From Adenauer to Kohl: The Development of the German Chancellorship (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1994), pp 120 21; also Peter Merseburger, Willy Brandt, 1913 1992: Visionär und Realist (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 2002), pp. 712 13. Speaking to his SPD comrades, Brandt termed Der Spiegel a “shit sheet” [Scheissblatt] for criticizing his endorsement of his FDP partner Walter Scheel’s bid to replace Heinemann as president in 1974: “Wie man Kredit verspielte,” Der Spiegel 4 (Jan. 21, 1974), pp. 17, 22. New York Times, Jan. 25, 1974, p. 7; also “Mitbestimmung: Jetzt kommt’s zum Schwur,” Der Spiegel 9 (Feb. 25, 1974). The proposal, which was finally passed in 1976, increased from one third to nearly one half the number of the seats on the supervisory board of any company employing more than 2,000 workers, and affecting some 6 million workers in 670 companies. “New Parity Co Determination Act for West Germany,” European Industrial Relations Review (Apr. 1976): 9 10, 21 26. In a speaking tour in April, Schleyer urged employers to resist the SPD led government, which he characterized as a “trade union state” beholden to the wishes of organized labor. “Die Solidarität der Unternehmer,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Apr. 8, 1974. Schleyer (b. 1915), who had studied law in Heidelberg, joined the SS on July 1, 1933, and the Nazi Party four years later. In 1943, after serving on the Western Front, he was appointed administrative chief of the Industrial Federation in Prague. After his release from Allied detention in 1948, Schleyer resumed his work as an economic administrator and leader of employer and industrial associations. However, because of his Nazi past and confrontational stance toward workers and radical students, Schleyer had also acquired a reputation as the “ugly capitalist.” New York Times, Oct. 20, 1977, p. 16. On Sept. 7, 1977, Schleyer was kidnapped by the RAF and, after the government refused to negotiate his release, was murdered on Oct. 18. The violent circumstances surrounding his death at the climax of the RAF violence made Schleyer a victim symbol in the FRG. Berliner Zeitung, June 24, 1997, “Hanns Martin Schleyer: das unbekannte Opfer,” Die Welt, Oct. 10, 2007, https://www.welt.de/politik/article1281029/Hanns Martin Schleyer das unbekannte Opfer.html. “Entführung von Hanns Martin Schleyer,” Der Tagesspiegel, Sept. 5, 2017, http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/entfuehrung von hanns martin schleyer was sagen die raf terroristen heute/20286450.html.

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In his last months in office Brandt’s inability to lead an increasingly polarized country had become evident.71 He not only lacked the temperament, vigor, and skills to manage his disjointed coalition government; he was also losing control over the SPD, whose mainstream politics were challenged by the Jusos.72 Veteran SPD members not only resented Brandt’s sympathy toward the radical left; they also faulted his deference to his coalition partner (for example, in promising the post of Scheel’s successor as foreign minister to Genscher over the far more experienced Helmut Schmidt73), failing to remove conservative officials from the Auswärtiges Amt, and allowing the FDP to block their party’s reform program.74 Brandt also faced a major challenge from the unions whose support was crucial to his party. In February, a crippling three-day strike by two million public service workers ended in a humiliating retreat by the Brandt government from its original pay offer.75 In the aftermath, there was an outbreak of wildcat strikes, raising fears of even greater inflation.76 And there was more bad news in March when the SPD suffered major setbacks in three German state elections, its numbers dropping by 10 percent in its former stronghold of Hamburg, 5 percent in Rhineland71

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“Willy Brandt: Ihr lasst mich alle allein,” Der Spiegel 8 (Feb. 18, 1974), pp. 20 23. On Jan. 15, the release of thirty million orange and black, 40 pfennig stamps marking the fifty fifth anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg’s murder became a cause célèbre, produ cing two thousand protest letters to the minister for post and research Horst Ehmke and thousands of refusals to purchase them along with a swell of buyers aiming to demon strate their liberal principles. New York Times, Mar. 10, 1974. “Jungsozialisten: Angeblich proletarisch,” Der Spiegel 3 (Jan. 14, 1974), pp. 27 28; “Jungsozialisten: Heidi und Genossen,” ibid., 6 (Feb. 4, 1974), pp. 27 28, “Die Jusos Partei in der Partei,” ibid., p. 27; also Paul Friedrich, “Die SPD als Regierungspartei nach Godesberg: Im Spannungsfeld von Koalitionsfähigkeit und Programmatischem Selbstverständnis,” Revue d’Allemagne 6, no. 3 (1974): 10 30; Josef Drabek, “Zur Entwicklung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Jungsozialisten,” Zeitschrift zur Geschichtswissenschaft 26, no. 10 (1978): 873 75; Dietmar Süss, “Die Enkel auf den Barrikaden: Jungsozialisten in der SPD in den Siebzigerjahren,” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 44 (2004): 81 88. After the ailing Heinemann had decided not to seek a second term, Scheel in late December 1973 had announced his candidacy for the presidency. “Cabinet: Dreck räumen,” Der Spiegel 3 (Jan. 14, 1974), pp. 21 22; “SPD Abwanderer von Brandt enttäuscht,” ibid., 9 (Feb. 25, 1974), p. 38; Theo Loch, “La crise du SPD,” Documents 29, no. 6 (1974): 20 25; details in David Binder, The Other German: Willy Brandt’s Life and Times (Washington, DC: New Republic Book Co., 1975), pp. 328 30. The 11 percent pay raise exceeded the government’s original 9.5 percent offer and its 10 percent maximum terms but fell below the union’s initial 15 percent demand. “Streik: Wir sind keine impotent Freier,” Der Spiegel 6 (Feb. 4, 1974), pp. 19 26; New York Times, Feb. 14, 1974, p. 5. “Die Prinzipien Streiker von Bremen,” Die Zeit 12 (Mar. 15, 1974), http://www.zeit.de /1974/12/die prinzipien streiker von bremen; “Arbeitskampf: Wird härter,” Der Spiegel 12 (Mar. 18, 1974), pp. 44 47. On inflation fears: “An Anxious People,” New York Times, May 8, 1974, p. 1.

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Palatinate, and 7 percent in Schleswig-Holstein, demoralizing local party officials and causing mass defections.77 Moreover, the results left the CDU/CSU opposition with a narrow majority of seats in the Bundesrat, where it could delay government legislation.78 Although local issues had played a crucial role in all three contests, Brandt’s foes targeted the chancellor as the principal cause of these damaging defeats.79 With another state election in Lower Saxony scheduled for June 9, there were rumors of a party coup to unseat the failing chancellor.80 Another sign of Brandt’s plummeting authority was the wide circulation of “Willy Jokes”;81 and for the second year, Alfred Tetzaff, the xenophobic character of the monthly television series Ein Herz und eine Seele (One Heart and One Soul) modeled on British and US sitcom portrayals of lower-middle-class bigots, continued to rant against the Sozis and their leader, “the cellar kid from Lübeck.”82 After finance minister Helmut Schmidt castigated Brandt’s leadership in a televised broadcast, the chancellor moved to defang his detractors by planning a complete cabinet and party leadership shake-up in May after his return from North Africa.83 And on April 2 at the annual SPD party congress in Hanover, Brandt presented a forceful ten-point program upholding his moderate course and calling for party unity.84 But the 77

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“Der Schock von Hamburg,” Die Zeit 11 (Mar. 8, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/11/d er schock von hamburg, New York Times, Mar. 25, 1974, p. 10; Willy Brandt, Erinnerungen, 4th ed. (Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1994), p. 313. In a public blow to Brandt’s Ostpolitik, the Bundesrat in the beginning of Mar. rejected the recently signed normalization treaty with Czechoslovakia, requiring an additional act of approval by the Bundestag. New York Times, Mar. 10, 1974, p. 206. “Umfrage: Angst und Sorge wählen CDU/CSU,” Der Spiegel 16 (Apr. 15, 1974), pp. 38 46. In the Schleswig Holstein election, even in Brandt’s birthplace, Lübeck, an SPD stronghold since 1946, the CDU won a majority. New York Times, Mar. 25, 1974. “Hamburg war eine Entladung,” Der Spiegel 11 (Mar. 11, 1974), pp. 19 24; “Des Kanzlers Donnerwetter,” Die Zeit 12 (Mar. 15, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/12/des kanzlers donnerwetter; but also “SPD: Ohne Willy Brandt sind wir weg,” Der Spiegel, 14 (Apr. 1, 1974): 19 29; Arnulf Baring and Manfred Görtemaker, Machtwechsel: Die Ära Brandt Scheel (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1984), pp. 702 4. Kanzler Witze: “Messer im Rücken,” Der Spiegel 7 (Feb. 11, 1974), pp. 36 38. Binder, The Other German, p. 131. “Meckert für Deutschland,” Der Spiegel 12 (Mar. 18, 1974), pp. 54 68; “Archie Bunker, German Style,” New York Times, Apr. 23, 1974, p. 41; but also Wolfgang Menge, “Gibt Alfred Willy den Rest? Ich sehe das Ekel ganz anders,” Die Zeit, Mar. 10, 1974, http:// www.zeit.de/1974/20/gibt alfred willy den rest/komplettansicht. Rückriegel to AA, Tel Aviv, Mar. 27, 1974, on Israeli press reporting of Brandt’s political difficulties, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780; Baring and Görtemacher, Machtwechsel, pp. 702 8. New York Times, Apr. 3, 1974, p. 8; also “Appell Brandts an die SPD,” Die Zeit 15 (Apr. 5, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/15/appell brandts an die spd, “Appelle genügen nicht,” ibid., http://www.zeit.de/1974/15/appelle genuegen nicht;“Lieber Mehrheit oder Utopie?” ibid., 16 (Apr. 12, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/16/lieber

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way ahead was impeded by obstacles: With the country scarred by the oil crisis and fears of inflation and unemployment – but also moved by a new environmental consciousness – any program to promote more economic justice while also protecting the population’s well-being required a strong and deft leader as well as a public consensus on means and goals, neither of which was present at the time.85 Brandt also faced difficulties in his foreign policy. Ostpolitik was stalled, its benefits decreasingly palpable to the German public.86 There was a host of lingering problems, from regulating transit to West Berlin to a new dispute with Pankow and Moscow over placing the Federal Environmental Agency in the walled-in city.87 During his unusually long eleven-day visit to the Soviet Union in late February and early March, Egon Bahr failed to achieve a breakthrough on the political representation of West Berlin, and Soviet leaders expressed resentment of the paltry progress of Osthandel.88 Both sides hoped that the Brandt visit that summer would iron out the difficulties.

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mehrheit oder utopie; “Taubstumme?” ibid., 17 (Apr. 19, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1 974/17/taubstumme. Rudolf Augstein, “Warum Reformen so schwierig sind?” Der Spiegel 14 (Apr. 1, 1974), pp. 24 25. Also: “Umfrage: Angst und Sorge wählen CDU/CSU,” ibid., 16 (Apr. 15, 1974), pp. 38 46 (the cover of this issue was titled: “Die Ängste der Deutschen: Spiegel Umfrage nach den Ursachen der SPD Stimmenverluste”). Cf. Binder, The Other German, p. 332. Seeking to appease his right and left wing critics, Brandt at the Hannover Fair on Apr. 25 insisted that “the Federal Republic, neither a trade union nor an entrepreneur dominated state, is developing into a modern and liberal social state with a market oriented economy.” Willy Brandt, Über den Tag hinaus: Eine Zwischenbalanz (Hamburg: Hoffmann and Campe, 1975), p. 169. Nonetheless, there was still close economic collaboration between Bonn and Moscow, especially in the energy sector: Charles Carter, “The Importance of Osthandel: West German Soviet Trade and the End of the Cold War, 1969 1991” (PhD diss., The Ohio State University, 2012), pp. 55 63. Also Soviet presidential records opened in 1994 revealed that the Brandt government had helped Brezhnev solve his “Solzhenitsyn problem” by facilitating the dissident writer’s expulsion to the FRG: “Dachzeile Russland,” Focus Magazin 22 (May 30, 1994), http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/aus land dachzeile russland aid 146725.html. “Moskau im Pelz,” Der Spiegel 5 (Jan. 28, 1974), pp. 21 22; also “Berlin wohin?” Die Zeit 11 (Mar. 8, 1974) http://www.zeit.de/1974/11/berlin wohin. “Ostpolitik: Moskau wird ungeduldig,” Der Spiegel 4 (Jan. 21, 1974), pp. 19 21. Belt tightening opposition by Brandt’s economics and finance ministers had forced Bonn to back off its earlier promises of low interest credits for Soviet industrial projects as well as subsidies for German exporters to the East. “Egon Bahr auf Geschäftsreise,” Die Zeit Online 13 (Mar. 22, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/13/egon bahr auf geschaeftsreise; also New York Times, Mar. 6, 1974, p. 10, ibid., Mar. 10, 1974, p. 11; Shlomo Aronson in Ha’aretz, Mar. 13, 1974; Karl Heinz Schlarp, “Die ökonomische Untermauerung der Entspannungspolitik: Visionen und Realitäten einer deutsch sowjetischen Wirtschaftskooperation im Zeichen der Neue Ostpolitik,” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 45 (2005): 96 100.

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There were lingering tensions with the United States, some left over from the October 1973 dispute but also new ones, including strong pressure from Washington to conclude a new offset agreement under the threat of reducing US troops in Germany.89 With NATO approaching its twenty-fifth anniversary in June (and the CSCE talks stalled), Bonn fretted over Kissinger’s critical stance toward America’s European allies.90 The secretary of state’s blunt address in Brussels on March 4 made Brandt’s mediating efforts between Paris and Washington all the more difficult, dividing his coalition government and inciting his pro-US CDU/CSU critics.91 Moreover, as the rotating president of the EEC, the FRG bore the brunt of US resentment over the French-promoted Euro-Arab dialogue, which, Nixon insisted, had excluded any consultation with Washington and threatened to interfere with Kissinger’s Middle East peacemaking efforts.92 Moreover, the European Community, only one year after the euphoria over its first enlargement, was now in crisis. The Nine, all suffering varying degrees of economic woes, were tackling these independently instead of collectively.93 France and Britain had already broken ranks by seeking special arrangements with the Arab oil producers. Yet despite their divisions, the EEC also refused to set up regular transatlantic

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See, esp., Schüler to Brandt, Feb. 2, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/60; Nixon to Brandt, Mar. 6, 1974, ibid., A9/20. Despite Schmidt’s reservations the $2.2 billion agreement was signed on Apr. 25, 1974. Scheel Kissinger Gespräch, Mar. 24, 1974, AAPD 1974 1:428 39, Mühlen Aufzeichnung, Apr. 29, 1974, ibid., pp. 594 97. Brandt Kissinger meetings, Mar. 3, 4, 1974, Scheel Kissinger meeting, Mar. 4, 1974, AAPD 1974 1:283 86. Krapf to AA, Brussels, Mar. 6, 1974, AAPD 1974 1:309 15 on Kissinger’s Mar. 4 address to the NATO Council; .“NATO Krise: ‘Das ist lebensgefährlich,’” Der Spiegel 13 (Mar. 25, 1974), pp. 25 29; Theo Summer, “Kissingers Kunst der Konfrontation,” Die Zeit Online 18 (Apr. 24, 1974), http://www.zeit.de/1974/18/kissingers kunst der konfrontation/komplettansicht; also Shlomo Aronson in Ha’aretz, Mar. 13, 1974. Nixon to Brandt, Mar. 6, 15, 1974, Brandt to Nixon, Mar. 8, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/20. Verena Sattler, Die Institutionalisierung europäischer Nahostpolitik: Frankreich in der Europäischen Politischen Zusammenarbeit 1969/70 1980 (Munich: Springer, 2017), pp. 214 19; Marc Trachtenberg, “The French Factor in US Foreign Policy in the Nixon Pompidou Period,” Journal of Cold War Studies 13, no. 1 (Winter 2011): 46 59. In their Apr. 6 Paris meeting (on the occasion of Pompidou’s funeral), Brandt and Nixon attempted to repair relations, with Nixon darkly warning of the dangers of the Europeans’ provoking “American isolationism” and Brandt assuring the president that the EEC had no intention of impeding US peace efforts in the Middle East. AAPD 1974 1:489 94. France, for example, after only a perfunctory notification to Bonn, in the beginning of the year had exited from the joint float of the community’s currencies. “A Blow to Europe,” New York Times, Jan. 23, 1974, pp. 45, 50; also “For Europe the Alliance Is Strained,” ibid., Jan. 27, 1974, p. 161; “Another Decline of the West,” ibid., Apr. 13, 1974, p. 25.

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consultations to appease Washington and, ignoring US and Israeli protests, was determined to proceed with the Euro-Arab dialogue.94 Brandt also faced the loss of his two principal European partners, Heath and Pompidou: Britain under the new Harold Wilson government, formed on March 4, was proposing a renegotiation of its EEC membership;95 and following Pompidou’s unexpected death on April 2, France’s diplomatic direction had suddenly become uncertain.96 Consequently, the chancellor’s ambitious plans for “more Europe” – for a stronger European Council in Brussels, for a European constitution, and for a directly elected parliament in Strasbourg – all had to be placed on hold.97 Brandt’s last foreign policy initiatives were aimed at improving Bonn’s relations with the Arab world, where there were also significant obstacles. At his meeting on January 16, 1974, with the oil ministers of Algeria and Saudi Arabia, Brandt acknowledged the “historic burden” that tied the FRG to Israel. Moreover, referring to the formulation of the 1970 Moscow Treaty, he insisted that as a divided country West Germany was unwilling to endorse any declaration on the inviolability of state borders.98 But reprising the two other principles of his Ostpolitik, the chancellor affirmed his renunciation of violence to alter frontiers and his insistence on peaceful change; moreover, Brandt avowed his country’s support of peace negotiations between the parties, Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, and a just solution to the Palestinian problem.99

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Redies Aufzeichnung, Mar. 7, 1974, AAPD 1974 1:318 20. New York Times, Feb. 21, 1974, p. 2, ibid., Mar. 20, 1974, p. 1. Brandt Callaghan Conversation, Vermerk, Mar. 25, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/25; “Europäische Gemeinschaft in der Krise,” Die Zeit Online 15 (Apr. 5, 1974), http://www .zeit.de/1974/15/europaeische gemeinschaft in der krise; Harpprecht to Schmidt, Brandt, May 4, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/19. “Tod in Elysée: Was folgt auf Pompidou?” Die Zeit 15 (Apr. 5, 1974), http://www.zeit.de /1974/15/tod im elyse. Harpprecht to Brandt and Schmidt, May 4, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/19; details in Willy Brandt, “Europe’s Unity Is Germany’s Hope” [Nov. 6, 1973, Address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg], The Atlantic Community Quarterly 12, no. 1 (1974): 76 80. “Sovereign states must remain free to change or cancel their borders by mutual agree ment.” Résumé of the meeting lasting an hour and a quarter in Sanne, Vermerk, Jan. 17, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104956. Scheel to Yamani, Jan. 30, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104956, reiterated Brandt’s message. The two emissaries, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources, and Sayed Belaid Abdesselam, Algeria’s minister of energy and industry, were touring various Western capitals on behalf of OAPEC in order to present the Arab point of view on the embargo. Middle East Economic Survey 17, no. 2 (Nov. 2, 1973), pp. 4 5.

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In dealing with his interlocutors, Brandt had three additional cards to play. As an important potential trade and investment partner, Bonn remained an attractive collaborator with the Arab world.100 The chancellor also underlined the Euro-Arab dialogue and the EEC’s aim to offset the Superpowers’ domination of the Middle East.101 But Brandt insisted that the Federal Republic, with its extensive fuel reserves and prospective import arrangements with Iran and Soviet Russia, was immune to any form of political blackmail.102 Between April 19 and April 24, Willy Brandt embarked on another historic journey: the first Western statesman to visit Algeria since its independence twelve years earlier, and the first German chancellor ever to visit Egypt.103 The trip took place at a highly opportune moment. Kissinger, after concluding the Egyptian-Israeli agreement, had been away for almost two months but was preparing to return on April 28 to launch the disengagement talks between Syria and Israel. Gromyko, absent from the region since March, did not return until early May. Thus, the German chancellor, representing his country and Europe, had the stage to himself; but conspicuously, as in his visit to Israel a year earlier, Brandt’s small entourage of diplomats included no economic or financial officials.104 In Algiers, Brandt’s host was the forty-two-year-old president Houari Boumedienne, who was also the current secretary-general of the Non-Aligned Movement.105 Ten days earlier, in a stirring speech delivered in Arabic before the United Nations General Assembly, Boumedienne had appealed for a “New International Economic Order” to redress the disparities between the rich Western industrialized nations

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“Stahl in der Wüste,” Der Spiegel 4 (Jan. 22, 1974), p. 26, recounts discussions between Arab oil minister Yamani, Algerian oil minister Abd el Salam, and German industrial ists during their visit to Bonn. Vermerk, Jan. 31, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104956; also Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 16, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12. Fiona Venn, The Oil Crisis (London: Pearson, 2002). As West Berlin mayor Brandt, on his eighteen day, ten nation African tour in Nov. 1963, had already visited both countries and met with their then leaders Ahmed Ben Bella and Gamal Abdel Nasser. “Kanzlerreise: Watte in Anzug,” Der Spiegel 16 (Apr. 15, 1974), pp. 24 25; also see Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 14, 1974, ISA 130 4573/6; Morizet to FMAE, Apr. 19, 1974, FMAE Europe 1971 76/Communautés Européennes/Moyen Orient 3804. An aspiring international figure, Boumedienne had dispatched the five Arab represen tatives to the EEC’s Copenhagen meeting in Dec. and his Industry and Energy Minister Belaid Abdesselam on the tour of Western capitals, and, on Jan. 30, responding to the US sponsored oil consumers’ conference to be held in Washington, had called for a special UN session to deal with the energy crisis, which met between Apr. 9 and May 3, 1974. New York Times, Feb. 2, 1974, p. 6.

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and the Third World.106 Algeria was also a key player in Middle East affairs, which, along with Libya, strongly supported the Palestinian cause.107 But although Boumedienne had helped finance the Egyptians and Syrians during the October war, unlike his hard-line neighbor he was prepared to recognize Israel’s existence in return for its full withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories.108 Last, the former revolutionary had an ambitious domestic program: With revenues from the nationalized oil industry having more than tripled between 1973 and 1974 (and estimated at $4 billion in 1974), Boumedienne was intent on launching major industrial and infrastructure projects to raise his country’s stature and living standards; these, however, required Western experts, technology, and investments.109 Brandt received a gala welcome in Algiers, including a warm embrace from his host and a twenty-one-gun salute.110 But his three meetings with Boumedienne were formal and inconclusive. The two agreed on the need to curtail Superpower domination and erase the political and economic barriers between Europe and North Africa; but Brandt declined to offer his or the EEC’s services as mediator in the Middle East, to make specific commitments on behalf of the FRG for economic assistance, or to accept Boumedienne’s stark division of the world into haves and have-nots. In their three meetings, Brandt repeatedly cautioned his exigent host that major goals required “gradual [schrittweise] solutions” and that “change, always a difficult process, required both patience and toughness.”111

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New York Times, Apr. 11, pp. 1, 12, Apr. 12, p. 3. The next day, Boumedienne traveled to Washington and met with Nixon and Kissinger, to prepare for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, which had been severed in 1967. Paul Balta, “Boumédiènne: Nationaliste et Tiers Mondiste,” Maghreb Review 26, no. 1 (2001): 64 74. Saadallah A. S. Hallaba, “Algeria and Libya and the Palestinian Question,” Journal for Arab Islamic Studies 6 (1985): 46 62, may overstate Boumedienne’s commitment. Algeria had also failed to strictly follow the economic boycott against Israel. Walter Henry Nelson and Terence C. F. Prittie, The Economic War against the Jews (New York: Random House, 1977), p. 45. And breaking with its rejectionist neighbor, at the OAPEC meeting, Algeria had agreed to treat the Federal Republic as a “friendly” country and provisionally lift the oil embargo against the United States because of Kissinger’s peace initiatives. Bo Heinebäck, Oil and Security (New York: Humanities Press, 1974), pp. 29, 122 23. Brandt, Über den Tag hinaus, pp. 165 66, was favorably struck by Boumedienne’s “self confident austerity and precision” as well as his realistic development plan. See Cherif Guellal, “Algeria’s Oil Strategy,” Africa Report 20, no. 5 (Sept. 1, 1975): 41 44, critique in Miriam R. Lowi, Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics: Algeria Compared (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 85 92. New York Times, Apr. 20, 1974, p. 12. Quotes from first Brandt Boumedienne meeting, Apr. 19, 1974, Aufzeichnung, Apr. 21, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/26; the second, Apr. 20, 1974, Aufzeichnung, Apr. 21,

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Fig 10.1: President Anwar Sadat receiving chancellor Willy Brandt at his residence in Giza in April 1974. Credit: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild 00015006/photograph: Engelbert Reineke

In Egypt, Brandt encountered an even more imposing leader in Anwar Sadat, the man who had evicted the Soviets in 1972, started a war a year later, and afterward concluded the first agreement between an Arab state and Israel.112 Once more Brandt received a warm greeting, ending the chill between the two countries since September 1972 when Egypt had refused his appeal to allow the Palestinians and their Israeli hostages to fly to Cairo and to ensure the captives’ safety. Two

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1974, ibid.; and third, Apr. 20, 1974, Schilling Aufzeichnung Apr. 26, 1974, ibid., Commentary on the visit: Robinson to FCO, Algiers, Apr. 23, 24, 30, 1974, FCO 93/ 129. Also Brandt to Tito, Apr. 29, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/55; Erhard Eppler, Komplettes Stückwerk: Erfahrungen aus fünfzig Jahren Politik (Frankfurt: Insel Verlag, 1996), p. 91, on the impact of this meeting on Brandt’s later activities. And who, according to his new peace partner Henry Kissinger, was “the only man with vision in the Middle East.” “‘Das Problem sollte in der Tiefkühltruhe’: Wie Agyptens Sadat die Grossmächte im Nahen Osten zum Handeln zwang,” Der Spiegel 16 (Apr. 15, 1974), pp. 76 79; also “Sadat auf sandigem Sockel,” Die Zeit 18 (Apr. 26, 1974), http:// www.zeit.de/1974/18/sadat auf sandigem sockel/komplettansicht?print.

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years after the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, the Egyptian leader was impatient for substantial economic and technical assistance.113 The Brandt-Sadat conversations, wide ranging and candid, covered their diverse experiences with Washington and Moscow, the divisions within the Arab world, and the current economic and political problems of the EEC. But in contrast with his very general talks with Boumedienne, the chancellor proposed a joint commission with Egypt to promote bilateral political, economic, and cultural ties and expressed strong support for the forthcoming Euro-Arab dialogue. Yet despite Sadat’s appeals, Brandt was vague about Bonn’s and Europe’s potential contributions to Middle East peace.114 Neither a supplicant nor a major Middle East player, Willy Brandt’s journey to Algeria and Egypt had advanced his country’s position in the Arab world without raising US suspicions of a new rival in the region.115 Brandt’s achievement was short lived. Upon returning to Bonn on April 24, he faced the startling news of the arrest of his aide, Günter Guillaume, as an East German spy.116 The timing, just six weeks before the crucial Lower Saxony elections (and only one week before the 113 114

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One Egyptian newspaper hailed Brandt as “one of the few leaders who could not be blackmailed by the Zionists.” New York Times, Apr. 22, 1974, p. 3. Gespräch des Bundeskanzlers Brandt mit Präsident Sadat in Kairo, Apr. 22, 1974, AAPD 1974 2:544 48. Two other meetings on Apr. 21 and Apr. 22, ibid., pp. 530 35. In Cairo, Brandt also met on Apr. 22 with Mahmoud Riad, general secretary of the Arab League, ibid., pp. 540 43. See also, Brandt, Über den Tag hinaus, pp. 166 67; Benjamin Steel, “Brandts Nahostpolitik,” Das Parlament 16 17 (2014), http://www.das parlament.de/2014/16 17/Kehrseite/50609874/327236. In late Feb. 1974, Brandt was similarly noncommittal in his discussion with the visiting Libyan prime minister Abdessalam Jalloud. Der Spiegel 10 (Mar. 4, 1974), p. 23. Falin to Gromkyo, Bonn, Apr. 29, 1974, AVP RF 757/19/107/31; A. J. M. Craig to FCO, Bonn, May 3, 1973, GB NA FCO 93/531. In 1974, Germany’s trade with the Middle East and North Africa rose 76.2 percent, and that year diplomatic relations were reestablished with Iraq and Syria. Nonetheless, Brandt continued to insist on his country’s resistance to economic blackmail. In his meeting with Boumedienne, he underplayed his country’s oil dependency, stressing the FRG’s sound economic status, alternative energy supplies, and conservation efforts. One year after their 1956 arrival in West Germany, Guillaume and his wife, Christel, began their espionage careers, he rising quickly and deftly through the Frankfurt SPD, she in the Hesse state government. Despite security concerns about his East German background, Guillaume, endorsed by SPD leader Georg Leber, had entered the Chancellery in 1970, first in the Economics Department and in 1972 on the chancellor’s internal staff, serving as Brandt’s companion during the 1972 election campaign. Although a second security review had raised questions, in Feb. 1973 Guillaume, after receiving high level clearance, joined Brandt’s inner circle as his third personal advisor charged with maintaining contact with the unions. Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 723 29; and, from the other side, Günter Guillaume, Die Aussage: Wie es wirklich war (Munich: Universitas, 1990); Markus Wolf, with Anne McElvoy, Man without a Face: The Autobiography of Communism’s Greatest Spymaster (New York:

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opening of the GDR’s diplomatic office in Bonn) was disquieting.117 Even more disconcerting were the press reports of the largest espionage case in the country’s history: the planting of an enemy agent at the center of state power. These were blows not only to Brandt’s Ostpolitik and to the country’s security but also to the chancellor’s judgment and leadership.118 Brandt strove initially to minimize the damage; indeed, the FRG had long been the primary target of the GDR’s espionage.119 In his brief statement to the Bundestag on April 26, Brandt expressed disappointment in his aide’s betrayal and distaste for East Berlin’s tactics but also exuded an air of confidence that the crisis would pass.120

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Random House, 1997), Eckard Michels, Guillaume der Spion: Eine deutsche deutsche Karriere (Berlin: Ch. Link Verlag, 2013). On May 29, 1973, Brandt was informed by interior minister Hans Dietrich Genscher that based on information he had received from Günter Nollau, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Guillaume was under suspicion as a GDR spy. However, until a sufficient legal case could be assembled no action was contem plated, and in July 1973 Genscher and Nollau authorized Brandt (whose two other aides were unavailable) to have Guillaume and his family accompany him on a four week holiday in Norway where he handled all of Brandt’s communications. Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 723 29. The yearlong lapse between Brandt’s initial notification and Guillaume’s arrest drew widespread condemnation of Nollau and Genscher for using the chancellor as “bait”; but there were also questions about Brandt’s casual reception of the May 29 report and his own lack of vigilance. “Fall Guillaume,” Der Spiegel 18 (Apr. 29, 1974), pp. 26 28; “Seid ihr noch zu retten?” ibid., 18 (Apr. 29, 1974), p. 22; also John le Carré, “The Chancellor Who Agreed to Play Counterspy,” New York Times, May 8, 1974, p. 45. The arrest, in fact, occurred at that time because Guillaume, tipped off by his East German handlers, was about to escape, although the authorities had not yet assembled an airtight legal dossier against the spy. “Fall Guillaume,” Der Spiegel 18 (Apr. 29, 1974), pp. 21 22. In response to the GDR’s espionage, Brandt ordered a delay in opening its office until the end of May. New York Times, Apr. 27, 1974, p. 9. Sparing Bonn’s security services the burden of assembling an airtight case, Guillaume, upon his arrest, made this startling, and incri minating announcement: “I am a citizen of the GDR and an officer. Please respect that.” “Demission du Chancellier Brandt” (May 6, 1974) includes extensive press commen tary, FMAE Europe/RFA 1971 76 Z2947. “Fall Guillaume,” Der Spiegel 18 (Apr. 29, 1974), p. 29. At the time the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution estimated that there were eleven thousand East German spies in the FRG, in every political party, local council, and state chancellery, in industry, the unions, and even in the Bundeswehr. Details in Wolf, Man without a Face, pp. 68 82, 94ff. Deutscher Bundestag, 7. Wahlperiode, 96. Sitzung, Apr. 26, 1974, StenBer, p. 6469C, http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/07/07096.pdf. In his opening, Brandt solemnly announced: “Es gibt Zeitabschnitte, da möchte man meinen, dass einem nichts erspart bleibe.” (There are times when one is inclined to think that he is spared nothing.) This same parliamentary session also witnessed a heated eighteen hour debate, broadcast over national television, on the highly controversial issue of legalizing abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. Facing strong religious opposition, Brandt delivered a lengthy, carefully prepared defense of his government’s support for

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285

However, the shadows failed to dissipate. Contrary to Brandt’s public assurances, security officials had evidence of Guillaume’s access to secret documents during his summer trip to Norway with the Brandt family, stirring criticism by the CDU/CSU opposition of the government’s lax security arrangements.121 And because of the spy’s almost daily contact with the chancellor, during its investigation the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) had assembled an extensive dossier with details of Brandt’s private life that would no doubt be exposed at Guillaume’s trial.122 Brandt, who took almost two weeks to come to a decision, still hoped to stay on.123 However, in the meantime the two most culpable officials, the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Günter Nollau and interior minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, both of whom had countenanced leaving Guillaume at the chancellor’s side for almost an entire year without offering sufficient security or arresting the spy, refused to resign.124 Moreover, although Brandt’s closest colleagues as well as his coalition partner, Walter Scheel, urged him to remain, one of the SPD’s three dominant figures, Herbert Wehner, alarmed over the potential political damage from the private dossier, on May 4 gave the chancellor a deadline, offering his support but without encouraging him

121

122

123

124

a woman’s right to choose. Brandt, Erinnerungen, p. 170. Passed by an extremely narrow (247 243) vote with nine abstentions and two cabinet members voting no, ibid., StenBer, pp. 6470 6505; New York Times, Apr. 27, 1974, p. 6), the legislation was struck down ten months later by the Constitutional Court as inconsistent with human rights and replaced with a much weaker bill in 1976. New York Times, Apr. 27, 1974, p. 9. Although, it turned out, none of these reached East Berlin because Christel Guillaume’s courier, fearing she was being followed, dropped the documents into the Rhine: Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 724 25; Wolf, Man without a Face, pp. 158 60. Binder, The Other German, p. 341, Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 732 34. Guillaume’s boss, who had also obtained this private information, denied any intention to blackmail Brandt, insisting that contrary to his design (which was to gain access to sensitive FRG and NATO materials), the chancellor had been forced out by “intraparty intrigue.” Wolf, Man without a Face, pp. 168 71. Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 733 62. Brandt’s physical condition, both a stomach ailment contracted during his trip in North Africa and two infected teeth that had to be extracted, added to his difficulty. Brandt, Erinnerungen, p. 319. Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 735 36; Binder, The Other German, pp. 334 35, 339. Each in his memoir faulted the other: Nollau, in Das Amt: 50 Jahre Zeuge der Geschichte (Munich: Bertelsmann, 1978), pp. 255 71, accused Genscher of refusing to take the charges against Guillaume seriously; and in Erinnerungen, 2nd ed. (Berlin: Siedler, 1995), pp. 197 202, Genscher (the foreign minister designate, whose resignation would have thrown the SPD FDP coalition into turmoil) criticized Nollau’s dilatory behavior. Another target of criticism, Brandt’s former chief of staff, Horst Ehmke (who, despite Bahr’s warning, had hired the unqualified and suspect Guillaume), did offer to resign his cabinet post, but Brandt refused: Mittendrin: Von der Grossen Koalition zur Deutschen Einheit (Berlin: Rowohlt, 1994), pp. 238 40.

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to stay on.125 Not insignificantly, Brandt was reluctant to pay the price of exposing his private affairs in order to remain in office.126 Thus, a combination of his experience as chancellor and his sense of political responsibility (“the unwritten rules of democracy”) as well as his personal honor drove Brandt’s difficult choice.127 On May 6, in a brief handwritten letter to President Heinemann, Willy Brandt acknowledged his “negligence in connection with the Guillaume espionage affair,” and he resigned.128 The timing was in fact essential. Brandt’s self-sacrificing gesture not only bolstered his disjointed party’s wounded stature; it also cemented the fractious SPD/FDP alliance that had governed Germany since 1969, ensuring Scheel’s presidential victory on May 23, Genscher’s accession to the foreign ministry in the new

125

126

127

128

Nollau, a close confidant, had briefed Wehner on the dossier: Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 750 51; Binder, The Other German, pp. 347 48, 351 52. Brandt expressed resentment of Wehner’s pressure and unsupportive stance in Begegnungen und Einsichten, Die Jahre 1960 1975 (Hamburg: Hoffmann and Campe, 1976), p. 586, and in Erinnerungen, pp. 323 24. Following Brandt’s death in 1992 and the opening of the East German and Soviet archives, Wehner’s ulterior motives entered the 1994 election campaign after Brandt’s third wife, Brigitte Seebacher Brandt, publicly accused the former party faction leader of colluding with his old friend Erich Honecker to force Brandt’s resignation, and she released Brandt’s forty three page, handwritten “Notizen zum Fall G,” composed between May 27 and Sept. 14, 1974, revealing his suspicions about his colleague’s treachery (reprinted in Brandt, Erinnerungen, pp. 519 38). Klaus Larres, “A Widow’s Revenge: Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik, Neo Conservatism, and the German Federal Election of 1994,” German Politics 4, no. 1 (Apr. 1995): 42 63. Egon Bahr, Brandt’s close colleague and Wehner critic and rival, also insisted on his treachery: Zu meiner Zeit (Munich: Karl Blessing Verlag, 1996), pp. 433 47; “Das musst du erzählen”: Erinnerungen an Willy Brandt (Hamburg: Hörbuch, 2013), pp. 161 62. On the Wehner debate: August H. Leugers Scherzberg, “Herbert Wehner und der Rücktritt Willy Brandts am 7.mai 1974,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 50, no. 2 (2002): 303 22, and Wehner biographer Christoph Meyer in “Der Mythos vom Verrat. Wehners Ostpolitik und die Irrtümer von Egon Bahr,” Deutschland Archiv (Dec. 19, 2013), http://www.bpb.de/geschichte/zeitgeschichte/deutschlandarchiv/175147/weh ners ostpolitik und die irrtuemer von egon bahr, defended Wehner; Meresburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 734 36, is more accusatory. Despite widespread observations of Brandt’s fatigue and depression caused by his prolonged political battles and his Amtsmüdigkeit (Binder, The Other German, pp. 326 28, 346 47; Merseburger, Willy Brandt, p. 738), there is equally strong evi dence that he was ready to fight: Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 740 43. Potentially adding to this decision was the fact that Helmut Schmidt, Brandt’s longtime colleague and rival, was well prepared to succeed him, making the transition a smooth one. Binder, The Other German, p. 351, Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, p. 739. Brandt, Über den Tag hinaus, p. 180; see also “Chancellor’s Aides Explain His Decision,” New York Times, May 8, 1974, p. 16; “Respect for the Rules,” ibid., May 9, 1974, p. 43; Hermann Schreiber, “Mann ist mann,” Der Spiegel 20 (May 13, 1974), p. 31. New York Times, May 7, 1974, p. 1; Washington Post, May 8, 1974, p. 22; Merseburger, Willy Brandt, p. 738.

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287

Schmidt cabinet, and the coalition’s retaining a slender majority in the crucial June 9 Lower Saxony state elections.129 Brandt’s unexpected departure shook his country, Europe, and the entire world.130 In his five years in office, his personality and his politics had transformed the face of Germany at home and abroad.131 Observers anticipated changes under his successor.132 Helmut Schmidt, more resistant to the Jusos’s pressure, would restrain their demands for major domestic reforms and, as a less enthusiastic Ostpolitiker and Europeanist (although also a lukewarm Transatlantiker), he would make significant changes in Bonn’s diplomacy.133 But Schmidt’s former chief and rival also maintained a vigorous and influential political afterlife. Brandt, who remained head of the SPD until 1987, between 1976 and 1992 served as president of the Socialist International, and between 1979 and 1983 was also a member of the directly elected European Parliament.134 One of his notable post-chancellor ventures occurred in 1977 when – responding to World Bank president Robert McNamara’s invitation and returning to Boumedienne’s appeal for a new international economic order – Brandt agreed to chair the Independent Commission on International Development Issues, which, three years later, produced the world’s first comprehensive study of the global NorthSouth crisis.135 129

130 131

132 133

134 135

Brandt, Über den Tag hinaus, p. 180; on the national and international importance of this vote, preventing a larger CDU/CSU majority in the Bundesrat enabling them to block national legislation: New York Times, June 12, 1974, p. 44; “Rütteln am roten Riegel,” Der Spiegel 25 (June 17, 1974), pp. 21 22. “Nach Brandts Sturz: ‘Europa eine Wüste,’” Der Spiegel 20 (May 13, 1974), pp. 74 76. See, e.g., “The Peace Chancellor,” New York Times, May 8, 1974, p. 44; “Brandt: Binder of Wounds,” Washington Post, May 8, 1974, p. A26; “Brandt’s Mark May Be That He Dared More,” New York Times, May 12, 1974, p. 184. Ben Ari to FM, May 12, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12; Falin to Gromyko, June 24, 1974, AVP RF 757/19/107/31. Michael Leigh, “Germany’s Changing Role in the EEC,” The World Today 31, no. 12 (Dec. 1975): 488 97; Peter Coulmas, “Helmut Schmidt’s ‘Modell Deutschland,’” Schweizer Monsatshefte 60, no. 9 (1980): 715 22; Frank Fischer, “Von der ‘Regierung der inneren Reformen’ zum ‘Krisenmanagement’: Das Verhältnis zwischen Innen und Aussenpolitik in der sozialen liberalen Ära,” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 44 (Jan. 2004): 395 414; Matthias Schulz, “The Reluctant European: Helmut Schmidt, the European Community, and Transatlantic Relations,” in Matthias Schulz and Thomas A. Schwartz, eds.,The Strained Alliance: US European Relations from Nixon to Carter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 279 307. Merseburger, Willy Brandt, pp. 739 803. Willy Brandt, North South: A Programme for Survival (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1980); Brandt, Erinnerungen, pp. 375 88. The seventeen member commission, repre senting North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, excluded Communist

288

Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

Both Meir and Brandt had been disserved by their secret services, their party colleagues, and their coalition partners. When major scandals had rocked their countries, both relinquished their leadership positions based on principled stances of responsibility. Both were charismatic figures, powerful communicators, and adept with the media; both had linked their careers with the labor movement, socialism, and left-wing internationalism; and both were replaced by younger, more pragmatic successors. Both Meir and Brandt in their different ways were also outsiders who had striven doggedly for high levels of achievement but had also displayed high levels of selfprotectiveness, surrounding themselves with a close circle of intimate friends as a shield against their ubiquitous critics.136 Here the comparisons stop. One had led a tiny beleaguered country in the Middle East; the other, two-thirds of a divided, heavily fortified country in the middle of Europe. In their domestic politics, Meir was a party stalwart, while Brandt was always independent from his comrades; the grandmotherly Meir admired Israeli youth from a distance, while Brandt identified with Germany’s left-wing radicals. In their diplomacy they were also different: Meir clung to the status quo as providing the best protection for Israel, while Brandt was a dedicated agent of change to bring about a better German future. The prime minister insisted on direct negotiations with Israel’s enemies without offering any compromises, while the chancellor, who had negotiated with the FRG’s foes, paid a substantial political price for his Ostpolitik. Moreover, within the détente era of the Cold War in which both leaders operated, Meir had placed her country squarely under Washington’s command and tutelage, while Brandt, wielding Germany’s considerable economic power, sought to build a robust European Economic Community that would eventually be independent from Superpower control.137

136 137

governments. Summary in Edward Heath, “North South: A Program for Survival,” The Geographical Journal 147, no. 3 (Nov. 1981): 298 306; but see also the critique by exiled Chilean economist Jaime Estévez, “Los pobres y la superviviencia del orden transnacional: El debate sobre el ‘NOEI’ y las propuestas de McNamara y Brandt” [The poor and the survival of the international order: The debate over the new interna tional economic order and the proposals of McNamara and Brandt], Investigación Económica 40, no. 156 (Apr. June 1981): 57 75, which termed the commission’s report an attempt to palliate the crisis without substantially modifying international economic relations. Baring and Görtemaker, Machtwechsel, pp. 744 45. Compton to FCO, Bonn, Apr. 24, 1974, GB NA FCO 93/129.

Epilogue: Whither the West German Israeli relationship?

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Epilogue: Whither the West German–Israeli relationship? During the final months of Golda Meir’s and Willy Brandt’s rule, West German–Israeli relations were particularly disjointed. Both governments were deeply absorbed in domestic politics and also in their separate foreign policy concerns: The FRG focused on stabilizing the EEC and dealing with the Arab world, while Israel was dominated by the US peace initiatives. Several old elements remained. One was the procession of German visitors to Israel.138 Among them was the former CDU opposition leader Rainer Barzel who, as a guest of the foreign ministry, presented a somber evaluation of the current state of their bilateral relations to Israeli leaders.139 More reassuring were Hans Koschnick and Horst Ehmke, who arrived on the eve of Brandt’s North African journey.140 Another carryover was the willingness of German officials to apprise Israeli diplomats of their discussions with Arab emissaries.141 Trade between the two countries had expanded considerably, and cultural relations were finally resumed after the 1973 war.142 But old difficulties persisted, especially Israeli suspicions of the pro-Arab leanings of the Auswärtiges Amt and its chief Walter Scheel.143 Underlining the inconsistencies between the German chancellor and his foreign minister, Ben-Horin was incensed over Scheel’s January 30 letter to the two Arab oil ministers, which had exceeded the EEC’s November declaration (but was eventually repu-

138

139

140

141 142 143

Throughout 1974, some thirty two government and opposition Bundestag members visited Israel; but Israeli dignitaries were reluctant to leave their country because of the political crisis and the Kissinger negotiations. Puttkamer to AA, Feb. 22, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104775. Davar, Feb. 14, 21, 1974. Publicly, however, Barzel (who had met with Meir and Peres) declared that Germany would not forsake Israel “for the sake of oil or other economic benefits.” The Jewish Exponent, Mar. 8, 1974, p. 82. Rainer Barzel, Auf dem Drahtseil (Munich: Droemer Knaur, 1978), pp. 52 53. Peled to Ben Horin, Apr. 1, 1974, Ben Horin to FM, Apr. 2, 1974, ISA 130 4573/6; Koschnick to Brandt and Scheel, Apr. 13, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104775, Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 16, 1974, ibid., 104790; Ya’ish to Ben Horin, Apr. 16, 1974, Ben Horin to FM, Apr. 23, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12. Ben Horin to FM, Jan. 18, 21, 1974; Ben Ari to FM, Mar. 14, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12. Puttkamer to AA, Jan. 16, Feb. 13, 1974, Zwischenarchiv 104783; Rückriegel to AA, Mar. 24, 1973, ibid., 104780. Ben Ari to Meroz, Feb. 6, 1974, Ben Horin to FM, Feb. 14, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12; “Little is left of the balanced policy promised in Brandt’s visit.” Ben Horin to Meroz, Mar. 29, 1974, ibid., 4573/6.

290

Finale: Exeunt Meir and Brandt

diated by Brandt).144 Despite Bahr’s reassurances, Ben-Horin also fretted over Brandt’s meeting with Egyptian leader Sadat.145 And the Israeli embassy was irate over Bonn’s refusal to condemn the Palestinian attack on Kiryat Shmona in April.146 Israelis were sensitive to the new mood in Bonn. Behind the primarily sober Israeli press reports of the launching of the Euro-Arab dialogue, Brandt’s visits to North Africa, and the chancellor’s demission – all given far less coverage than Kissinger’s activities – there was a nervous public.147 Thus, following Brandt’s resignation, there was an explosion of outrage over the arrest and sentencing of Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld.148 Israelis recognized Bonn’s unreceptiveness to evocations of the Nazi past. In an atmosphere of economic stringency, Nahum Goldmann made no headway with German officials to obtain a new restitution agreement, which would take another five years to conclude.149 In the late spring of 1974, the sudden departures of Meir and Brandt ended a five-year struggle over defining the West German–Israeli relationship. Although some Israelis still believed that the Federal Republic owed their country unconditional support in answering vital questions, these vital questions were now subject to different interpretations.150 Bonn’s search for balance in its Middle East policies had been greatly complicated by the October war and the emergence of the Palestinian question; but even 144

145

146 147 148

149 150

Ben Horin to FM, Mar. 20, n.d., Mar. 27, Apr. 16, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12; also Niemöller to Frank, Mar. 27, 1974, Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 3, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104596, Apr. 4, 9. 1974, ibid., 104775. Ben Horin to FM, Apr. 18, 1974, ISA 130 4573/6. In an effort to allay Ben Horin’s suspicions, Bahr revealed Kissinger’s appeal to Brandt for a “more substantial” West German economic involvement in Egypt. See Kissinger to Brandt, Apr. 13, 1974, AdsD WBA A9/20; also Puttkamer to AA, May 10, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104597. Ben Ari to FM, Apr. 18, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12; Ben Horin to FM, Apr. 18, ibid., 4573/6. Rückriegel to AA, Mar. 11, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104596; Puttkamer to AA, Apr. 22, 26, 28, 1974, ibid., 104775, May 10, 1974, ibid., 104957. Klarsfeld, seized on April 17 during an anti Nazi demonstration at Dachau and charged with attempting to kidnap former Gestapo chief Kurt Lishka two years earlier, was sentenced on July 9 to two months in prison. Jerusalem Post, May 17, 1974; Puttkamer to AA, July 3, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104770; New York Times, July 10, 1974, p. 43; Puttkamer to AA, Sept. 20, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104780. On May 2, a special session of the Knesset appointed a committee that called for Klarsfeld’s release as a “moral obligation of the Bonn government.” Lavon to Bonn embassy, ISA 130 6817/12. Ya’covy to FM, Feb. 6, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12, Feb [?] 1974, ibid., 4573/6; May 12, 1974, ibid., 6817/12. Rückriegel to AA, Mar. 24, 1974, PA AA 104780. In a February poll, 59 percent of the West German population preferred no involvement at all in the Arab Israeli conflict. INFAS [Instituts für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft], Bonn Bad Godesberg, Feb. 12, 1974, PA AA Zwischenarchiv 104956.

Epilogue: Whither the West German Israeli relationship?

291

earlier, Brandt’s European agenda had already altered its ties with Israel, providing a firm basis for evenhandedness in the Israeli-Arab conflict.151 Meir and Brandt’s successors, operating in a changed domestic and international environment, intended to move in another direction, one that was less “emotional,” more businesslike, and less fraught by the debate over the presence of the past.152

151 152

Markus A. Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik: Die Geschichte einer Gratwanderung seit 1949 (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2002), pp. 237 38. Ben Ari to FM, May 12, 1974, ISA 130 6817/12; also Weingardt, Deutsche Israel und Nahostpolitik, pp. 240 42.

Conclusions

In tracing the history of West German–Israeli relations between 1965 and 1974, this book has pointed out not only major irritants and disruptions but also elements of cooperation and conciliation. Not surprisingly, the Third Reich’s annihilation of European Jewry was the underlying foundation, one that successive Bonn governments sought to underplay but to which the Israeli government gave prominence. Between 1967 and 1968 the relationship was transformed by the emergence of two distinctive national directions: Israel’s shaped by its overwhelming victory in the June 1967 war, its occupation of Arab lands, and its unsuccessful efforts to achieve peace with its neighbors; and the FRG’s, marked by its decision to pursue a realist placatory diplomacy – its Ost- and Nahostpolitik – toward the Communist and Arab worlds and its emergence as an economically-strong, politically-influential power in Europe and the world. Earlier, during the decade and a half between 1952 and 1965 the West German–Israeli tie had developed within a bipolar Cold War world. This largely top-down, unofficial connection, managed by the two countries’ elites, had a moral and historical dimension. It was influenced by the FRG’s goals of not only anchoring itself firmly in the Western camp and appeasing German nationalist aspirations with the Hallstein doctrine but also refusing to risk its relations with the Arabs by exchanging ambassadors with Israel. Israel, although benefiting from the Bonn government’s generous secret loans and arms, was also an aloof partner, a critic of West Germany’s failure to prosecute war criminals and discipline its rocket scientists working in Egypt, and a staunch opponent of establishing cultural ties and expanding its citizens’ contacts with the Federal Republic. Everything changed in 1965. The FRG, now the world’s third-largest exporter, sought to increase its diplomatic stature but was hemmed in by its rivalry with the GDR. Out of the diplomatic crisis that year – the threat 292

Conclusions

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of Egyptian recognition of its reviled Communist neighbor – the Bonn government made the startling decision to cease arms deliveries and grant diplomatic recognition to Israel. For the Israeli side, the establishment of formal relations produced a mixed result. Bonn’s decision to become the eighty-eighth state to send an emissary to Tel Aviv represented a substantial diplomatic victory for Israel, refuting Arab charges of the irregularity of its existence. But the cessation of the arms deliveries and unencumbered loans and Israel’s exposure to increased resistance by West German officialdom and scrutiny by the press ushered in a more contentious stage. There were also embarrassing public events, including the riots upon Ambassador Rolf Pauls’s arrival in 1965 and the acerbic Adenauer-Eshkol exchange in May 1966. The June 1967 war was a major watershed. West Germany, confronting Arab threats to Israel, responded sympathetically to its small endangered partner. Although the Federal Republic was officially neutral, its leaders denied a “neutrality of the heart,” sent gas masks to protect Israelis, and countenanced mass fund-raising efforts and the recruitment of volunteers. Large sections of the West German public were relieved over Israel’s victory over its Soviet-armed Arab enemies. However, in the war’s aftermath, the Bonn government was thrust for the first time into Middle East politics, which it viewed through the lens of its own national interests: to break down the Cold War deadlock in Europe and regain its place in the Arab world on which it was dependent for oil and trade. Disgruntled by the Superpowers’ failure to prevent the war or forge a peace (which they had accomplished in 1956), but unable to play a major role, the FRG adopted a neutral stance between Israel and its Arab antagonists, acknowledging the special burden of the German past but also offering support to the new war victims, the Palestinian refugees. There was also a public dimension to the shift after the June 1967 war. West Germany’s extreme left- and right-wing press and its burgeoning youthful protestors began protesting Israeli “imperialism” and championing the Palestinian cause. Augmenting the anti-Jewish sentiments of the older population, this resulted in a diminution of popular support for Israel. Israel, although expressing gratitude for Bonn’s moral and material support, also recognized – and increasingly resented – the shift in official and public sentiment. Another major turning point occurred in 1969 with the onset of US-Soviet détente. The Superpowers, although achieving the first steps toward nuclear disarmament and producing a Berlin settlement, failed to avert two more Middle East wars or to contain the explosion

294

Conclusions

of Palestinian terrorism. Moreover, the turmoil in the global economy – from America’s abandoning the gold standard in 1971 to the oil crisis of 1973 – ushered in a period of inflation and domestic disorder Within this global framework, West Germany and Israel occupied strikingly different positions. The Federal Republic, which had become an economically strong, politically stable regional power, was protected by its NATO and EEC memberships and after 1969 was linked by treaties with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and subsequently with the entire Arab world. Israel, on the other hand, although the strongest military power in the Middle East (likely bolstered by its nuclear capability), had a far smaller population, a huge defense burden, and unwieldy coalition governments; and despite increasing US political and military support, it lacked official allies, grew increasingly estranged from Europe, and was beset by Communist and Third World critics in the United Nations. The contrasts between West Germany and Israel grew starker after 1969. For Chancellor Willy Brandt, leading a left-liberal coalition, removing the stain of Auschwitz and creating a strong German future necessitated not only more democracy at home but also a conciliatory policy toward his Communist neighbors and the Third World. Intent on lessening Bonn’s dependency on the United States, Brandt was also an ardent European, who intended to buttress his Ost- and Nahostpolitik by strengthening the European Economic Community and voting European in world forums. Israel, led by Golda Meir, viewed Brandt’s innovations with suspicion and apprehension. Despite her anti-German sentiments, Meir tried to revitalize the German–Israeli bond through personal encounters and frequently deferred to Bonn’s interests. Nonetheless, there was a fundamental difference between Brandt’s worldview and Meir’s, which created a barrier between the two. One side advocated a policy of appeasement and sacrifice in order to promote West Germany’s longterm diplomatic goals; the other defined Israel’s stability and security through a hard-line stance toward its Arab neighbors and the Palestinians and a resistance to outside mediation. Consequently, bilateral relations between 1969 and 1974 were exceptionally prickly. There were public clashes over the Deutsche Kulturwoche in 1971, the Munich Olympics and the West German release of the Palestinian terrorists in 1972, and the Brandt government’s conduct during and after the October 1973 war. The several personal meetings between the two countries’ leaders, although symbolically important, rarely resolved the underlying tensions.

Conclusions

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To be sure, both Brandt and Meir faced domestic critics of their increasingly chilly relationship. Brandt, who was backed by the proArab business community and by leftist partisans of the Palestinians, was reviled by staunchly pro-Israel CDU and SPD figures and also by the Springer press. Meir’s opponents, reflecting a still widespread anti-German sentiment in Israel and reinforced by the religious and nationalist movements kindled after 1967, disparaged her efforts to appease Bonn. Nonetheless, there were important elements of collaboration that continued after 1969, above all manifested in Bonn’s generous annual loans and the maintenance of secret military and intelligence ties. There were ongoing personal relationships between party officials and contacts between bankers, industrialists, and trade unionists as well as between religious leaders and academic figures. There was a modest rise in tourism, student exchanges, visiting artists, and sport competitions, along with increased media coverage on both sides. Finally, it is important to underline that the West German–Israeli relationship was not a paramount one for either side. Third (and even fourth) parties large and small were always in the room. The USSoviet rivalry in Europe and the Middle East; the aspirations of France and the EEC to play a greater role in world affairs; the economic power of the Arab oil-producers; and the growing influence of China and the Third World in the United Nations all affected policymaking in Bonn and Jerusalem, sometimes in parallel, more often in different directions. In sum, one might best characterize the nine-year period between 1965 and 1974 as one of tenuous stability. The West German–Israeli relationship continued to be based on shared interests in security and recognition of the difficult past. But because the two governments and societies were evolving in different ways, the bond remained formal and brittle with little depth or understanding on either the official or popular level. Yet, it survived these difficult nine years. Despite their diverging interests, the West German and Israeli governments established almost predictably contentious rituals. To be sure, the FRG, the stronger partner, repeatedly denied a special bond with Israel and underlined its neutrality in the Middle East conflict, but over and over again Bonn stretched the limits of its restrictions. Israel too held the line by barring a formal cultural agreement, withholding information on its secret diplomatic contacts, and unswervingly adhering to US policies.

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Conclusions

Indeed, this tie was significant to both sides. West Germany and Israel exerted considerable effort to maintain the relationship, one that influenced their domestic and foreign policies and their national identities as well. This book has documented a history of friction, but its sub-theme has been the search by two highly asymmetric, historically linked governments to forge difficult compromises.

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Unpublished Material

1)

Governmental Archives Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (Arkhiv vneshnei politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsii (AVP RF), Moscow Records of the Foreign Ministry of the USSR: Germany (757) Bavarian Central State Archive (Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv) (BayHStA), Munich Records of Staatskanzlei (StK); Staatsministerium des Innern (MInn); Staatsministerium für Kultus, Wissenschaft, und Kunst; Wirtschaftsministerium; Landeskriminalamt Bavarian State Archive (BSA) (Bayerische Staatsarchiv München), Munich Records of Staatsanwaltschaft (STA) “Olympiaattentat” France. National Archives (Archives Nationales) (AN) Archive of President Georges Pompidou (Pompidou) France. Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministère des Affaires Étrangères) (FMAE) La Courneuve Records of the French Foreign Ministry: Série L’Afrique du Nord/ Moyen Est; Communité Européenne; États Unis; Europe. Germany. Political Archive of the Foreign Ministry (Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes (PA AA), Berlin B1Bundesminister; B2 Staatssekretär; B36 Naher Osten/Nord Afrika Germany. Federal Archive Military Archiv (Bundesarchiv Militärarchiv), Freiburg (BAF) BW 1,2: Bundesministerium der Verteidung; BV5: Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung; BW64: Zentrum Operative Information; BH2: Heersamt; BH28/2: Israel

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2)

International Organizations International Institute of Social History (IISH) Amsterdam Records of the Socialist International United Nations Archive, New York (UNA) UN Office Chef de Cabinet Papers of the Secretary General

3)

Private Collections and Personal Papers American Jewish Committee, Archive, New York (AJCA) Bertram Gold Executive Files Subject Files Anti Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, New York (ADL) General File (microfilm). Foreign Countries (Germany) Archive of the CDU Party (Archiv für Christich Demokratische Politik) (ACDP), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Sankt Augustin Nachlässe: Kurt Birrenbach, Franz Böhm, Bruno Dorpinghaus, Eugen Gerstenmaier, Alois Mertes Gerhard Schröder, Friedrich Karl Vialon, Jürgen Wohlrabe Bundestagsfraktion Archive of the CSU Party (Archiv der Christlich Soziale Politik) (ACSP), Hans Seidl Stiftung, Munich Nachlässe: Franz Michael Elsen; Franz Josef Strauss; Bundestagfraktion

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Archive of the Liberal Party (Archiv des Liberalismus) (AdL) Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, Gummersbach Nachlässe Hildegard Hamm Brücher, Wolfgang Michnick, Walter Scheel Archive of the Social Democratic Party (Archiv der sozialen Demokratie) (AdsD), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Bonn Bad Godesberg Nachlässe Egon Bahr (EB), Willy Brandt (WBA), Helmut Schmidt (Schmidt); Hans Jürgen Wischnewski Literaturarchiv, Akademie der Künste, Berlin Günter Grass papers (GG) Beit Ariela Newspaper Library, Tel Aviv Bodlean Library, Oxford, UK Harold Wilson Papers Central Archive for Research on the History of the Jews in Germany (Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland) (ZEJD), Heidelberg Files of the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland Central Zionist Archives (HaArkhion HaTsioni HaMerkazi) (CZA), Jerusalem Nahum Goldmann papers Claims Conference (CC) Archive, New York City National Foundation of Political Science (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques) Couve de Murville papers Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Abba Eban (AE) papers YIVO Institute for Historical Research, Center for Jewish History, New York American Jewish Committee (AJC) Foreign Affairs Dept Julius Klein Papers

B. 1)

Published Primary Sources Government Papers Austria. Bundeskanzleramt. Die Ereignisse vom 28/29 September: Ein Dokumentarbericht. Vienna: Bundeskanzleramt, 1973. Bundesrepublik Deutschland/Bundesregierung Bayern, Die Überfall auf die israelische Olympiamannschaft: Dokumentation. Bonn: Bundesdruckerei, 1972. Germany. Auswärtiges Amt, Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (AAPD) 1961 1974 Germany. Bundestag. Stenographische Berichte Deutscher Bundestag (StenBer) Germany. Die Kabinettsprotokolle der Bundesregierung http://www.bunde sarchiv.de/cocoon/barch/0000/index.html Israel State Archives.

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2)

Other Documentary Collections

“The Agranat Report: The First Partial Report.” Jerusalem Journal of International Affairs 4, no. 1 (1979): 69 90. Bator, Wolfgang and Angelika Bator, eds. Die DDR und die arabischen Staaten: Dokumente, 1956 1982. Berlin: Staatsverlag der Deutschen Demokratischer Republik, 1984. Blasius, Rainer A. “‘Völkerfreundschaft am Nil’: Ägypten und die DDR im Februar 1965. Stenographische Aufzeichnungen aus dem Ministerium für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten über den Ulbricht Besuch bei Nasser.” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 46, no. 4 (1998): 747 806. Brandt, Willy. Berliner Ausgabe. Vol. 6, Ein Volk der guten Nachbarn, ed. Frank Fischer. Bonn: Dietz, 2005. Frieden: Reden und Schriften des Nobelpreisträgers 1971. Bonn: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1971. Israel Defense. Was the Hijacking of an Austrian Train Filled with Soviet Jews a Diversion before the Yom Kippur War? Dec. 18, 2011. http://www.israelde fense.co.il/en/content/was hijacking austrian train filled soviet jews diver sion yom kippur war. Jelinek, Yeshayahu, ed. Zwischen Moral und Realpolitik: Deutsch israelische Beziehungen, 1945 1965. Eine Dokumentensammlung. Gerlingen: Bleicher, 1997. Jelinek, Yeshayahu and Rainer Blasius. “Ben Gurion und Adenauer im Waldorf Astoria. Gesprächsaufzeichnungen vom israelisch deutschen Gipfeltreffen in New York am 14. März 1960. Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitschichte 45, no. 2 (April 1997): 309 44. Lukacs, Yehuda, ed. The Israeli Palestinian Conflict: A Documentary Record, 1967 1990. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Morozov, Boris, ed. Documents on Soviet Jewish Emigration. London: Frank Cass, 1999.

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Pardo, Sharon and Joel Peters, eds. Israel and the European Union: A Documentary History. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012. Vogel, Rolf, ed. Der deutsch israelische Dialog: Dokumentation eines erregenden Kapitels deutscher Aussenpolitik. Part 1, Politik. Munich: Sauer, 1987. ed., Deutschlands Weg nach Israel. Stuttgart: Seewald, 1967. ed. The German Path to Israel: A Documentation. London: Wolff, 1969

3)

Diaries, Letters, Memoirs, Personal History

Adenauer, Konrad. Erinnerungen. Vol. 4, 1959 1963. Fragmente. Stuttgart: DVA, 1968. Aloni, Jenny. “Ich muss mir diese Zeit von der Seele schreiben . . . ” Die Tagebücher 1935 1993: Deutschland Palästina Israel, ed. Hartmut Steinecke. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2006. The Autobiography of Nahum Goldmann: Sixty Years of Jewish Life, trans Helen Sebba. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969. Bahr, Egon. “Das musst du erzählen”: Erinnerungen an Willy Brandt. Hamburg: Hörbuch, 2013. Zu meiner Zeit. Munich: Karl Blessing Verlag, 1996. Barzel, Rainer. Auf dem Drahtseil. Munich: Droemer Knaur, 1978. Ben Natan, Asher. “Bridges over Many Chasms.” In Otto Romberg and Heiner Lichtenstein, eds., Thirty Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Israel. Frankfurt: Tribüne Books, 1995, pp. 33 49. Briefe an den Botschafter. Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1971. Brücken bauen aber nicht vergessen: Als erster Botschafter Israels in der Bundesrepublik (1965 1969). Düsseldorf: Droste, 2005. Die Chuzpe zu leben: Stationen meines Lebens. Düsseldorf: Droste, 2003. “Herausforderungen im Schatten der Geschichte.” In Asher Ben Natan and Niels Hansen, eds., Israel und Deutschland: Dorniger Weg zur Partnerschaft: Die Botschafter berichten über vier Jahrzehnte diplomatische Beziehungen (1965 2005). Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2005, pp. 24 41. Benvenisti, Meron. Son of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections, and Regrets from a Political Life, trans. Maxine Kaufman Lacusta. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Birrenbach, Kurt. Meine Sondermissionen. Rückblick auf zwei Jahrzehnte bundes deutscher Aussenpolitik. Düsseldorf: Econ Verlag, 1984. “Die Aufnahme der diplomatischen Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und Israel.” In Gerhard Schröder et al., eds., Ludwig Erhard: Beiträge zu seiner politischen Biographie: Festschrift zum Fünfundsiebzigsten Geburtstag . Frankfurt: Propyläen 1972, pp. 363 82. Böll, Heinrich. Werke: Kölner Ausgabe. Vol. 16, 1969 71, ed. J. H. Ried. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2008. Werke: Kölner Ausgabe. Vol. 24, 1953 1975, ed. J. H. Reid and Ralf Schnell. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2009.

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Brandt, Willy. Begegnungen und Einsichten: Die Jahre 1960 1975. Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1976. Translated as People and Politics: The Years 1960 1975, trans. J. Maxwell Brownjohn. Boston: Little, Brown, 1978. Erinnerungen. Berlin: Propyläen, 1989. Erinnerungen. 4th ed. (Mit den “Notizen zum Fall G.”) Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1994. Über den Tag hinaus: Ein Zwischenbalanz. Hamburg: Hoffmann and Campe, 1974. Brandt, Willy and Günter Grass. Der Briefwechsel, ed. Martin Kölbel. Göttingen: Steidl, 2013. Brandt, Willy and Helmut Schmidt. Partner und Rivalen: Der Briefwechsel (1958 1992), ed. Meik Woyke. Bonn: Dietz, 2015. Bruhns, Wibke. Nachrichtenzeit: Meine unfertigen Erinnerungen. Munich: Droemer, 2012. Daoud, Abou, with Gilles du Jonchay. Palestine: De Jérusalem à Munich. Paris: Éditions Anne Carrière, 1999. Dobrynin, Anatoly. In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents, 1962 1986. New York: Random House, 1995. Eban, Abba. An Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1977. Personal Witness: Israel through My Eyes. New York: G.P. Putnam’s, 1992. Eckardt, Felix von. Ein unordentliches Leben: Lebenserinnerung. Düsseldorf: Econ, 1967. Ehmke, Horst. Mittendrin: Von der Grossen Koalition zur Deutschen Einheit. Berlin: Rowohlt, 1994. Eppler, Erhard. Komplettes Stückwerk: Erfahrungen aus fünfzig Jahren Politik. Frankfurt: Insel Verlag, 1996. Frank, Paul. Entschlüsselte Botschaft: Ein Diplomat macht Inventur. Munich: Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag, 1985. Genscher, Hans Dietrich. Erinnerungen. 2nd ed. Berlin: Siedler, 1995. Gerstenmaier, Eugen. Streit und Friede hat seine Zeit: Ein Lebensbericht. Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1981. Grab, Walter. Meine vier Leben: Gedächtniskünstler Emigrant Jakobinerforscher Demokrat. Cologne: PapyRossa Verlag, 1999. Grass, Günter. Beim Häuten der Zwiebel. Göttingen: Steidel, 2006. Grossman, David. Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel, trans. Haim Watzman. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977. Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics, trans. Jessica Cohen. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Guillaume, Günter. Die Aussage: Wie es wirklich war. Munich: Universitas, 1990. Hájek, Jiři Begegnungen und Zusammenstösse: Erinnerungen des ehemaligen tschecho slowakischen Aussenministers, trans. Bedřich Uttitz. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herderbücherei, 1987. Harpprecht, Klaus. Im Kanzleramt: Tagebuch der Jahre mit Willy Brandt. Reinebek: Rowohlt, 2000. Heath, Edward. The Course of My Life: My Autobiography. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998.

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Heikal, Mohamed Hassanein. The Cairo Documents: The Inside Story of Nasser and His Relationship with World Leaders, Rebels, and Statesmen, trans. Edward Sheehan. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1973. Heinrich Böll Lew Kopelew: Briefwechsel, ed. Elsbeth Zylla. Göttingen: Steidl, 2011. Israelian, Victor. Inside the Kremlin during the Yom Kippur War. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1995. Iyad, Abu, with Eric Rouleau. My Home My Land: A Narrative of the Palestinian Struggle, trans. Linda Butler Koseoglu. New York: Times Books, 1981. Jenny Aloni Heinrich Böll Briefwechsel, ed. Hartmut Steinecke. Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2013. Jobert, Michel. Mémoires d’avenir. Paris: Grasset, 1974. Kissinger, Henry. Crisis: The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. White House Years. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979. Years of Upheaval. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982. Klima, Ivan. “Seeds of Spring,” trans. David Short. Index on Censorship 37, no. 3 (2008): 52 63. Kreisky, Bruno. Memoiren: Im Strom der Politik. Vol. 2. Vienna: Kremayr & Scheriau, 2000. Lahr, Rolf. Zeuge von Fall und Aufstieg: Private Briefe, 1934 1974. Hamburg: Knaus, 1981. Meir, Golda. My Life. Paperback ed. New York: Dell, 1975. Meroz, Yohanan. In schwieriger Mission: Als Botschafter Israels in Bonn. Berlin: Ullstein, 1986. Nixon, Richard. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978. Nollau, Günter. Das Amt: 50 Jahre Zeuge der Geschichte. Munich: Bertelsmann, 1978. Osterheld, Horst. Aussenpolitik unter Bundeskanzler Ludwig Erhard, 1961 1966: Ein dokumentarischer Bericht aus dem Kanzleramt. Düsseldorf: Droste, 1992. Pauls, Rolf. “Brücken bauen: Als erster deutscher Botschafter in Israel.” In Asher Ben Natan, ed., Israel und die Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Dreissig Jahre diplomatischen Beziehungen. Bonn: Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland/Argon, 1996, pp. 71 75. Pauls, Rolf Friedemann. Deutschlands Standort in der Welt: Beobachtungen eines Botschafters. Stuttgart: Seewald, 1984. Peres, Shimon. David’s Sling. New York: Random House, 1970. Primor, Avi. “. . . mit Ausnahme Deutschlands”: Als Botschafter Israelis in Bonn. Berlin: Ullstein, 1999. Rabin, Yitzhak. Memoirs. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979. Sadat, Anwar. In Search of Identity: An Autobiography. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. Schütz, Klaus. Logenplatz und Schleudersitz: Erinnerungen. Berlin: Ullstein, 1992. Shinnar, Felix. Bericht eines Beauftragten: Die deutsch israelischen Beziehungen, 1951 1966. Tübingen: Wunderlich, 1967. Strauss, Franz Josef. Die Erinnerungen. Berlin: Siedler, 1999.

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4)

Contemporary Writing

Améry, Jean. “Die Linke und der ‘Zionismus’ (1969).” In Werke. Bd. 7 Aufsätze zur Politik und Zeitgeschicht. Stuttgart: Klett Cotta, 2005, pp. 141 51. Avnery, Uri. Israel without Zionists: A Plea for Peace in the Middle East. New York: Macmillan, 1968. Bloch, Ernst. Frieden im Nahen Osten: Zum arabisch israelischen Konflikt. Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1967. Brandt, Willy. North South: A Programme for Survival. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1980. Dahrendorf, Ralf. Gesellschaft und Demokratie in Deutschland. Munich: Piper, 1965. Eban, Abba. Dies ist mein Volk. Zurich: Croemer, 1970. My People: The Story of the Jews. New York: Behrman House/Random House, 1968. Enzensberger, Hans Magnus. “middle class blues.” In Poems for People Who Don’t Read Poems, trans. Michael Hamburger. New York: Atheneum, 1967. Fried, Erich. Höre Israel. Frankfurt: Verlag Association, 1974. Grass, Günter. From the Diary of a Snail, trans. Ralph Manheim. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972. New Poems, trans. Michael Hamburger. New York: Harcourt Brace & World, 1967. Habermas, Jürgen. Toward a Rational Society: Student Protest, Science, and Politics, trans. Jeremy J. Shapiro. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971. Jaspers, Karl. Wohin treibt die Bundesrepublik? Munich: Piper, 1966. Meinhof, Ulrike. “Die Aktion des ‘Schwarzen September’ in München: Zur Strategie des antimperialistischen Kampfs.” In Rote Armee Fraktion Texte und Materialen zur Geschichte der RAF. Berlin: ID Verlag, 1997, pp. 151 77. Puttkamer, Jesco von. Irrtum und Schuld. Geschichte des National Komitees “Freies Deutschland.” 2nd ed. Neuwied: Michael Verlag, 1948. Von Stalingrad zur Volkspolizei: Geschichte des National Komitees “Freies Deutschland.” Wiesbaden: Michael Verlag, 1951. Scholem, Gershom. “Wider den Mythos vom deutsch jüdischen Gespräch.” Judaica 2 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970): 7 11. Ulbricht, Walter. The Two German States and the Aggression in the Near East. Dresden: Verlag Zeit im Bild, 1967.

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