The Special Relationship Between West Germany and Israel

In This Review

The Special Relationship Between West Germany and Israel

By Lily Gardner Feldman
Allen & Unwin, 1984
330 pp. $35.00
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An unusual, cautiously daring book on a unique subject: the development of what Feldman, a historian, claims is an enduring "special relationship" between the two countries, based initially on mutual need of a wildly divergent kind. Feldman sees the beginning of the relationship with the Reparation Agreement of 1952, when Israel needed economic aid and Germany a moral rehabilitation that only Israel could extend. Throughout her thorough discussion, Feldman traces the interplay of moral and pragmatic considerations and insists that, despite all the changes since 1973, a special tie continues, both institutional and personal. A revealing book, at once informative about defense and economic aspects of German aid to Israel and endeavoring to establish a theoretical basis for a discussion of "special relationships" among nations. A valuable book-and, perhaps, given the ambiguities and complexities of the subject, a book with a benevolent bias, sometimes accepting public statements as political truths.