The German-speaking Left and Israel: Legacies and Developments since 1948

08.12.2016, Vortrag, London

European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London
The Legacy of the Left and Israel: 1967-2017

Christina Späti (Fribourg)
The German-speaking Left and Israel: Legacies and Developments since 1948

The positions and attitudes of the political Left in Germany, Austria and Switzerland towards Israel have undergone many changes since 1948. If the 1950s and 1960s were characterized by a romanticizing, pro-Zionist alignment with Israel, mainly expressed by Social-democratic parties and trade unions, the rise of the New Left after 1968 considerably changed the perspectives on the Middle East conflict and eventually had an impact on wider sections of the political Left. The lecture will also look into the various legacies, ranging from the Holocaust to Internationalism, which influenced this development.

Christina Späti is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. She received her PhD in 2003 with a thesis on the Swiss left and its positions on Israel and Zionism between 1967 and 1991. Her research focuses on processes of dealing with the National Socialist past, anti-Zionism, antisemitism and Orientalism, language politics in multilingual states, and 1968 in Western Europe, with a particular emphasis on Switzerland.