Jeffrey Herf

War with Israel: Gilad Halpern interview

I am completing a book with the working title “War against Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1990,” that is, from the Six Day War to the end of the Cold War. The book, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in spring 2016, draws on many government and political archives in Germany and the United States to examine the links between ideological hostility and the partisanship for the Arab states and Palestinian terrorist organizations represented on the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is a book about words and deeds, diplomatic offensives and weapons deliveries, military training and intelligence cooperation between the East German intelligence services and those of the PLO. The slogans of the 1960s to the 1980s are echo in world politics in our own time. Islamism has its debts to the Nazis but the global attack on Israel as a racist, aggressive tool of US imperialism was a particular contribution of the Soviet bloc during the Cold War. East Germany did not make the policy but it was an enthusiastic and very willing collaborator.

While in Tel Aviv to lecture at Tel Aviv University recently, I was interviewed by Gilad Halpern for his radio program, Tel Aviv Review. I found him to be a well informed and probing interviewer. The link to the twenty minute audio is here.

About the Author
Jeffrey Herf is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. He has published extensively on modern German and European history including Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, He is completing a study entitled “At War with Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1989" (Cambridge University Press, 2016). His "Israel's Moment: The United States and Europe between the Holocaust and the Cold War" is forthcoming.