AJC Celebrates 50 Years of German-Israeli Relations
On May 12, 2015, Germany and Israel celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launching of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As part of the conference series “50/50 – German-Israeli Relations: The Next 50 Years,” the American Jewish Committee Berlin Ramer Institute and the German Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS) organized a German-Israeli security and foreign policy expert seminar, which took place on May 22, 2015 in the historic Schloss Schönhausen.
The conference was planned as a forum to facilitate exchange on pressing strategic issues in the relationship between Germany and Israel and to cast an eye towards the future. Guiding questions included: What role does Germany play on the international stage and what does this position mean for its special relationship to Israel? What further steps can Israeli and Germany take together in the realm of security and defense politics?
To discuss these questions and more, AJC Berlin and BAKS invited a distinguished group of leading experts, decision makers, and diplomats from Germany, Israel, and the U.S. to take part in four panels covering a range of topics from regional security policy to parliamentary exchange and the role of young people in strengthening the bond between the two countries. Central themes that emerged over the course of the day included the meaning of Germany’s commitment to Israel’s security as a core national interest, the utility of increased exchange between the two countries, and the necessity to create more platforms for open and critical conversations between the two countries, in particular on the inter-parliamentary level.
AJC President Stanley Bergman, on the evening prior to the conference, said, “AJC has long been dedicated to the support of strong German-Israeli relations, which have become ever more important with the instability throughout the Mideast […] AJC considers the German-Israeli-American relationship to be of paramount importance to our global interests.” To honor 50 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israeli, 16 AJC regional chapters in the U.S. held special events. On May 19, 2015, AJC was honored at a historic ceremony by the Israeli and German foreign ministries for the organization’s efforts in advancing German-Israeli relations.
This conference was the third event in the ongoing “50/50 – German-Israeli Relations: The Next 50 Years” series, for which events have already taken place in Berlin in 2014 and Tel Aviv in 2015.