The Ghetto Complex: Rethinking Israel’s Foreign Policy

By Christopher L. Schilling.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

My article will examine Jewish Diaspora identity constructions and Israeli foreign policy, arguing that the state of Israel has developed the paranoia of a ‘Ghetto Complex’ which isolates the country from the international scene. It will introduce this concept of Israel in International Relations Theory, and there especially in constructivist literature. In comparison, Israel, with its sixty years of existence, is a young state which is just in process of developing its own identity. Taking this trajectory into account, it is argued that today’s role of Israel in the international society of states be best understood with reference to the concept of a ‘Ghetto Complex’. This concept nicely reflects the context conditions including the continuation of Diaspora where the Jews continue to see the outside world as dangerous and the very last potentially anti-Semitic. This leads to a policy of separating the country from its neighbours rather than engaging in peaceful dialogues with them. The dangerous and lonely situation of Israel exist more in the minds of its people and their memory of the past than in the current situation.

Keywords: Israel, Jewish Identity, Jewish History, International Relations Theory, Diaspora

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.465-470. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 595.163KB).

Christopher L. Schilling

PhD candidate, Department of Social Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Christopher L. Schilling received his LL.B. in Public, Civil, and Criminal Law (Hamburg), and his M.A. in International Studies (London). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Social Science at the University of Hamburg in Germany.


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