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The Contribution of Czechoslovakia to Creation of the Independent State of Israel

THE CONTRIBUTION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA TO CREATION OF THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF ISRAEL

 

Eva Taterová

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Politické vedy, Volume 26, Number 4/2023, pages 108-129

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2023.26.4.108-129

Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:

TATEROVÁ, E. 2023. The Contribution of Czechoslovakia to Creation of the Independent State of Israel. In Politické Vedy. Vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 108-129. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2023.26.4.108-129

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ABSTRACT

This article examines the diplomatic relations between Czechoslovakia and the Zionist movement during the late 1940s in regard to Czechoslovakia's contribution to the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948. The support provided by Czechoslovakia, both diplomatically and militarily, played a pivotal role in the formation of an independent Jewish state. Notably, this assistance continued even after Czechoslovakia underwent a political regime change following the communist coup d'état in February 1948. The article aims to unravel the reasons behind this exceptional cooperation between two seemingly distant actors, both geographically and ideologically. Drawing upon recently disclosed archival collections from the relevant Czech archives and providing the insight to the foreign policy of a Soviet satellite, this research aligns with the historiographic paradigm known as the New Cold War History. By focusing on the contributions of satellite states to Cold War history, it sheds light on Czechoslovakia's significant role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East in late 1940s. Even though it might have been a somewhat marginalized story in the later decades of the Cold War due to the affiliation of the two countries with opposite ideological blocs, the history of Czechoslovakia's contribution to the creation of the State of Israel is now recognized as one of the significant narratives in the mutual relations between the two states, demonstrating the importance of past-present linkages.

Key words: Israel, Czechoslovakia, Cold War, Diplomacy, Middle East, Zionism

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