Published: October 23, 2008
Within hours of declaring independence in 1948, the nation of Israel
endured a massive attack from five Arab armies seeking the new country’s
downfall. The subsequent war established what came to be known as
Israel’s “military model of anti-terrorism,” according to James Beckman,
assistant professor of law and justice.
He examines this model
in a chapter of a new anthology timed to coincide with the 60th
anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state. Beckman compares
Israel’s approach to the “criminal justice model,” adopted by the
country of Germany. The anthology, titled “German-Israeli Security
Relations — Past, Present and Future,” and published by the German
Academic Association for Security Studies, is the first scholarly work
to offer an in-depth comparison of the security policies of the two
Beckman was the sole American contributor to the
book, and his work appears alongside that of a former Israeli ambassador
to Germany, a member of the German parliament, two brigadier generals
of the Israeli armed forces, and other prominent figures.
of the many things that is neat and cutting edge about this project is
that much of the details regarding the German-Israeli security
relationship over the last 30 years has been kept secret, and there is
very little scholarship on this field generally,” Beckman said.
Beckman’s chapter focuses on the marked difference between the way the respective countries seek to combat terrorism.
explains that since its founding, Israel has been the target of nearly
constant hostilities that have led it to take a military approach in
responding to perceived threats against the state. Germany, in contrast,
takes the approach of what is known as the “criminal justice model,”
prosecuting acts of terrorism as individual crimes such as homicide,
arson, battery, etc. Beckman examines the nature of both of these
approaches and the effect that their use has on the overall relationship
between the two nations.
“What is especially fascinating in all
of this, is that the genesis of a very positive German-Israeli
relationship comes as a result of the horrific barbarities of the
Holocaust,” Beckman said. He further explained that German officials
publically announced in 2008 the existence of a secret security
relationship between the two countries, which was created out of a sense
of responsibility toward Israel in light of Germany’s prior conduct.
of the book were aware of Beckman’s previous book titled Comparative
Legal Approaches to Homeland Security and Anti-Terrorism (Ashgate
Publishing, 2007), which contains chapters dealing with homeland
security of both Germany and Israel. Beckman expanded on this research
for the new anthology.
“One hopes that the book has some
impact,” Beckman said. “There is just so little out there in terms of a
comparative approach and a global approach to the study of
Dr. Beckman specializes in constitutional,
international and criminal law. He has published numerous historical and
law-related articles on a diverse array of topics.
been a licensed member of the Florida Bar since 1993. Prior to coming to
UT, he practiced law with the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.,
and with the United States Army as an active-duty judge advocate.