East-West Asia relations: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and civil society in South Korea and Japan

Michal Zelcer-Lavid, Yoram Evron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


As East-West Asia relations expand and diversify, cross-regional non-state relations develop as well. Surprisingly though, this development has so far been largely overlooked. Attempting to fill this void, this article focuses on the involvement of Japan’s and South Korea’s civil societies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More specifically, it argues that the intensification of cross-regional connections between East Asia and the Middle East generates involvement of the civil society in this conflict, whose specific shape is influenced by the attributes of each state. To test this supposition, the article comparatively examines the civilian protests in Japan and South Korea against Israel and their impact. The article’s contribution is fourfold: it examines the important yet inadequately studied growing civil society participation in East-West Asia relations; it indicates the relatively new interaction between state and non-state actors in East Asia concerning the Middle East; it explores for the first time protest movements against Israel in East Asia; and it enriches existing knowledge about civil society participation in South Korea’s and Japan’s foreign relations with an intriguing yet so far overlooked case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-201
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • BDS movement
  • East-West Asia relations
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Japan-Israel
  • South Korea-Israel
  • civil society


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