The Europe-Israel Alliance:
Where Politics and Economics Do Not Meet

Europe & Middle East
Israel & EU: Economic Allies
European Platforms on Arab-Israeli Peace
Economic Sanctions
EU & Current Peacemaking

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Israel and the European Union (EU) have an anomalous strategic relationship; they are simultaneously strong economic partners and weak political partners. On the one hand, Europe* is Israel’s largest trading partner and Israel enjoys preferential trading privileges with the European Union. On the other hand,
"...the EU regularly formulates and articulates one-sided political positions toward Israel"
the EU regularly formulates and articulates one-sided political positions toward Israel, particularly with regard to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. At times, the EU has blackmailed Israel with the Israel-EU economic relationship, imposing sanctions and other economic measures against Israel when the EU does not agree with Israeli policies. This analysis examines the economic and political history and current status of Israel’s relationship with the European Union.

* For purposes of this analysis, "Europe" refers to the 16 members of the European Union

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This report was published in August 1998

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2001 Anti-Defamation League