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 EU have, in a sense, a "compartmentalized" relationship; a strong economic partnership and a weak political partnership.
"Israel and the EU have... a strong economic partnership and a weak political partnership."
Barring the instances in which the EU threatens the economic relationship on political grounds, the two tracks appear to independently coexist.

Europe has a clear political tilt toward the Arab stance in the Arab—Israeli conflict, despite the fact that under Israel’s Labor Government from 1992-1996 political relations between the parties were warmer. This tendency to adopt Arab negotiating positions is based on a host of historical, political, economic and cultural factors. Although Europe values Israel’s status as a strong, stable, high-tech nation, ultimately the EU has far greater economic, political and cultural interests in the Arab and Muslim world.

Finally, the EU considers the stalemated Arab-Israeli peace process a threat to its Euro-Mediterranean framework. Although the framework is supposed to exist independent of the Arab-Israeli peace process, since Israelis a member of the framework, the Arab states have not been able to keep the Euro-Med process separate from the peace process.

As tensions persist in the Arab-Israeli peace process, there is no doubt that the EU will continue to face Israeli charges of one-sidedness and hostility.

This report was published in August 1998

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2001 Anti-Defamation League