The EU and Israel: At Least on Speaking Terms (INSS)

Shimon Stein and Oded Eran write: The European Union and the Israeli government are divided over the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in the last decade disagreements have intensified to the point of a political rift between the senior echelons of EU institutions and Israel. This disconnect is reflected in the fact that the Association Council – the most senior forum for dialogue between EU members and institutions and countries that are not members but are considered important partners for the EU – has not met in the past decade, although it is supposed to convene every year. However, in their monthly meeting on July 12, 2021, the EU foreign ministers hosted Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, thus signaling a willingness to examine a return to dialogue with Israel. Yet realizing these intentions depends to a large extent, though not exclusively, on a fundamental change in Israel’s approach to the day-to-day problems of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and especially its avoidance of measures that would thwart future implementation of a two-state solution.
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