This piece was prepared for a workshop on long-term trends in Palestine held in Amman, Jordan, in September 2014.

Centuries ago, in the stagecoach era, the shotgun messenger would be the person sitting next to the driver and protecting the cargo from bandits. Nowadays, in every plane there is always a captain and a co-pilot; if something happens to the captain, the co-pilot takes over. The same is true when it comes to World Rally Championships; there is always a co-driver responsible for navigating and informing the driver about what lies ahead, where to turn, and what obstacles to expect.

This is the kind of role that the European Union (EU) has played in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent decades: a shotgun messenger, a co-pilot that has sometimes been forced to take over in order to avoid a crash, and a co-driver that has navigated for the driver. At the same time, the role of stagecoach driver, pilot, or rally car driver was given to the United States, which has monopolized the leadership of the process—often called the “peace process.”

Traditionally, the EU has been blamed for its megaphone diplomacy, its inability to speak with one voice, and its position as a payer but not a player. This has been particularly evident when it comes to the EU’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although these arguments have some elements of truth to them, they ignore and underestimate the EU’s role as a co-driver and an actor with a different way of doing things that could potentially have long-term positive effects and change the rules of the game.

The EU’s Contribution to High Politics

Until 1970, the European Community (EC), the precursor to the EU, had not put either the Middle East question or the issue of occupied land on its agenda. The first time this happened was with the 1971 Schuman Declaration. Three years later, the EC for the first time condemned the acquisition of land through force and also spoke out about the need to take into consideration the legitimate rights of the Palestinian population.

This idea was taken further in 1977 when the European Council declared that a solution to the conflict would “be possible only if the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to give effective expression to its national identity is translated into fact, which would take into account the need for a homeland for the Palestinian people.”1

While the ideas of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and their need for a homeland were the first seeds of a two-state solution, the EC laid the basis for a concrete and clear policy toward the conflict and also set the parameters for a future peace process in the 1980 Venice Declaration. Instead of repeating what had already been said, the Venice Declaration went further by rejecting any unilateral initiative that would change the status of Jerusalem, stressing the illegality of Israeli settlements under international law, and calling for Israel’s withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967.

It also urged for the inclusion of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the negotiations, which at the time seemed radical and provoked fierce U.S. and Israeli reactions. Israel, for example, declared that “nothing will remain of the Venice Resolution but its bitter memory. The Resolution calls upon us . . . to include in the peace process the Arab S.S. known as ‘The Palestine Liberation Organization.’ . . . Anyone with a memory will shudder at this, knowing the consequence of the guarantee given to Czechoslovakia in 1938, after the Sudetenland was torn from it, also for the sake of self-determination.”2

Despite this reaction, the inclusion of the PLO became the basis of the Oslo Accords after the U.S.-sponsored Madrid Conference in 1991 failed to make a breakthrough. When the Oslo process began to die due to the lack of a final status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, and as U.S. diplomacy failed to deliver results with the Wye River Memorandum, the EU tried to bring the process back to life with the 1999 Berlin Declaration. This acted as an electric shock. With the declaration, the EU expressed its readiness to recognize a Palestinian state “in due course” and thus kept alive the idea of a two-state solution, which the United States refused to endorse until 2002.

At the height of the second intifada and after several failed U.S.-led attempts to end the conflict (the Camp David and the Taba summits), the Danish EU presidency, acting as a co-driver and offering a route different from that offered by the U.S. administration, drafted a road map that was based on a gradualist approach. It envisioned a final agreement and full Palestinian statehood by the end of 2005.

Following the complexities on the ground that resulted from Hamas’s electoral win in 2006 and the subsequent division between the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and the Fatah-led West Bank in 2007, the United States tried to reengage through the Annapolis Conference. This aimed to establish a Palestinian state by the end of 2008. Yet instead of witnessing the creation of such a state, the international community witnessed Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

During the war the union was unable to speak with one voice. Then French president Nicolas Sarkozy was trying to emerge as a hero who would broker a ceasefire, and the Czech EU presidency was initially stating that Israel’s war was “defensive, not offensive.”3

Frustration with the Israeli government’s settlement expansion policies as well as the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front made the EU try once more to breathe life into the negotiations and the international community’s engagement. The 2009 EU Council conclusions—although not considered something new by EU officials—had a different and more assertive tone underlying the parameters for a future solution to the conflict.

The Middle East Quartet, a grouping of the EU, Russia, the United Nations (UN), and the United States, issued a statement three months later that was heavily influenced by the EU conclusions. More importantly, the conclusions also had a direct influence on the United States, as President Barack Obama in 2011 became the first U.S. president to explicitly mention that the final borders should be based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps.

Yet the EU failed to speak with one voice again in 2012, when the Palestinian Authority (PA) moved to the international arena and requested that the UN upgrade it from “nonmember observer entity” to “nonmember observer state.” This occurred shortly after Operation Pillar of Defense was carried out in Gaza. The UN vote saw a three-way EU split, with the Czech Republic voting against the upgrade while the rest of the EU either abstained or voted in favor.

Despite this, in May of the same year, in some of its most detailed conclusions, the EU Council listed a number of developments on the ground that de facto threatened to make a two-state solution impossible: continued settlement expansion, Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, social and economic developments in Area C of the West Bank, as well as the withholding the transfer of customs and tax revenues to the PA. In the same conclusions, the EU ministers declared that they would “fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation and the bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products.”4

This was taken further in December 2012 when the Council of the EU declared “its commitment to ensure that – in line with international law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”5

The Vicious Cycle of State Building

Following the Oslo Accords, the EU engaged in every aspect of the state-building project conducted in the occupied Palestinian territories, and by exploiting its economic leverage, the EU soon became the PA’s largest donor. The logic behind this involvement was that building Palestinian institutions would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The EU was instrumental in financing the setting up of the newly established Palestinian Authority’s quasi-state institutions by providing over €800 million for their creation in the 1994–1999 period.6

The EU also became actively involved in the working groups that were established in 1993–1994 and then replaced by four strategy groups in 2005 (on the economy, governance, infrastructure, and social development). For example, the union co-chairs the Governance Strategy Group and two of the working groups, and it is one of the main donors for the other three strategy groups. In 1997, the EU got more actively involved in the field of police aid after Germany’s proposal of a program “to support the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to counter terrorist activities emanating from the territories under its control,” which was adopted by the Council of the European Union.7

The breakout of the second intifada in September 2000 was a blow to the state-building project from the Oslo years. Most of the PA’s infrastructure that had been built previously was destroyed by Israel, and most of the EU’s financial assistance shifted from development to humanitarian purposes. The second phase of state building started with the implementation of the road map for peace in 2003. Among other requests, the road map asked the Palestinians to “undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures.”8

While those elections took place in 2006, Hamas’s victory made the EU follow Canada and the United States and freeze its direct aid to the PA. A year later, when a national unity government was formed between Fatah and Hamas after mediation by Saudi Arabia, the EU demonstrated little appetite for engagement unless the government would abide by the three Quartet principles imposed on it.

The West Bank first strategy, initiated by the United States after the Annapolis Conference and pursued by the EU, marked the third phase of the state-building project and was closely linked to then Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad’s state-building plan. The EU “whole-heartedly” supported the plan,9 and almost half of its total financial assistance has been committed since 2008.

Fayyad and his government were widely praised by the international community and the progress was noted by international agencies and actors. Thus in 2011, the International Monetary Fund claimed that the PA is “able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state.”10 The World Bank argued that “if the Palestinian Authority (PA) maintains its performance in institution-building and delivery of public services, it is well-positioned for the establishment of a state at any point in the near future.”11

The UN stated that “in six areas where the UN is most engaged, governmental functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state.”12 Speaking on behalf of the EU, then high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Catherine Ashton declared that “today Palestinian institutions compare favorably with those in established states.”13

Despite these declarations, a Palestinian state never came into being. The limitations of this approach soon became clear: the focus on building institutions made sense only when it was linked to a clearly defined political agenda. All institution-building reforms hit a ceiling in 2011, at which point the process started to fizzle out. The approach of using state building as a means of conflict resolution has clearly exhausted itself.

At the same time, the manner in which all these reforms have taken place is problematic. The Palestinian Authority has become more autocratic, and debates on good governance and the rule of law are at best cosmetic. The Palestinian Legislative Council has not convened since 2007, and as a result, the Palestinians have been governed by emergency governments. All of the laws passed during this period have been passed through presidential decrees issued by a president whose term expired in 2009.

The judiciary still lacks independence, and the entire policy of security sector reform, as Nathan Brown has argued, “is based not simply on de-emphasizing or postponing democracy and human rights but on actively denying them for the present.”14 This has been confirmed by a recent evaluation of the EU’s cooperation with the Palestinian Authority between 2008 and 2013, which argues that “by late 2011 it was becoming clear that building functioning PA institutions did not equate to building democratic good governance.”15

The EU-Israeli Relationship: It’s Complicated

Over the years, EU-Israeli relations have been developed and strengthened through the signing of a number of agreements. Indeed, Israel’s relationship with the EU has been so close that then EU high representative Javier Solana argued in 2009 that Israel had become a “member of the European Union without being a member of the institution.”16 The first trade agreement signed between the European Community and Israel dates back to 1964; in 1970 a new five-year preferential agreement was signed and followed by the 1975 free trade agreement.

In 1995, within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the EU and Israel signed an association agreement that entered into force in 2000 and constitutes the legal framework for their relations. Agreements have been signed on many different fronts, and Israel is the only non-EU country to enjoy full access to the EU’s Framework Programs for Research and Technological Development, including Horizon 2020. All of this means that for Israel, the EU constitutes its first import and trade partner (as a single entity) and the second export partner after the United States.

The road to this special relationship has never been smooth though, and the EU, contrary to the United States, has been more outspoken about Israel’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. And although in theory economic relations between the two actors have been conditioned upon progress in the so-called peace process, in reality the EU has only applied conditionality toward Israel on limited occasions and has generally opted for constructive engagement.

In a number of instances, because of the EU’s failure or unwillingness to apply conditionality to its relations with Israel, it has been blamed for double standards and for conducting business as usual, as well as for being unable to use its economic leverage and to translate its declaratory diplomacy into action. Meanwhile, Israel has traditionally tried to downplay the EU’s role in Middle East peacemaking and has opted for U.S. leadership.

The relationship between the EU and Israel after Operation Cast Lead has become even more complicated. In December 2008, the EU decided not to upgrade relations with Israel. In its conclusions a year later, the EU asserted in a clear and concise manner the parameters on which a future solution to the conflict should be based. The relaunch of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians took place in September 2010 under the guidance of envoy and former U.S. senator George Mitchell, with the aim of reaching a settlement in one year.

The negotiations broke down much earlier than anticipated when the Israeli government decided not to extend its freeze on settlement construction, an issue that the Obama administration had made a centerpiece of its policy toward the conflict.

Enter the Guidelines

The collapse of U.S.-sponsored peace talks stalled the so-called peace process. The negative political context made the EU search for ways to influence the parties and reassert itself as an actor in the conflict. Indeed, based on its 2012 conclusions (which Israel did not take seriously and treated as just another declaration), the EU decided to implement a policy that would distinguish between the territory of the state of Israel prior to the 1967 war and the territories occupied by Israel after the war.

The instrument for the implementation of this policy, which came to be known as the guidelines, went further than just distinguishing between the pre- and post-1967 borders—it specified the inapplicability of EU law in the occupied territories and Israeli settlements. The guidelines prohibit the issuing of grants, funding, prizes, or scholarships unless a settlement-exclusion sentence is included. In other words, EU financial assistance will no longer go to Israeli entities in the occupied territories.

The guidelines cover most areas of cooperation between the EU and Israel such as science, economics, culture, sports, and academia, but they do not cover trade-related issues. What is noteworthy though is that the guidelines are not binding, they only concern the European Commission’s funding and not that of the European Union’s member states (although member states were consulted and a majority approved the guidelines), and last but not least, they have a very limited impact on the Israeli economy.17

Despite this, Israel’s reaction to their publication in July 2013 was disproportionate and hysterical.18 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “we will not accept any external dictates regarding our borders.”19 Members of his government like Economy Minister Naftali Bennett talked of an “economic terror attack,”20 while others like Construction Minister Uri Ariel declared that the guidelines were “reminiscent of boycotts against Jews from over 66 years ago.”21

The guidelines demonstrate the distinctive EU way of doing things. While Netanyahu could rebuff Obama when he insisted on a settlement freeze, the EU’s approach, based on a very legalistic and technical nature, could not be ignored. Moreover, due to the fact that the guidelines concern the EU’s internal functions, they could not be subjected to any kind of negotiation with Israel or any other external actor.

What is more interesting is that in parallel to the guidelines, another key territorial issue was under preparation—the labeling of products originating from Israeli settlements. The effort was personally led by the outgoing EU high representative Catherine Ashton after EU member states such as Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom had already issued similar guidelines to their citizens.

The new labeling regulations were supposed to be enacted by the end of 2013, but they were frozen for two reasons: to avoid jeopardizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiations efforts and because EU officials were “shocked” by the Israeli reaction to the guidelines. Yet following Kerry’s failure to force the parties to reach a framework agreement, and in light of the summer 2014 war in Gaza as well as the Israel’s announcement of a land appropriation of 400 hectares between Bethlehem and Hebron—considered the biggest land grab since the 1980s—it is possible that the EU will soon proceed with the labeling of products.

Legitimizing the State of Israel and Delegitimizing the Occupation

The aim of all these initiatives is twofold: to legitimize the state of Israel within the pre-1967 borders and delegitimize its occupation over the Palestinian territories. The EU has opted for an approach that is very different (but complementary) to U.S. efforts by legalizing the conflict and bringing principles of international law into the diplomatic arena.22 Indeed, one of the mistakes in previous years has been that international law and diplomacy have been treated (mainly by the United States) as two mutually exclusive realms.

At the same time, these EU steps are nothing more than putting in practice all the declarations that for years have stressed that “settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace.”23 The urgency for the adoption of such an approach mainly came from a document prepared by the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem, which focused on Israel’s policies throughout 2012 and acted as a wake-up call to decisionmakers in Brussels. The report bluntly argued that settlement construction is “systematic, deliberate and provocative,” and that “if the EU and its member states won’t accelerate the operationalization and implementation of their declared positions in 2013, the two-state solution will fail.”24

In addition to the guidelines for funding and labeling, more and more EU member states have published their own warnings in recent years urging their citizens to refrain from any kind of economic activity in Israeli settlements or bodies connected to them.25 The EU has also adopted a more affirmative tone in its declarations. In October 2014, for example, the EU characterized the Israeli decisions to approve a plan for new settlement activities in Givat Hamatos and to allow for further settlement expansion in the neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem as a “highly detrimental step.”26 The union warned “that the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on the latter’s engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”

A few days later, the incoming EU high representative, Federica Mogherini, hinted during her hearing at the European Parliament that the EU might use financial “incentives and disincentives” to get Palestine and Israel to restart peace talks.27

The general frustration in European capitals with Israeli settlement expansion policies has been mounting. It led the newly elected Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, to announce in October 2014 that his government intended to formally recognize the state of Palestine, while that same month, a large majority in the British House of Commons voted in favor of a nonbinding motion to recognize the state of Palestine.

While these initiatives are largely symbolic without any practical significance, they send a clear message: the international climate toward the policies of the current Israeli government is changing. As a result, the EU seems to be on track to adopt a reciprocal policy toward Israel. Every time Israel would take a step considered detrimental to the peace process (such as settlement expansion), the EU would respond with a step that would hurt Israel.

The Recent War on Gaza

In the wake of the 2014 war, most attention has shifted to Gaza. While the EU initially failed to respond with a strong voice to the unfolding events, Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, put forward the idea of deploying EU observer missions at border crossings between Gaza and Israel to try and encourage a lasting truce between the two sides. The idea was adopted on July 22 when the EU Council’s conclusions brought new elements of union policy to the fore. The EU characterized Hamas’s firing of rockets as a “criminal and unjustifiable” act, and for the first time it stressed that “all terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.”28

The union also expressed its readiness to reactivate the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in Rafah (which was deployed in 2006 but inactive since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 2007). It was prepared to contribute to security arrangements “that, for Palestinians respect their sovereignty and show that the occupation is over; and, for Israelis, protect their security, prevent the resurgence of terrorism and deal effectively with security threats.”29

A few days later, France, Germany, and the UK proposed their own initiative, which to a large extent supported Israeli demands for the demilitarization of Gaza. The initiative was included in the EU Council’s conclusions in August,30 where it was elaborated how the EU would contribute to movement and access, capacity building, verification, and monitoring, as well as postconflict reconstruction and rehabilitation. The EU declared that it was “ready to support a possible international mechanism endorsed by the UNSC [United Nations Security Council], including through the reactivation and possible extension in scope and mandate of its EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS [the advisory police and rule of law mission active in the West Bank] missions on the ground.” While it is still not clear what the eventual EU role in the security arrangements will be, EU policymakers should take three things into consideration.

First, the EU should avoid falling into the trap of deploying a mission with a strong executive mandate (especially if it is linked to the demilitarization of Gaza) because it would risk being blamed by Israel for any possible failure to ensure that weapons are not being smuggled into Gaza. This would allow Israel to enforce its argument that it cannot trust any third party when it comes to its own security, and it would give justification for hardline security policies, strengthening closure regimes and checkpoints, and not allowing reconstruction materials to enter Gaza.

Second, the EU should deploy a maritime force that could monitor international and Palestinian waters along Gaza to help lift the siege.31 Either as part of reactivating EUBAM Rafah or as a separate Common Security and Defense Policy mission, such a force would be a courageous step for Brussels to ensure Israeli security and Palestinian trade, while advancing a more comprehensive approach to security sector reform. In October 2014, the EU declared that it had started analyzing “the feasibility of a maritime link which could open Gaza to Europe and allow the people of Gaza to unlock their socio-economic potential.”32 This is a step in the right direction and should be pursued as part of a broader policy to help Gaza’s reconstruction.

And third, the EU should make sure that the €450 million pledged during the 2014 Cairo Conference on Palestine: Reconstructing Gaza will not go to waste once again. This money is in addition to the €524 million that the EU has spent on Gaza since the end of the 2009 war. In March 2012, Štefan Füle, then commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhood policy, presented a detailed list of 82 EU-funded projects worth almost €30 million that were destroyed by Israel from 2001 to 2011, among them the Gaza airport and seaport. EU governments should ensure that their taxpayers’ money for the reconstruction of Gaza is not lost for the third time in six years. To put it in French President François Hollande’s words, the EU can no longer be a “bank window” for reconstruction after each war.33

Conclusion

While the prospect of a leading EU position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not realistic at the moment, its role riding shotgun should not be underestimated. The EU has in a number of instances acted as a co-driver that uncovered alternative routes when the driver had lost its direction. The EU, through its actions, has managed in a number of cases to change the dynamics on the ground, even if these changes have had minimal, short-term impacts.

In the long term though, the EU has managed to keep alive—even if only on life support—a diplomatic process based on a two-state solution. While EU actions have not had any revolutionary or severe consequences, they have the potential to evolve policy and lead to a shift from sustaining to resurrecting the peace process.  

Dimitris Bouris is a research fellow at the European Neighborhood Policy Chair at the College of Europe in Natolin, Poland. He is the author of The European Union and Occupied Palestinian Territories: State-Building Without a State, from Routledge in 2014.

Notes

1 European Council, “Presidency Conclusions,” (London, June 30, 1977). http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/854634/london_june_1977__eng_.pdf

2 Meron Medzini, ed., “Resolution of the Heads of Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Council (Venice Declaration),” Israel’s Foreign Policy, Historical Documents, vol. 6, 1979–1980, (Jerusalem, 2001). http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/mfadocuments/yearbook4/pages/100%20resolution%20of%20the%20heads%20of%20government%20and%20mini.aspx.

3 “EU Presidency: Israel Ground Op in Gaza ‘Defensive Not Offensive,’” Reuters and Haaretz, January 3, 2009.http://www.haaretz.com/news/eu-presidency-israel-ground-op-in-gaza-defensive-not-offensive-1.267367.

4 Foreign Affairs Council, “Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process,” (Brussels: Council of the European Union, May 14, 2012). http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/130195.pdf.

5 Foreign Affairs Council, “Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process,” (Brussels: Council of the European Union, December 10, 2012). http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/134140.pdf.

6 Dimitris Bouris, The European Union and Occupied Palestinian Territories: State-Building Without a State, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2014).

7 Council of the European Union, “Joint Action of 29 April 1997 Adopted by the Council on the Basis of Article J.3 of the Treaty on European Union on the Establishment of a European Union Assistance Programme to Support the Palestinian Authority in Its Efforts to Counter Terrorist Activities Emanating From the Territories Under Its Control,” (Luxembourg, April 29, 1997). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:31997E0289.

8 U.S. Department of State, “Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” on the Palestine Liberation Organization’s website, (Washington, DC, April 30, 2003).  http://www.nad-plo.org/etemplate.php?id=61.

9 European External Action Service, “The Sixth Meeting of the PA-EU Joint Committee Forms a Turning Point in Bilateral Relations,” June 30, 2010. http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/westbank/press_corner/all_news/news/2010/20100630_en.htm.

10 International Monetary Fund, “Macroeconomic and Operational Challenges in Countries in Fragile Situations,” approved by Reza Moghadam, (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, June 15, 2011). http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2011/061511a.pdf.

11 The World Bank, “Building the Palestinian State: Sustaining Growth, Institutions, and Service Delivery,” (Washington, DC: The World Bank, April 13, 2011). http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/WBank04-2011_AHLCReport.pdf.

12 United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, “Palestinian State-Building: A Decisive Period,” (Brussels: United Nations, April 13, 2011) http://www.un.org/depts/dpa/qpal/docs/2011%20Helsinki/UNs%20Report%20to%20the%20AHLC%2013_April_2011.pdf

13 Catherine Ashton, “Remarks by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton After the Donor Coordination Group for the Palestine Territories,” (Brussels: United Nations, April 13, 2011). http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/121525.pdf.

14 Nathan J. Brown, “Are Palestinians Building a State?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 2010. http://carnegieendowment.org/files/palestinian_state1.pdf.

15  Joseph Saba et al., “Evaluation of the European Union’s Cooperation With the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Support to the Palestinian People Final Report,” European Commission, vol. 1 (July 2014). http://www.oecd.org/derec/ec/Evaluation-of-EU-Cooperation-with-Palestine-Vol1.pdf

16 Raphael Ahren, “Solana: EU Has Closer Ties to Israel Than Potential Member Croatia,” Haaretz, October 21, 2009. http://www.haaretz.com/news/solana-eu-has-closer-ties-to-israel-than-potential-member-croatia-1.5700#.

17 Sharon Pardo and Yonatan Touval, “The EU and Israel: Much Ado About Love,” Jerusalem Post, December 19, 2013. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-EU-and-Israel-Much-ado-about-love-335610.

18 Dimitris Bouris and Tobias Schumacher, “The EU Becomes Assertive in the Middle East Peace Process,” openDemocracy, July 25, 2013. https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/dimitris-bouris-tobias-schumacher/eu-becomes-assertive-in-middle-east-peace-proce.

19 Herb Keinon, “‘We Will Not Accept Any External Dictates Regarding Our Borders,’” Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2013. http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Netanyahu-slams-new-EU-settlement-directives-320026.

20 Nehemia Shtrasler, “EU Guidelines: A Point of No Return,” Haaretz, July 18, 2013. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.536616.

21 Lahav Harkov and Judy Siegel, “Right-wing MKs: EU Decision Racist, We Will Build More in Settlements,” Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2013. http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Deputy-FM-EU-directive-on-West-Bank-settlements-is-worrying-319966

22 Dimitris Bouris and Nathan J. Brown, “Can the EU Revive the Cause of Middle East Peace?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 29, 2014. http://carnegieendowment.org/2014/05/29/can-eu-revive-cause-of-middle-east-peace/hc03.

23 External Relations Council, “Council Conclusions on Middle East Peace Process,” (Luxembourg: Council of the European Union, June 15, 2009). http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/gena/108500.pdf.

24 European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem, “Report 2012,” published by +972 Magazine, February 27, 2013. http://972mag.com/resource-eu-heads-of-mission-report-on-israeli-settlements/66814/

25 Barak Ravid, “12 More EU Countries Warn Against Trade With Israeli Settlements,” Haaretz, July 3, 2014. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603030

26 European External Action Service, “Statement by the Spokesperson on the Israeli Decision for Settlement Expansion,” (Brussels, October 2, 2014). http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/141002_05_en.pdf.

27 Andrew Rettman, “Mogherini More Hawkish on Russia in EP Hearing,” EUobserver, October 7, 2014. http://euobserver.com/institutional/125933.

28 Foreign Affairs Council, “Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process,” (Brussels: Council of the European Union, July 22, 2014). http://eu-un.europa.eu/articles/en/article_15300_en.htm.

29 Ibid.

30 Foreign Affairs Council, “Council Conclusions on the Middle East (Gaza),” (Brussels: Council of the European Union, August 15, 2014). http://eu-un.europa.eu/articles/en/article_15380_en.htm

31 Dimitris Bouris, “Europe & Building Palestine,” Revolve, accessed December 24, 2014. http://revolve.media/europe-building-palestine/.

32 European External Action Service, “The EU Pledged Today More Than €450 Million Euros for Reconstructing Gaza,” (Brussels, October 12, 2014).  http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/141012_01_en.pdf.

33 “France Says Europe Must Be More Than ‘Bank Window’ in Israel, Palestinian Conflict,” Reuters, August 28, 2014. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/28/uk-mideast-gaza-hollande-idUKKBN0GS17M20140828.