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· The European Union’s massive investments (financial and political) in Middle East peace efforts in the past three decades have failed to produce positive outcomes.

· Relations between Israel and Europe, as reflected in official channels and public opinion polls, reflect unprecedented hostility. From the Israeli perspective, European political officials, NGOs, journalists, and academics are perceived as contributing to the demonization of Israel and Jewish sovereignty.

· The dominant European intellectual and political frameworks reflect a simplistic effort to impose Europe’s experience in conflict resolution onto the Middle East, without examining fundamental differences in history and conditions. The results are counterproductive.

· The evidence indicates that European academics, journalists, and diplomats have generally adopted the Palestinian narrative, focusing on post-1967 symptoms such as “settlements,” and ignoring the core factor of Arab rejectionism of Israeli sovereignty.

· In order to learn from this experience and make the necessary changes towards a more realistic policy, Europe’s academic and diplomatic communities must first examine and debate the underlying assumptions of their Middle East policies.

The European Union’s policies towards Israel, Middle East peace efforts, and the broader Barcelona/Euromed framework have produced very few – if any – successes in the past three decades. On the contrary, the evidence demonstrates that the EU’s approaches and initiatives suffer from a lack of credibility, and relations with Israel are marked by sharp political and ideological confrontation, and boycotts. In a public opinion poll conducted by the EU in 2003, 59 percent of respondents chose Israel as a “threat to world peace,” ahead of Syria, Iran, Libya, and North Korea, and reflecting factors that go far beyond disagreements on policy issues.1

When examined from a realist perspective of individual national or collective European interests, to the degree that these are defined, this history of failure is striking. Stability in the region has not been furthered by these policies, and European power and influence in the Middle East and the Mediterranean remain marginal. Economic and societal interests in stemming the tide of migration into Europe, particularly from North Africa, through promoting economic and political reform in the Southern Mediterranean, have also not succeeded in any measurable or significant manner. Europe’s Middle East policy has failed substantially, as seen in the ease with which policies and public discussions have erased core factors such as security and deterrence from their terms of reference. European policy-makers and analysts appear to ignore the regional threat environment, from Libya and Egypt through Syria, Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

By the same token, to the degree that European foreign policy reflects idealist objectives and lofty principles, such as promotion of human rights and democracy, the record also shows little success. Massive support for the Palestinian Authority has not stemmed corruption or facilitated a transition from conflict to compromise, while special European relations with Syria have not been reflected in the development of tolerance or democracy. In contrast, the exceptionality of Israeli democracy and the very difficult circumstances in which it survives is largely ignored, in striking contrast to the attitudes of the U.S. In addition, European political officials, NGOs, journalists, and academics are perceived as playing a leading role in support for Palestinian objectives, and in the international campaign to delegitimize Israel and Jewish sovereignty.2

In contrast to the policies of transparency that it preaches to others, the EU fails to acknowledge the funds provided to NGOs and other activities that constitute direct intervention in Israeli politics and society, and efforts to influence public opinion. Similarly, despite the billions of Euros for the EMP (Euro-Mediterranean Partnership) framework, there is very little to show for these efforts in terms of economic improvement in the Southern Mediterranean, development of civil society in countries such as Syria, or in CBMs (confidence-building measures).

In the specific case of Syria, the virulent antisemitic statements from Syrian President Bashar Assad and others have increased in this period, while Assad was welcomed warmly in Paris and London.

As detailed in the following analysis, EU foreign and security policies on the Middle East consist primarily of lofty declarations, unquestioned assumptions, flawed analyses, and unrealistic policies. The flood of official statements emanating from Brussels is not matched by substantive action on the ground. From an Israeli perspective, the tone of such declarations has often been perceived as patronizing, paternalistic, and poorly informed.

These failures are compounded by the absence of serious European analysis of its own policies, basic assumptions, and outcomes. For example, in the Challiot Papers series published by the official European Union Institute for Security Studies (formerly under the aegis of the Western European Union), the first analysis of these issues was not published until July 2003, and repeated much of the conventional wisdom rather than presenting an independent and in-depth examination.3 Although this Euro-centric monograph includes (tendentious) analyses of the interests and domestic political factors in U.S. policy-making, there is no attempt to present a similar analysis of the political, economic, and ideological influences that distort European policies in the region.

As long as there is little or no interest in reviewing the core assumptions, policy outcomes, and consequences of the failure of EU policies in the Middle East, little will change.

The EU’s Uncommon Foreign and Security Policy

Despite the collective framework of the EU and the CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy), “Europe still speaks in many voices” on Middle East policy. Member countries and national leaders take independent positions on central issues such as the war in Iraq, Iranian WMD development, and support for terrorism, making it difficult to deal with the “EU,” per se. Given the central role of the U.S. in these issues, the divisions within the EU in support (the UK and Spain) or opposition (France and Germany) to American policy in the region exacerbate the problem.4 France has led a consistently strong pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab position on the Arab-Israel conflict since 1967, reflecting perceived national interests in an alignment with the Arab world.5 In contrast, the German (Joschke Fischer) and British (Tony Blair) leadership display relatively greater understanding of Israeli responses to the threat environment.

Furthermore, the internal structure of the EU adds to the confusion, as the office of Javier Solana (High Representative) and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten battle for position and control. This situation results in inconsistent policies, and unrealistic emphasis on goals that are politically correct and may reflect the conventional wisdom but are unattainable.

One of the strongest elements of EU policy has been the de-emphasis of security dimensions, while stressing the potential for diplomacy to prevent violence. Within post-World War II and post-Cold War Europe, the roles of security and the use of force to protect vital national interests are understandably minimal. Europe often sees itself as a Kantian society, meaning that conflicts are resolved through non-violent discussion and compromise, in contrast to the Hobbesian framework of anarchy and violence. However, in the dominant Western European political culture, a similar approach is applied to the rest of the world, including the Hobbesian Middle East, where force, aggression, and violence are commonly employed in order to achieve political and ideological goals.

This limited conceptual framework is a dominant factor in the conflict with the U.S. over policy in Iraq and on WMD proliferation, including Iran (where EU policy is based on “constructive dialogue” and trade incentives, which continued as the Islamic government acquired missiles and fissile material). Similarly, and in sharp contrast to the U.S., the EU allowed the “political” arm of Hamas and other terror groups to collect funds and engage in other activities while this group was engaged in brutal suicide bombings, repeating the argument that these resources do not find their way into the hands of the “military” wing.6

With respect to Israel, European perspectives and policies generally reflect a strong (and largely unquestioned) belief that military responses to attacks by Palestinian terrorist organizations and groups such as Hizballah are unnecessary and “counterproductive.” In May 2000, when the Israeli military withdrew from the security zone in southern Lebanon that was created in the 1970s to defend Israelis against terror attacks, the EU, under French presidency, pledged to send a strong and effective force to bolster UN troops, disarm Hizballah, and insure stability. In reality, nothing happened on the ground and Hizballah attacks continue, with the potential of triggering a full-scale regional war.

The EU’s discount of “hard” security factors is highlighted in many of the publications of European think-tanks dealing with foreign affairs and diplomacy. For example, the papers and studies on Middle East issues produced by the European Union Institute for Security Studies generally ignore or greatly understate the impact of terror attacks on Israel, the long-range threats to Israeli security and national survival, and the tension in southern Lebanon. Furthermore, the EU’s inability to contribute seriously to establishing and maintaining security, and the European perspective in which peace, security, and deterrence remain largely unconnected, were among the factors that proved counter-productive in the Oslo negotiation process.

Europe’s Narrative and the Peace Process

For over two decades, Europe has made an intensive effort to contribute actively to Middle East peace efforts. Indeed, in addition to the emphasis given to Israeli-Palestinian issues by Javier Solana and Chris Patten, as well as their staffs, every six months the incoming “presidency” of the EU includes yet another high-level visit to the region, photo opportunities, and ambitious policy pronouncements. However, in contrast to the advertised objectives, these activities are often counter-productive, particularly when the decision making process is uninformed and unrealistic.

From the Israeli perspective, these initiatives, and EU policy in general, are widely viewed as projecting a strong anti-Israel bias based on myths of “Palestinian victimization” and Israeli power (“excessive use of force”). This bias is reflected in media distortions, academic boycotts, and government and government-funded NGO campaigns to demonize Israel, as in the UN’s Durban Conference on Racism in 2001.7 The ease with which misleading and inappropriate terms such as “apartheid” and “colonialist” are applied to Israel and Israeli policies, and the degree to which the history of the conflict is distorted or ignored, is a reflection of deep European biases and hostility. The major increases in attacks on Jews and Jewish centers in Europe in the wake of Durban and the highly unbalanced media reports of the conflict in the Middle East and Israeli self-defense actions, such as Operation Defensive Shield, are seen as reflecting a transformation of classical antisemitism into anti-Israel and anti-Zionist policies.8 (In November 2003, the publication of a study of current antisemitism commissioned by the EU was suddenly blocked, apparently due to the stark findings that focused responsibility on European policies.)

EU policy is also strongly criticized on ethical grounds for its “moral equivalence,” in which Israeli actions to protect the lives of its citizens are equated with Palestinian terror.9 In April 2002, immediately after the Passover murder of Israelis in Netanya and other Palestinian attacks, Chris Patten spoke of Israel in very hostile and brutal terms, declaring, “the Israeli defense forces are trampling over the Geneva Convention, and any notion of international law is being torn up.”10

Similarly, the European Council’s December 2002 Declaration on the Middle East (Annex III of the Copenhagen statement) reflected pro-Palestinian terms of reference and anti-Israel biases. The declaration repeated what has become the standard condemnation of Israel for “excessive use of force” and “extra-judicial killings,” and declares (without supporting evidence) that these measures “do not bring security to the Israeli population.” (The sharp decline in casualties from terrorism during 2002 and 2003, which can be seen as a direct result of such Israeli action, is either unrecognized or discounted in these ideological assessments.) Referring to the absence of negotiations in 2001, the EU’s Institute for Security Studies claims, without presenting any evidence, that “the two parties considered that they would have more to gain from acts of violence than from negotiations and agreements.”11

The critiques of European moral inconsistency are reinforced by policies that are pursued in “human rights” forums. For example, under the leadership of Mary Robinson (Ireland), the UN Commission on Human Rights, consisting of 53 member-states including China, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, became one of the leading sources of delegitimation and demonization of Israel. On April 15, 2002, this body adopted yet another anti-Israel resolution on the “Question of the Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Arab Territories, Including Palestine.” In addition to a strong condemnation of Israel, the resolution “affirms the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli occupation.” In the context of the events of 2002, this language provided justification for suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. A number of European states, including Austria, Belgium, and France, voted in favor of this resolution (in contrast to the opposition of the Czech Republic and others).

These biases are reinforced and reflected in the extreme demonization of Ariel Sharon, as reflected in the legal process that took place in Belgium, which weighed his indictment on spurious “war crimes” charges (while Yassir Arafat continues to be viewed as a cultural icon). This deep-seated hostility is also reflected in the leading role of members of the European economic and cultural elite, such as Gretta Duisenberg (wife of the head of the European Central Bank), in virulent anti-Israel political activities that are common throughout Western Europe. After a visit with Arafat, Duisenberg publicly called Israel’s actions “worse than the Nazis,”12 with her actions seen not only as pro-Palestinian but also antisemitic. Demonstrations demonizing Israel have been commonplace in Western European cities for many years, and are increasingly linked with anti-globalization and anti-Americanism.13

This inherent hostility to Israel reinforces the prevailing narrative adopted by much of the European intellectual and diplomatic elite, which generally holds that the Arab-Israeli conflict began in 1967, erasing the history, terror, and wars that came before. This approach has led to the unquestioned assertion that the removal of Israelis settlements and an end to the “occupation” (a return to the situation prior to June 1967) will end Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic rejectionism and violence against Israel, even though these began decades earlier.14

European historical revisionism and the adoption of a policy focusing exclusively on settlements and occupation developed following the 1973 war, and, most importantly, the Arab oil embargo. At that time, the foreign ministers of the European Community issued their first statement calling for “a just and lasting peace” based on “the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.” Henri Simonet (vice-president of the European Commission at the time) noted that this statement “conveyed the implication that, when faced with economic, social and political consequences of a sustained oil embargo, the Nine had chosen the path of appeasement at any price.”15 Since then, few Europeans have been as candid as Simonet. Although oil and other economic interests are as dominant in Europe’s policy considerations as they are for Japan and others, European political leaders and intellectuals hide blatant self-interest behind the language and symbols of morality and human rights.

In further development of this approach, from the Venice Declaration (1980) to the Berlin Declaration (1999), the EU also adopted the Palestinian goal of an externally imposed “solution” to the conflict (threatening to use sanctions or force to gain Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 cease-fire lines, without a negotiated agreement on refugee claims and other key issues). EU officials also press for other means to “internationalize” the conflict, in the form of peacekeepers and external forces.

Recognizing that internationalization requires deeper American involvement, Europeans often discount direct negotiations between Israel and the PA, but, instead, call for “decisive American pressure on Israel,” including restrictions on military aid and other forms of leverage. (In contrast, since Europe provides essentially no support for Israel and has, in many cases, blocked the export of defensive weapons, it also has little leverage.) Such policies anger many Israelis, whose interests and preferences, based on direct daily experience and expressed in a vibrant, democratic, and fully pluralistic framework, are simply ignored by Europe.16

Furthermore, the intensive European involvement and initiatives have failed to contribute to regional peace and security. The EU’s special envoy, Miguel Angel Moratinos, who was the longest-serving envoy in the region until he finally departed in 2003, achieved nothing from his frequent visits with Arafat and discussions with the Palestinian leadership.

In contrast to the formal coordinating framework known as the “Quartet” (the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia), Europe has continued to chart an independent course as well. The EU’s highly visible reaffirmation of Arafat’s position in 2003 was designed primarily to snub the U.S., but its impact was entirely negative and undermined the goal of Palestinian regime change as the first stage in the “Roadmap” process. In response, the U.S. excluded the EU from the Aqaba summit, and Israel reduced the level of its contacts with the EU, refusing to meet with officials who continue to visit Arafat.

At the same time, the EU’s limited engagement with Israeli society, largely filtered through the shattered remnants of the peace movement, has become highly confrontational. The official institutions of the EU have maintained a disproportionate dependence on interpretations and analyses presented by the secular Israeli Left, as well as journalists and academics that are closely associated with this pole of Israeli society. This process has reinforced existing prejudices and misperceptions, and further strained relations with other groups in Israeli society.

The report of the Centre for European Policy Studies provides an illustrative example of European distortion of events and adoption of contentious Palestinian terminology:

Ariel Sharon’s promenade on the al-Aqsa esplanade [note the use of this term and not Temple Mount or even Haram e-Sharif – GMS] on 28 September 2000 dealt the final blow to the moribund Oslo peace process….Israel has carried on expanding settlements contrary to the Oslo agreement [these agreements make no mention of settlements, other than to define them as a permanent status issue – GMS] as well as reoccupying militarily the West Bank….The reoccupation, devastating use of force, curfews, closures, checkpoints, and human rights and humanitarian law violations, are resulting in a rapidly rising number of civilian Palestinian casualties. Furthermore, the infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority is progressively being destroyed, marking a clear reversal in the path towards Palestinian statehood.17

This highly unbalanced and unsupported version of history – on every point – as well as the inherently biased language, reflects the Palestinian narrative, and ignores the impact of Palestinian terrorism on Israelis. The sources cited for this analysis are from the extremist ideological fringe of Israeli society, as well as PA press statements.

The large budgets provided by the EU as well as member states to the Palestinian Authority and to Palestinian NGOs (generally linked to or aligned with the PLO and Arafat) have also been counter-productive in terms of the goals defined by the policy-makers themselves. In contrast to the EU’s emphasis on “Palestinian state-building,” these funds were readily diverted by a corrupt and anti-democratic elite,18 including for the purchase of weapons and explosives.19 Textbooks funded by Europe became vehicles for increased incitement and denial of Israeli legitimacy, thereby undermining the very goals claimed by the EU in hundreds of press statements, email reports, and official declarations.20 EU funding for Palestinian NGOs, particularly through the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), provides a further example of activities that undermined the peace process. The EMHRN has established a reputation for anti-Israel political activity, including calls for suspension of the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel.21

The Moribund Barcelona Process

Similar symptoms are discernable in the approach to the EMP/Barcelona process, on which billions of Euros have been spent since 1995. A broad assessment of this process is beyond the realm of this analysis, particularly with respect to the MEDA program’s central focus on North Africa and the European effort to prevent mass immigration through economic growth and job creation. (MEDA is the principal financial instrument of the European Union for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.)

In this 8-year period, over 300 Euromed Synopses, Reports, and Calendars have been produced (in both English and French).22 Meetings involving up to 35 delegations have taken place at various levels, but beyond the negotiation of bilateral association agreements, this activity has produced little in terms of substance. Indeed, in this area, as in others, the EU has not developed any measurable criteria by which to assess policy outcomes and impact.

The absence of a realistic and credible approach, particularly to the security and socio-cultural dimensions of the EMP, is reflected in the various grand “action plans” that are presented one year and forgotten or rewritten a year later. The tremendous resources spent in the late 1990s on negotiating a “Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Peace and Stability,” intended to “institutionalize political dialogue among partners,” produced nothing, and was the result of blindness to the complex political environment in the region.23 Similarly, plans for establishing crisis prevention and crisis management procedures were unrealistic from the beginning. Nevertheless, this was followed by the ambitious Valencia Action Plan (2002), which was modified extensively in the Crete Declaration (2003), which presented a new grand effort entitled “Guiding Principles of the Dialogue of Cultures and Civilizations.” In addition, this EMP project proposed the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures, and measures for “deepening political and security co-operation, notably against terrorism, improving respect for human rights and democracy, etc.” On 22 May 2003, the European Commission released a declaration on “Reinvigorating European Union Actions on Human Rights and Democratization with Mediterranean Partners,” again reflecting the noble rhetoric and the difficult reality.

Based on the results of the past eight years, the likelihood of any substantive and positive outcome from these very noble intentions must be considered low. The promises of support for civil society (independent of regime and elite manipulation), human rights, free trade, etc. have not been realized in substance. Syrian membership in the EMP has not had any visible impact on support for Palestinian terror groups operating out of Damascus, support for Hizballah, or periodic expressions of antisemitism.

The Negative Impact of the EMP on EU-Israel Relations

The incorporation of Israel into the Barcelona framework has also done serious damage to its already frayed relationship with the EU. Under the bureaucratic framework of the EMP, with its emphasis on reforming civil society, Israeli democracy is often ignored, while EMP and EU-related activities are often viewed in Israel as unacceptable interference with the democratic process. Indeed, from the Israeli perspective, in its policies, Europe fails to make any distinction between a vibrant democracy and the closed and often totalitarian regimes in the Middle East.

This issue is central to understanding the controversy regarding EU funding (usually unreported and lacking in transparency) for groups that are active in Israeli domestic politics. Examples include the Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF) which is closely linked to former MK Yosi Beilin, and Physicians for Human Right-Israel (PHR-I), which receives significant funding from the EU Commission office in Israel as well as the Finnish embassy. Among its other activities, PHR-I uses these funds to produce pamphlets that reflect an extremist political agenda, leading to a rare decision by the Israel Medical Association to end all cooperation.24 When asked to explain the decision to provide funds (in secret) for a politically active housing demolition protest group, whose claims have been refuted in great detail,25 the EU Commission representatives refused to respond. Similarly, the EU and the EMHRN fund radical NGOs in the Israeli-Arab sector that disseminate false allegations of discrimination and human rights abuses regarding Israel.26

Such policies have served to further undermine the credibility and impact of EU policies in Israel. In this area, as well, a thorough analysis and reexamination of the assumptions and policies that constitute the European approach to the region and to the nature of the EMP framework is long overdue.

Recommendations – Towards a Constructive Dialogue and a Positive Role for the EU

Europe, in the form of the EU, NATO, and other collective institutions, is changing, particularly with the addition of Eastern European countries whose recent experience with the reality of totalitarianism under the Soviet Union has resulted in different political perspectives. The former Communist nations and societies have little tolerance for the abuse of human rights principles to pursue unrelated ideological objectives, or for the anti-American assertion of power that is common among some of the major EU powers. Furthermore, there is more understanding of the Israeli realities and greater appreciation of the uniqueness of Israeli democracy. Thus, the expansion of Europe is likely to bring some positive changes in this regard.

In any comprehensive reexamination of policy, it is important for European diplomats, academics, and other analysts to work with a wide range of Israelis, rather than attempting to impose particular perspectives and use these as the basis for policy formation.

The opportunity for change has been presented by the appointment of a new special envoy (Marc Otte from Belgium) to replace Miguel Moratinos, allowing for a new start in relations with Israel, and a review of the failed cliches and myths. In June 2003, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen declared that “The EU is giving high priority to the development of its bilateral relations with Israel,” and mentioned a “positive agenda” and the opening of “new and interesting perspectives regarding the future development of EU-Israel relations.”27 Similarly, Ambassador Gincarlo Chevallard, the European Commission’s representative in Israel, spoke of Israel and the EU as “new neighbors,” not in the geographical sense but in the political sense, marking a sharp change from the tone and substance of his emphasis on “anti-EU feelings” in Israel a few months earlier.28 The inclusion of Israel in the EU’s “wider Europe” initiative in place of the EMP framework would provide the basis for a major improvement in relations.

For its part, the Israeli government has also recognized the importance of reducing tensions and re-establishing a “constructive dialogue” with the EU, and the response from Javier Solana suggests the potential for progress. Prime Minister Sharon’s official and positive visits to Britain and Norway (not a member of the EU) in July 2003 were further indications of a possible transformation in European attitudes. Whether these small steps can be translated into a more realistic, positive, and principled policy vis-a-vis Israel, terrorism, and conflict management efforts remains to be seen.

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1. “Iraq and Peace in the World,” EOS Gallup Europe upon the request of the European Commission, Directorate-General Press and Communication, Opinion Polls, Press Reviews, Europe Direct, November 2003. The poll received extensive coverage in the Israeli media. See Aluf Benn “EU Distances Itself from Poll about an ‘Anti-Peace’ Israel,” Ha’aretz, November 4, 2003; http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opinion/flash/fl151_iraq_full_report.pdf

2. Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Europe’s Moral Attitudes Toward the Holocaust in Light of the Current Defamation of Israel,” Jerusalem Viewpoints no. 475, April 2002, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. See also “Lessons from a Superficial Poll,” editorial, Ha’aretz, November 5, 2003; Douglas Davis, “French Envoy to UK: Israel (‘That Shitty Little Country’) Threatens World Peace,” Jerusalem Post, December 20, 2001.

3. Martin Ortega, ed., The European Union and the Crisis in the Middle East, Challiot Papers no. 62, European Union Institute for Security Studies, July 2003. A shorter study of the Barcelona process, and limited to technical analysis, can be found in Dorothee Schmid, “Optimiser le processus de Barcelone,” Occasional Paper 36, July 2002.

4. Christopher Coker, “Empires in Conflict: The Growing Rift Between Europe and the United States,” RUSI, Whitehall Paper no. 58, 2003; Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (New York: Knopf, 2003).

5. For a critique of the realist analysis of the CFSP, based on competing national interests within the EU, see K. Glarbo, “Wide-Awake Diplomacy: Reconstructing the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union,” Journal of European Public Policy, 6-4, Special Issue 1999.

6. Ran Dagoni, “The Terrorism Business,” Globes, November 7, 2003.

7. Irwin Colter, “Durban’s Troubling Legacy One Year Later: Twisting the Cause of International Human Rights Against the Jewish People,” Jerusalem Issue Brief, vol. 2, no. 5, August 20, 2002; http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief2-5.htm

8. Natan Sharansky, “On Hating the Jews,” Commentary Magazine, November 2003; http://www.commentarymagazine.com/sharansky.html

9. Such “moral equivalence” is reflected in many statements issued by Chris Patten. For example: “while Israel has totally legitimate security concerns, the Palestinians have totally legitimate political concerns,” April 2, 2002; http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/med_mideast/news/ip02_488.htm

10. April 10, 2002; http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/news/patten/sp02_146.htm

11. Ortega, The European Union, p. 9.

12. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/01/14/wduis14.xml

13. Mark Strauss, “Antiglobalism’s Jewish Problem,” Foreign Policy, November-December 2003.

14. “Situation in the Middle East,” speech by Chris Patten to the European Parliament, April 9, 2002; http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/news/patten/sp02_143.htm

15. Henri Simonet, “Energy and the Future of Europe,” Foreign Affairs, 53:3 (April 1975), pp. 450-63, cited by Bernard Wasserstein, “The European Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process” (paper delivered to conference on “Europe, the United States and the Middle East,” Emory University, April 13, 2003).

16. “Lessons from a Superficial Poll,” op. cit.; Isi Leibler, “Wake Up Europe,” Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2003.

17. Michael Emerson and Nathalie Tocci, eds., The Rubik Cube of the Wider Middle East, Centre for European Policy Studies, 2003, p. 23.

18. Caroline B. Glick, “The Peres Center Scandal,” Jerusalem Post, April 26, 2002; Herb Keinon, “B’nai B’rith Charges EU Ignores Palestinian Channel of Aid to Terrorists,” Jerusalem Post, December 26, 2002.

19. Calls by 177 members of the European Parliament for an independent investigation of the EU’s funding were strongly opposed by Chris Patten, and when he was forced to accept an investigation by a 13-member working group, the framework was closed, creating another example of the EU’s anti-transparency practices. The terms of reference also reflected an anti-Israel political agenda, focusing on those bringing the petition, rather than the question of how the aid to the PA was used, and on “Israeli destruction of EU-funded projects” like the airport in Gaza, which was used by the PA to smuggle arms used for terrorism. See Herb Keinon, “B’nai Brith Charges”; “EU Funding to the Palestinian Authority: Commissioner Patten Responds to a letter from Mr. Laschet, MEP Brussels, 21 January 2003 – D(2003)61”; http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/mepp/eufundspa.htm

20. Briefing by Colonel Miri Eisin, IDF Intelligence Officer, April 23, 2002, Jerusalem Media Center, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=11596 ; http://www.pmw.org.il/new/schoolbooks.html

21. “Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN),” NGO Monitor no. 9, May 25, 2003, http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n08/v1n08-1.htm

22. http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/publication.htm

23. Aliboni admits this failure, but his explanations are not subject to empirical analysis based on the available evidence. See Roberto Aliboni, The Charter for Peace and Security in the Mediterranean, seminar on “Euro-Mediterranean Political and Security Partnership,” organized by the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Germany, March 1999.

24. http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n01/v1n01-1.htm

25. Justus Weiner, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2003).

26. The EMHRN website “news provider” for Israel is the Arab Association of Human Rights (HRA). See “Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)”; http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n08/v1n08-1.htm and http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v2n01/v2n01-2.htm

27. Europe in Israel 69, July 2003.

28. “Letter from the Ambassador,” Europe in Israel 69, July 2003.


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Gerald M. Steinberg

Prof. Gerald Steinberg is president of NGO Monitor and professor of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University, where he founded the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation. His research interests include international relations, Middle East diplomacy and security, the politics of human rights and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Israeli politics and arms control.

NGO Monitor was founded following the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban South Africa, where powerful NGOs, claiming to promote human rights, hijacked the principles of morality and international law.  NGO Monitor provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.

In 2013, Professor Steinberg accepted the prestigious Menachem Begin Prize on behalf of NGO Monitor, recognizing its “Efforts exposing the political agenda and ideological basis of humanitarian organizations that use the Discourse of human rights to discredit Israel and to undermine its position among the nations of the world.”

Steinberg is a member of Israel Council of Foreign Affairs; the Israel Higher-Education Council, Committee on Public Policy; advisory board of the Israel Law Review International, the research working group of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), and participates in the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA). He also speaks at a variety of high-level government sessions and academic conferences worldwide.

Publications include “NGOs, Human Rights, and Political Warfare in the Arab-Israel Conflict" (Israel Studies); "The UN, the ICJ and the Separation Barrier: War by Other Means" (Israel Law Review); and Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO Fact-Finding (co-author), Nijhoff, Leiden, 2012.

His op-ed columns have been published in Wall St. Journal (Europe), Financial Times, Ha’aretz,International Herald Tribune, Jerusalem Post, and other publications. He has appeared as a commentator on the BBC, CBC, CNN, and NPR.

Read all stories by Gerald M. Steinberg