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01 Jan 2005

The Widening Gap between Rhetoric and Reality in EU Policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Nathalie Tocci

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Over the decades, the EU’s declaratory diplomacy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict crystallised in its support for a two-state solution and the respect for human rights and international law. Yet a closer look at the EU’s relations with Israel and the Palestinian Authority highlights an increasing divergence between rhetorical goals and conduct in practice. This working paper shows how in the Middle East, the nature of the EU’s credibility problem stems neither from its inadequate instruments nor from its internal divisions. It rather derives from the manner in which the Union has chosen to deploy the instruments at its disposal. The paper then turns to possible ways ahead to achieve greater consistency and credibility in the EU’s role in the region.