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ELNET (European Leadership Network)

Europe has the capacity to play a central role in the promotion of peace and security in the Middle East—a goal defined by Brussels as a strategic priority. In 2002, the EU, UN, U.S. and Russia formed an alliance "Quartet" represented by former British PM Tony Blair to mediate Middle East peace negotiations. Additionally, with two permanent members at the UN Security Council and 28 votes at the UN General Assembly, the EU is a key player in the adoption of UN resolutions vis-à-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict. As the largest political, economic and military power in the Mediterranean and with its vast diplomatic network and long historical presence in the Middle East, Europe maintains solid relations with many Arab countries as well as with Israel. These relationships can enable Europe to play a pivotal role in bridging parties. Traditionally, European countries contributed to regional stability by sending peacekeeping forces in charge of preventing conflict escalation to the Middle East, for instance in the framework of the UNIFIL II mission, currently operating at the border between Israel and Lebanon.

 

However, more recent disagreements between Israel and Europe over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alongside European critique of Israeli activities have occasionally resulted in Europe being portrayed as an unfair mediator. Therefore Europe has been unable to maximize its role in reconciling the disagreements between Israel and its neighbors.

 

ELNET strongly supports the pursuit of peace through direct negotiations between Israel and its neighbors, as well as European efforts to promote direct talks between the parties involved. ELNET believes that peace efforts would be fostered by a fruitful dialogue between Europe and Israel, which must take into account Israel's legitimate aspirations for security and its political concerns. To this end, ELNET has promoted high-level exchanges between Israel and key European countries on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and hosted dozens of face-to-face meetings between European and Israeli leaders and negotiators involved in the peace process.

From our point of view, a unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state would not move us forward on the way to a two-state solution. The aim should be that both sides agree on a two-state solution - Israel and a future Palestine – co-existing side by side.
Angela Merkel Germany's Chancellor
Articles

Foreign Ministers in Paris: Israelis, Palestinians Must Show 'Genuine Commitment' to Peace, Haaretz, Barak Ravid

 

Netanyahu welcomes Sisi's push for Israeli-Palestinian peace, The Jerusalem Post

 

European Parliament passes motion in favor of Palestine recognition, Haaretz

 

Europe’s Impatience With Israel on Peace Talks Tests U.S. Diplomacy, The New York Times

 

Merkel against unilaterally recognizing Palestine as a state, The Jerusalem Post

 

Council conclusions on the Middle East (Gaza), Foreign Affairs Council meeting, Council of the European Union

 

European Union: Hamas, other Gaza terror groups must disarm, Haaretz, Barak Ravid

 

A War We Didn't Want, Foreign Policy, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Michael Herzog, Former Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defense; Member, FSD, 

 

EU-Israel Relations: Hijacked by Settlements?Jan Techau, Director, Carnegie Europe. Jan Techau participated to the European-Israeli sessions at the 14th Herzliya Conference organized by ELNET and the Forum of Strategic Dialogue (FSD), in cooperation with IDC Herzliya

 

Israel, EU sign Horizon 2020 scientific cooperation agreement, Haaretz

 

EU promises 'unprecedented' aid for Mideast peace, The Associated Press

 

EU’s new policy on Israeli settlements: The full guidelines, Haaretz, Barak Ravid