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Europe's Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation [Paperback]

by David Cronin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 4, 2011 0745330657 978-0745330655
In carefully crafted official statements, the European Union presents itself as an honest broker in the Middle East. In reality, however, the EU's 27 governments have been engaged in a long process of accommodating Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. Journalist David Cronin interrogates the relationship and its outcomes. A recent agreement for 'more intense, more fruitful, more influential co-operation' between the EU and Israel has meant that Israel has become a member state of the Union in all but name. Cronin shows that rather than using this relationship to encourage Israeli restraint, the EU has legitimised actions such as the ill-treatment of prisoners and the Gaza invasion. Concluding his revealing and shocking account, Cronin calls for a continuation and deepening of international activism and protest to halt the EU's slide into complicity.

Editorial Reviews


It seems to many that Israel is above international law. This important book explores the complex political ties that have prevented European countries from holding Israel to account. It is essential reading for all who care about justice and the rule of law. I hope David Cronin is prepared for the abuse he and his book will incur. All the more reason to buy it, read it and take the discussion forward. -- Ken Loach

About the Author

David Cronin is a journalist specialising in European politics. He has written for a variety of publications, including the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal Europe, European Voice, the Irish Times, the Sunday Tribune and the Inter Press Service.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745330657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745330655
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,490,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Journalist David Cronin has written a most useful book on the EU's complicity with Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

The EU has an association agreement with Israel, giving it trade preferences, and is aiming for `more intense, more fruitful, more influential co-operation'. It is a member of the EU in all but name.

As Javier Solana, then EU foreign policy chief, said in 2009, "Israel, allow me to say, is a member of the European Union without being a member of the institutions. It's a member of all the programmes, it participates in all the programmes."

The UN estimates that half of all foreign aid to Palestinians ends up aiding Israeli companies. The European Commission pays these companies to provide goods and services to Gaza. The other half goes to rebuilding aid projects that the Israelis have destroyed. Between 2001 and 2009, Israeli attacks on occupied territories inflicted 55 million euros' worth of damage on EU-funded infrastructure.

Israel's attack on Gaza (December 2008-January 2009) killed 1,417 Palestinians, including 926 civilians: 497 men, 116 women and 313 children. 10 Israeli soldiers were killed and three civilians. The day after the attack ended, presidents and prime ministers from Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the Czech Republic attended a gala dinner in Jerusalem hosted by Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. As an Israeli official boasted to the Jerusalem Post, "Six world leaders dropped everything to come here and express their support for Israel's security."

Israel, backed by the EU, punished Gaza for its democratic election of Hamas. Israel's brutal blockade has turned Gaza into the world's largest open-air prison.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Alliance must be cancelled September 19, 2013
The United States of America sees itself as an honest broker in the Israel-Palestine conflict. This self-perception could not be further away from the truth. What about the European Union (EU) and its role in the Middle East? Is the EU an honest broker when it comes to Israel's occupation of Palestinian land?

David Cronin, a journalist specializing in European politics, demonstrates in his book that the EU over the years has been accommodating to Israel's illegal occupation. Despite its anti-occupation rhetoric, the EU is, unnoticed by the public, sliding into complicity, writes the author. The EU wears the regard of human rights and the respect of international law like a monstrance in the relationships with other countries, but closes both eyes when it comes to Israel's disregard of both. In his words: "The European Union's cowardice towards Israel is in stark contrast to the robust position it has taken when major atrocities have occurred in other conflicts."

Cronin writes that Europe`s "unholy alliance" with Israel has been forged partly as a result of 9/11. Both singled out Islamic militancy as the common enemy and started fighting against the symptoms. Although, Israel is not a formal member of the EU, in reality however, it is treated like a member state. When Javier Solana, then EU's foreign policy chief, visited Jerusalem in 2009 he admitted that Israel is much closer to the EU than Croatia. "There is no country outside the European continent that has this type of relationship that Israel has with the European Union. Israel, allow me to say, is a member of the European Union without being a member of the institutions. It's a member of all the programmes, it participates in all the programmes.
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