European-Israeli Relations: Between Confusion and Change

European-Israeli Relations: Between Confusion and Change? reassesses the current interactions between Europe and Israel. It is a sequel to Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss? which was published in spring 2005.

By the end of 2004 the European Union was on the way to greater integration. Its proposed constitution was expected to be ratified. It was anticipated that this would lead to a more powerful Europe.

After the rejection in 2005 of its constitution by France and the Netherlands and the rise in Muslim intimidation and terrorism, the EU has lost part of its self-assuredness and finds itself in a period of confusion and Europessimism.

In Israel, the disengagement from Gaza, the breakup of the political scene, and the armed confrontation in Lebanon have introduced new uncertainties about the future. Also affecting European-Israeli relations are the deepening quagmire in Iraq, the emergence of an explicitly genocidal anti-Semitic regime in Iran, and a Hamas government in the Palestinian territories that has backtracked on previous Palestinian commitments.

The developments of the past two years have made an Israeli-European dialogue more possible and potentially useful to both sides. That is why Israel should invest efforts in it. Another important action Israel should take is to organize its friends in Europe.

In the second part of the book, fifteen interviewees from Europe and Israel discuss European-Israeli relationships in several areas.

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About Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where he founded and directed the Center's Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism program. Dr. Gerstenfeld is an international business and environmental strategist. Dr. Gerstenfeld is the author of many books including Revaluing Italy; Environment and Confusion; Israel's New Future Interviews; The State as Business: Do It Yourself Political Forecasting; Judaism, Environmentalism and the Environment; and The Environment in the Jewish Tradition-A Sustainable World. His latest book, Europe's Crumbling Myths exposes the origins of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism.