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JCMS 2010 Volume 48. Number 3. pp.

579616

Normative Power Europe and the State of Israel: An Illegitimate EUtopia?


jcms_2065 579..616

GUY HARPAZ
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

ASAF SHAMIS
City University of New York*

Abstract
This article re-examines the concept of Normative Power. It is viewed here not merely as an abstract concept, but also as part of a complex historical, socio-political and economic context, examined through the prism of non-Europeans, in our case Israelis. By analysing the dominant Israeli approaches towards the EU and its normative apparatus, this article aspires to depict the multifarious and concrete perceptions of Normative Power Europe and to contrast these perceptions with the EU self-perceived and self-portrayed normative view.

Introduction In recent years the EU has intensied its efforts to become what is elusively termed a Normative Power. Internally, the EU utilizes common European values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the peaceful solution of international disputes to buttress its identity and enhance its legitimacy as a socio-political entity. Such enhanced legitimacy is used, in turn, as an impetus for further integration (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002, p. 767).
* The term EUtopia is borrowed from Nicoladis and Howse, 2002. We are grateful to Emanuel Adler, Arie Reich, Alfred Tovias, Lior Herman, Nellie Munin, Dian Shalem, Hila Elroy and Evgeny Finkel for their comments on very early drafts of this article, for the comments of the two anonymous reviewers and for the generous support given by the EU under the aegis of the Jean Monnet Action and by the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The usual caveat applies.
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Externally, the EU (as well as many of its Member States) has in recent years intensied its efforts to become a signicant player across the world, grounding such agenda on, inter alia, normative foundations. For that purpose the EU attempts to spread its core values within its vicinity and beyond, calling upon its neighbours and trading partners to commit themselves to its normative agenda (see Whitman, 1998; Gardner-Feldman, 1999; Van Ham, 2001; Manners, 2002; Adler and Crawford, 2004; Youngs, 2004; Scheipers and Sicurelli, 2007, p. 436; Dunne, 2008). Consequently, Normative Power Europe has become a central theme in the disciplines of European integration and IR. Most of the scholarship on this theme is both Eurocentric and abstract. As such, the academic discourse fails to ascribe appropriate weight to the manner in which Normative Power is perceived by the non-European and to the actual political predicaments that the European Normative agenda creates, examined from that same perspective (but see Lucarelli, 2007). This article aspires to contribute to existing literature by examining Normative Power Europe through the prism of the other, adding the much-needed concrete political dimension to the lively theoretical discourse. More specically, by considering Normative Power Europe through an Israeli prism, this article attempts to: (i) depict the multifarious and concrete views of Normative Power Europe; (ii) contrast these views with the manner in which the EU perceives itself and portrays itself; (iii) question, within the EUIsraeli context, the assumed theoretical link between Normative Power and legitimacy; (iv) link the issues of external legitimacy and effectiveness, arguing, against the backdrop of the above analysis, that Normative Europe Power in its contemporary form, might bring about an external legitimacy decit and a resultant impediment to the EUs norms-advancement agenda; and (v) offer means to enhance the effet utile of Normative Power Europe. The thesis of this article is developed as follows. We begin by introducing the articles theoretical apparatus, conceptualizing and theorizing Normative Power Europe. We then analyse the evolution of EEC/EC/EUIsraeli relations, indicating their material and normative elements. We subsequently expose the dominant Israeli approaches to Normative Power Europe, namely Historical Europe, Political Europe and Economic Europe. Drawing on these diverse approaches, we demonstrate that Normative Power Europe has in certain ways been a cause of Europes external legitimacy decit, especially when there is a gap between the manner in which the EU perceives and portrays Normative Power Europe and the manner in which it is perceived by the other. We proceed by linking that legitimacy decit with the ineffectiveness of some of the EUs Middle East actions and policies. We conclude by calling on the EU to develop a more cautious, self-reective notion of
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Normative Power Europe, backed by a shrewd use of instruments of positive and negative conditionality. A methodological caveat is in order. The EU is not a unitary entity and the Israeli society is complex and varied. It is therefore difcult to draw the precise image of the EU in Israel. Such image may differ along socioeconomic, religious or national-ethnical lines and vary from one context to the other (for example, the Israeli political establishment, the Israeli bureaucracy, socio-political elite, the media, organized civil society or the Israeli masses). Moreover, existing high-quality, primary empirical work on the EUs image in Israel is scarce and mainly one-dimensional (see Sadeh, 2007, interviewing public ofcials and Dror and Pardo, 2006, relying on a public poll. But see Pardo, 2009, for a wider perspective). The picture painted in this article, which focuses primarily on Israels political establishment and socio-political elite, is based on the other hand on multiple sources, including a close examination of political statements, the Israeli press, public polls, media coverage, secondary scholarly sources and experience in teaching thousands of Israeli students in numerous Israeli academic institutions. The ndings of this article apply to the EUIsraeli context and yet they may be seen as part of a wider academic approach: the other does and should matter in the disciplines of European integration and IR (see Lucarelli, 2007, p. 257; Neumann, 1996). Further research is thus called for to examine the interface between the EUs normative agenda, its external legitimacy and the effectiveness of its external policies, vis--vis other countries and regions, building on recent relevant scholarship (Theophanous, 2004; Hettne and Sderbaum, 2005; Men, 2006; Scheipers and Sicurelli, 2007, p. 436). I. Normative Power Europe The culturally, linguistically, legally and economically diverse nations of Europe have a long history of armed conict. Their ambitious attempt at peaceful integration under a separate legal order was rst seen in the creation of the EEC, followed by the EC and the EU. The achievement of peace, stability, political moderation and protection of human rights in a region that had experienced wars, nationalist divisions, Nazism and Fascism, is a transformation from which the EU can derive justiable satisfaction. Since the early 1990s the EU has been striving to export its successful model of peace through democracy and of democratization through trade (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002, p. 768) to other parts of the world, thereby extending its sphere of economic and normative inuence (Whitman, 1998;
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Nicoladis and Howse, 2002; Manners, 2002; Aoun, 2003, p. 299; Lavenex, 2004) and increasing the geographical scope of its peace community (Gardner-Feldman, 1999, p. 77). For that purpose the EU has positioned itself, as Duchne predicted as early as 1973, as a Normative Power, advancing civilian values through reliance on, inter alia, soft power instruments: Europe as a whole could well become the rst example in history of a major center of the balance of power becoming in the era of its decline not a colonized victim but an exemplar of a new stage in political civilization. The European community in particular would have a chance to demonstrate the inuence which can be wielded by a large political co-operative formed to exert essentially civilian forms of power (Duchne, 1973, p. 19; see also Kagan, 2002; Manners, 2002). The concepts of Normative Power, Civilian Power and Soft Power captured the attention of Duchne (1973), Whitman (1998), Kagan (2002), Manners (2002), Nye (2004), Scheipers and Sicurelli (2007), Nicoladis and Howse (2002), Brzel and Risse (2009) and others.1 The concept of Normative Power refers to the ability to exert power over opinion (Manners, 2002, p. 239.) It pertains, in the European internal context, to the EUs ability to ground its integration agenda in a distinctive normative foundation (peace through economic integration and the pursuance of democracy, human rights, environmental protection, etc.). Externally, this concept relates to the EUs attempts to export that normative European Model elsewhere. In the words of Manners, Normative Power Europe embodies an attempt to suggest that not only is the EU constructed on a normative basis, but more importantly that this predisposes it to act in a normative way in world politics (Manners, 2002, p. 252). Such a normative basis places heavy emphasis on the formulation and promotion of advanced, common civilian values, which enjoy a pivotal position in EU foreign relations (Leino, 2008, p. 262) and which lead some scholars to treat the EU as a Civilian Power. As a Normative, Civilian Power, the EU relies on soft power instruments (Nye, 2004, pp. 7583). These instruments, which rest on cultural and political values and foreign policies (Nye, 2004; Duchne, 1973, pp. 1920), enable the EU to obtain at times what it wishes through attraction, as opposed to force, coercion or payment (Nye, 2004). Such reliance is based on the assumption that In the twenty-rst century, the vectors of soft power and legitimate power are far more effective levers for obtaining outcomes than the threat or use of force (Dunne, 2008, p. 14). Despite certain recent attempts on
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See Nicoladis and Howse (2002, p. 770) who argued that the ambivalence of this concept accounts for both its longevity and its contestation. First, civilian power was both descriptive and prescriptive. Second, it could refer alternatively to means or ends civilian as civil (non-military) and as civilizing.

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the part of the EU to gain hard powers (Brzel and Risse, 2009), these EU normative aspirations and the reliance on soft, civilian instruments, are still central to the EU internal and external ethos, as evident in the (rejected) Constitutional Treaty2 and in the Lisbon Reform Treaty.3 Nevertheless, European IR scholars are at odds regarding the motives behind the EUs normative agenda. At the risk of over-simplication, Normative Power Europe may be theorized along either Realist, rational, self-interest, material-based and hegemonic lines or along Constructivist, normative, value-based lines. According to the Realist rationale, Normative Power Europe is an effective strategy to meet the EUs hard-power decit, and is utilized to promote Europes material interests, be it economic or geo-strategic: Their [European] tactics, like their goals, are the tactics of the weak. They hope to constrain American power without wielding power themselves [. . .] they want to control the behemoth by appealing to its conscience (Kagan, 2002, p. 7; for the EUs hard power decit, see Aoun, 2003). A competing Constructivist school of thought focuses on the normative, value-based aspects of such a normative agenda, treating them as part of the EUs attempt to formulate its own common internal and external sociopolitical identity, to project its values and to advance its own legitimacy beyond its borders. Indeed, through the 1990s a growing number of scholars focused on Europes normative stance in world politics as a primary source of a European constructed supranational identity (see Diez, 1999; Nicoladis and Howse, 2002; Scheipers and Sicurelli, 2007). This scholarly focus has been very much inuenced by the Constructivist Turn in the IR discipline (Price and Reus-Smit, 1998, p. 263), which redirected the theoretical spotlight from traditional Realist-materialist factors to more normative and ideational ones.4 Constructivist literature views norm exportation as an endogenous,
2

According to the rejected Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, O.J. 2004/C 310/01, 16 December 2004, Article I-2. These values are declared to be common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail. The same document asserts that in its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests. It shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter, O.J. 2004/C 310/01, 16 December 2004, Article I-3. 3 See Article 21 EU of the Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union, at http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:0013:0045:EN:PDF. 4 See Buzan and Little (2001, p. 21), The ending of the Cold War saw an explosion of interest in sociological questions of identity, and in legal questions of human rights.
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identity-forming process that may lead to transnational convergence of collective values, identities and interests of non-EU countries alongside those of the EU, while formulating and reinforcing the EUs own identity and legitimacy.5 Different perspectives can be identied within this school of thought. The Utilitarians, for example, contend that while military actions tend to divide Europe, human rights and environmental issues are a source of common European identity (Keohane, 2002, p. 744), while scholars subscribing to the critical-discursive approach perceive Normative Power Europe as a means to turn third parties into others, thereby representing the EU as a positive force (Diez, 2005, p. 613). Constructivism may also perceive normative power as an instrument utilized to socially construct an expanding pluralistic, security community (Adler and Crawford, 2004, p. 13). Whatever differences may exist among these and other different Constructivist perceptions, it may be safely argued that they all subscribe to the argument that core European values may serve as a fulcrum for the process of European integration (Manners, 2002, p. 242). Thus within the EU a link is assumed between normative agenda, enhanced legitimacy and further sociopolitical and economic integration. More recent scholarship strives to reconcile the Realist and Constructivist schools of thought in an attempt to examine the compatibility and commensurability of the normative, sociological and the self-interest perspectives of Normative Power Europe (Youngs, 2004). In fact, the European Security Strategy considers global responsibilities and ethical foreign policy as satisfying both the EUs normative and material (security) concerns.6 The attempt to reconcile that duality of materialistic and normative motives is also relevant to EUIsraeli relations, to be discussed in the next two sections. II. The EU and Israel: An Historical Overview As early as 1959, Israel and the European Economic Community (EEC) established full diplomatic relations and the ArabIsraeli conict was one of the rst themes addressed under the framework of the European Political Co-operation (for further analysis, see Aoun, 2003, p. 289; Shachor-Landau, 1994; Reich, 1997). Yet during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s the EEC, then a tyro in global politics, was only a marginal player in the Middle East, having a limited impact on major geo-political regional events including, in particular, the Camp David Peace Process, which resulted in the 1979
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See, for example, Manners (2002); Gardner-Feldman (1999); Adler and Crawford (2004); Whitman (1998). European Council, A Secure Europe in a Better World: European Security Strategy, European Council Meeting in Brussels, 12 December 2003, as analysed by Lucarelli (2007, pp. 2501).

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IsraeliEgyptian Peace Treaty. EECIsraeli relations were thus mainly economic and trade-oriented (see Reich, 1997) with no discernible normative dimension. In an attempt to alter this state of affairs, in 1980 the nine EEC Member States produced the Venice Declaration, which recognized the right of the Palestinians, represented by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), to self-determination, called for the return of Territories that had come under Israels occupation in the wake of the Six Day War (1967) and asserted that Europe must play a special role in that respect (The Venice Declaration, 1980). It will be argued below that the normative grounding of the Venice Declaration aggravated negative Israeli perceptions of Europe, thereby expanding Europes legitimacy decit in the eyes of Israel and undermining its normative status. Indeed, the impact of the EEC in the Middle East during these years was barely felt (Aoun, 2003, pp. 289, 297). In the early 1990s the EU attempted to assume an increasingly active political role in the Middle East.7 The historic breakthrough between Israel and the PLO that came in 1993 in the course of yet another major Middle East process, on which the EU had no initial impact, provided further impetus for intensied involvement of the EU in the Middle East. Such involvement took place both bilaterally and regionally. Bilaterally, during the Essen European Council of December 1994, the European Council expressed its willingness to establish special relations with Israel, declaring that it considers that Israel, on account of its high level of economic development, should enjoy special status in the relations with the European Union.8 The Association Agreement between the EC and its Member States and the State of Israel followed suit in 1995.9 The Association Agreement was chiey aimed at advancing reciprocal trade and economic interests, yet it also promoted a political agenda,10 and was explicitly grounded in the commitment to respect for human rights and democratic principles, which were dened as essential element of it.11 Regionally, the European Mediterranean Policy (EMP) (known as the Barcelona Process) was launched in 1995 with a view to formulating an EU regional framework for governing EuroMediterranean relations and to
7

Due, inter alia, to the termination of the cold war, to the adoption of the common foreign and security policy and to the EUs desire to translate economic might into political inuence. 8 See Commission of the European Union, Extracts of the Conclusion of the Presidency of the Essen European Council, 910 December, 1994, Bulletin of the European Union, Supplement 2/95. 9 Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, on the one part, and the State of Israel, on the other part, Ofcial Journal L 147, June 21, 2000, p. 0003-0171. For analysis, see especially, Munin (2003, pp. 145226); Reich (1997, pp. 398403). 10 See Articles 1 and 35 of the Association Agreement. 11 Article 2 of the Association Agreement.
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regulating economic, political and social relations between the EC (and its Member States) and the non-EU Mediterranean countries.12 The Barcelona Process was designed to create a common Euro-Med area of peace and stability and of shared prosperity, which would bring the peoples of the region closer together.13 The ambitious normative agenda of the Barcelona Process raised high expectations, leading Adler and Crawford to consider it as a laboratory where one of the most outstanding experiments in international relations may have started to take place. We are referring to the invention of a region that does not yet exist and to the social engineering of a regional identity that rests neither on blood, nor religion, but on civil society, voluntary networks and civic beliefs (Adler and Crawford, 2004, p. 23). Thus the Barcelona Process may be seen as an external manifestation of Normative Power Europe. However, its accomplishments have been rather modest,14 leading to the more recent launch of the Union for the Mediterranean.15 One may already contend that contrary to the value-laden Barcelona Process, the Union for the Mediterranean is based on a more concrete economic, environmental and educational agenda. The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), launched in 2003, was designed to link the EUs aforesaid regional and bilateral initiatives. The ENP serves to develop closer and more coherent economic, political and social relations between the EU and all of the Unions neighbours, in the Middle East (including the State of Israel), North Africa and Europe that currently have no prospect of membership in the EU. It is designed to integrate the economies of the neighbouring countries, to an extent yet to be determined, with the enlarged EU, in order to contribute to increased stability, security and prosperity for the EU and its neighbours. Compared with the EMP, the ENP manifested a more bilateral, tailor-made approach, which addressed each neighbouring country individually, while maintaining, at least formally, a regional framework. Although the Action Plans signed by the EU and the Mediterranean countries under the aegis of the ENP still maintain the normative terminology, the ENP framework seems to be less ambitious, as compared with the Barcelona Process, in reference to norm-advancement, institution-building and attaining a European-sponsored peaceful Middle East.
12 See Barcelona Declaration adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference, 2728 November 1995, Barcelona, 28 November 1995, nal version. 13 The Preamble to the Barcelona Declaration states that the parties are convinced that the general objective of turning the Mediterranean basin into an area of dialogue, exchange and co-operation guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity requires a strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights, sustainable and balanced economic and social development. The parties indeed undertook to develop the rule of law and democracy . . . to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. 14 For analysis, see, for example, Aoun (2003); Asseburg (2003); Bobitski (2008). 15 For analysis, see Emerson (2008); Gillespie (2008).

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The EUIsraeli Association Agreement, the Barcelona Process, the ENP, like other bilateral and regional instruments mentioned above, are all manifestations of the EUs attempt to increase its actorness and to advance its material interests in the Middle East. As such, they may be explained along Realist theoretical lines. Alternatively, these policy frameworks may also be seen as a means of crystallizing the EUs identity as a regional normative actor and as such they may be explained along Constructivist theoretical lines. The achievements of the EU on the normative front have, however, been modest, especially in the Middle East and vis--vis the State of Israel, evoking scholarly linkage between the EUs external legitimacy and effectiveness (see, for example, Harpaz, 2007). The concept of legitimacy has been extensively examined in the EU context (Eriksen and Fossum, 2004; Hansen and Williams, 1999; Horeth, 1999). Sufce to say that legitimacy may be seen as a normative belief that a rule or institution should be obeyed, not due to coercion or self-interest, but due to its inherent normative strength (Steffek, 2003, p. 252; Hurd, 1999, pp. 379, 381, 287; Franck, 1990), being perceived as desirable, proper or appropriate within a socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs and denitions (Suchman, 1995, p. 574). As argued above, inward-looking European scholarship to a large extent assumes a link between normative power and legitimacy. This is not necessarily the case with respect to the EUs external activities: while the EU is today both capable and willing to do good, many of its actions appear ineffective, badly justied or simply arrogant and ought to be re-evaluated (Leino, 2008, p. 288). This perception of Normative Power Europe is particularly prevalent from outside the EU, and especially through the Israeli prism. The next section will thus analyse the dominant views on Normative Power Europe held in Israel with a view to better understanding the dissonance between the EUs selfperceived and self-portrayed normative image and its image as perceived by the other, and the dissonance between the EU normative attempts (and resultant expectations) and its achievements. III. Normative Power Europe An Israeli Perspective The scholarship on contemporary Israeli approaches towards the EU reveals a somewhat oversimplied account: EU and its Member States are perceived as illegitimate political brokers (for early writings, see Greilsammer and Weiler, 1988). Actually, one of the authors of this article asserted that there is an Israeli negative Pavlovian reaction towards most forms of European
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intervention, based on a widespread Israeli narrative that in their Middle East activities, the EU and most of its Member States are simply unbalanced and anti-Israeli, hence they cannot serve as legitimate brokers (Harpaz, 2007. See also Kas and Pardo, 2007, p. 17 who conducted a public poll of 511 Israelis and found that close to 70 per cent of them perceived EU involvement in the peace process as detrimental to the peace process). In this section we revisit this theme, in light of major recent Middle East events in which the EU pursued an active role, in an attempt to provide more nuanced and pluralistic Israeli images of Normative Europe, unravelling three different approaches, namely the Historical Approach, the Political Approach and the Economic Approach. Historical Europe To understand the roots of Israels approach to Normative Power Europe, it is useful to recognize that contemporary Israeli perceptions are strongly rooted in the long and complex history of Europe and of European Jewry. Israels historical approach towards Normative Europe can be characterized as oscillating between feelings of admiration and of belonging and those of bitter cynicism and resentment. Such ambivalence is articulated in a monograph published by Reinhartz and Shavit under the title: Glorious, Accursed Europe: An Essay on Jews, Israelis, Europe and Western Culture: for the past two hundred years, there has been a complex relationship between Jews and Europe. On the Jewish side, on the one hand, there is an attraction, an admiration and a deep love for Europe. European culture is perceived as the acme of human culture [. . .] On the other hand, Europe is also perceived in Jewish collective memory as damned and accursed; it is seen as decadent, corrupt and monstrous [. . .] Europe is the place where Jews were slaughtered and all Europeans are to blame, in one way or another (Reinhartz and Shavit, 2006, p. 14, authors translation from Hebrew). European inuence on Israeli nationality was substantial (Ben Israel, 2003, p. 31) and Zionism as a secular ideology is deeply rooted in 19thcentury European political and social thought. Many Israelis favourably acknowledge these intimate historical ties between Israel and Europe. This positive historical experience forged cultural commonality and afnity for Europe, and that afnity is very much evident in daily life in Israel, while European heritage and culture strongly affect Israeli mores. The close cultural ties, which are fostered and reinforced by several cultural European institutes based in Israel, such as the Goethe Institute, Adenauer Shtiftung, the British Council and Alliance Franaise, further strengthen the we feeling
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that prevails amongst many Israelis towards Europe as a normative, regional actor.16 In the words of Duchne, Israel can never be wholly foreign to [. . .] Europeans [. . .] Jews are so much part of the fabric of European history and contemporary life that relations with Israel, must, in some sense, be an extension of folk memories on both sides (Duchne, 1988, p. 11). Thus, the positive dimension of that ambivalent approach has a salutary inuence on contemporary Israeli attitudes towards Normative Power Europe. Per contra, the memory of Jewish persecution and anti-Semitism in Europe has a negative inuence on Israeli attitudes towards Normative Power Europe. In Israeli eyes, events such as the Dreyfus Affair, the Exodus tragedy and, most of all, the Holocaust, are not mere relics of the past, but are primary moral and historical catalysts for the very foundation of the State of Israel. Avraham Burg, former chairperson of the Jewish Agency and Knesset chairman wrote, in his controversial book Victory Over Hitler: The Holocaust is still the principal formative experience of the Jewish public, everywhere in the world [. . .] The dramatic proximity between 1945 [the end of World War II] and 1948 [the foundation of the State of Israel], the years of grief alongside the utopian years, the depressing years alongside the ecstatic years [. . .] these melting years had turned the two colossal events, the extermination of European Jewry and the foundation of the State of Israel, to one whole and inseparable entity (Burg, 2007, pp. 72, 120, authors translation from Hebrew). The Euro-Jewish historical experience does not cease to be relevant with the creation of the State of Israel. Ever since its establishment, such experience had served as a constitutive role in shaping Israels collective identity and memory.17 More specically, such experience impacted Israeli foreign and security policies and the formation of a strong nationalist sentiment. The virtual extinction of European Jewry during World War II generated what some may call an anxiety complex that still inuences Israeli foreign and security

16 See the address of the former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom before the EU Council of Ministers in July 2003: Israel and Europe share a common cultural and social heritage, similar values [. . .] Our close geographic proximity [. . .] and shared commitment to democratic values and institutions all combine to create a fundamental unity of purpose between us. These shared foundations are more profound and lasting than any specic policy differences (Shalom, 2003a). 17 This strong link between Europes historically evil deeds and contemporary Israels perceptions and collective identity is evident, for example, in the address delivered by the former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert at the Opening Ceremony of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day: A Jew who steps on European soil feels an invisible cloud in the depth of his soul. Under his feet are the traces of a culturally-rich Jewish presence with remarkable heritage, which was wiped out in an instant. Above him are skies tainted by ineradicable smoke. A warning and indictment hangs in the air, with only one word written on it: Remember! (Olmert, 2006a).

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policies (see Levite, 1989; Landau, 2003).18 Israels willingness (or unwillingness) to compromise with regard to its borders, its pursuance of the nuclear project, like its pre-emptive attack on Egypt in 1967, may all be seen as cases in point. This link between the Jewish-European past and present Israeli policies comes up again and again in Israeli public discourse on Europe, casting a shadow over contemporary IsraeliEuropean relations and over Israels willingness to allow the EU to contribute constructively to the Middle East in political terms.19 For most Israelis, critical European policies towards Israelis are perceived as preaching by those disqualied from preaching, in the light of their past. This link between the past and the present affects even the most ardent supporters of the EUs normative agenda and of its role as a Middle East mediator: European mediation is probably the best key to opening the Middle East gridlock. But do Prodi, his colleagues in Brussels and the European public, have the slightest idea of the bitterness they arouse in Israeli public opinion? Of the long-harboured fear, mistrust and even hate that Europes icy silence, mounting hostility, lack of intercultural dialogue has bred among historically-minded Israelis? The new united Europe has never come to terms with its collective past and with its collective responsibility for the Middle East conict. It has made no public attempt to reckon with a millennium of Jewish European life, now dead and gone. It has not addressed the brutal memories that haunt so many individuals in the Middle East (Oz-Salzberger, 2001). Consequently, and as will be demonstrated in the next section, the EUs reliance on such values as human rights, peace, liberty and respect for public international law as rationales for Europes foreign policies and for the EUs call upon Israel to adopt territorial compromises is perceived at times in Israel as duplicitous, threatening and illegitimate, thereby causing Europe to be discredited as a normative player.

18 The Holocaust experience has a clear impact on what Ariel Levite calls Israeli Offensive-Defensive Policy which embodies two main principles, deterrence and self-reliance (Levite, 1989). As Burg cynically noted: A state that lives by the sword and worships its dead is doomed, it transpires, to live in a state of permanent emergency. Because everyone is a Nazi, everyone is a German, everyone is an Arab, everyone hates us and the world has always been against us (Burg, 2007, p. 52, authors own translation from Hebrew). 19 It is worth citing Abba Ebans denition of the 1967 border as the Auschwitz border. The words of Prime Minister Begin at the beginning of the rst Lebanon War in 1982 are telling as well: Do you know what I have done and what we have all done to avoid war and bereavement, but it is our fate that in the Land of Israel there is no alternative other than to ght with perseverance. Believe me that the alternative is Treblinka and we have decided that there will not be another Treblinka, quoted in Burg (2007, pp. 44, 97), as translated from Hebrew by the authors.

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Political Europe The EU and the State of Israel hold in many instances different perceptions of nationalism, sovereignty, security, territory, borders and the appropriate means to settle ethnical and territorial disputes. These different perceptions render it more difcult for the Israeli political establishment and society at large to comprehend the EUs political interventions, let alone welcome them.20 Moreover, some central elements which grant the EUs normative agenda its aura of legitimacy when viewed by the EU are either irrelevant or counterproductive when viewed by Israel. Humanitarian aid, the ght against global poverty, sustainable development and environmental protection are central in the EUs normative discourse but are not so in Israels public discourse. Another component of the EUs normative persona is its reliance on multilateralism, international law and international institutions and its ambition to counter-balance the US hegemony. These elements are, however, negatively viewed by most Israelis, due to Israels traditional suspicious approach towards international law and institutions and due to Israels heavy reliance on the US (compare with Poletti, 2007, p. 284, with respect to Brazilian approaches to the EU and with Peruzzi et al., 2007, p. 321, with respect to Chineses approaches to the EU). This state of affairs, in turn, makes it difcult for most Israelis to fully understand the heavy reliance of the EU on civilian, peaceful means to tackle conicts over territories and security and to want to imitate the European normative model.21 As demonstrated elsewhere, these obstacles to appreciating and welcoming the European normative model have also permeated the Israeli judiciary (Harpaz, 2007, pp. 1034). It was evident, for example, in the proceedings conducted before the Israeli Supreme Court regarding the legality of controversial legislation that denied the automatic right to Israeli nationality to the Palestinian spouses, residing in the West Bank Territories, of
20 See, for example, Del Sarto, 1999, p. 62: Israelis may nd some difculties in assessing the concept of national identity prevailing in Europe [. . .] The widespread irrelevance of religious narratives for the denitions of national identities, the importance attached to the civic notion of citizenship, the relevance of cultural homogeneity, the perceived threat of mass immigration, the existence of somewhat hybrid and overarching European identity along with obvious absence of a European people these features of collective identity in Europe may be deeply puzzling for Israelis. 21 The words of the previous Head of the EC Commission Delegation to Israel, Ambassador Chevallard, are telling: The young Israeli state, born out of two thousand years of Diaspora and continuously faced with external threats, has naturally been grounded on strong nationalistic feelings. The pursuit of almost total self-reliance, the practice of exclusive sovereignty, the importance given to land and the control of borders, as well as to military rather than civilian components of security are core principles of the State of Israel. The European countries have, on the contrary, developed the EU to make those very principles obsolete, by pooling national sovereignties, abolishing borders and establishing the EU as a civilian rather than a military world player (Chevallard, 2003, p. 13).

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Israeli-Palestinians, through marriage.22 The majority of the Supreme Court held that the legislation was constitutional, basing its decision on security grounds. Deputy President, Justice Cheshin, leading the majority, referred to European and other international human rights-laden norms governing unication of families, only to cynically dismiss them as Utopian.23 It must, however, be emphasized that these differences between the EU and Israel do not translate into a uniform Israeli political approach towards the EU. Not all Israelis dismiss the European normative agenda as utopian. Not all of them would like to exclude EU involvement in the Middle East. In fact, three broadly different political approaches can be identied in contemporary Israeli politics and public discourse regarding the role that Normative Europe plays and should play in the Middle East: the Antagonist Approach, the Ideological-Supportive Approach and the Pragmatic Approach. The adherents of the Antagonist Approach, usually drawn from Israels political right, are hostile towards most forms of European political intervention. Their approach is based on the assumption that Normative Power Europe is not as Constructivist and normative as it purports to be, but is motivated instead by Realist, self-interested considerations serving as a powerful instrument which Europe utilizes for the promotion of its material (be it economic or security) self-aggrandizement. According to this approach, the different Israeli-European perceptions and values are not caused by misconceptions nor by different evolutionary stages which the EU and Israel have reached, but by conicting interests, which Europe seeks to disguise with a normative cloak. Thus proponents of the Antagonist Approach question the bona des of Normative Europe as a regional normative player. According to them, the EU claims to act in the Middle East and elsewhere by universal values but in fact it utilizes universal terminology in order to promote its own particular material political and economic interests with a view to gaining regional hegemony (for a European perspective on this theme, see Leino, 2008, pp. 2645). More specically, European critical normative positions towards Israel are explained by the proponents of the Antagonist Approach as the outcome of a European surrender to Arab energy interests and to Muslim electoral pressures.24 Gerald Steinberg, Director of the Programme on Conict Resolution at Bar-Ilan University, is a vocal speaker for the Antagonist camp. He asserts
HCJ 7052/03 Adalah et al. v The Minister of the Interior and others, 14 May, 2006, for summary and comment, see http://www.adalah.org/newsletter/eng/may06/fet.pdf. 23 As Note 22, Para. 1 of his Opinion. 24 Pirouz and Leonard, 2003; Gerstenfeld, 2005, p. 2. For analysis of this perspective, see Dror and Pardo (2006, pp. 25, 312, 35).
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that Europes Kantian ideology lacks an intellectual and substantive framework for responding to the use of deadly violence and for distinguishing between illegitimate use of force for aggression and legitimate self-defence. This, coupled with idealist utopianism, simplistic analyses, ctitious history, distorted images of Israeli society and cognitive dissonance that result in the failure to examine evidence that is inconsistent with the dominant ideology, have resulted in Europes diplomatic impotence in the ArabIsraeli conict (Steinberg, 2004, p. 22). These perceptions of Europe as an unbalanced and biased regional player are reected in hostility towards most forms of European political intervention. This hostility both affects and is affected by Israels noticeable preference for US-led mediation in the Middle East.25 In contrast to the Antagonist Approach, the Ideological-Supportive Approach favours the Constructivist, norm-advancement dimension of Normative Power Europe. It postulates that Normative Europe and Israel share common, western values such as democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and basic freedoms. The proponents of this Approach, usually drawn from Israels political left, Israels elite and organized civil society,26 strive therefore to foster closer socio-political IsraeliEuropean ties, treating these broad normative common values as a fulcrum to lever Europe into a more active and dominant role in Middle East politics. According to them, any difference arising from historical and political circumstances that may exist between Europe and Israel must not be allowed to obscure this broad normative commonality and must not hinder the EU in contributing to normadvancement, institution building and the peaceful settlement of conicts in the Middle East.27
25 Thus, for example, Zalman Shoval, former Israeli Ambassador to Washington and a member of the right-wing Likud Party concluded that The attitude of a number of European countries has proven once again to Israel that it is impossible to trust Europe [. . .] this behaviour can only further reduce Europes role in relation to the United States regarding any settlement with the Palestinians (Shoval, 2003). 26 See Pardo (2009, pp. 1214) who conducted a survey of 40 Israeli politicians, decision-makers and shapers, members of leading trade unions and NGOs and leading journalists and found that 33 per cent of the participants in this survey perceived the EU as a superpower. The same percentage perceived the EU as the best framework to maintain peace and stability in the world. In the same work Pardo found a generally favourable approach towards the EU amongst 100 leading Israeli NGOs. 27 As Amos Oz, Israels leading novelist writes: our discussion with Europe is not closed and should not be closed. We have much to talk about. We certainly have issues to dispute, and there is room for pain and anger. But the time has come to renew our conversation with Europeand not only at a political level. We have to talk about the present and about the future. And it is tting for us to talk in depth about the past on one condition: that we always remember that our past belongs to us, and we do not belong to it [. . .] I believe that putting ourselves in the place of others, imagining that we are those others, provides a very strong antidote to bigotry and hate. I believe that authors who have us imagine we are others immunize us to some degree from Satans pranks, including those of the inner Satan, the Mephistopheles in our hearts (Oz, 2006, pp. 7980, as translated from Hebrew by the authors).

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Professor Shlomo Ben-Ami, rst Israeli Ambassador to Spain and former Israeli Foreign Minister, is one such ardent advocate of European involvement in the Middle East conict: The EU is the rst empire in history that is being created through consensus rather than occupation [. . .] Israel is endangering vital interests with its cold shoulder policy toward Europe. It must view a change in its relations with the old Continent as a vital strategic goal (Ben-Ami, 2004). In the same vein, Ambassador Avi Primor, former Israeli Ambassador to Germany and then to the EU, argued that Israel with its special relationship with the EU should become the link between the neighbours with whom it will sign a peace treaty, on the one hand, and the EU on the other (Primor, 2002, p. 24). Some Israelis would go as far as to suggest eventual Israeli membership of the EU. Alfred Tovias, Jean Monnet Chair at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem argues: The strategic changes which have been taking place since then [the 1990s] both in Europe and in the Middle East call not only for the economic but also the political integration of Israel in the European Union, i.e. membership [. . .] now is the time to raise the issue of future Israeli membership in the EU (Tovias, 2002; see also Tovias, 2007). The third political approach towards Normative Power is the Pragmatic Approach, which forms a middle ground between the Antagonist Approach and the Ideological-Supportive Approach. The proponents of the Pragmatic Approach, usually drawn from the political centre, acknowledge the normative and identity differences between the EU and Israel, and like the proponents of the Antagonist Approach, are suspicious of EU external policies and the motives behind them. Yet contrary to the Antagonist Approach and in common with the Ideological-Supportive Approach, the Pragmatic Approach favours enhanced relations with the EU, notwithstanding such normative differences. Such desirability does not rely, as in the case of the Ideological-Supportive Approach, on normative arguments but on Realist, geo-strategic and economic considerations. For those who subscribe to the Pragmatic Approach, the possibility that Israel shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations is not viable. Accordingly, Israel needs regional economic and political backing, and the EU may partially satisfy these needs. For Israel regional co-operation creates trade dependency and carries with it membership fees, and allowing for greater EU involvement is part of that payment. Thus geo-political and economic trends and interests require Israel to pursue more co-operative policies vis--vis the EU and to allow the latter some greater role in the Middle East, despite the different evolutionary stages in which the parties are situated. The proponents of the Pragmatic Approach therefore advocate enhanced relations with the EU, including allowing the
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EU and its Member States more meaningful status in the Middle East, while paying the lowest possible price in terms of erosion of national sovereignty. In recent years the Pragmatic Approach has been gaining a more prevalent position in Israeli politics.28 This is evident, for example, in Israels willingness to adopt an EU-sponsored solution to the dispute between the EU and Israel regarding the exportation of goods from the Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories (Harpaz, 2004) and in Israels willingness to allow EU involvement in the monitoring of the PalestinianEgyptian cross point at Rafah. Such a trend is also evident in Israels willingness to allow the EU and its major Member States a not insignicant political role in the aftermaths of the Second Lebanon War (2006) (Schmid, 2007, pp. 101, 11922) and of the Israeli Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (2009), a theme that will be revisited below. The Economic Approach The third approach towards Normative Power Europe is the Economic Approach. This approach places heavy emphasis on Europes economic persona and on the desirability of enhanced IsraeliEU trade relations. Based on that perception, the Economic Approach strips away the historical and political dimensions of Normative Europe, which are perceived as potentially injurious to the close economic co-operation between the EU and Israel. (Compare with Bayoumi, 2007, p. 333 for a similar Egyptian prevalent approach which supports an economic partnership with the EU but which rejects paternalistic political interference.) The Economic Approach is evident in the words of Nellie Munin, former Israeli Minister of Economic Affairs to the EU: The State of Israel is a full partner in the Barcelona Process, and views its main importance on the political level. On the economic level, the main shortcomings of the process are the making of economic progress contingent upon political progress (Munin, 2003). An implicit acknowledgment of that approach can also be found in a public poll conducted in Israel in regard to Israelis perceptions of the EU. The poll found that the vast majority of Israelis perceive the EU as anti-Israeli and hence an illegitimate political broker, and yet a sweeping majority of the participants favoured Israels accession to the EU (most likely due to economic considerations).29
28 See former Israeli Foreign Minister Livni (Livni, 2006, p. 4): I truly believe that the road should ultimately lead us to a signicant participation of Israel in the European integration project. 29 See Dror and Pardo (2006, p. 34) who analyse a Dahaf poll conducted in 2004 in which 60 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the proposition that the EU stance towards Israel is anti-Semitism thinly disguised as moral principles.

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The Economic Approach is also evident in statements of leading Israeli politicians,30 in ofcial Israeli publications,31 and in the launch in Israel of a joint EUIsraeli Chamber of Commerce.32 (For more on the economic-trade perspective, see Harpaz, 2006; Herman, 2006). Indeed, the Economic Approach is grounded in solid legal and trade foundations. The 1995 EUIsraeli Association Agreement provides not only for the reinforcement of the free trade area in industrial goods, and for the liberalisation of trade in agricultural goods, but also for a framework for enhanced co-operation in numerous signicant areas, such as research and development, energy, transportation, agriculture, tourism, competition and the provision of services. Israel was, in addition, the rst non-EU country to join the EUs research and development programme. Consequently, Israel maintains close scientic, technological and cultural ties with the EU and its Member States. Israelis are avid consumers of European culture and goods, Europe has long been Israels preferred tourist destination, and the EU is Israels chief trading partner. In 2007 the total reciprocal trade between Israel and the EU was of nearly $29 billion33 and between January and June 2009 of nearly $12.5 billion.34 During the latter period 31 per cent of Israels exports (excluding diamonds) were destined for EU countries while 37 per cent of its imports (excluding diamonds) came from EU countries.35 Moreover, since the early 1990s, Israeli investment in east European countries that joined the EU in 2004 and in 2007 has swelled considerably. Many Israeli entrepreneurs are investing substantial funds in real-estate and infrastructure ventures in countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.

30 This approach is also reected in a speech by former Prime Minister and then acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert in the Go 4 Europe Conference, February 2006: Europe is Israels most important trade partner. The scope of mutual trade between Israel and Europe approaches $30 billion per annum. This is an immense scope. The State of Israel purchases more from European countries than [does] any other country in the Middle East (Olmert, 2006b). 31 This perception of Europe as an economic superpower is made clear on the Israeli Foreign Ministry website: EU is Israels most natural trading partner [. . .] This growth in trade has been accelerated by the development of close business connections between entrepreneurs and investors and the setting up of joint ventures, as well as by efforts to strengthen economic ties with the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2008. 32 Syrquin (2007). 33 As compared with only $17 billion with the US in the same period, Lamas (2007). 34 Lamas (2009), available at: http://www.cbs.gov.il/www/hodaot2009n/16_09_147b.doc. 35 Lamas (2009), available at: http://www.cbs.gov.il/www/hodaot2009n/16_09_147b.doc. In the same period only 32 per cent of Israels exports were directed to the US while only 14 per cent of Israels imports came from the US, Lamass (2009).

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It is important to point out that the Economic Approach towards Normative Europe has virtually no downside, as the other two Approaches do.36 However, it may be contended that it is nave and over-simplistic, because it lacks historical profundity. Moreover, traditionally the Economic Approach is the least widespread of the three approaches, being manifested mostly in Israels business community and socio-political elite. Major EU events such as the launch of the euro and the last two waves of EU enlargement have improved the visibility of the EU as an economic superpower and consequently enhanced the Economic Approach in the Israeli grass-root public discourse. These trends are not exclusive to the State of Israel. As Lucarelli found with respect to numerous other countries, the EU is often perceived not so much as a civilian or civilizing actor but rather as an Economic Power Europe: a key issue for political elites and the media is the EUs might as a trade giant and a source of foreign direct investments [. . .] By and large, the main image the EU casts of itself has to do with its economic might. For the Indian, Chinese, South African and Brazilian elites, the EU is a strategic opportunity for development and economic growth and is mainly described as a trade partner and the biggest market in the world. Likewise, economic linkages between these countries and the EU are by a long way the most common issues presented by the media (Lucarelli, 2007, pp. 2646). The Interface between the Historical, Political and Economic Approaches The previous section provided nuanced, pluralistic and somewhat selfcontradictory images of Normative Europe in Israel. Yet, the historical, economic and three sub-political approaches delineated supra are not as distinct as they appear to be. In fact, they may to some extent intertwine. For instance, the sub-political, Ideological-Supportive Approach mirrors the sub-political, Antagonist Approach in that it substitutes a wide range of shared values for the particularism evidenced by the Antagonist Approach. In the same vein, the differences between the three sub-approaches characterizing the Political Approach could possibly be ascribed to each ones view of the historical aspects of EuropeanIsraeli and JewishEuropean relations. The more suspicious, Antagonist Approach is inuenced by the importance it
36 Yet one may argue that this one-dimensional Economic Approach is over-simplistic. After all Israeli policy-makers and trade negotiators are painfully aware that the EU is promoting its own self-interest in its trade relations with Israel. The chronic huge trade decit with the EU has long troubled them, the EUs long-standing and stubborn refusal to allow accumulation with the Palestinian Authority and other Arab neighbours is in stark contradiction to its pro-peace rhetoric, and their protectionist rules of origin (especially in textiles) are all part of this narrow self-interest that is also part of the Economic Approach. We are grateful to Arie Reich for this insight.

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ascribes to past Jewish persecution and anti-Semitism. Per contra, the Ideological-Supportive Approach bases its positive stance towards Europe on the importance it attaches to JewishEuropean positive historical experience. Moreover, the internal dissonance found in the Historical Approach has broader effects on the Political Approach. Furthermore, as demonstrated in the next section, when dealing with Israel, Europe tends to link economic and political issues, thereby weakening the positive Economic Approach, while strengthening the anti-European dimensions of both the Political and Historical Approaches. Moreover, even vocal Israeli proponents of European norms and of European involvement are at times cynical about Europes ability to comprehend the charged relations between the Middle East peoples and the Europeans and hence to contribute to the Middle East. This was reected yet again in the writings of the inuential Israeli novelist and peace activist Amos Oz.37 In the same vein, not all members of the Israeli Right will at all times oppose European involvement. Thus, for example, the only prominent Israeli politician who called in unequivocal terms for Israels accession to the EU was the hard-liner, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Liberman, 2007). To conclude, when considering the Historical, Political and Economic Israeli outlooks on Normative Europe, complex, contradictory and pluralistic images emerge. This apparent polarity is a focal characteristic of Israels perception of Normative Europe and as such should be taken into account by the EU in its pursuit of a normative agenda for the Middle East. The following section argues that the EU fails too often to recognize this, thus creating a dissonance between its self-perceived, self-portrayed normative persona and the manner in which it is perceived by the other. Such dissonance (which may, in turn, create another dissonance between the EU actions and

37 See Oz (2006, p. 30): I am often sent a warm invitation to come to Germany and to spend a few days at some peaceable, pastured vacation spot, with Palestinian poets and authors, in order to make one anothers acquaintance, get friendly, be convinced that we are all very nice, good human beings. The Arabs are very, very nice, good people, our German hosts are very pleasant and likeable people, and in that way a stop may once and for all be put to the unnecessary, ugly conict, and from then on well all live happily ever after. All that is of course based on the sentimental presumption that prevails these days in [. . .] Europe to the effect that every conict is basically nothing other than a misunderstanding: a little family advice, a little group therapy, a few cups of coffee enjoyed together, and right away mutual love will be created (authors own translation from Hebrew). See also Ozs following remark: the return of the old German anti-Semitism takes an anti-Israeli turn in German public opinion, the old sentimentalism, which has traditionally seen the world in black and white, Satan versus the victim, good people versus bad, beauty versus the monster, sacred people versus villains. Yasser Arafat, according to a widespread sentiment, has come across as a close buddy of Fidel Castro: both of them heroically stand at the front battle line facing the American and Zionist Satan. Fidel, for his part, was a friend of Che Guevara. Che was Jesus. Jesus is love. Consequently, we all love Yasser Arafat, Oz (2006, pp. 389, as translated from Hebrew by the authors).

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results) generates a legitimacy decit which, in turn compromises, as demonstrated in the following section, the EUs ability to serve as a regional player. IV. Normative Europe: An Illegitimate EUtopia? This section will examine the impact of Normative Power Europe on the EUs legitimacy and on the effectiveness of its external actions and policies. It will be argued that there is a discrepancy between the EUs self-representation as a Normative Power and the manner in which Normative Power Europe is perceived by the other. As a result of such discrepancy, the concept of Normative Europe may serve, internally, as a legitimatizing force which facilitates further European integration, but externally it might adversely affect the EU legitimacy and thus prove to be counter-productive in promoting the EUs normative-political agenda in the Middle East. In light of the ideological controversy that surrounds the EU in Israel, the pursuance of an insensitive, non-reective normative agenda might position the EU in the middle of Israels internal political strife. In this position it may run the risk of being disqualied by Israeli politicians as an unworthy normative player. This is especially so when Europes normative agenda is confronted with the negative aspect of the Historical Approach, thereby fuelling an Israeli perception of Normative Power Europe as inherently biased, anti-Israeli and hence as an illegitimate regional actor. Indeed, throughout the years EUIsraeli relations have witnessed numerous events in which political policies wrapped in a strong normative agenda proved to be ineffective or counter-productive. A case in point is the Venice Declaration. As stated above, in 1980, the then nine Member States of the EEC formulated the Declaration, which recognized the Palestinian right of self-determination (Article 6) and called for the return of territories under Israels control from the Six-Day War (1967) (Article 9). Furthermore, the Declaration recognized the PLO for the rst time as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian People (Article 7), and determined that Israeli settlements in the Territories were illegal under international law and, as such, constituted a serious obstacle to the Middle East peace process (Article 9). These determinations were repeatedly justied by such norms as peace (Article 2 and 10), human rights (Article 4) and the right of self-determination (Article 6). In the light of the analysis conducted above, it should not come as a surprise that the normative terminology used by the EEC to justify the Declarations contents struck a sensitive chord in Israel. The Declaration
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stirred up anti-European Israeli instincts, leading the Israeli Cabinet led by Prime Minister Begin to discredit European intervention and its declared normative apparatus. The European use of universal norms such as human rights and the right of self-determination to justify the European viewpoints on controversial issues such as the recognition of the PLO sharpened the negative aspects of the Israeli Historical Approach towards Normative Europe, leading the Cabinet to dismiss the Declaration in Holocaust-laden terminology38 (see Grosbard, 2006 for the analysis of the inuence of Prime Minister Begins personal family experience in the Holocaust on his policies). Such use of universal norms also sharpened the Political-Antagonist Approach, while weakening the Ideological-Supportive as well as the Economic Approaches. Thus, the EECs, high-prole, bold normative framework, which dictated and justied the Venice Declaration, did not enhance Europes ability to contribute effectively to the pacic settlement of the IsraeliPalestinian conict, but rather increased its legitimacy decit, leading Dror and Pardo to conclude that EUIsraeli political relations never recovered fully from the Venice Declaration (Dror and Pardo, 2006, p. 20). The manner in which the EU employs economic and trade policies vis-vis Israel as instruments to promote its normative agenda also touches the complex relations between normative agenda, legitimacy and (in)effective external policies. As Hollis points out: Politics and economics are basically too intertwined in EuropeanIsraeli relations to disentangle (Hollis, 1994, p. 127). A case in point is the EUIsraeli dispute over the legal treatment of products exported to the EU from the Territories under Israels control from the Six Days War (1967) (see, for example, Hauswaldt, 2003; Hirsch, 2003; Harpaz, 2004). In 1998, EU ofcials argued that since the Territories do not belong to Israel de jure under public international law, the products exported from them to the EU should not benet from the preferential treatment under the EUIsraeli Association Agreement. Israel, on the other hand, contended that due to its de facto control of the Territories, the products are subject to the Association Agreement, and hence entitled to such preferential treatment
38 Since Mein Kampf was written, the entire world, including Europe, has not heard anything more explicit about the aspiration to destroy the Jewish State and Nation. Several European states are prepared to underwrite, and even to guarantee militarily, the concept of peace shared by that organisation of murderers [. . .] This will disgust anyone who remembers anything, and who is aware of the results of the guarantee given to Czechoslovakia in 1938, after Sudetenland was ripped from her, also in the name of self-defense. Israel does not ask for any guarantee of her security from any of the peoples of Europe. Israel is capable of defending herself [. . .] Any person of goodwill or freeman who peruses this document will see it as a Munich-like surrender, the second in our generation, to dictatorial blackmail and as encouragement for all those who are subverting the Camp David accords and who aspire to ensure the failure of the Middle East Peace Plan, Israeli Cabinet Statement of 15 June 1980 authors own translation from Hebrew.

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(Harpaz, 2004, p. 1051). In 2004 Israel agreed to adopt an EU-sponsored solution which determined that Israel would specify only the geographic location of the products, and not their origin in the Territories. This allowed Israel to meet the demands of the EU, while not having to admit in ofcial documentation that the products were not Israeli in origin (Harpaz, 2004, p. 1053). The EUs unbending, normative rhetoric but pusillanimous practice caused the dispute to drag on for years and alienated all parties involved. The use of the EUs economic might to impose on Israel a political solution to what could have been treated by the EU as a technical trade dispute, frustrated the Israeli political establishment and the general public. The Israeli reaction was furious. The popular Israeli media portrayed the handling of the dispute by Ehud Olmert (who was the Trade and Industry Minister at that time) as surrender to intrusive and unfair European demands. Ron Nachman, Mayor of the City of Ariel in the occupied West Bank, went as far as to link the EU distinction between goods from Israel proper and from the Territories with the practice of discriminating against Jews in the Holocaust.39 Thus the EUs handling of the dispute strengthened the negative aspects of the Political Approach towards the EU, while weakening the positive Economic Approach, thereby widening Europes legitimacy decit in the eyes of most Israelis. It is clear that a more historically and politically sensitive approach in the trade sphere would have been more constructive in promoting Europes normative power. Paradoxically, those who advocate rmer European intervention in respect of Israels illegal practices in the Territories were frustrated too, believing that the EU proved itself unwilling to back its normative rhetoric with concrete political actions. Tocci, for example, considered the EUs handling of the dispute as a manifestation of the EUs rm rhetoric but compromised practice: Yet beyond the rhetoric, the Union has been uncharacteristically compromising in practice. Not only has it refrained from any conditionality (either negative or positive) on Israel, but it has compromised itself to the extent of bending its own norms and rules to accommodate illegal Israeli practice (Tocci, 2005, p. 18). The EUs performance in relation to the second Palestinian Uprising and to Israels reaction to it illustrates, once again, the argument advanced in this section. The EU invested much time and energy in normative-laden condemnations of Israel. For example, EU ofcials justied time and again the critical European position on Israels Separation Barrier (or the Wall, as it was termed by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion),
39

In a radio interview with Reshet B, one of Israels leading radio stations (6 August 2004).

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constructed to meet terrorist attacks on Israel, with normative arguments (Roche, 2004). All EU Member States furthermore accepted the ICJ Advisory Opinion, which, on the basis of dubious legal reasoning, dismissed Israels right of self-defence in the face of Palestinian terrorism. Such European normative-backed positions were received with widespread frustration by ofcial Israel, which treated them as declaratory, judgemental, condescending and biased.40 The EUs use of normative terminology to criticize concrete Israeli policies and actions allowed Israeli ofcials to politicize Normative Europe, discrediting it as unworthy of serving as a legitimate broker: Israel is particularly disappointed by the European stand. The willingness of the EU to fall in with the Palestinian position [. . .] raises doubts as to the ability of the EU to contribute anything constructive to the diplomatic process (Israeli Foreign Ministry, 2004). Conversely, the lack of any concrete EU action against Israel which would support the EUs stirring normative proclamations in all the above cases further discredited Normative Europe. One example is the contemporary pressure exerted on Israel to halt the expansion of settlements in the Territories. The EU could rely upon the consensus amongst its 27 Member States against such expansion together with the consensus between itself and the Obama administration on this issue, in order to confront Israel with instruments of both positive and negative conditionality. It could offer Israel a generous economic package in consideration for Israels commitment to halt construction, and it could concurrently threaten to freeze negotiations with Israel intended to upgrade economic relations under the ENP, if Israel acts differently. But a careful reading of the EU documents summarizing the June 2009 EU External Relations Council Meeting reveals that the EU failed to do so. Instead of offering Israel the choice between a carrot and a stick, it spoke, yet again, hesitantly, reinforcing the image of Normative Power Europe as merely declaratory.41 Europes continuous inability to employ instruments of both positive and negative conditionality contributed to the widespread perception in Israel and elsewhere that the EUs policies reect the lowest common denominator and that the EU excels in words and preaching and not in actions. Put

40 The words of the former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom are telling: Close relations between Israel and Europe are a strategic asset to both sides. I have dedicated my time in ofce to promoting these ties through open dialogue and building a partnership that is trusting and void of judgments (Shalom, 2004). Shalom addressed the issue again in his speech at the Fourth Herzliya Conference in December 2003: More than once, I have told my friends in Europe that if they want to become actively involved in negotiations, they must adopt a more balanced approach towards the conict between Israel and the Palestinians (Shalom, 2003b). 41 Council of the European Union (2009).

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differently, Hills analysis conducted in 1993 of the EUs capability expectations gap (Hill, 1993) is still relevant to the Middle East (see Schmid, 2007, p. 104 for such relevance). Such a gap highlights the dissonance between the EUs resounding words and modest concrete actions. That dissonance in turn adversely affects the EUs external legitimacy: Apart from a few exceptions [. . .] the union [EU] has never attempted to exert any form of positive conditionality on Israel. This has led to several paradoxical incidents damaging the EUs credibility (Tocci, 2005, p. 19). This state of affairs has negative repercussions for the effet utile of EU Middle East policies and initiatives. In fact this perception of Normative Power Europe as predominantly declaratory is widespread in Israeli diplomatic and political circles: The Europeans are strong when it comes to politics and declarations, however when there is a concrete opportunity to do something and help along, they shy away (Peri, 1995). Similarly, Efraim Halevy, former Ambassador to the EU and head of the Israeli Mossad, felt that the EUs reliance on declarations was in fact bizarre42 and that the EU treatment of the Muslim social challenge in Europe, the Barcelona Process and the Iranian nuclear project are only three cases that demonstrate high rhetoric with no commensurate deeds. This perception of Normative, declaratory Europe also permeates the non-political sphere, including Israeli literature.43
42 Halevy (2006, pp. 1567): Through my eyes, the eyes of one who had come to Brussels to represent his country as ambassador accredited to the European Union, the situation appeared nothing less than bizarre. One the one hand, the European Union had succeeded in healing the wounds of two successive world wars that had engulfed the continent and had left behind them millions of dead and wounded as well as economic devastation [. . .] the Union had become a real economic superpower [. . .] Yet the vast economic potential did not appear to translate itself into real political and strategic muscle [. . .] the Europeans [. . .] were only too eager to deliver a monthly statement on the IsraeliPalestinian dispute and to render judgment on the parties, mainly on Israel [. . .] The Middle East was a favorite of the Union and served as a convenient issue for forging a common foreign policy of the fteen Member States. I vividly recall how I was instructed month after month to gather information on preliminary discussions that were held in Brussels [. . .] Looking back at those years it is difcult to understand why so much effort was expended on these monthly bouts of quasi-diplomacy. 43 The words of Amos Oz are once again telling. See Oz (2006, pp. 536): And here are those same European intellectuals themselves, coming to express a view of the Middle East Conict, they immediately create for themselves a movie of the Wild West and are seized with an uncontrollable impulse to support the good guys, to condemn the bad guys and to sign a petition, to go out on a demonstration in favour of the good and against the bad, and to lie down to sleep [. . .] by that European intellectual tradition, whoever seems a human tragedy, suffering, horror, spilled blood runs to sign a petition. To express identication. To express disgust. To be shocked. To demonstrate. To condemn and to point a nger of blame. That way he believes that he has lled his moral duty [. . .] It is sometimes easier for me to establish rapport with pragmatic Palestinians than with the friends of Palestinians here in Europe. The dispute with the Europeans is generally taken up at the level of moral rage or of an expression of disgust, sometimes towards Israel, sometimes towards fanatical Islam, whereas my meetings with pragmatic Palestinians resemble less a judicial argument than a conversation between doctors in white hospital cloaks, in an emergency treatment theatre. Sometimes we have a discussion as to what should be done more urgently; what medicine will be benecial and what drug will harm the injured patient (authors own translation from Hebrew).

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The EUs declarations, policies and practices, when overlaid with critical normative rhetoric or justications, are perceived in Israel as judgemental and unbalanced, but at the same time feeble and timorous, thereby exposing the EU to allegations of a capabilityexpectations gap. Such declarations, policies and practices may also reveal the inconsistencies between the EUs being and doing, supporting Israeli political arguments that EU policies towards Israel are reections of European double standards and are hence illegitimate (Harpaz, 2005, with respect to the EUs record in the Cyprus dispute). After all, external legitimacy presupposes that the EUs external, normative pressures should be compatible with its very own fundamental principles and with its very own raison dtre, while such legitimacy will not be achieved if the EUs normative aspirations are high on rhetoric but low on delivery (Harpaz, 2007). In conclusion, an excessive normative agenda might expose the EU to criticism in ways that would compromise its normative status, widen its external illegitimacy and prejudice its ability to pursue effective intervention in the Middle East. It further emerges from our analysis that Normative Europe has inadvertently made itself too often into a bridge, not between Europe and Israel, but between Israels contemporary security woes and its horric past. Thus, although European scholarship assumes a theoretical link between Normative Power Europe and legitimacy, externally, Normative Europe may well prove counter-productive in strengthening the effectiveness of Europes soft power instruments and in promoting civilian values which may to a certain extent be common to both Europeans and Israelis. This critique does not, however, require the abandonment of the EUs normative agenda. Nor does this article dispute the need for normative backing of the EUs Middle East politics or dismiss the EUs aspirations in the Middle East as EUtopian, as the title of this article might imply. The EU should not content itself with a self-contained, inward-looking, normative agenda based on a Kantian normative criterion. Such course of action may forge an excessively rigid distinction between us (the Europeans) and them (non-Europeans), thereby operating as a segregating force, creating a Fortress Normative Europe and diminishing the relevance and effectiveness of EU external policies. The EU should continue to pursue its normative agenda but it should do so in a more cautious manner. It is our view that the effectiveness of Normative Europe in the Middle East depends, inter alia, on the ability of the EU to take cognizance of the multifaceted and somewhat incoherent perceptions of Normative Europe held by the other (in our case, in Israel), and on its ability to adjust its normative agenda and rhetoric accordingly.
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By considering the three dominant Israeli approaches to Normative Europe, namely the Historical, Normative and Economic Approaches, an attempt has been made to depict the multifarious views of Normative Europe. For example, by pointing out the Historical Approach prevalent in Israel, we demonstrated that the EUs use of values as rationales for its policy has strengthened the negative aspect of the Israeli Historical Approach, thereby contributing to discrediting the EU as a normative player in the IsraelPalestinian dispute. Moreover, by analysing the diverse sub-Political Approaches towards Normative Europe, which extend from the Antagonistic viewpoint to the Ideological-Supportive outlook, we contended that the normative framework which guided Europe in formulating the Venice Declaration, as well as in its trade policy, allowed Israeli politicians to discredit the EUs claim to be a normative player. Furthermore, by highlighting the Economic Approach, which strips away the historical and political dimensions of Normative Europe, we demonstrated that the EUs legitimacy may be advanced by a move to untie, as much as possible, the Economic aspect of EUIsraeli relations from the Historical and Normative ones. The EU should thus avoid the pursuance of a purist, fundamentalist and non-reective normative agenda aimed at turning the external into internal and the foreign into domestic (Adler and Crawford, 2004, p. 13). Such course of action may, for example, increase the discrepancy between the EUs normative self-representation and the manner in which it is perceived by the other. It may also expose the inherent gap between the EUs being and doing, between its declared common norms and its actual actions as an international actor (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002, p. 767). Moreover, it may render contemporary Normative Europe somewhat paradoxical, given Europes colonial history (Rosecrane, 1998, p. 22). All of those consequences may compromise, in turn, the EUs external legitimacy and prejudice the effectiveness of its policies. The EU should develop instead a more low-key, cautious, conscious, self-reective, politically and historically sensitive notion of Normative Europe towards Middle East politics in general, and towards Israel, in particular. It should heed the following advice offered by Nicoladis and Howse: Narratives of projection in this context acquire a self-reexive quality. The EUs real comparative advantage, its power, lies less in showing off its outcome than its process, less an engineering convergence among its members towards higher standards of human rights and more in its capacity to manage enduring differences within a normative and institutional framework that reects a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and peaceful settlement of disagreements, contracts instead of power politics, positive sum instead of zero sum games. Pushed to its ultimate logic, the EU is less a model to be
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emulated than a laboratory (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002, p. 771). As Amos Oz notes: Maybe it is thus best for Europe to wag its nger of morality less, and to display more empathy and assistance to both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians(Oz, 2006, p. 53, authors own translation from Hebrew.) It is thus desirable for the EU to pursue vis--vis Israel a critical normative dialogue instead of a normative monologue, utilizing such dialogue as a means to sustain normative pluralism through engagement: Quite often, it might be that it is more important to travel together than to reach any particular destination. If we believe in our values, then we should keep talking about them. However, we ought to keep in mind that there is little that is automatic or generally accepted in our values. And we should also keep in mind that we ourselves could be wrong (Leino, 2008, p. 289). Moreover, the excessive reliance by the EU on declaratory-normative diplomacy could be mitigated and to some extent camouaged with concrete and constructive assistance, gradually replacing its calling for, urging and inviting declaratory diplomacy (see Bischop, 2007, p. 85) with hardthought, well-balanced practical solutions and assistance (see Shpiro, 2007, p. 64). The EUs normative agenda should be backed with effective, downto-earth practical assistance and with a shrewd use of instruments of positive and negative conditionality, thereby narrowing the gap between its rhetoric and actions.44 Thus, for example, the EU should render more visible its extensive economic relations with Israel, thereby enhancing the overall positive Israeli Economic Approach to it. In its declarations, policies and practices, the EU should nd the optimal balance between realpolitik and morals, between idealism and realism and between rhetoric and substance. The pursuit of these proposed courses of action may contribute to the promotion of a more legitimate and hence effective external Normative Europe, which will hopefully serve as a signicant normative actor in the Middle East. The EU involvement during the IsraeliHezbollah armed conict of 2006 and in its aftermath supports our thesis. The EU criticized both parties for violating international law but avoided too harsh normative preaching. Instead of repeating its excessive reliance on declaratory diplomacy, the EU succeeded in forming and displaying a proactive, relatively unied, down-toearth stance, committing large numbers of soldiers from important Member States to the UNFIL Force and assisting the Lebanon economic reconstruction. The overall positive record of the EU in that crisis, as the EU displayed not only in Brussels and in New York, but also in Israel and Lebanon (see
44 See Dunne (2008, p. 15): Europe does not need to accept a choice: either becoming a proto-superpower or retreating to EUtopia. There is a moral middle way to be found. For Europe to play a positive role in world affairs it needs both to develop and integrate its military capability and to deepen its commitment to cosmopolitan values which have shaped its identity.

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Nathanson and Stetter, 2007, p. 11; Bischop, 2007, pp. 679), may be perceived as part of the EUs growing political-military commitment and resultant enhanced strategic actorness in the Middle East (Bischop, 2007, p. 78). Such enhancement has improved, in turn, the credibility of the EU as a political-strategic player in the eyes of Israel (Schmid, 2007, pp. 101, 119122). The same may be contended with respect to the IsraeliHamas conict of January 2009. It is still too early to draw conclusions from the European involvement in this conict, yet it may still be argued, with the required caution, that the EU and its Member States succeeded in building upon its successful involvement in the Lebanon war of 2006. The EU critical declaratory diplomacy was toned down and was once again supported by concrete involvement on the ground, displaying vis--vis Israel a highly critical, yet supportive and sensitive approach (for a more critical view, see Emerson et al., 2009). The President of the European Council, the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany and the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain gathered in a united manner in the Israeli Prime Ministers ofcial residence, to express in front of the cameras Europes support of the nascent and shaky ceasere and of the peace process. Europes unitary commitment to assist in meeting Gazas humanitarian needs and in ghting military arms trafcking and smuggling to Gaza displayed a more proactive, constructive and balanced approach, enabling European leaders such as Nicholas Sarkozy and special Envoy of the Quartet to the Middle East, Tony Blair, to contribute to the efforts to promote the ceasere. Such approach was indeed welcomed by Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister of that time: I wish to express my personal appreciation and the appreciation of the people of Israel to you, leaders of the European countries, for demonstrating your impressive support for the State of Israel and your concern for its safety. The united front which you represent and your uncompromising stand with regard to the security of the State of Israel warms our hearts and strengthens us at this sensitive time [. . .] Our personal friendship may at times exceed that which is accepted in the recognized diplomatic protocol, but they are friendships which are beyond price. I feel a pleasant obligation to thank each and every one of you, both for your personal friendship and your friendship towards the people and State of Israel (Olmert, 2009). Conclusions The scholarship on Normative Power Europe is usually inward-looking and Eurocentric, focusing, in abstracto, on its interface with notions of European
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identity-formation and actorness-enhancement. Insufcient attention, however, has been devoted, in concreto, to the manner in which this concept is perceived by the non-European and to the political predicaments that the European Normative agenda creates. This article has attempted to add the much-needed external and concrete perspectives to the concept of Normative Power Europe and to the theoretical discourse pertaining to it. Normative Power Europe was viewed not merely as an abstract concept, but also as part of complex historical, socio-political and economic realities, examined through the prism of non-Europeans, in our case Israelis. The article further questioned Europes normative way in its Middle East dealings (Manners, 2002, p. 253) and the assumed theoretical link prevalent in IR and European integration theoretical discourse between Normative Power and external legitimacy. The article does not, however, call upon the EU to abandon its normative agenda. Nor does it dispute the need for normative backing of the EUs Middle East politics or dismiss the EUs aspirations in the Middle East as EUtopian, as the title of this article might imply. The EU should intervene in the Middle East and such intervention should be normatively oriented. The EU should, however, be aware that any failure to take cognizance of the multifarious Israeli views of its normative agenda, analysed in this article, may create a visible dissonance between its self-portrayed normative image and the image which is perceived by the other and may widen the capacity gap that the EU suffers from in its external activities. This dissonance and this gap may compromise Europes normative status, widen its external illegitimacy and prejudice its ability to pursue effective involvement in the Middle East. In a thought-provoking article, Scheipers and Sicurelli argue that the lack of reexivity with respect to the gap between reality and European utopian norms does not undermine the EUs credibility as a normative power. According to them, the rhetoric used by the EU in ofcial documents and speeches has contributed to attracting allies in the international arena and therefore to strengthening its image as a normative power (Scheipers and Sicurelli, pp. 45253). We beg to differ. The ndings of this article demonstrate instead that in order to become powerful and effective in the Middle East, the EUs external policies should display a signicant degree of sensitivity and reexivity. It was Manners who contended that the most important factor shaping the international role of the EU is not what it does or what it says, but what it is (Manners, 2002, p. 252). That might be the case, yet this article has sought to demonstrate that the manner in which the EU pursues its external, normative aspirations is highly important too. We thus concur with Nicoladis and Howse who argue that the inconsistency between what the EU is and
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what the EU attempts to project compromises its external legitimacy (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002). Scholarship teaches us that such sensitivity and reexivity may be attained through consistency between the EUs internal and external policies (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002, p. 771), by refraining from pursuing utopian norms (Nicoladis and Howse, 2002, p. 789) and by refraining from pursuing a normative agenda with missionary zeal (Diez, 2005, p. 623). This article builds upon these ndings, arguing that such sensitivity and reexivity may also be attained through narrowing the gap between the EUs self-regarding normative portrait and the manner in which it is perceived by the other, in our case, by Israel. In conclusion, the effectiveness of Normative Europe in the Middle East depends, inter alia, on the ability of the EU to take cognizance of the multifaceted and somewhat incoherent perceptions of Normative Europe held by the other (in our case, in Israel), and on its ability to ne-tune its normative rhetoric and agenda accordingly. Thus, the transformation of the European miracle (Kagan, 2002, p. 18) to the Middle East presupposes, paradoxically, toning down the EUs normative rhetoric and backing it with concrete assistance to all relevant parties. A more conscious, cautious, selfreective, politically and historically sensitive notion of Normative Europe towards Middle East politics backed with effective, down-to-earth practical assistance and with a shrewd use of instruments of positive and negative conditionality, may enhance the EUs legitimacy and buttress its external effet utile.
Correspondence: Guy Harpaz Jean Monnet Lecturer President of the Israeli Association of the Study of European Integration Law Faculty and Department of International Relations The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mount Scopus Jerusalem, 91905 Israel email gharpaz@mscc.huji.ac.il

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