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Why EU falls behind US on Palestine-Israel issue

The EU has long played an active role in seeking an end to Israeli-Palestinian hostilities. Why has it lost this role?
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell holds a press conference after attending a conference on the plight of Venezuelan refugees and immigrants, Brussels, Belgium, May 26, 2020.

BRUSSELS — The European Union was once viewed as an important and credible actor in the Middle East, even a potential counterweight to the United States. No longer. During the recent upsurge in Israeli-Palestinian violence, the 27-member bloc has come across as little more than a passive bystander, distracted by deepening internal divisions and out of touch with both the changed power dynamics in the region and an emerging rights-focused policy discourse in Washington.

With a cease-fire in place since May 20, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell pointed to the need to move away from “crisis management mode” and  solve the “underlying conflict” through “a true political and negotiated solution.” A newly appointed EU special representative for the Middle East, Dutch diplomat Sven Koopmans, will soon travel to the region to meet “key actors” from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and the United States.

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