Should Israel join the EU

Three quarters of Israelis would like to see Israel join the European Union.

According to a poll carried out for Germany’s Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organisation, this surprising figure is down to a variety of factors, including a new found closeness between Germany and Israel. 32 percent of Israelis describe themselves as “strongly favourable” to the idea of joining the EU: Only 17 percent opposed joining.

67 of Israelis have a favourable opinion of Germany, the poll shows, perhaps demonstrating the KAS institute’s work to improve German-Israeli relations has been successful. Germany ranks as Israel’s favourite EU nation after Britain, which has an 80 percent approval rating. France ranks as the least favourite European nation – 61 per cent of Israelis dislike France, with Jacques Chirac ranking as the most unpopular leader.

The Israel-Germany bond seems to be working for the good of EU-Israel relations, the report claims. The Independent speculates that Israel’s Euro-enthusiasm could also result from “European involvement in the stepped-up UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) since the war last year, and the EU provision of monitors on the border between Gaza and Egypt… just over 60 per cent of Israelis cited the perception that the “EU helps the Palestinians” as a positive factor while an even higher proportion cited the EU’s belief in the rule of law, belief in human rights and protection of minorities.”

So, Israel and the EU. Israel already contributes to the Eurovision Song Contest, and even won three times. But full membership of the EU? Well, it seems more western in outlook than the North African countries, which have been touted as future associates of the EU. It is in a difficult neighbourhood, but no more so that Ukraine, which wants to open negotiations, and Turkey, which borders Iran, Iraq and Syria and is set to join within a decade.

Israel’s GDP per capita is $26,200, substantially more than other EU members like Poland ($14,100) and Latvia ($15,400). It is also above that of Malta ($20,300), Greece ($23,500), and Portugal ($19,100) and not far off that of Spain ($27,000), if below the EU average of $29,300.

Some Israeli leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu, have campaigned for Israel’s membership of the EU. Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi was dedicated to the idea. However, for some Israeli observers, the idea of signing up to the EU’s concept of a borderless transnational entity goes against the principle of Israel’s uniqueness – see Dr Sharon Pardo in Ynet for an overview of this angle.

Most agree that Israel’s membership of the EU isn’t on the table anytime soon. But despite the efforts of dedicated Euro-federalists, the concept of the EU is changing. The free movement of people, thought to clash with Israel’s position on the “right to return”, has already been challenged. European Union citizens from Eastern Europe cannot travel to work in the west as easily as the EU hoped. Even Britain, open to the 2005 intake from Eastern Europe has imposed limits on Bulgarian and Romanian workers. Should Turkey – with close on 73 million people – join, expect the free movement of people principle to come to an abrubt end.

Moreover, many EU nations and their people aren’t overly keen on a borderless entity: Britain, for example, has always advocated a broader rather than deeper EU where nations can retain their identity and advantages. Israel’s membership of the EU seems distant, but it really depends on whether the federalists or separatists win the current struggle for the EU’s soul.

February 23, 2007 | 5 Comments »

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6 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. You rode this train before in the cattle cars. Don’t believe polls operated by the globalist elite and don’t believe the lies today even if they invite you into a social club. The train is still headed in the same direction. The destination is the same. Consensus with fools and the ungodly is a snare.

    Ex 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
    33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

  2. One can only imagine the political and economic pressure the Europeans would be able to bring to bear on Israel if she were to join the EU. Indeed, Israel would never be accepted initially without a quid pro quo fully accommodating a Palestinian state on European terms. So the entire notion is a non-starter.

    Now, the possibility of Israel becoming a full member of NATO is far more interesting.

  3. I am against it. Israelis have been mislead by their leftist press who would like nothing better. But for those who want Israel to remain a Jewish state and to be in control of our own policies on immigration economy and security, the EU has nothing to offer. Israel is far closer to the US in mentality. But it would be a mistake for Israel to become the 52nd state. It wouldn’t be good for Israel or the US.

  4. The free flow of capital and labour among the EU countries, the Schengen border control agreement and common rules for participation in democratic and public activities, would enable 16 million EU muslims to settle in Israel and, in a couple of years take part in elections. They would only need some readily available funding.

  5. Israelis have such short memories if they think that being part of Europe will in any way spare them from detrimental European pressure vis-a-vis the Israeli-Arab conflict.

    We must not forget that it was Czechoslovakia’s own European brothers that sold them out to the Nazis in the name of “peace” prior to World War II.

    It would be a dangerous mistake to think that Europe would not do the same or worse to Israel, even if it is part of the EU.

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