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Comparing EU and US Foreign Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Competition or Cooperation?

Fiona O' Gorman

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, perhaps, one of the longest-running, most violent, and complex conflicts inhistory. As a result, there have been many, so far unsuccessful attempts to resolve it. This paper examines thenumerous attempts that have been undertaken to achieve peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians duringthe period 1991-2008, with a specific focus on the roles played by the European Union and the United States inthe ongoing peace process. The main hypothesis examined is that the process itself is more positive andproductive when the EU and the US cooperate rather than compete when undertaking peace initiatives. Thepaper examines the European Union's involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the period 1991-2008,looking at initiatives put forward by the EU aimed at resolving the conflict. These initiatives are then contrastedwith those undertaken by the US in the same time period. The aim of this contrast is to establish whethercooperation or competition exists between the two in resolving the conflict. Throughout the paper, it will besuggested that, while examples of both cooperation and competition exist, it is those instances of cooperationbetween the EU and the US that prove most beneficial to the process.

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