Multi-operator application not idempotent?

For multi-cluster config, I need to apply two operator configs in succession – first the core operator and then the east-west config.

Applying them the first time works fine – but any reapplication destroys the EW config before recreating it.

$ istioctl install -f core.yaml  # core running 
$ istioctl install -f ew.yaml  # both core + ew running
$ istioctl install -f core.yaml  # ew removed! only core running
$ istioctl install -f ew.yaml # back to core + ew running

Is there a correct way to handle these configurations such that we don’t hit the invalid intermediary state?