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OECD: It takes only one country to stop Israel from joining


AUTHOR:  Per GAHRTON


Dear friends,
Attached to this e-mail is an english translation of a letter sent to the OECD delegation of Sweden by The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS). PGS is distributing the document as a sample letter without restrictions for other organizations to pick up, translate, modify and send to their countries' representatives. The letter is intended to be sent in two copies, one to your foreign ministry and one to your OECD-delegation.
(Delegations per country can be found at http://nomembership.org/delegations-per-country)
The Palestine Solidartity Association of Sweden (PGS) has launched a campaign site against Israeli membership in OECD. This is not meant to be a coordinated campaign but an encouragement for others to act against the Israeli membership, and to coordinate engaged organizations. You can find the sample letter among other things on the site. Please inform us if you want to be linked from the site!
Please redistribute this e-mail in your contact networks! We are short of time but strong in determination.

Website: www.nomembership.org
Further information: info@palestinagrupperna.se

Thanks for your support,
The Palestine Solidartity Association of Sweden (PGS)

SAMPLE LETTER

This is a translation of a letter sent to the OECD delegation of Sweden by The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS). PGS is distributing the document without restrictions for other organizations to pick up, translate, modify and send to their countries' representatives. Please also redistribute in your contact networks.

The letter is intended to be sent in two copies, one to your foreign ministry and one to your OECDdelegation. (see http://nomembership.org/delegations-per-country)

Please inform us if you have contacted your represenatives or are engaged in preventing Israeli membership in OECD. If we get the ball rolling we might spred the effect to other countries.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden, info@palestinagrupperna.se

Dear Ambassador Mats Ringborg

At the end of next month, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is expected to decide on Israeli membership. Israel’s lack of respect of human rights and international law and it´s tendency to obstruct a realistic peace process is met with widespread international criticism. Israel has repeatedly shown that they are not affected by the criticism; on the contrary Israel continues its unlawful politics without facing any real consequences. In contrast to the statements and condemnations, Israel is given special treatment in international politics and co-operations. A granted membership to the OECD would be another example of this special treatment. The decision also requires that the organization turns a blind eye to its own guidelines in regards to peace, human rights and trade.

We believe that there are many reasons to deny Israel membership in the OECD, including:

- The production in the occupied territories is in conflict with international law, and the European Court of Justice clarified as recently as February that products from the West Bank cannot be classified as Israeli. In the figures forming the basis for the decision on membership, no distinction has been made in regards to place of production. Instead of being punished for crimes under international law, the figures benefit Israel. In spite of the fact that Israel benefits from the economy in the occupied territories, the four million people living there are not recognized. This makes the underlying numbers per capita even more misleading.

- According to the OECD convention the member countries must share a commitment to the rule of law and the respect of human rights. Several of the current member countries have repeatedly expressed criticism to show that this commitment is not shared by Israel. For example, Israel denied a UN delegation, assigned to investigate the attack on Gaza, entry visa and has expressed that international law should be adjusted in accordance with Israeli actions and interests, not vice versa.

- In the text of the convention one can read that co-operation makes a vital contribution to peaceful and harmonious relations among the peoples of the world. The member countries have on several occasions expressed criticism that Israel’s actions are counterproductive to the development of such relations. As recently as March, the US, EU, Russia and the UN issued a joint condemnation of Israel’s policies in Jerusalem, claiming that these policies undermine the peace process. Israel ignores the critique.

SAMPLE LETTER

This is a translation of a letter sent to the OECD delegation of Sweden by The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS). PGS is distributing the document without restrictions for other organizations to pick up, translate, modify and send to their countries' representatives. Please also redistribute in your contact networks.

The letter is intended to be sent in two copies, one to your foreign ministry and one to your OECDdelegation. (see http://nomembership.org/delegations-per-country)

Please inform us if you have contacted your representatives or are engaged in preventing Israeli membership in OECD. If we get the ball rolling we might spread the effect to other countries.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden, info@palestinagrupperna.se

- Article 1 of the convention states that the aims of the OECD shall be to “contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, non-discriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations”. In the pursuit of these aims, the Members agree that they will ”pursue their efforts to reduce or abolish obstacles to the exchange of goods and services” (Article 2). During the processing of the Israeli membership application, Israel has imposed one of the most far-reaching and internationally criticized blockades on the population of Gaza. The Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank have been fragmented by settlements, the separation wall, exclusively Israeli roads and cheQckpoints. The Palestinians are severely limited in their ability to conduct import, export as well as internal trade.

- The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) coordinates the international donor’s reports on foreign aid and develops guidelines for the aid. Palestine is a major receiver of aid and the main reason for this need is the Israeli occupation. If Israel is granted membership it will be able to influence the policy processes that govern the aid to Palestine.

We urge the Swedish OECD delegation to act in order to reverse the expected positive response to the Israeli membership application. One way to do this is to demand that new political questions are added to the review process of Israel and thereby postponing the decision. Another possibility is to use the Swedish veto against an affirmative decision, perhaps in cooperation with other countries.

The PGS has set up a campaign page on www.nomembership.org where we urge the member countries of the OECD to act in accordance with the line presented in this letter, and that national organizations contact their respective delegations and foreign ministries and inform them about the controversy associated with a possible Israeli membership.

We look forward to a response that clarifies how the Swedish delegation will act and what position Sweden has taken in relation to an Israeli membership in the OECD.

Per Gahrton, Chairman

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden


Source: The Alternative Information Centre

Original article published on 1st May 2010

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This text may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source and author are cited.

URL of this article on Tlaxcala:
http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=10449&lg=en

 


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