Is Europe Planning Seal of Approval for Israeli Settlers?

Israel Set to Join Club of Richest Nations

by Jonathan Cook / March 8th, 2010

An
exclusive club of the world’s most developed countries is poised to
admit Israel as a member even though, a confidential internal document
indicates, doing so will amount to endorsing Israel’s illegal
occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories.

Israel has been told that its accession to the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is all but assured when the
30 member states meet in May.

But a draft OECD report concedes that Israel has breached one of the
organisation’s key requirements on providing accurate and transparent
data on its economic activity.

The information supplied by Israel, the report notes, includes not
only the economic activity of its citizens inside its recognised
borders but also Jewish settlers who live in the occupied territories
of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan in violation of
international law.

Israel’s accession to the OECD on such terms threatens to severely
embarrass many of the organisation’s member states, especially those in
the European Union that are publicly committed to avoiding collusion
with the occupation.

The OECD report proposes that these legal difficulties may be
circumvented by asking Israel to produce new statistics within a year
of its accession excluding the settler population – even though, an
OECD official has admitted, Israel would have the power to veto such a
demand after it becomes a member.

“The OECD seems to be so determined to get Israel through its door
that it is prepared to cover up the crimes of the occupation,” said
Shir Hever, a Jerusalem-based economist.

Israel has been lobbying for nearly 20 years to be admitted to the
OECD, founded in 1961 for wealthy industrialised democracies to meet
and co-ordinate economic and social policies. It includes the United
States and most of Europe.                                                   More……………………………

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