From Badil

A Vote for Israel’s Accession to the OECD is a Vote in Support of
Israel’s War Crimes and Other Grave Violations of International Law and
Human Rights
Palestinian civil society urges the peoples and governments of OECD
member states to defer Israel’s OECD accession until it respects
international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people and
shows commitment to the fundamental values shared by OECD members.
BNC, Palestine, 15 March 2010 – The Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) is scheduled to convene in May 2010 in order to take a formal decision on Israel’s application for
membership in the Organization. A vote for Israel’s accession to the
OECD will be regarded by an overwhelming majority of Palestinians,
Arabs, and people of conscience around the world as a decisive and
far-reaching act of complicity in rewarding and perpetuating Israel’s
occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people.
Furthermore, it will irreparably undermine the rule of law and further
entrench the culture of impunity that has enabled Israel to escalate its
commission of war crimes and what is described by some leading
international law experts as a prelude to genocide against Palestinians
in the illegally besieged and occupied Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee
(BNC) calls upon civil society organizations around the world to apply
maximum pressure on their respective governments to ensure that Israel
will not be admitted into the OECD, including by casting a vote against
Israel’s accession in the final review of its application in May.
Membership in the OECD will intensely fuel Israel’s militarism,
belligerence and aggression, further destabilizing the entire region,
undermining security as well as social, political and economic
development and making the quest for a just peace an unattainable goal.
The BNC deplores the OECD’s persistent disregard of evidence submitted
by human rights and civil society organizations in process of
examination of Israel’s membership application [1]. The BNC further
deplores the decision by the OECD to consider Israel’s inability to
provide economic statistics which distinguish between the state of
Israel and the Palestinian and Syrian territories it occupies as not
constituting and obstacle to Israel’s OECD accession [2].
We affirm that the OECD becomes complicit in Israel’s unlawful acts, if
the Organization fails to address – despite ample evidence – Israel’s
reality as an oppressive occupying and colonizing power in the West
Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip and continues to
ignore Israel’s system of institutionalized racial discrimination which
is the root cause of the extreme poverty among its Palestinian citizens
highlighted in OECD reports.
In light of the persistent refusal of many OECD member states to
consider Israel’s violations of international humanitarian and human
rights law, we call in particular on OECD members that have voted in
support of the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the
Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Report) in the United Nations – Ireland,
Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey – to reaffirm their principled
stand also in the context of Israel’s bid for OECD membership. We urge
you to maintain and reaffirm your position that Israel, like all other
states, is to be held accountable to the standards of international law
and universal human rights and must respect them before it can be
welcomed as a member in the OECD.
Respect and compliance with international humanitarian and human rights
law is a requirement for members under OECD instruments. The 1960 OECD Convention, for example, affirms that “economic strength and prosperity are essential for the attainment of the purposes of the United Nations, the preservation of individual liberty and the increase of general
well-being.” In the “Road Map for the accession of Israel to the OECD
Convention” adopted by the Council in November 2007, the Council noted
that in order for Israel to accede to the OECD it must demonstrate its
commitment to “fundamental values” shared by all OECD members and meet related benchmarks. The stated OECD values include “a commitment to pluralist democracy based on the rule of law and the respect of human
rights, adherence to open and transparent market economy principles and
a shared goal of sustainable development.”
Condemned as a state that is practicing occupation, colonization and
apartheid by a recent authoritative legal study in South Africa
supervised by international law expert and former UN human rights
rapporteur, Prof. John Dugard, Israel is not in compliance with
international law and OECD standards and benchmarks [3]. Israel has yet
to comply with the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict and investigate and prosecute where needed those
responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity that resulted in
the death of more than 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in
the winter of 2008/9. Israel has yet to lift its illegal blockade of the
occupied Gaza Strip which has brought to the brink of starvation almost
1.5 million Palestinians, most of whom are refugees Israel had displaced
and dispossessed back in 1948. It has yet to dismantle its illegal Wall
in the occupied Palestinian West Bank in accordance with the 2004
International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion. Israel has yet to end
its almost 43-year-old occupation of the West Bank, including East
Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, reverse its colonial enterprise and
release Palestinians detained and imprisoned. It has yet to transform
its political and legal system in order to provide reparation for
millions of Palestinian victims, including return for the refugees, and
allow full and equal participation of its Palestinian citizens. Only
then will Israel meet the standards of pluralist democracies valued by
the OECD.
The BNC reiterates the concerns expressed on numerous occasions to the
OECD by human rights and civil society organizations and calls upon the
governments and peoples of OECD member states to say no to Israel’s bid
for membership in the OECD.
[1] See for example:
Letter to Mr. Angel Gurria, Secretary General, OECD (22 human rights and
civil society organizations), 28 September 2008:
Letter to the Foreign Ministers of Non-EU OECD member states (16
organizations), January 2009: ;
and Arab Higher Monitoring Committee to the OECD, 27 Feb. 2010:
[2] See for example:
Link to this statement at:




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