Israel gets accepted into OECD after unanimous vote


[..] Three OECD members – Switzerland, Ireland and Norway – had previously expressed reservations about Israel’s membership. They have focused on the settlements, which Israel does not treat as a separate economic entity. All new members require the approval of all 31 members.

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in January.
Photo by: Reuters

Foreign Ministry officials earlier said that Palestinians had intensified their efforts to keep Israel out of the organization in recent days, saying that Israel infringes on Palestinians’ human rights and violates OECD values.

Israel says Palestinian Prime Minister Salem Fayyad called many of the leaders of OECD countries over the past day to argue against Israel’s acceptance. One of the Palestinian arguments is that Israel provided false financial data by not separating out the data related to the settlements.

May 10, 2010 | 20 Comments »

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  1. aynreagan: with attitudes like yours, no wonder the international campaign to de-legitimize the State of israel has hope

    Yes, Birdy.

    It is my fault.

    In fact, Ahmadinejad identified me by name as being the sole reason for his animus towards Israel.

  2. aynreagan: with attitudes like yours, no wonder the international campaign to de-legitimize the State of israel has hope. That you can not see what OECD membership does for Israel makes me wonder why I should care one bit about Israel, if you represent her citizens.

    The United Nations CAN undo what they did in 1947, but they will not dare to undo an OECD member state.

    coming here is like trying to talk with Hamas. impossible.

  3. Oh, we’re already there.

    Sands is the quintessential pseudo-Jewish enabler of homicidal anti-Semitism.

    She is “so proud to be Jewish!”

    But she is even prouder to support Jew haters.

    It is Hebrews like Sands who will make the destruction of Israel possible.

    Then, they will very publicly mourn.

    Maybe make an Oscar-worthy film: “My Beloved Israel: Destroyed By My More Beloved President”.

    I’ll take a sincere Nazi like Mengele over an insincere kapo like Sands any day.

    And Mengele’s version of “The Way We Were” is considerably less schmaltzy.

  4. Israel is legitimate on its merits

    Your right Ayn and if anything Israel could teach the OECD how to succeed. Israel is about legitimate as you can get.

  5. the unanimous vote for Israel by the OECD is a great moment, because Israel is now OFFICIALLY a LEGITIMATE DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY

    As opposed to what?

    You believe that international acceptance confers legitimacy?

    And that lack of international acceptance denies legitimacy?

    Had Turkey exercised its veto, Israel would not be legitimate?

    The legitimacy of the Jewish State is subject to approval by an authoritarian Islamic Turkish regime?

    Israel is legitimate on its merits, international acceptance be damned.

    Here is my take: Now that Israel is a member, the OECD is legitimate.


    We will see.

  6. Laura asked what [eventual] price Israel will have to pay for being accepted into the OECD.

    Birdalone commented independently that it’s great that Israel was accepted because it’s a recognition of Israel’s being a truly democratic country.

    I replied that Birdalone’s comment answers Laura’s question about the price we will pay. Anything that smacks of Jewishness and is not democratic will lead to threats against Israel’s membership in the OECD.

    Now what didn’y you understand?

  7. IMF, along with a number of major national banks, has agreed to join in a trillion-dollar package to defend the overpriced euro against speculators.

    The Americans who rightly decry their government’s $2 billion-a-year aid to Israel should start questioning their administration over the hundredfold greater aid given to the EU. A financial meltdown in the euro zone would have greatly improved the US economy as international transactions moved from the euro back to dollars. The very existence of the euro undercuts America’s most profitable export—bank notes.

    Yet the US administration decided to support foreign governments contrary to America’s national interest.

  8. BB is even more stupid than I had previously given him credit as being:

    The government has granted Jerusalem development-zone status, which makes local factories eligible for subsidies. It defies common sense to call one’s capital a development zone.

    The government is desperate to stop the flight of productive Jews from Jerusalem, which is turning the city into an haredi and Arab territory. Under the Arab demographic onslaught, Jerusalem’s Jewish population is declining steadily.

    Netanyahu declared that subsidizing factories “strengthens the city and ensures its future.” Wrong. The new factories will employ Arabs, thus making Jerusalem still more attractive to them. And the last time we checked, strength was a matter of weapons, not subsidies. Economic incentives, especially misguided ones, cannot replace the necessity to expel the Arab residents of the Jewish capital.

    Subsidies cannot solve Jerusalem’s problems

  9. Bibi promises construction freeze in East Jerusalem

    The White House has slapped Netanyahu by publicizing his promise to avoid construction in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood for at least two years. Ramat Shlomo is not even East Jerusalem, but a Jewish district.

    How many Jews is this kapo ready to evict from their homes to please his American puppeteers?

  10. I think BB is trying to spin for domestic party consumption conflicting statements in hopes of delaying as long as possible any potential revolt from MK’s in the Likud and parties to the right of likud.:

    Published: 05/09/10, 9:27 PM / Last Update: 05/09/10, 10:01 PM
    White House Reports Two-Year Building Freeze in Ramat Shlomo

    by Maayana Miskin
    Follow Israel news on Twitter and Facebook.

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to freeze construction in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem for two years, officials in the United States State Department said Sunday. Netanyahu’s office denied that he has agreed not to build in Ramat Shlomo in northern Jerusalem until 2012.

    US officials said the move was part of an effort to create the right atmosphere for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has agreed to freeze construction, and the PA has agreed to fight incitement, they said. Israel has long complained that the PA engages in incitement and indoctrination of its populace to revere terrorist murderers and hate Jews.

    The PA announced Sunday that it has agreed to hold indirect negotiations with Israel, after threatening for several weeks that it would not do so unless Israel extended the freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria to eastern Jerusalem as well. The Israeli decision not to build in Ramat Shlomo may be a compromise between the pressure from the US and PA to declare a complete freeze in eastern Jerusalem, and the official government position that construction in the capital will go on.

    US envoy George Mitchell left Israel on Sunday; the talks are scheduled to begin with his return to the region next week.

    Earlier this year US officials were upset when the Jerusalem municipality confirmed the approval of a construction project in Ramat Shlomo during a visit from US Vice-President Joe Biden. At the time, Israeli officials said the US anger was misplaced, because the declaration was simply part of a long bureaucratic approval that would take years anyways.

    During the same visit, PA officials met to honor deceased female terrorist Dalal el-Mughrabi, who led the most bloody terrorist attack in Israel’s history.

    Ramat Shlomo is a predominantly hareidi-religious neighborhood in northern Jerusalem. It was built on state land that was not previously owned by Arabs, and is surrounded by other Jewish neighborhoods. The land was under Jordanian occupation from 1948 to 1967.

    The PA claims Ramat Shlomo as part of the capital of a PA state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. According to PA officials, all land east of the 1949 armistice line is rightfully Arab, including historically Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. (

  11. Laura, Birdalone just answered your ‘price’ question. You can’t be a Jewish State and a democratic country at the same time. Watch this space!

  12. the unanimous vote for Israel by the OECD is a great moment, because Israel is now OFFICIALLY a LEGITIMATE DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY (not that Israel has not always been that, but, this is a smackdown of the UN). Turkey and Sweden voted yes. No wonder the Palestinians were so frantic with their last-minute whining.

    China and Russia are not OECD members.

  13. Despite Sunday night’s announcement that Israel would halt a planned construction project in the capital’s northern Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, Mayor Nir Barkat declared on Monday morning that the advancement of municipal construction would in fact continue in all sections of Jerusalem, for both Jews and Arabs.

    “The real test is the test of action,” Barkat said in a statement. “And the municipality will continue to promote construction throughout all parts of the city, for Jews and Arabs alike.”

    He continued: “We expect that the Interior Ministry and the Housing Ministry will approve the plans and support our efforts to preserve the young population of Jerusalem – and help them deal with the severe housing crisis they face, in order to stop emigration from the city.”

    “We trust that the prime minister will not allow a freeze to take hold in Jerusalem. Not in words and not in deeds,” he added.

    Any construction over the Green Line, however, has the potential to derail recently renewed proximity talks with the Palestinians. An Interior Ministry committee’s approval of 1,600 housing units Ramat Shlomo in March led Palestinian negotiators to call off talks then, just days after they had been announced. The plans were also disclosed during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, leading to a diplomatic row with the Obama administration over construction in the capital’s eastern neighborhoods – all of which the US and the Palestinians have called to halt.

    Yet the announcement of a freeze in Ramat Shlomo was received with varying responses by Knesset members on Monday, with Information and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein expressing a wait-and-see attitude toward the development.

    “There’s not really anything new here,” Edelstein said. “When Biden was here, it was announced that the construction [in Ramat Shlomo] would take years to begin, and so in any case, work on the new housing units there won’t get off the ground for the next two or three years.”

    He added, “I don’t think that we’re talking about something that can change the government’s consistent stance or the position of its leader – according to which construction in Jerusalem will continue, in all parts of the city.”

    However, Edelstein added that without direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the chances of success were slim.

    “[The Palestinians] are looking for excuses to blame Israel instead of trying to progress,” he said.

    Meanwhile, National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau, who is currently on a Foreign Ministry-sponsored trip to Central America, expressed his concern over the announcement of a halt to construction in any neighborhood of the capital.

    “I am not familiar with all the details, but if what I heard is true, this is a serious error indeed,” Landau said from Costa Rica.

    “I intend to say so to Netanyahu,” he continued. “And I will express the same opinion before the entire government.”

    Landau is expected back in Israel later this week, according to his aide, after concluding his visit in Costa Rica and meeting with government representatives in Honduras.

  14. So, yamit – What are we to make of this:

    Disregarding peace talks, Israel announces more settlement construction
    McClatchy Newspapers

    JERUSALEM — Less than 24 hours after Israeli and Palestinian leaders relaunched indirect peace talks, Israel on Monday announced its intention to expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, a step that Palestinians warned could torpedo negotiations.

    Israeli Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser listed several settlements where Israel would continue construction, telling Army Radio, “Building is expected to begin soon in Har Homa … and Neve Yaakov, where (construction) bids have been issued.”

    He gave no details of specific plans to continue construction – leaving it unclear whether Israel plans to move on any projects immediately.

    The current negotiations are already on shaky ground, said Palestinian officials, who said they’d consider settlement expansion a breach of the terms by which the United States set up the talks.

    “If they begin doing this (building project), I think they will take down the proximity talks,” said Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator. “The whole concept behind proximity talks is to give (Mideast envoy) George Mitchell and U.S. President Barack Obama the chance they deserve.”

    The U.S. has been trying to restart peace negotiations for 17 months, since Israeli forces launched a major military operation in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians leaders called off direct negotiators until Israel declared a complete freeze on Jewish settlement building.

    Mitchell and other U.S. mediators have since been shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, to try to persuade the two parties to resume full-scale talks. Mitchell, who returned to Washington this week, will relay the results of the first round of shuttle diplomacy.

    The issue of East Jerusalem settlement construction nearly caused the cancellation of negotiations in early March, when Israel announced plans for 1,600 new housing units in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo during a visit to Jerusalem by Vice President Joe Biden.

    The U.S. asked Israel to review its settlement policy, and on Sunday, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley cautioned both sides they’d be held accountable if they did anything that could “seriously undermine trust.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has denied reports by McClatchy Newspapers and other news organizations that Israel had delayed the Ramat Shlomo building. It said in a statement that construction there would begin “in a few years” only because there are planning procedures left to complete.

    Pro-settlement activists, however, claim that the Israeli government has instituted a de facto freeze, or slowdown of settlement activity in an effort to pacify the Americans and the Palestinians.

    Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas addressed the issue of the freeze by telling reporters, “The Americans said some words to us, and they said some words to the Israelis, and now it’s up to the U.S. administration to answer such things.”

    Lawmakers in Netanyahu’s largely hawkish government admitted that they have left the Israeli premier with little room to negotiate. Israel’s daily Maariv newspaper reported that an official in Netanyahu’s office said the government was “in a trap.”

    “Israel is getting caught in a serious trap, and we need a miracle to emerge whole from these proximity talks,” Maariv quoted the official as saying. He said that any right-wing Israeli official could “come along now and cause a crisis, and at any given moment, some Israeli action can come up that will be interpreted by the Americans as undermining trust.”

    Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition has pressed for settlement expansion even as Netanyahu has discussed extending a partial freeze in construction.

    Lawmaker Zvulun Orlev said that his party could threaten a coalition crisis over the issue.

    “If Netanyahu does not build in Jerusalem, he won’t be able to count on his current coalition,” said Orlev. “We celebrate a sad Jerusalem Day this week because for the first time, there is no construction in Jerusalem.”

    On Wednesday, Israel will celebrate Jerusalem Day, a holiday that in past years has been used by settler groups hoping to promote Jewish expansion in East Jerusalem.

    (Frenkel is a McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent.)

    Read more:

  15. Three OECD members – Switzerland, Ireland and Norway – had previously expressed reservations about Israel’s membership. They have focused on the settlements, which Israel does not treat as a separate economic entity. All new members require the approval of all 31 members.

    All thirty-one want their party to be infested with Jews?


    Then again:

    Groucho Marx: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

    I also love this one:

    Groucho to S J Perelman about his book Dawn Ginsbergh’s Revenge (1929), as quoted in LIFE (9 February 1962)

    “From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.”