IHRC to lobby in Turkey against Israel’s OECD bid

May 06, 2010, Thursday/ 16:26:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
A delegation of European Muslim dignitaries are scheduled to visit Turkey later this month to lobby the Turkish government to veto Israel’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The visit, organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a London-based nongovernmental organization, will take place from May 10 to May 15, days ahead of the May 27-28 meeting of the 30-member OECD in Paris, during which the members will vote on Israel’s application to join the organization which brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy.

The IHRC has already launched a campaign collecting letters to be sent to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, urging him to take action and veto Israel’s OECD bid.

“Despite its failure to comply with demands and standards, the organization in January 2010 announced that the OECD will ‘complete’ Israel’s membership in 2010 [expected to take place in May]. However, the OECD needs consensus to admit a new member state into the organization. Turkey is the only Muslim member of the OECD and holds the right and the responsibility to veto Israel’s entry to the OECD,” the IHRC said when launching the campaign.

“A leaked report revealed that the OECD requested Israel to include either the Palestinians [and the settlers] in the West Bank or neither of the two parties. According to the same report this issue did not become an obstacle to Israel becoming a member of the OECD. The proposed solution allowed Israel to submit the requested data one year after joining the OECD. If Israel is granted full membership, it will have power to veto the demands of the OECD and thus will avoid submitting updated figures about the West Bank,” said the IHRC.

“The OECD needs a consensus to admit a new member state into the organization. Turkey, as the only Muslim member of the OECD, holds right and responsibility to veto Israelis’ admission to the OECD. Mr. Erdoğan has become an outspoken defender of the Palestinians in the international arena, resulting in him being targeted by senior Israeli politicians and the Israeli lobby,” it said.

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