The PA’s attempt to block Israel’s economic achievement could theoretically backfire and endanger American military assistance to the would-be state of Palestine.
by Lenny Ben David for pajamasmedia.com
On Thursday, May 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Paris to formally accept the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s invitation to Israel to join the ranks of the world’s leading economies.
But Israel’s accession to the OECD would not have happened if the Palestinian Authority had its way, and the PA’s attempt to block Israel’s economic achievement could theoretically backfire and endanger American military assistance to the would-be state of Palestine. What’s at stake? Approximately $100 million that was appropriated for 2010 to train and equip the PA’s elite presidential guard and security forces.
During the deliberations of the 31 OECD members earlier this year, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki lobbied all the foreign ministers of the OECD countries, calling for the vote to be delayed because, he charged, Israel infringed on Palestinians’ human rights and violated OECD values, Ha’aretz reported.
Israel complained that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also called many of the leaders of OECD countries to argue against Israel’s acceptance, the Ha’aretz report continued. “Fayyad’s efforts to thwart Israel’s participation in the organization,” said Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor Party), “are extremely grave, and even more so during a time when Israel wants to begin proximity talks in order to reach an agreement and a reconciliation between the nations.”
The formal Palestinian leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was also mobilized to block Israel’s joining the OECD, according to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC). “In the run-up to the OECD decision,” a press release stated, “the BNC coordinated with the PLO, unions and other civil society actors in all thirty OECD member states as part of an intensive campaign to oppose Israel’s membership for its persistent and systematic violations of the rights of the Palestinians.”
On a basic level, the Palestinian attack on the Israel-OECD deal just doesn’t jive with the peace negotiations U.S. mediator George Mitchell is attempting to kickstart.