OECD Sample Letters

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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

Sample Letter to MPs (or where applicable MEPs)



Dear………



I note with concern that Israel has been invited to engage in open accession discussions with a view to membership of the OECD. I do not believe that Israel can meet criteria set out in the Accession Process nor abide with the OECD Convention. As my representative in parliament I am asking you to open a debate on this subject and lobby our permanent representative on the OECD to vote against offering Israel membership.



I understand eligibility for OECD membership rests on the demonstration of a respect for human rights. Members must adhere to the principles of the OECD as outlined in its Convention, including a commitment to the purposes of the UN. Further, the OECD claims to be based on the understanding that countries have a responsibility to use their economic strength to establish peaceful relations and to support the economic development of member and non-member states.



Israel, however, does not comply with any of these fundamental principles of the OECD.



Israel has violated dozens of UN resolutions, from resolution 194 guaranteeing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, to the UN endorsement of the verdict of the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the Wall, the occupation and the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Palestinians, both in the West Bank or Gaza and on the other side of the Green Line, face daily human rights abuses. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are systematically discriminated against in almost all spheres of life, Palestinians in Jerusalem are undergoing a slow but incessant process of expulsion and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are enclosed in their residential areas by walls, settlements and hundreds of checkpoints, gates and terminals.



Israel’s cynical use of economic power over the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has culminated in more than a year of economic siege. Palestinian money is withheld or released, the gates that allow the West Bank and Gaza access to the outside world and necessary goods are opened and closed according only to the political and economic interests of the occupation. Yet these mechanisms are only part of the economic policies that bolster Israeli occupation and apartheid, grounded in strategic destruction of Palestinian economic infrastructure.



Palestinian organizations and international bodies, such as the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and even the World Bank in its latest reports, concur from their different viewpoints that Israeli policies are systematically destroying any possibility for Palestinian economic survival and prevent the attainment of peace, self-determination and equality.



Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the ever growing global movement that endorses the Palestinian unified call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as the most effective international means to end Israel’s violation of human rights and international law and to implement Palestinian rights to self-determination, their land and the return of the refugees. The global integration of Israel over the last 60 years has not furthered the implementation of international law in Palestine. Only concrete pressure that conditions Israeli participation within the international community – as this was the case with Apartheid South Africa – on the respect of its rules can truly make a difference. As my representative in government it is your responsibility to apply this pressure.



I therefore request you to bear these factors in mind when discussing Israel’s possible membership and use your voice to lobby against their membership of the OECD.



Regards,



****



Sample Letter to national representatives in the OECD Council



Dear .......



I note with concern that Israel has been invited to engage in open accession discussions with a view to membership of the OECD. I do not believe that Israel can meet criteria set out in the Accession Process nor abide with the OECD Convention. As my nation’s representative on the OECD Council I would therefore urge you to work against Israel’s membership and vote against the country being offered an invitation to join.



I understand eligibility for OECD membership rests on the demonstration of a respect for human rights. Members must adhere to the principles of the OECD as outlined in its Convention, including a commitment to the purposes of the UN. Further, the OECD claims to be based on the understanding that countries have a responsibility to use their economic strength to establish peaceful relations and to support the economic development of member and non-member states.



Israel, however, does not comply with any of these fundamental principles of the OECD.



Israel has violated dozens of UN resolutions, from resolution 194 guaranteeing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, to the UN endorsement of the verdict of the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the Wall, the occupation and the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Palestinians, both in the West Bank or Gaza and on the other side of the Green Line, face daily human rights abuses. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are systematically discriminated against in almost all spheres of life, Palestinians in Jerusalem are undergoing a slow but incessant process of expulsion and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are enclosed in their residential areas by walls, settlements and hundreds of checkpoints, gates and terminals.



Israel’s cynical use of economic power over the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has culminated in more than a year of economic siege. Palestinian money is withheld or released, the gates that allow the West Bank and Gaza access to the outside world and necessary goods are opened and closed according only to the political and economic interests of the occupation. Yet these mechanisms are only part of the economic policies that bolster Israeli occupation and apartheid, grounded in strategic destruction of Palestinian economic infrastructure.



Palestinian organizations and international bodies, such as the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and even the World Bank in its latest reports, concur from their different viewpoints that Israeli policies are systematically destroying any possibility for Palestinian economic survival and prevent the attainment of peace, self-determination and equality.



Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the ever growing global movement that endorses the Palestinian unified call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as the most effective international means to end Israel’s violation of human rights and international law and to implement Palestinian rights to self-determination, their land and the return of the refugees. The global integration of Israel over the last 60 years has not furthered the implementation of international law in Palestine. Only concrete pressure that conditions Israeli participation within the international community – as this was the case with Apartheid South Africa – on the respect of its rules can truly make a difference. It is the obligation of a political decision-maker such as yourself to apply this pressure.



I therefore request you to bear these factors in mind when discussing Israel’s possible membership and use your Council vote withhold their membership of the OECD.



Regards,
















































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