PRESS RELEASE: Turkey/ Israel/OECD– Delegation of Muslim dignitaries to lobby Turkish government

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Muslim and Islamic Rights Groups ask for Turkey to veto Israel’s membership application

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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27 April 2010

PRESS RELEASE:  Turkey / Israeli accession to OECD – Delegation of Muslim dignitaries to lobby Turkish government

 

A group of European Muslim dignitaries, including representatives of major Muslim and Islamic organisations is set to visit Turkey, early May, in a bid to get the Turkish government to veto Israel’s possible accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Originally scheduled for late April but postponed due to the volcanic ash crisis, the visit is the culmination of a campaign initiated by Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) [1] requesting the Turkish government voice its opposition to the Israeli application.  So far, thousands of letters and emails from citizens around the world have been sent to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  
The delegation is set to meet senior government officials and advisors to make its case.

IHRC Head of Campaigns and delegation member, Seyfeddin Kara said:

“Turkey is the only Muslim member of the OECD and holds right and responsibility to veto Israel’s admission to the OECD.”

Also taking part in the delegation, IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh said:

“Turkey has a unique chance to show leadership on an issue of universal humanity, human rights and justice.  We hope that they will take the opportunity given them to stand for the rights of oppressed peoples.”

The OECD Secretary General Angel Gurrira, has indicated that Israel’s accession could become a reality in May 2010.  This is despite Israel’s egregious human rights records as well internal concerns within the OECD, disclosed in a leaked report, that the economic statistics submitted by Israel include Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) but not Palestinians.[2]  

The delegation to Turkey includes:

1-    Massoud Shadjareh, Chairman of Islamic Human Rights Commission-UK
2-    Majed al-Zeer, General Director of the Palestinian Return Centre-UK
3-    Said Ferjani, Head of Policy, Media & PR, Muslim Association of Britain-UK  
4-    Dr. Daud Abdulla, Director of Middle East Monitor- UK
5-    Dr. Abdallah Thomas Milcent, March 15 Committee- France
6-    Dr. Arafat Shoukri, Chair of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza-UK
7-    Seyfeddin Kara, Head of Campaigns, Islamic Human Rights Commission-UK                                                                                                                                           


For pre-event press comment and information on the delegation please contact the Press Office email: info@ihrc.org .  Interviews with delegates in person and by telephone can be arranged nearer the time.  More information to follow.

Notes for editors:

[1] The campaign alert ‘URGENT ALERT: Palestine– Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD ‘ can be found at:
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/activities/alerts/9286-urgent-alert-palestine-write-to-the-turkish-pm-erdogan-to-veto-israels-accession-to-the-oecd
The entire text is pasted at the end of this release.

[2] A copy of the report "Ascension of Israel to the Organization: Draft Formal Opinions of the Committee on Statistics" can be found at the Electronic Intifada site at:
http://www.electronicintifada.net/downloads/pdf/100324-israel-oecd.pdf

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
-----------------------------------------------------
07 April 2010

URGENT ALERT: Occupied Palestine/Turkey – Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter


1. Summary
Israel is due to be admitted to the exclusive economic club, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Despite its failure to comply with the 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 right and responsibility to veto Israelis admission to the OECD.

Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD.


2. Background
The OECD was founded in 1961. It has 30 member states mostly consisting of EU countries at present it maintains 60 percent of global wealth. Israel has been seeking to join the OECD for 20 years. Due to Israel’s egregious human rights records and belligerent attitude towards Palestinians and neighboring countries, the OECD procrastinated the admission process into the exclusive club. As well as economic prosperity, the OECD has “strict” criteria in terms of democratic and human rights records of member countries.

The OECD has recently changed its stance and concluded the process in favor of Israel’s admission. On the 19 January 2010, after signing a key agreement at the Israeli foreign ministry, the OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria stated that:

“We are probably going to complete (the membership process) in 2010, that's when it was scheduled for”

If the accession goes ahead (expected to take place in May) Israel will internationally obtain credibility, and economic benefits. It is expected that as a result of the accession, Israel's credit rating will be upgraded. Consequently, it will be easier for the Israeli firms to raise funds. [1]

The OECD announcement comes amid the dispute regarding the submission of the economic statistics of the Israeli population. The Israeli figures included Israeli settlers and excluded the Palestinian population from the statistics. This undoubtedly contradicted EU policy as these settlements have not been recognized by international law.

A leaked report revealed that the OECD requested Israel to either include the Palestinians (and the settlers) in the West Bank or neither of the two parties should be included. [2] 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, thus will avoid submitting updated figures about the West Bank.

Mr Hever a Quds/Jerusalem based economist pointed out the political legerdemain that the OECD and Israel performed in the accession process:

“The OECD is treating Israel as though it has seven million citizens when, in reality, it has 11 million subjects, of whom four million are Palestinians living under occupation, If they were included in the figures submitted to the OECD, Israel would have to be refused accession because of the enormous disparities in wealth.” [3]

As it has been affirmed by the Russell Tribunal (International War Crimes), European law forbids European countries from recognizing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. However, by granting membership to the OECD, European governments are giving credence to the economically apartheid regime. Also by acknowledging the illegal occupation, they become complicit with Israeli war crimes documented in the Goldstone report.

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 Erdogan 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.

This is an opportunity for Mr Erdogan to show further solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. It is also a unique opportunity to chastise the arrogance of Israeli politicians who calumniously attack their political opponents for voicing criticism of their heinous crimes against humanity.

End Notes:
[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/09/israel-policy-economic-oecd
[2] http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11158.shtml
[3] http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100308/FOREIGN/703079958/1135/commentary


3. Action required

Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD.


4. Sample letter
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample letter to the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. You may write to Mr Erdogan via his email address ozelkalem@basbakanlik.gov.tr or send a fax to him via 0090 312 417 04 76.

[Your name]
[Your address]

Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Basbakanlik
Vekaletler Caddesi
Klay / Ankara

[Date]

Your Excellency Mr Erdogan,

Re: Veto Israel’s accession to OECD
As you may be aware the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently announced that it would admit Israel into the OECD. On 19 January 2010, after signing a key agreement at the Israeli foreign ministry, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria stated that:

“We are probably going to complete (the membership process) in 2010, that's when it was scheduled for”

Your Excellency if the accession goes ahead (expected to take place in May). Israel will internationally obtain credibility, and economic benefits. It is expected that as a result of the accession, Israel's credit rating will be upgraded. Consequently, it will be easier for the Israeli firms to raise funds.

The OECD announcement comes amid the dispute regarding the submission of the economic statistics of Israeli population. The Israeli figures included Israeli settlers and excluded the Palestinian population from the statistics. This undoubtedly contradicted EU policy as these settlements have not been recognized by international law.

A leaked report revealed that the OECD requested Israel to either include the Palestinians (and the settlers) in the West Bank or neither of the two parties should be included. 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, thus will avoid submitting updated figures about the West Bank.

Mr Hever a Quds/Jerusalem based economist pointed out the political legerdemain that the OECD and Israel performed in the accession process:

“The OECD is treating Israel as though it has seven million citizens when, in reality, it has 11 million subjects, of whom four million are Palestinians living under occupation, If they were included in the figures submitted to the OECD, Israel would have to be refused accession because of the enormous disparities in wealth.”

As it has been affirmed by the Russell Tribunal (International War Crimes), European law forbids European countries from recognizing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. However, by granting membership to the OECD, European governments are giving credence to the economically apartheid regime. Also by acknowledging the illegal occupation, they become complicit with Israeli war crimes documented in the Goldstone report.

Your Excellency, the OECD needs a consensus to admit a new member states into the organization. Turkey as the only Muslim member of the OECD holds right and responsibility to veto Israelis’ admission to the OECD. I am well aware that Your Excellency is an outspoken defender of the Palestinians in the international arena resulting in you being targeted by senior Israeli politicians and the Israeli lobby.
This is an opportunity for Your Excellency to show further solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. It is also a unique opportunity to chastise the arrogance of Israeli politicians who calumniously attack their political opponents for voicing criticism of their heinous crimes against humanity.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name][ENDS]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org

-----------------------------------------------------
Islamic Human Rights Commission
-----------------------------------------------------
27 April 2010

PRESS RELEASE:  Turkey / Israeli accession to OECD – Delegation of Muslim dignitaries to lobby Turkish government
Muslim and Islamic Rights Groups ask for Turkey to veto Israel’s membership application

A group of European Muslim dignitaries, including representatives of major Muslim and Islamic organisations is set to visit Turkey, early May, in a bid to get the Turkish government to veto Israel’s possible accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Originally scheduled for late April but postponed due to the volcanic ash crisis, the visit is the culmination of a campaign initiated by Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) [1] requesting the Turkish government voice its opposition to the Israeli application.  So far, thousands of letters and emails from citizens around the world have been sent to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  
The delegation is set to meet senior government officials and advisors to make its case.
IHRC Head of Campaigns and delegation member, Seyfeddin Kara said:
“Turkey is the only Muslim member of the OECD and holds right and responsibility to veto Israel’s admission to the OECD.”
Also taking part in the delegation, IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh said:
“Turkey has a unique chance to show leadership on an issue of universal humanity, human rights and justice.  We hope that they will take the opportunity given them to stand for the rights of oppressed peoples.”
The OECD Secretary General Angel Gurrira, has indicated that Israel’s accession could become a reality in May 2010.  This is despite Israel’s egregious human rights records as well internal concerns within the OECD, disclosed in a leaked report, that the economic statistics submitted by Israel include Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) but not Palestinians.[2]  
The delegation to Turkey includes:

1-    Massoud Shadjareh, Chairman of Islamic Human Rights Commission-UK
2-    Majed al-Zeer, General Director of the Palestinian Return Centre-UK
3-    Said Ferjani, Head of Policy, Media & PR, Muslim Association of Britain-UK  
4-    Dr. Daud Abdulla, Director of Middle East Monitor- UK
5-    Dr. Abdallah Thomas Milcent, March 15 Committee- France
6-    Dr. Arafat Shoukri, Chair of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza-UK
7-    Iffit Z. Qureyshi, Norway
8-    Seyfeddin Kara, Head of Campaigns, Islamic Human Rights Commission-UK                                                                                                                                           

For pre-event press comment and information on the delegation please contact the Press Office email: info@ihrc.org .  Interviews with delegates in person and by telephone can be arranged nearer the time.  More information to follow.

Notes for editors:
[1] The campaign alert ‘URGENT ALERT: Palestine– Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD ‘ can be found at:
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/activities/alerts/9286-urgent-alert-palestine-write-to-the-turkish-pm-erdogan-to-veto-israels-accession-to-the-oecd
The entire text is pasted at the end of this release.

[2] A copy of the report "Ascension of Israel to the Organization: Draft Formal Opinions of the Committee on Statistics" can be found at the Electronic Intifada site at:
http://www.electronicintifada.net/downloads/pdf/100324-israel-oecd.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------
Islamic Human Rights Commission
-----------------------------------------------------
07 April 2010

URGENT ALERT: Occupied Palestine/Turkey – Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter


1. Summary
Israel is due to be admitted to the exclusive economic club, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Despite its failure to comply with the 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 right and responsibility to veto Israelis admission to the OECD.
Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD.


2. Background
The OECD was founded in 1961. It has 30 member states mostly consisting of EU countries at present it maintains 60 percent of global wealth. Israel has been seeking to join the OECD for 20 years. Due to Israel’s egregious human rights records and belligerent attitude towards Palestinians and neighboring countries, the OECD procrastinated the admission process into the exclusive club. As well as economic prosperity, the OECD has “strict” criteria in terms of democratic and human rights records of member countries.
The OECD has recently changed its stance and concluded the process in favor of Israel’s admission. On the 19 January 2010, after signing a key agreement at the Israeli foreign ministry, the OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria stated that:
“We are probably going to complete (the membership process) in 2010, that's when it was scheduled for”
If the accession goes ahead (expected to take place in May) Israel will internationally obtain credibility, and economic benefits. It is expected that as a result of the accession, Israel's credit rating will be upgraded. Consequently, it will be easier for the Israeli firms to raise funds. [1]
The OECD announcement comes amid the dispute regarding the submission of the economic statistics of the Israeli population. The Israeli figures included Israeli settlers and excluded the Palestinian population from the statistics. This undoubtedly contradicted EU policy as these settlements have not been recognized by international law.
A leaked report revealed that the OECD requested Israel to either include the Palestinians (and the settlers) in the West Bank or neither of the two parties should be included. [2] 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, thus will avoid submitting updated figures about the West Bank.
Mr Hever a Quds/Jerusalem based economist pointed out the political legerdemain that the OECD and Israel performed in the accession process:
“The OECD is treating Israel as though it has seven million citizens when, in reality, it has 11 million subjects, of whom four million are Palestinians living under occupation, If they were included in the figures submitted to the OECD, Israel would have to be refused accession because of the enormous disparities in wealth.” [3]
As it has been affirmed by the Russell Tribunal (International War Crimes), European law forbids European countries from recognizing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. However, by granting membership to the OECD, European governments are giving credence to the economically apartheid regime. Also by acknowledging the illegal occupation, they become complicit with Israeli war crimes documented in the Goldstone report.
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 Erdogan 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.
This is an opportunity for Mr Erdogan to show further solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. It is also a unique opportunity to chastise the arrogance of Israeli politicians who calumniously attack their political opponents for voicing criticism of their heinous crimes against humanity.

End Notes:
[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/09/israel-policy-economic-oecd
[2] http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11158.shtml
[3] http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100308/FOREIGN/703079958/1135/commentary


3. Action required

Write to the Turkish PM Erdogan to veto Israel’s accession to the OECD.


4. Sample letter
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample letter to the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. You may write to Mr Erdogan via his email address ozelkalem@basbakanlik.gov.tr or send a fax to him via 0090 312 417 04 76.

[Your name]
[Your address]

Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Basbakanlik
Vekaletler Caddesi
Klay / Ankara

[Date]

Your Excellency Mr Erdogan,

Re: Veto Israel’s accession to OECD
As you may be aware the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently announced that it would admit Israel into the OECD. On 19 January 2010, after signing a key agreement at the Israeli foreign ministry, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria stated that:
“We are probably going to complete (the membership process) in 2010, that's when it was scheduled for”
Your Excellency if the accession goes ahead (expected to take place in May). Israel will internationally obtain credibility, and economic benefits. It is expected that as a result of the accession, Israel's credit rating will be upgraded. Consequently, it will be easier for the Israeli firms to raise funds.
The OECD announcement comes amid the dispute regarding the submission of the economic statistics of Israeli population. The Israeli figures included Israeli settlers and excluded the Palestinian population from the statistics. This undoubtedly contradicted EU policy as these settlements have not been recognized by international law.
A leaked report revealed that the OECD requested Israel to either include the Palestinians (and the settlers) in the West Bank or neither of the two parties should be included. 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, thus will avoid submitting updated figures about the West Bank.
Mr Hever a Quds/Jerusalem based economist pointed out the political legerdemain that the OECD and Israel performed in the accession process:
“The OECD is treating Israel as though it has seven million citizens when, in reality, it has 11 million subjects, of whom four million are Palestinians living under occupation, If they were included in the figures submitted to the OECD, Israel would have to be refused accession because of the enormous disparities in wealth.”
As it has been affirmed by the Russell Tribunal (International War Crimes), European law forbids European countries from recognizing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. However, by granting membership to the OECD, European governments are giving credence to the economically apartheid regime. Also by acknowledging the illegal occupation, they become complicit with Israeli war crimes documented in the Goldstone report.
Your Excellency, the OECD needs a consensus to admit a new member states into the organization. Turkey as the only Muslim member of the OECD holds right and responsibility to veto Israelis’ admission to the OECD. I am well aware that Your Excellency is an outspoken defender of the Palestinians in the international arena resulting in you being targeted by senior Israeli politicians and the Israeli lobby.
This is an opportunity for Your Excellency to show further solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. It is also a unique opportunity to chastise the arrogance of Israeli politicians who calumniously attack their political opponents for voicing criticism of their heinous crimes against humanity.
I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name][ENDS]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org