Maze Cartoon - OECD, Feather in Israel's
editorial of the OECD being a feather in Israel's hat.
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Israel celebrates membership of
has won a rare diplomatic victory in the face of stiff Palestinian
opposition by being accepted into the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development.
Israel has tried for 16 years to
join the exclusive club of prosperous economies.
OECD said it invited Israel, Estonia and Slovenia to become members
after they met specific criteria as developed, open economies. The
three increase OECD membership to 34.The new members ''will contribute
to a more
plural and open OECD that is playing an increasingly important role in
the global economic architecture'', the OECD secretary-general, Angel
Gurria, said in Paris.
He said Israeli politics and
Middle East tensions were ''not the main focus of discussion'' but
acknowledged ''the entire process of membership is political''.
OECD's legal director, Nicola Bonucci, said on Monday a study will
''quantify the impact'' of data included by Israel from the Golan
Heights, East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements. Ms Bonucci said that
issue ''was discussed at length''.
The head of
Israel's central bank, Stanley Fischer, said membership ''is an
important step towards Israel's integration into the global economy,
and is an expression of Israel's commitment to meet the highest
Israel's Prime Minister,
Benjamin Netanyahu, said: ''Today, a new investment avenue has been
opened for us.'' He said he hoped to make Israel one of the world's top
15 economies over the next decade.
formation, Israel has evolved from a tiny farming nation into a
high-tech powerhouse. Palestinian officials said Israel's occupation of
the West Bank and discriminatory treatment of its Arab citizens put the
country at odds with the OECD's commitment to human rights.