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The Interpol logo.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Israel works to thwart renewed Palestinian Authority bid to join Interpol
By HERB KEINON
09/24/2017
Israel is adamantly opposed to Palestinian admission to all international organizations arguing that a state of Palestine does not exist.
The Palestinian march to gain admission as a full member-state in international organizations continues with the International Police Organization taking up the issue in Beijing at its annual meeting this week.

A Palestinian bid to join Interpol, which represents police forces from some 190 countries, failed last year at the annual meeting in Indonesia, along with bids by Kosovo and Solomon Islands. All three bids were considered on the same ballot, with 62 countries voting to suspend the bid until this year, 56 voting to deal with the issue and 37 abstaining.

At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the vote as a reflection of the change in Israel’s standing in the international community. Netanyahu has joined the Foreign Ministry in efforts this year, as well, to block the move.

A closer reading of last year’s vote, however, showed that Israel benefited from the fact that Kosovo also applied for membership – something actively opposed by Russia. Kosovo is on the ballot this time, as well.

Interpol’s board of directors is scheduled to meet on Sunday and decide what resolution to bring to the General Assembly meeting that begins on Tuesday. If the board decides to again suspend the admittance of new members, that, too, must go to a vote. If it decides to hold a vote on whether to accept the candidates, it will need two-thirds of the 190 members to pass.

Diplomatic sources said that, this time, it appears the Palestinians could muster the necessary support if the matter is brought to a vote.

Israel is adamantly opposed to Palestinian admission to all international organizations, arguing that a state of Palestine does not exist and, therefore, it cannot be accepted as a state in international organizations.

In addition, regarding Interpol specifically, Israel is concerned that if the Palestinians join they would push for arrest warrants against Israeli citizens.

Jerusalem also is concerned that sensitive information it shares with the organization could – if the Palestinians were members – be compromised.

The bid to join Interpol follows by just two weeks a failed Palestinian effort to join the World Tourism Organization. The Palestinians withdrew that bid following diplomatic efforts by Israel that led to considerable pressure from the US to drop the attempt.
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