Photo Credit: DS Levi
Entrance to the United Nations building, New York City.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization decided this week to wait two more years – the date of its next session – to take up the question of whether to admit the Palestinian Authority Tourism Ministry to its ranks.

The application for membership in the UNWTO by the PA was submitted on behalf of “Palestine” last year.

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Israel had already taken measures to block the request, according to the Foreign Ministry. The Israeli government contends there is no existent legal ‘State of Palestine’ and thus it cannot be accepted as a member in the UN, nor in any of its agencies or organizations.

In recent days the United States had reportedly asked Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to cease unilateral actions against Israel in the United Nations – at least for the next four months – in order to allow time for envoys to carry out diplomatic peace efforts.

Wednesday, September 13 is the 24th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington DC. The document was to establish “an important new approach for achieving a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by initiating open, direct talks between Israel and the PLO.”

As it states in the State Department archive summary of the document, “Although the peacemaking efforts launched by the Oslo Accords did not produce a permanent agreement, the Oslo agreements achieved several breakthroughs. The Palestinians made a significant advance toward self-government with the creation of the Palestinian National Authority, composed of a democratically elected Council with Arafat as its head. For the first time, the PLO’s status was legitimized internationally…

The Oslo approach to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts effectively came to an end with the failure of the Camp David Summit in 2000 and the subsequent outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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