According to Amira Hass in Haaretz of 29 November 2013,
“European diplomatic sources claim that letting Palestinians join the council could sabotage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
“The Palestinians have had to freeze their application to become a member state of the International Olive Council due to opposition by Germany and Britain.
“According to European diplomatic sources, German and British representatives claimed that letting the Palestinians join the council could sabotage the Israeli-Palestinian talks now taking place under American auspices. The talks’ resumption was conditioned on Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a Palestinian promise not to try to join various UN organizations, and not address the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“The Palestinian application, which was prepared this summer by the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry in Ramallah in the name of the State of Palestine, was supposed to be voted on at an olive council meeting in Madrid this week.
“Representatives of the European External Action Service argued that the council is purely a technical organization, and therefore does not fall in the category of the organizations that the Palestinians promised not to join. Moreover, they argued, membership would give the Palestinians access to technical assistance in an industry vital to their economy. But this view didn’t sway Britain and Germany, both of which opposed the application.”
Read the full article here: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.560819