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Government, International Organizations

partition plan, Middle Eastern nation, Islamic Conference, peace talks, Arab League

Israel has been a member of the UN since 1949 and is a member of many other international organizations. It participates in a wide range of UN activities, including nongovernmental organizations addressing issues such as aviation, immigration, communications, meteorology, trade, and the status of women. Israelís relationship with the UN has varied considerably. The UN partition plan created the state, and UN resolutions in 1967 and 1973 called for acknowledgement of Israelís sovereignty by all states in the region. However, Israel has been excluded from regional UN caucusing groups, and hundreds of UN resolutions have been critical of Israeli policies and activities. For example, in 1975 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that labeled Zionism as a form of racism; the General Assembly repealed the resolution in 1991. In 1998 the General Assembly passed a resolution acknowledging anti-Semitism (hostility toward Jews) as a form of racism.

Israel is a member of many agencies within the UN, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Israel also participates in other international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Israel is excluded from many regional organizations uniting surrounding Arab nations, such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which embraces every Middle Eastern nation except Israel and Cyprus, and the Arab League, which promotes the common interests of Middle Eastern and North African Arab states. Through the 1980s most Arab nations did not recognize Israel. After peace talks began in the 1990s, many began tentative diplomatic relations.



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