U.S Law Halts Aid to UNESCO if it Recognizes Palestine

Friday, October 28, 2011
Flag of Palestine
Citing mandates in U.S. law, the Obama administration has warned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that it will lose all American funding if it votes to seat Palestine as a member state. UNESCO announced that it will vote on the issue on Monday.
The move by UNESCO to consider accepting Palestine follows the Palestinian Authority’s application to the UN Security Council for full membership to the international body.
But officials with the State Department object to UNESCO trying to move ahead of the UN vote and establish legitimacy for a new Palestinian state. Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said “this is absolutely the wrong way to go; that we are not going to create a Palestinian state at UNESCO.”
“There are consequences if UNESCO votes in this direction,” she added, insisting “you do not create a Palestinian state inside U.N. agencies…you only create it at the negotiating table between the parties.”
Legislation adopted in 1990 and 1994 requires the U.S. government to cut off all funding to UNESCO if it welcomes Palestine as a full member. The UN agency currently relies on the U.S. for about 22% of its annual budget.
Meanwhile, polls show that most Americans—and most Israelis—support Palestinian independence.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

If Most Israelis and Americans Support Palestinian Independence, Why Does Obama Oppose it? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov) 


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