world

Palestine becomes member of UNESCO; U.S. cuts funds

47 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
Login to comment

While long, this article dismally failed to explain the current US reasons for its threat to cut off funding. "When the U.S. pulled out of UNESCO in the 1980s, it was to protest the passage of a resolution equating Zionism with racism" refers to something that happened two decades ago. What's the problem now? Could it be related to UNESCO members' tendency toward to use the organization as a forum for politics at the expense of its "educational, scientific and cultural" efforts?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are certainly reasons why not to admit Palestine as a UNESCO member, but for sure not that it undermines any peace negotiations. Let's remember that Israel insists that Hamas recognizes Israel as a state before any meaningful negotiations could start. Then it's logical that Israel should do the same. Or both drop their preconditions and leave it as a result of the negotiations. It is sad that the US just plays the petulant child instead of providing some meaningful support to peace negotiations.Obama started with lots of ambitions, but his middle-east politics have been a complete failure so far.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The US needs to grow up. Throwing toys out of the pram when it doesn't get its way. Good for Palestine!!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

well we know that UNESCO has mostly been anti-semitic and negative towards the peace process in the Mid-East. Let's see if the US laws to not fund this will actually incur...I am so disappointed in UNESCO for making this decision. Once again it proves what everyone already knows..

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

And it comes down to money again. The few rich control the masses. It will go on forever. So what then?? Damned either way. Through violence or peace, the rich and their friends get their way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

is it too late to take back obama's nobel prize for peace? it seems like winning a re-election is more important than finding real solutions to the mid-east peace talks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hi Palastine, wellcome to UNESCO,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why doesn't the USA get out of UNESCO?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ElBuda:The Bible mentions that Nimrod was a son of Cush, the founder of Babylon, and a mighty hunter It means a slow-witted person and it has come to mean socially inadequade.

They surely don't have it easy those Palestinians. Anyway, I wish them all the best and peace.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Palestine" is a geographical area, so this nation should include Israel, the occupied Westbank, as well as Jordania. That is "Palestine".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@WillB - I think you may need to check a few historical sources on that one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As usual, America will only give money to organisations which will do its bidding?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"zichi: As usual, America will only give money to organisations which will do its bidding?" Why not? Don't you? That's a pretty silly comment. You're saying there's something wrong with that principle. And, they are talking about American taxpayers' dollars. That's money from workers' pockets. Do you give money to people who, at the most fundamental level, disagree with you? I'm curious. Cite personal examples, please.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cool, thats 60 million that we don't have to borrow now. If other countries want to use the UN as a political circus let them pay for the peanuts and popcorn, Iran and Venezuela have already been kind enough to contribute the clowns.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good for the Americans. 60 mill is not much of a budget anyway.

I guess a lot of shoes will be thrown now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Equality : I have to say that he is correct. Have you ever been to Palestine. It is a geographical area that inhabits a large percentage of Hamas rebels. I have been to Palestine I have lived within and outside those walls that protect Israel. Let's be straight here, not one mid-east state with exception to Palestine (lol) objects to the statement that Palestinians are occupying it. And if Egypt would stop financing the support of Palestine there would be no statehood attempts cause there would be no money to support it...(lol)

Go to Israel, live there, stop listing to BBC and see the plight that happens daily to Israelis and then I'm sure you will have another opinion.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think it is better for the US not to join to any UN agencies except security council. 50 years of being the greatest contributor in the whole planet to the whole UN is already enough. Divert the contributions to the American people. I also hope that if the US resume the contribution, don't include the backlog

Let the mighty France cover the portion of the contributions that the US has taken-out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gaza remains the world's largest prison camp.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Todd Judge - Example: Japanese local and regional government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gaza remains the world's largest prison camp.

Too true. Hopefully someday Hamas will finally set them free.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hamas might be the prison wardens, but it's very much Israel which is the Governor!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hamas, not Israel, hold the keys to the freedom of the people in Gaza.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's remember that Israel insists that Hamas recognizes Israel as a state before any meaningful negotiations could start.

Why should we remember this over the fact that Hamas does not want to negotiate with Israel and does not want peace with Israel? BTW, Israel has recognized Palestine's right to exist. The problem is clearly with Hamas. Ignoring their danger solves nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This article does not give THE KEY REASON the current US administration has cut funding - they have no choice. Here is a quote from a BBC article:

A US law passed in the 1990s bars giving funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians as full members before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached.

Victoria Nuland (US State Department) said the US wants to remain an active member of UNESCO and expressed concern ofver the loss of US influence.

Without that little snippet, the JT article above is misleading.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15527534

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Without that little snippet, the JT article above is misleading.

Misleading is a bit strong. While the information you provided does enhance the picture of the situation, it hardly reverses the impression this JT article gives.

In fact, I think it is a bit misleading to suggest that the US would somehow have its figurative hands tied by its very own laws that were passed by a large majority of votes.

Meanwhile, Hamas is still the real thorn in the side of peace.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, it's their money - they can do whatever they want with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good for Palestine and bad for USA if they do cut the funding.

USA also said that they will veto the upcoming vote within the UN for their statehood. That much for democracy when a few countries can veto decisions by the majority, USA is losing a lot of respect, support, etc worldwide by doing such moves.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

USA also said that they will veto the upcoming vote within the UN for their statehood.

It is not a vote for statehood. Even the Palestinian Fatah leadership, have said this. Statehood can only come from negotiations with Israel.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Meanwhile, Hamas is still the real thorn in the side of peace.

Mmm, well that makes me wonder why Israel was dragging its feet BEFORE Hamas was voted in. Perhaps the Palestinian people felt frustrated that a more moderate approach wasn't working? Work with a more moderate government and marginalise the radicals by showing the people that progress is being made. Didn't happen, did it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The U.S. gov't doesn't have any money to give to UNESCO anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And yet the US will continue to give carte blanche to war criminals in Israel. Go figure.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

sarge: "The U.S. gov't doesn't have any money to give to UNESCO anyway."

Very true! It's also interesting they wonder why 9/11 happened and yet recent surveys show Americans want a Regan-like president. Saddest part is they'd all be dead if they had one, let alone have no money as you say.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"zichiNOV. 01, 2011 - 10:26AM JST As usual, America will only give money to organisations which will do its bidding?"

Support fully your comment. Worse still, if I recall coorectly : the US has no good payment record neither even to the United Nations.. ( thanks in advance someone who can confirm this point with exact figures ? )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mmm, well that makes me wonder why Israel was dragging its feet BEFORE Hamas was voted in.

You call pulling troops and settlers completely out of Gaza feet dragging?

BTW, Fatah walked away from negotiations, not Israel.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ "It's also interesting they wonder why 9/11 happened and yet recent surveys show Americans want a Regan-like president."

UNESCO? They onder why 9-11 happened? Hello, earth to smithinjapan, are you ok?

Regan? Donald Regan was the Secretary of the Treasury in the 1980 ' s. Nobody wants a dude like that for president.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And yet the US will continue to give carte blanche to war criminals in Israel. Go figure.

Not just the US. Japan, Canada, lots of nations support Israel.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why should we remember this over the fact that Hamas does not want to negotiate with Israel and does not want peace with Israel? BTW, Israel has recognized Palestine's right to exist. The problem is clearly with Hamas. Ignoring their danger solves nothing.

Ben, nobody knows whether Hamas is seriously willing to negotiate. Since many years, Israel does everything to systematically undermine any negotiation attempts, including even dismantling Abbas to the benefit of Hamas. I think it was before the elections that high-ranking Hamas officials conceded that they would indeed recognize Israel as a state. Unfortunately back then Israel didn't use the chance to test them. To use your words: demonizing Hamas solves nothing.

Both parties need a strong push from the international community to join the negotiation table - and to stay there. At the moment, it is Israel who needs the bigger push. No more, no less.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ben, nobody knows whether Hamas is seriously willing to negotiate.

Anyone who has chosen to listen to what they say knows Hamas is not willing to negotiate and does not want peace with Israel.

Hamas never "conceded that they would be would indeed recognize Israel as a state". Please discuss facts, not faulty memories you have. Hamas acts as demons, so I have no problem with demonizing them.

At the moment, it is Israel who needs the bigger push.

No, the side that has the destruction of Israel in their charter (Hamas) does. Faulty recollections of what you wish Hamas were about do not change this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ben, may I remind you this one for example: http://aljazeera.com/archive/2006/04/200849142359963362.html There were a lot of rather moderate statements by Haniya as well at that time. Olmert did not listen. So we will never know how serious they were. And sure, even if al-Zahar and Haniya were indeed serious, they still would have had to fight for their positions against the hardliners inside Hamas. You cannot expect from anybody or any political organization that they abandon their programs in exchange for nothing. Demonizing your adversary makes you blind to the little signs of detente.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very true! It's also interesting they wonder why 9/11 happened

No they don't. With 17 000 recorded acts of terror worldwide since 9-11 done in the name of militant Islam we know why we were attacked.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ben, may I remind you this one for example

May I remind you to read articles in their entirety? Even in that article, Hamas never said they wanted peace with Israel or that they wanted to recognize it. Hamas has mentioned temporary truces, but never ever has indicated they want permanent peace. In fact, they have consistently stated the opposite. Educate yourself about Hamas and then get back to me. While you are at it, tell UNESCO, Fatah and everyone else that thinks Hamas can be ignored forever.

Demonizing your adversary makes you blind to the little signs of detente.

If you read things more closely, you will see there have been no such signs from Hamas. Slapping a halo on a demon does not make it an angel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Slapping a halo on a demon does not make it an angel.

Look, I have no intention at all to make Hamas an angel. It would be vain endeavour. But I hope you are realist enough to recognize that Hamas is important enough that you cannot reach to any lasting peace without them. It doesn't matter whether we like it or not. If you start to talk with them, you may come to results - or not. whatever the probabilities you personally give to both events, you don't lose anything, do you? On the other hand, if you don't talk, you can be 100% sure that you won't ever come to a peaceful agreement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have repeated many times that Hamas cannot be ignored. However, the fact that they have no desire to negotiate or make peace also cannot be ignored.

On the other hand, if you don't talk, you can be 100% sure that you won't ever come to a peaceful agreement.

I agree. Please pass this opinion on to Hamas. They need it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

soldav - Great response. Seriously. I laughed out loud and it was a good response.

But, as you already probably assumed, I was thinking more along the lines of charities outside of government, which I should have qualified in the post. True we choose to be here, and thus pay taxes, that go where ever. And that's a choice. The US wastes far too much taxpayer dollars, as they always have. It was a surprise to see one small glimmer of restraint in providing a fair amount of taxpayer dollars to a body who perpetually bite the hand that feeds them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BTW, sodav, I'm they same guy you responded to. Just logged in under a different account.

I would also add I was told by a rabbi friend a few years ago that the Palestinians and Israeli general populace's political views on the subject are all across the board and it isn't accurate to assume Hamas, nor the Israeli govt is the only voice in Palestine or Israel. He gave a very interesting, enlightening and even handed perspective I don't have the insight to pretend to understand, and couldn't unless I could live and observe by being in that region.

So I know nothing except my overall prospective of the actual situation on the ground would prove to be inaccurate, in not having done so. It was humbling and very fascinating to listen to him on the matter.

That doesn't change the point of my original response about choice of funding to the UN, from which I am so far off topic at this point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To the person who thumbs down me, you seem to misunderstand my point entirely. If Hamas were to say today that they want a real peace and want to negotiate, I am all for that. The problem is they do not say this and they never have. Fatah is attempting an end run around Hamas, but I do not think it will succeed. None of this memberships meaning anything unless the world is willing to go in and move Hamas out and allow the Fatah Palestinian Authority to really succeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi: you must follow the BBC religiously..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites