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October 7, 2011 11:25 am

Palestinians Pursue Backdoor Statehood Strategy

avatar by Steven Emerson

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Flag of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

With a bid for full recognition of statehood still sitting in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the UN’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gave its initial approval to recognize Palestine as a member state. The move is an attempt to bypass a UNSC veto of Palestinian statehood by the United States, but will also result in an end in American aid to UNESCO.

Against the will of the United States and several European countries, UNESCO’s 58-nation executive board approved recognition of Palestine as a full-fledged member of the group. The recognition also automatically grants acknowledgment of a Palestinian state, as a necessary criterion for membership in UNESCO. In effect, Wednesday’s move would mean that Palestine would be deemed a state in some of the UN’s affiliate organizations, without any formal recognition by the UN’s governing body.

If UNESCO’s full membership approves the Palestinian bid, the body’s stance will be in direct contravention of American law. Existing legislation mandates a cutoff of money to any UN agency that grants “full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood.”

Currently, the United States provides 22% of UNESCO’s funding.

“Membership would allow Palestinian officials to seek the protection of Palestinian historical sites by the cultural organization,” which “would create further conflict with Israel,” The New York Times reports. “For instance, some of those sites are in east Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed.”

“We hope and pray that the Unesco authorities will realize — and the Palestinians will realize — that there is a very high price to be paid, in American participation in Unesco,” said Nimrod Barkan, the Israeli ambassador.

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  • ER

    @John Rand, “arrogance” is a question of perspective — from my view the arrogance is shaking one’s fist at the God of the Bible who always is right, and says the exact opposite of what you said, that coming against Israel (by violence *or* by a “peace” covenant)to take her land is what triggers war.

  • John Rand

    How arrogant of Israel and the United States.
    Do not they realize that their actions against the Palestinians, i.e., their resistance to the Palestinian applications to the UN and to UNESCO, is only pushing the world closer to Word War Three?
    The Israeli and American attitudes are diametrically opposite to what is needed for world peace.
    Is that really so hard for them to understand?