• US Cuts UNESCO Funding over Palestinian Vote

    November 1, 2011

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Other Ideas

    Yesterday the US cut off funding for the UN cultural agency UNESCO after its member countries defied an American warning and approved a Palestinian bid for full membership in the body.

    The lopsided vote to admit Palestine as a member of UNESCO, which only the United States and 13 other countries opposed, triggered a long-standing congressional ban on US funding to UN bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached. The State Department said a $60 million payment to UNESCO scheduled for November would not be made as a result, and US officials warned of a “cascade” effect at other U.N. bodies that might follow UNESCO’s lead.


    UNESCO has as its goal “Building peace in the minds of men and women,” through stuff like designating old, famous places as international World Heritage sites, hosting celeb goodwill ambassadors, enhancing worldwide education, all sorts of nice hearts and minds things. It is really hard not to like UNESCO.

    I won’t even pretend to know what is right and wrong in the Palestinian issue, what the right path forward is, what the US should do with its Israel policy and all the rest. But, really, can anyone sober say with a straight face that not paying our share of the UNESCO budget because they admitted Palestine as a member is really going to help the US further its broader “soft power” goals in the Middle East, never mind the rest of the world?

    Last night was Halloween. Because I oppose our small city’s new parking regulations, should I have withheld candy from the costumed kiddies at my door?

    I just can’t believe America keeps being this dumb. No wonder starting wars is our only growth industry, when our foreign policy focuses only on punishment.

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