UPDATE: So here is a surprise. The U.S. does respond. Apparently there was legislation that required this response. Looks like Obama did not want to go this one alone by decree. Full story Before its news .Maybe this is thebeginning of the end of the U.N.?
“Palestinian membership as a state in UNESCO triggers longstanding legislative restrictions, which will compel the United States to refrain from making contributions to UNESCO,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said within hours of the vote.
The United States’ annual contribution of some $70 million accounts for nearly one-fourth of UNESCO’s total budget.
The funding cut is mandated by legislation from the 1990s that denies U.S. funding to any U.N. agency “which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.”
The size of the vote in favor provides a good indication of the reception the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) application can expect at other agencies.
In the UNESCO vote, the measure needed a two-thirds majority to pass. With 173 members of the total 194 voting on the day, the required threshold was 81 votes. The bid received 107, with only 14 countries opposed, and another 52 abstaining. More at CNS News
Oh yes, Ambassador Susan Rice, is back in the news. An anti-Semite, one can be sure she is working behind the scenes to insure the security of Israel. Here we go, then a bit of History on our gal Susan.
The United Nations’ cultural agency granted the Palestinians full membership on Monday, a step forward in their long-running efforts to achieve recognition before the world as an independent state
“Today’s victory at UNESCO is the beginning of a road that is difficult, but will lead to the freedom of our land and people from occupation,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said. “Palestine has the right to a place on the map.”
Legislation stipulates that the U.S. can cut off funding to any United Nations agency that accepts Palestinians as a member. Don’t hold your breath on this one.
Today’s vote to grant Palestinian membership in UNESCO is no substitute for direct negotiations, but it is deeply damaging to UNESCO,” said Ambassador Susan Rice. Reuters Sure Susan, direct negotiations.
…But then Rice opened her mouth, and as I write, is delivering a truly foul speech in which she flatly declares that “we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” and declares that such activity is, essentially, the cause for “corroded hopes” in the Middle East. She condemned “the folly and legitimacy” of continued settlement activity.
Why didn’t Susan Rice just get up and say, “I’m being forced to veto this condemnation of Israel because the Israel Lobby controls D.C., I’m bitterly resentful about it, and Stephen Walt will soon be explaining why”? It would have been less damaging than the spectacle we just witnessed, wherein, as John pointed out, the American ambassador to the United Nations telegraphed — through words, body language, and her anti-Israel tantrum — that she didn’t support the policy she was implementing on behalf of the president.