SECESSION: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

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Thread: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

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    Observing BMGf Jean Meslier's Avatar
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    Default UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
    The United Nations' cultural agency decided on Monday to give the Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations.

    UNESCO is the first UN agency the Palestinians have sought to join as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations on Sept. 23.

    The motion to admit the Palestinians was passed by UNESCO members meeting in Paris, with 107 votes in favor, 14 against and 52 abstentions.

    The United States, Canada and Germany voted against Palestinian membership. Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favor. Britain abstained.

    U.S. lawmakers had threatened to withhold some $80 million in funding to UNESCO if it approved Palestinian membership.

    The U.S. is the biggest contributor to UNESCO, accounting for 22 percent of its $653 million budget.

    U.S. officials opposed the Palestinian UNESCO request and say it could harm renewed efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    Huge cheers went up in UNESCO after delegates voted to approve the membership on Monday. One shouted "Long Live Palestine!" in French.

    Palestinian officials are seeking full membership in the United Nations, but because that effort is expected to take some time, they separately pursued membership at Paris-based UNESCO.
    And the US is throwing a hissy fit.
    U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
    The Obama administration is cutting off funding for the UN cultural agency because it approved a Palestinian bid for full membership.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Monday's vote triggers a long-standing congressional restriction on funding to UN bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached. [...]

    U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called UNESCO's acceptance of a Palestinian state "anti-Israel and anti-peace."

    "This is only the beginning", said Ros-Lehtinen. "The Palestinians will now seek full membership at other UN bodies."

    J Street urged the U.S. not to cut funding, saying disengagement from UNESCO would weaken the country's international standing. "In addition to undermining our own national interests, it would also deprive Israel of its most vocal and powerful advocate in a key UN organ," said Dylan Williams, J Street’s Director of Government Affairs.

    The U.S. Congress is also currently considering new legislation that would impose additional restrictions on American funding of the United Nations, threaten cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority, and slashing military assistance to key foreign countries in retaliation to their support for the Palestinian bid for full UN membership.[...]
    Mod note: Discussion on the ramifications/repercussions/retaliations on UNESCO or Palestine belong in Nico's Bus (where a thread for that already exists). Discussion on other aspects, such as whether more international bodies will follow and what this means for Palestine's efforts to regain their status as an international state, is acceptable here.
    Last edited by Every Breaking Wave; 1st November 2011 at 08:23 PM.

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    EV-Wizard/PeculiarBattler League's Avatar
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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    The US is hardly throwing "a hissy fit." Cutoff of funds is mandated by law:

    For the record, Obama desires to keep funding this, and may very well try to find a way around these mandates.

    David T. Killion, the American ambassador, said that the United States, “remains deeply committed” to UNESCO. But he said that Monday’s decision, which he repeatedly called premature, “will complicate our ability to support UNESCO.” The United States will seek other means to support the agency, Mr. Killion said, although he did not offer specifics about any avenues under consideration.
    Last edited by League; 31st October 2011 at 01:51 PM.
    Feel free(r) to discuss Battle Strategy with me--I'll discuss anything really.

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    Observing BMGf Jean Meslier's Avatar
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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Quote Originally Posted by League View Post
    The US is hardly throwing "a hissy fit." Cutoff of funds is mandated by law:
    I was referring to how she accused 107 countries of being "anti-Israel".

    Oh and the fact that there exists such a legislation is truly ridiculous.

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    EV-Wizard/PeculiarBattler League's Avatar
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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    The decision (that is what Ros-Lehtinen spoke of anyway, and not the organization) is anti-Israel and anti-peace. What you are witnessing is the Palestinians attempting to bypass the peace process.

    Such is also one sure reason why the legislation exists, it existing for many other reasons besides.
    Feel free(r) to discuss Battle Strategy with me--I'll discuss anything really.

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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Quote Originally Posted by League View Post
    The decision (that is what Ros-Lehtinen spoke of anyway, and not the organization) is anti-Israel and anti-peace. What you are witnessing is the Palestinians attempting to bypass the peace process.
    Except that the Israelis aren't interested in peace. Not when they continue with the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank. The Israelis know very well how these continuing land grabs make any peace impossible.

    No wonder the Palestinians are bypassing them.

    Meanwhile, here's how the voting vent:
    http://humanprovince.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/unesco-palestine/
    So the votes are in, and UNESCO has voted to accept Palestine as a full member. I have procured the full voting results, which to my knowledge, have not been made public yet. There were 14 “no” votes, 52 abstentions and 107 “yes” votes (there were also 20 21 Member States absent):

    No
    : Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sweden, United States of America, Vanuatu.

    Abstentions: Albania, Andorra, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cook Islands, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zambia.

    Yes: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sant Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

    Absent: Antigua and Barbuda, Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Confederated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Niue, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan.

    Most of these are no surprise, although it is worth noting the division in Europe, with Spain, France, Ireland, Austria, Finland and Greece voting “yes,” Germany, Czech Republic and Sweden voting “no,” and the UK, Italy and Denmark abstaining. It’s also probably worth noting that the US didn’t manage to get a “no” vote from such solid supporters as countries like Latvia (which voted “no” to bringing the motion to the General Assembly earlier this month but abstained today) and Tuvalu, Nauru and other island states that almost always support the US in international forums. Another formerly stalwart US supporter who voted for Palestine is Iceland. I remember chatting with an Icelandic diplomat during the Bush administration who had told me that after one particularly egregious instance of Washington dictating terms on what should have been a bilateral decision between Reykjavik and DC meant that the US could no longer count on their automatic support in international forums.

    Note: I’ve transcribed these from documentation, so there may be some typos, but I think the numbers add up. Let me know in the comments if I’ve made a mistake.

    Update: I’ve added the Member States that were absent. I don’t know if they were present for the General Assembly and just skipped this vote, but even if no one from the Member State came, to the best of my knowledge, with the exception of South Sudan, each has a permanent delegation at UNESCO, so that’s relevant information as well. As a friend just pointed out to me, being absent is “also a means of abstaining.”

    Update II: I’ve just been told that if a Member State hasn’t paid its dues, it loses the right to vote, which might explain some (or all?) of the absent countries.

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    Head Bus Driver Big Lutz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest370 View Post
    Except that the Israelis aren't interested in peace. Not when they continue with the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank. The Israelis know very well how these continuing land grabs make any peace impossible.

    No wonder the Palestinians are bypassing them.
    I believe we have been through this song and dance before. You know that isn't true, that Israel has offered Settlement Freezes for peace talks. And that Palestine has rejected it. Infact looking through a few searches it looks like Israel has offered settlement freezes each year for the last 3 years. Remember this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harretz
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Monday to halt settlement construction if the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but the Palestinian leadership was prompt to reject the proposal.

    "If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognizes Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension," Netanyahu said while speaking at the opening of the third session of the 18th Knesset.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/netanyahu-offers-settlement-freeze-in-return-for-recognition-as-jewish-state-palestinians-say-no-1.318447
    Last edited by Big Lutz; 31st October 2011 at 02:48 PM.

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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    if the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a Jewish state,
    Perhaps Israel should have dropped this nonsensical condition, if they wanted the Palestinians to accept the deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Lutz View Post
    I believe we have been through this song and dance before.
    Yeah, I'm not gonna continue discussing this with you if you're gonna start each and every post by insulting me.

    Meanwhile:
    U.S. cuts UNESCO funding after Palestinian membership vote - CNN.com
    [...]The representative from Sri Lanka said that with its vote, UNESCO "acted precisely as the conscience of the world community."

    "I think that by showing Palestine's independence is an idea whose time has come and that this has brought recognition in the world community, we have in fact bolstered all the efforts which with respect towards a negotiated peace and towards the recognition that is sought in the Security Council," he said.

    Earlier, as the vote was under way, applause broke out after some countries voted in favor of the bid.

    There was laughter in the room after Israel voted no.[...]

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    Head Bus Driver Big Lutz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest370 View Post
    Perhaps Israel should have dropped this nonsensical condition, if they wanted the Palestinians to accept the deal.
    The Palestinians have to give a little to get a little. Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State means the Palestinians have to give up their invasion wish through the Right of Return. The Palestinians do not want that, as they see that they can knock off Israel by flooding it with Palestinians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest370 View Post
    Yeah, I'm not gonna continue discussing this with you if you will start each and every post by insulting me.
    Not insulting you, just pointing out that it wasn't a month or so ago that you made the exact same accusation against Israel, only to be met with the hard fact that Israel has offered to suspend settlement construction.

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    EV-Wizard/PeculiarBattler League's Avatar
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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Don't bother @Big Lutz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest370 View Post
    Except that the Israelis aren't interested in peace. Not when they continue with the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank. The Israelis know very well how these continuing land grabs make any peace impossible.

    Here's a lovely little video (cheesy only in its opening music for a few seconds), the facts (presented by an impeccable Israeli, to your ire) of which you can debate. If you wish for another work of his in writing for quoting purposes, here you go. (That link may take one or two clicks.)

    To those who don't care to read that, the West Bank is territory seized from Jordan in a war in which Israel was not the aggressor--and Jordan was not the rightful holder of that land anyway. It is an egregious error (commonly enough made) to even call the West Bank an "occupied territory."

    Meh--this article is a plain doozy: The Illegal-Settlements Myth. Oh, as is this article, which also blows out of the water both the idea that the settlements are even much of a critical issue, and the idea that they infringe / would infringe upon a future Palestinian state.

    No wonder the Palestinians are bypassing them.
    Yeah, no wonder, not when a state established by negotiations would force them to recognize certain things about the state of Israel. (This article is actually one of the doozier ones.)
    Last edited by League; 31st October 2011 at 03:36 PM.
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    And I take hoedowns seriously.

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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest370 View Post
    I was referring to how she accused 107 countries of being "anti-Israel".
    One person is hardly the whole of the US.

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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    It's confirmed then. Palestinians do really have culture.

    On a more serious note, I really don't see how this is harming ... anyone, except those who believe that membership into the UN's cultural agency is a bad thing. Like culture is somehow going to make matters worse...

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    Default Re: UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

    Only warning on this: discussion on the ramifications/repercussions/retaliations on UNESCO or Palestine belong in Nico's Bus. Discussion on other aspects, such as whether more international bodies will follow and what this means for Palestine's efforts to regain their status as an international state, is acceptable here.

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