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Palestine Enters UNESCO In 107 To 14 Vote

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To mounting excitement and wild applause, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), voted 107-14 with 52 abstentions, to approve full Palestinian membership in the international body. The vote came on Monday.

Fully aware that the negotiations track pushed by the US and Israel does nothing but enhance Israel's continued take over of Palestinian land,  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has chosen to enlist the UN in Palestine's request for justice.

The UNESCO vote is step one, and a hugely popular step it is, outside of the US.

In addition to leaving the US and Israel with a demonstratively shrinking number of friends in the international community, the UNESCO vote has far-reaching implications for the PLO's earlier request to the UN Security Council, which requested full statehood membership in the UN General Assembly.

MJ Rosenberg was out Tuesday morning with his Huffington Post summary of the consequences of the vote to US interests. He starts with a dire warning from former Sen. Tim Wirth (D-CO), President of the UN Foundation:

"The United States is on the brink of abandoning its decades-long leadership in several international organizations -- a process that will fundamentally undermine American national security and economic interests."

Israel's grip on the US Congress led to the passage of US laws in 1990 and 1994 that locked the US in a dangerous embrace with disaster.

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The laws are strict. When Palestine is admitted to a UN agency, the United States must automatically stop paying its membership dues. The laws were written to prevent any future president from waiving these prohibitions, even if such a waiver is in the national interest to do so.

The US has made a deal with the destruction of its own national interest. Wirth adds:

"UNESCO leads global efforts to bring clean water to the poor, promotes educational and curriculum building in the developing world, and manages a tsunami early warning system in the Pacific, among other important tasks."

Rosenberg points to this warning from Politico's Jonathan Allen:

"American tech companies -- such as Apple, Google and Microsoft -- and movie studios that use UNESCO to open markets in the developing world and rely upon an associated entity, the World Intellectual Property Organization, to police international disputes over music, movies and software.

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"Potentially, the damage can be much, much worse if Palestine seeks and gains recognition from such other critical U.N. entities as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

"The IAEA is the agency that the U.S. government has relied on to restrain nuclear weapon development (and proliferation) by Iran, North Korea, and others. The WHO works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to protect us from potential pandemics like the Avian flu."

Those two Congressional fail-safe votes in the 1990s were written to keep Palestinians stateless. In Stanley Kramer's prophetic film, Dr. Strangelove, this was called a "doomsday machine." US reliance on its "negotiations" track has led this country to trigger the "doomsday machine."

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James Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced Jim's writings over (more...)

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