The UN body for education, science and culture (UNESCO), backed the recent Palestinian request for membership. In the process ...
"107 member countries voted for the Palestinians, rejecting US and Israel pressure. Only 14 countries voted against membership, while 52 abstained. France voted in favor, Germany voted against while Britain decided to abstain, China, India, Russia, and Brazil also backed the Palestinians while Canada sided with the US and Israel." (Financial Times, Nov 1, 2011, p.4)
The United States usually funds UNESCO with $80 million a year but, according to the Wall Street Journal, "will not send a $60 million payment." (WSJ Nov 1, 2011, A9) Presumably, the US has already sent $20 million. But there is a 1990 law passed by the freedom-loving US Congress "that automatically cuts funding for any agency that grants Palestinian authorities the same standing as member states."
Now there is a US humanitarian AIPAC-funded law that we didn't know about. I know a number of anti Zionists but they never mentioned that one. No matter, as far as world opinion goes, this is a great moment for Abbas and the Palestinians.
When interviewed by a reporter, the Marxist geographer David Harvey said: "The Republican Party will do more damage to capitalism than the working class." A wonderful observation wherein the negative is just as good at puncturing the hubris of the capitalist state as the left faction. The UNESCO vote will be wonderful news in the Arab Countries and a warning to Arab Spring(ers) that the US can't be trusted. It is one of the most obvious events exposing the Empire.
Hamas gets 1,000 prisoners for one captured (military term, kidnapping is wrong -- it is captured) soldier. Correctly stated, 1,000 Palestinian resistance fighters for one Israeli soldier. Plus, the Abbas Fatah PLO faction that was put in place by Israel-US has bolted.
Why did they go the route of non-violent diplomatic gaming? The Financial Times reports this is nothing new ...
"The move to obtain recognition in UNESCO sets no new precedent. Other countries such as North and South Korea joined UN agencies when their applications for full membership were in dispute." (Editorial Nov. 1, 2011, p.8)
The Wall Street Journal considered the maneuver an affront to US hegemony and Israeli settlement expansion -- the process that has gotten the Palestinians less territory, fewer and fewer homes and more walled attackable territories. Susan Rice, our representative to the UN, said that without direct talks, (that have disguised aggressive apartheid for 40 or was it 35 years?) there will be no Palestinian State. The jibe is obvious; the gig is up, the ridiculous argument by the US that negotiations with the US as mediator will get anything for the Palestinians but dead bodies after missile and drone attacks is exposed. The US face is not bloodied; the Empire will remain, but the kids just kicked the shins of the Gargoyles.
Abbas and Hamas have gained the day in different ways -- hail to them even if they dispute each other. From out here in Empire-Disney-land it's a double kick in the shins.
And, additional doublespeak in US foreign policy: Ronald Reagan took the US out of UNESCO and George W. Bush put the US back in and revised the educational component. UNESCO operates in Afghanistan and does the educational work for the US. Another US war where billions were spent to kill but now without funding, there will be no more education for women.
Bully, Bully, the Mask is off! Halloween is (almost) over!