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The US threat to cut funding to UNESCO over Palestinian statehood recommendation

Following the announcement by UNESCO that the body recommended membership for Palestine as a member state, Secretary of State Clinton said that UNESCO should "think again" since this would lead to a loss of the up to $80,000,000 (Source: the Miami Herald.)

The rationale is that "current prohibits giving funds to the United Nations or any U.N. agency that grants the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states. In addition, existing U.S. law can bar Washington from funding any U.N. body that accepts members that do not have the "internationally recognized attributes of statehood." That requirement is generally, but not exclusively, interpreted to mean U.N. membership."

Well, Israel itself lacks some of those "internationally recognized attributes of statehood. Like the intended State of Palestine, it lacks clearly defined borders. Or at least, it does not today accept the borders that were defined for it in 1949 (See Wikipedia). But this does not prevent Israel from receiving more than 3,000,000,000 each year from the US.

As of last January, the US owed more than $700,000,000 in arrears to the United Nations (Reuters) and for many years withdrew its membership in UNESCO. To the entire United Nations, the US gave more than $6,000,000,000 in 2009 (Source)


In view of the US tendency to use its UN contributions as blackmail, and to prevent other nations from doing the same, perhaps it would be better to change the system of contributions so that it is more evenly spread among nations. Either way, it is unacceptable that a member nation can be allowed to exert this kind of influence.