Stewart Mills (NSW) responds to the Sydney Morning Herald re Palestinian membership in UNESCO 3Oct11 November 3, 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald:  UNESCO and Holocaust curricula, 2 November 2011

The United States suspends funding to UNESCO because it believes it undermines their “shared goal” of a Palestinian state (“West Bank religious sites first for world heritage request” November 2). And yet when Israel doubles and triples settler numbers Israel receives no penalty. Surely settlement expansion by Israel and the fact that settler numbers have surpassed half a million people are direct facts on the ground that undermine and prejudice future negotiations on boundaries.  To rub Palestinians noses in it even Israel’s Foreign Minister lives in a settlement just south of Bethlehem.

The United States and (ashamedly) Australia voted contrary to over 90 per cent of the UNESCO members who were present (taking into account abstentions).  Those favouring Palestinian membership included: France, Ireland, Russia and China.  New Zealand and Britain abstained.  And yet Australia voted against it. The irony of the decision is UNESCO is active in fighting Holocaust denial in core curriculums of countries that fail to have this high on their agenda and UNESCO plays a key role in teaching Afghan women and helping to continue Tsunami early warning systems.  It will be frightening to see if the United States will continue its illogical approach to Palestine and the international community if Palestine seeks for membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency or the World Health Organization?  Does the US (and its complicit Australian ally) really think it is in the world’s interest to cut funding to these organizations to?

 

References:

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/unesco_and_israel_reinforce_cooperation_on_holocaust_education/

http://www.haaretz.com/news/unesco-announces-plan-to-battle-holocaust-denial-raise-awareness-1.231769


UNESCO and Afghan women

CNN’s critique of the cut
The irony of America cutting UNESCO funds

CNN
31 October 2011


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