Defunding UNESCO for the 1 percent
Putting Israeli interests ahead of American interests begins to backfire
(Salon.com) -- by Phyllis Bennis --
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the 1 percent — the rich, the powerful, the ones who buy off our government, impose their wars, avoid paying their taxes, you know the ones. The 99 percent — the rest of us – are the ones who pay the price.
But there’s another 99/1 percent divide: over U.S. policy toward Israel and the whole world. Here the 1 percent are really on a roll. Right over the rest of us.
This struggle concerns the American people’s support for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization known as UNESCO. The organization does a lot of important work, including identifying and protecting World Heritage Sites, working to broaden educational opportunities around the world and helping poor countries get access to scientific information.
One could certainly argue that for a self-interested American, UNESCO isn’t crucial to U.S. national interests. One might say it does nothing more than make sure that tourist sites like the Cambodian temples of Angkor Wat or Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are still there when you want to see them. In fact, during the Cold War, Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. out of UNESCO altogether; no one except maybe the historians, anthropologists, educators, cultural workers and a few insignificant others seemed to mind. It was almost a decade later that George Bush rejoined the organization.
And here we are again. This time the U.S. Congress announced it is withholding this year’s UNESCO dues, within hours of the global organization welcoming a new member: Palestine. In certain basic ways, UNESCO (like the United Nations itself) is like every little kids’ club: You don’t pay your dues, you’re out. In her press briefing just after the Paris vote, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the vote by the member states of UNESCO to admit Palestine as a member is “regrettable, premature and undermines our shared goal of accomplishing a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The United States remains steadfast in its support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. But such a state can only be realized through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
Kicked out of the club
Apparently the U.S. made the judgment that stiffing the organization, risking the likelihood of being kicked out on its unilateralist behind, is a price worth paying – to make the unsurprising political point that Washington is not happy about Palestinian statehood on any terms other than its own. Palestine’s right to membership in this particular world body means UNESCO can make the determination that Palestine, rather than its occupying power Israel, has the right to nominate World Heritage Sites in its own territory, such as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. It may not be the “independent and sovereign Palestinian state” the U.S. claims it supports – but it certainly helps achieve a few of Palestine’s long-denied rights. And the 20 years of U.S.-controlled “peace process” has produced nothing for Palestinians except a tripling of illegal Israeli settlers on their land, certainly nothing remotely resembling a Palestinian state.
The decision to withhold the dues was in the interest of the foreign policy 1 percent — Israel and its most hard-line supporters in the U.S. – not in the interest of the rest of us. In fact, there are potentially hazardous consequences ahead for a lot of us, including some of those who are most of the time part of the 1 percent. Because achieving full membership in UNESCO is only the first step in the broader Palestinian plan at the U.N.
Other organizations will follow, and one of the first is likely to be WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization. WIPO is hardly a household word but it is an important entity. WIPO figures out how to protect patents, royalty arrangements and trademarks, so not only cultural workers but the biggest high-tech industries have a huge investment there too. That’s why the Obama administration convened a high-power meeting of corporate giants – Google, Microsoft, Apple and others – the day before the UNESCO vote, to see if they might have ideas to get out of the impasse...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
It's amazing how quickly so many modern Americans who play the Establishment game will sell their souls to the Zionist agenda for a few bucks, from the president on down.
Rich Zionist Jews always understood that if they could get control of the purse strings (the Fed and Wall Street banks), they could dictate policy. That's what they've been working on in this country for the last 50 years+.
But they never counted on the Internet coming into existence. They thought their large ownership presence and domination of mass media would suffice as propaganda cover for all time.
Funny how their plans to rule the world are always flouted by some higher power.
The beauty of it all is that this time, they can't get away with playing the innocent victim. They're rich, powerful, over-represented, and in the spotlight, with blood on their hands, and their fingerprints all over the many crimes against humanity. And thanks to the Internet, nearly everyone under 45 now knows their game.
Time is on our side, not theirs. They've made way too many enemies to worm their way out this time.