Federal law — one that enjoys broad bipartisan support, by the way — prohibits the government from funding any agency that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state. Obama wants to change that so tax dollars are going to support such organizations.
“The Department of State intends to work with Congress to seek legislation that would provide authority to waive restrictions on paying the U.S. assessed contributions to UNESCO,” says a footnote in the budget that the White House submitted to Congress this month…
“We have put the money in the budget, realizing that we’re not going to be able to spend the money unless we get the waiver, and we have made it clear to the Congress we’d like a waiver. So we will work with them and work with our friends and colleagues on Capitol Hill in hopes that we can work an agreement out for us to fund. UNESCO does an enormously – a lot of enormously good work, and we’d like to make sure that we have a contribution commensurate with their work,” a State Department’s deputy secretary Thomas Nides said Wednesday.
Palestinian leaders launched a bid last year to gain unilateral statehood recognition at the United Nations — a move that was opposed strongly by the United States and Israel, and only succeeded at UNESCO. After U.S. funds were cut off for UNESCO, U.N. leaders warned the Palestinians against pushing their bid any further.
Shorter Obama Administration: Sure UNESCO defied the rest of the UN and intentionally spited America and her allies. And sure they did so knowing we’d have to cut funding. And sure they’re formally recognizing a state that has sought to eliminate Israel.
But think of all the good they do! Like promoting “World Radio Day” and examining the culture involved in Carnival. Surely that cancels out all of their transgressions like recognizing people who want to destroy our allies and directly spiting us. Surely.
As with Obama’s overall budget, there’s approximately zero chance of this passing. Neither Republicans nor most Democrats are willing to side with the administration over Israel. Not in an election year. Not with a potential war against Iran looming.