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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

UNESCO vote- YES!!

 Palestine state wins first victory in UNESCO vote:

Clinton insisted that "the decision about status must be made in the United Nations and not in auxiliary groups."
Now this is an interesting change in policy. Seems like just a short time ago Clinton maintained that the UN was not the place for deciding statehood...

Clinton also called this move confusing, which I find confusing.
France said it was "not the time." ??? They want negotiations. ??? The occupied negotiating for human rights with their occupier? It hasn't worked and what can one possibly trade (as is common in negotiations) to get inalienable or fundamental God given rights??? How about boycott, divest, sanction the occupier?

Why are we punishing Palestinians for pursuing a non-violent, smart, international and on top of it all LEGAL move to gain human rights and justice? It just doesn't make sense. It makes even less sense when you consider the US-Israeli special relationship. Israel constructs illegal settlements in teh W. Bank and E. Jerusalem and expands them in violation of international law and often in situations that embarrass us. What do we do in response to this one example of many illegal and unjust moves? Do we think about pulling funding from Israel or occupation sustaining institutions immediately? No, we mumble our position here and there that settlements are unhelpful or counterproductive or some equally ineffective thing that makes Israel think that they have to green light to keep on violating the law! Clearly they aren't getting the message. What does one typically do when a country violates the law repeatedly and doesn't listen to warnings and doesn't respond to diplomacy. If it's anyone but Israel, we attack or sanction or cut funding, or whatever Micronesia and the Coalition of the Willing is up for at the time.

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Of course Democracy Now has something good on this:

With this yes vote, it is automatically eligible to join some other groups as well. I found it interesting that as the US pulls funding for UN organizations that let Palestine in, the US vote goes and this could hurt our interests in groups like the one on Intellectual Property Rights and others. I really am curious how this will play out. Will we bend the UN and world to our will or will the US be forced into recognizing reality and support Palestinian equality at the expense of a "special" relationship.

I particularly enjoyed Matthew Lee's questioning of Victoria Nuland, State Department spokesperson. She didn't have any answers for why Palestine joining was undermining peace. She contended that the US was trying to "improve the environment" and apparently Palestine going to the UN rather than sitting down with their oppressor and seeing what rights they are "allowed" to have would make Israel not want to sit down at the table and so it is ill advised. Never mind the imbalance of power. Never mind the fact that Israel's settlement building actually does undermine peace due to the fact that Israel is grabbing land for the to-be-negotiated state in violation of international law (but when Palestinians bring this fact up, they are condemned for obstructing "negotiations" with preconditions).

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This link talks more about the positive side of the UNESCO vote. I also think it will give Palestinians leverage so they won't have to be so dependent on the US and Israel. 

Maybe they can soon demand what Desomnd Tutu spoke of:

"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights."

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