I recall somewhere that G.W.Bush threatened more vetoes than any other president. Rather than face that veto, Congress generally backed down on the legislation. GWB may have actually executed fewer vetoes than any president.
I submit that, if this is true, Congress should be ashamed of itself. If you think a law makes sense, vote for it. If you think a veto sucks, force the person to actually do the veto, and face the public consequences. W’s popularity might have dropped earlier had the truth about his control of legislation been more widely exposed in this matter.
A similar thing has been happening at the UN in regard to UN resolutions criticizing Israel.
May I remind everyone: criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Praise of Israel isn’t Semitism either, eh?
Apparently the US let it be known that any resolution critical of Israel would have to include equal wording criticizing the Palestinians. Otherwise the USA would veto that resolution.
Again, shame on the UN. They should have passed the resolutions they wanted, and forced the wielder of the veto to wield the veto, and face the public, in this case international public opinion, as a result.
Now I read that the Palestinians have a UNESCO seat. As a consequence, the US will no longer pay UNESCO dues.
In addition, Israel, who for some reason collects Palestinian taxes, is now going to withhold them again. This is easy to find on the Internet, a Washington Post article is available here. In addition, construction in the West Bank has been sped up, a pointer to this in Haaretz is available here. In addition, the following quote is taken verbatim from this article:
In response, the U.S. decided to cut off funding to the UN cultural body. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday that since the vote triggered a long-standing congressional restriction on funding to UN bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached.
In other words, the US has already pre-vetoed itself against funding UNESCO now.
Apparently UNESCO designates “world sites” and the Church of the Nativity could become such. The Palestinians announced a restoration program in 2010, this from the Wikipedia article found here.
In the preceding item, “before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached” is the ultimate insult, in my opinion. There has been no significant progress toward peace in over fifty years. Settlements continue to encroach. Rebuilding materials continue to be restricted. Checkpoints abound. The Palestinians live in a virtual jail, an occupied country. They do not collect, nor get, their own taxes. Donations flotilla-ed in via Turkey are resolutely cut off. Fences continue to be erected.
Notably Obama threatened to veto key domestic legislation if it did not contain some of his key provisions. While I support this, I think it should have been done earlier and for more of the program concessions he felt were needed in these difficult economic times. And then let the public decide.
Unsurprisingly, the Palestinians have not used one of their possible tools in this ongoing dispute: the general strike. The conditions under which they work in Israel are poor. Their economy is miserable; an article on this from B’Tselem is here. Israel is dependent on these workers, for an example see this article from Globes, Israel’s Business Arena.
It would appear that Israel is as dependent on Palestinian farm labourers as the USA is dependent on illegal Mexicans. The potential for a strike appears to be real; but I do not anticipate one: the Palestinians are not sufficiently united to all agree to go even hungrier than they already are. Yet.
So there you have it. Any UN Agency that allows Palestinian membership will have its funding cut off. Their economy is poor. Their taxes will be withheld. Settlement construction will be sped up.
All this because the USA could not veto Palestinian membership in UNESCO. So the deed is done, and world public opinion, and world political and business opinion, will begin to weigh in on this outcome.
Maybe its time to contact your local, state, province, federal representative. That’s assuming you have an opinion of your own on this that is worth, in your value system, expressing.
This post was re-posted after a website recovery. Original date was November 3, 2011. Sorry for the mix-up.