31 October 2011

Congratulations to the Palestinians ... and UNESCO

Allow me to add my cheer to those that went up at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 36th General Conference after delegates approved Palestinian membership. The move was particularly courageous considering the United States will now punish the organization by cutting its 22 per cent contribution.

The Americans claimed they opposed the move because it could harm Mideast peace efforts. This is nonsense. These "peace efforts" have been going on for decades, have achieved nothing and are going nowhere. They could hardly be harmed. It is well past time that efforts to achieve justice for the long-suffering Palestinians was pursued by other means—peaceful means of course. Indeed, this action may jolt Israel and the U.S. into getting serious about their peace efforts.

In any case, UNESCO's move is perfectly consistent with what Israel and the United States, and Canada and just about every other government in the world, have claimed all along is the ultimate goal—a two-state solution. Fully accepting the Palestinians into the United Nations will be an inevitable result of that goal, so why not start on it now? With the discredited peace negotiations going nowhere, why not at least do what we can? It is simply churlish to deny the Palestinians any progress at all.

Although we are no longer relevant in the Middle East, I should mention that our government joined Israel and the U.S. in voting against the Palestinians. Not, as they say, one of our finer moments.

No comments:

Post a Comment