Joint US-Israeli campaign against Palestinian UN bid

By Julie Hyland,, November 5, 2011

The vote by Unesco to admit Palestine as a member has met with an aggressive reaction from Israel and the United States.

The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation voted by 107 votes to 14, with 52 abstentions, Monday, in favour of Palestinian membership—surpassing the 81 majority required.

Almost immediately, the Obama administration in Washington announced it would stop its $60 million annual donation, which makes up almost one-quarter of Unesco’s funds. The US was supported by Canada, which said it too would withhold its $10 million contribution.

Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations, described Monday’s vote as “deeply damaging” to Unesco, while Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, denounced it as “inexplicable.”

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