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Post time 2011-11-2 07:41:49 |Display all floors

Palestinians aim to join 16 other UN agencies

Tuesday 1 November 2011.

It's not just UNESCO:    The Palestinians' top envoy in Geneva said Tuesday he believes that joining the U.N. agency for culture, education and science will "open the door" to joining 16 other U.N. agencies within weeks.

Ibrahim Khraishi, the top Palestinian envoy at the U.N. in Geneva, told The Associated Press that Palestinian diplomats are now planning to capitalize on Monday's landslide vote to allow the Palestinians into UNESCO by preparing papers to join the other U.N. agencies and a variety of other international organizations.

"Now we are studying when we are going to move for full membership on the other U.N. agencies," Khraishi said.

"It's our target for (us to join) the international organizations and the U.N. agencies."

He said the UNESCO vote sets a precedent to allowing such broad memberships.

"We are working on it, one by one," he said.

"Because it's now precedent that we are a full member in one of the biggest and one of the most important U.N. agencies, UNESCO. So it will open the door for us now to go further in our efforts to join other U.N. agencies."

The Obama administration cut off funding to UNESCO after Monday's vote, and U.S. officials warned of a "cascade" effect at other U.N. bodies that might follow UNESCO's lead.

The Palestinians have triggered a long-standing congressional ban on U.S. funding to U.N. bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached.

The U.N. agency campaign comes as Palestinian officials are seeking full membership in the United Nations, but that effort is still under examination and the U.S. has pledged a veto unless there is a peace deal with Israel.

Becoming a UNESCO member could give the Palestinians an advantage in joining the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization, whose rules say membership is "equally open" to those already a member of other U.N. specialized agencies.

But it's not clear whether that means membership is automatic, and Geneva-based spokeswoman for the organization Samar Shamoon declined to comment on that Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Esther Brimmer emphasized Monday that Palestinian membership in the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization, known as WIPO, "could have serious implications for U.S. leadership in this organization," which supports global infrastructure helping U.S. companies to protect their business interests around the world, according to State Department briefing notes.

"The United States is a leading global voice on issues related to patent, copyright, and trademark matters, and should the U.S. be unable to provide its contributions to WIPO, the impact of that voice could be significantly diminished," the U.S. agency said.

Of course, a withdrawal of U.S. funding from WIPO also could leave U.S. companies vulnerable.

Fadela Chaib, spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, another Geneva-based U.N. agency, said any nation that is part of the U.N. can join.

For those that are not part, she said, the annual World Health Assembly can approve membership by a simple majority vote if a written request is received at least 30 days beforehand.

Cutting U.S. funding for WHO would hurt, she conceded.

"Of course we need it. The U.S. funding is quite important, I guess for all the U.N. organizations," Chaib told reporters.

"It's a vital funding need for WHO."


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Post time 2011-11-2 07:55:48 |Display all floors

Israel responds to UNESCO vote with new settler homes

Wednesday 2 November 2011.

Israel on Tuesday said it would build 2,000 settler homes and freeze the transfer of Palestinian tax monies to punish them for successfully joining UNESCO, drawing an angry response from Ramallah.

The decision to speed up construction in east Jerusalem and in nearby settlements was taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inner cabinet, which met a day after UNESCO's general assembly voted to admit Palestine as a full member.

"These measures were agreed ... as punishment after the vote at UNESCO," a senior government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We will build 2,000 housing units, including 1,650 homes in east Jerusalem and the rest in the settlements of Maaleh Adumim and Efrat," he said, referring to a sprawling settlement east of Jerusalem and another between Bethlehem and the southern city of Hebron.

"It was also decided to temporarily freeze the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority," he added.

Every month, Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority tens of millions of dollars in customs duties which are levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports, and which constitute a large percentage of the Palestinian budget.

Israel often freezes the transfer of funds as a punitive measure in response to diplomatic or political developments viewed as harmful.

A statement from Netanyahu's office said the decisions were taken during a "first discussion" of the UNESCO issue and further steps would be considered at the next meeting of the so-called Forum of Eight senior ministers.

The announcement drew an angry response from the Palestinians, with presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina calling on the Middle East Quartet and the US administration to "put an end to this recklessness" which he warned would have "negative consequences" for the whole region.

"The Israeli decision to speed up settlement construction with the construction of 2,000 new housing units is an Israeli decision to accelerate the destruction of the peace process," he told AFP.

"And the freezing of funds is stealing money from the Palestinian people."

The Palestinian request for UNESCO membership was approved by the UN cultural organisation's general assembly at at a vote in Paris on Monday, despite strong opposition from the United States and Israel.

Both Washington and Israel had lobbied the organisation to delay the vote, with the Jewish state warning that the membership bid was unilateral and would jeopardise the chances of reviving negotiations.

It was also likely to cost UNESCO its US funding, which makes up 22 percent of its budget, because US law requires Washington to cut funds to any UN organisation that admits Palestine as a full member.

Israel is also reportedly considering withdrawing the special permits granted to top Palestinian officials that allow them to move between the West Bank and Israel with relative ease.

Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian servers across the West Bank and Gaza Strip were attacked, cutting all Internet access, with Palestinian communications minister Mashur Abu Daqqa saying he suspected Israel was involved.

"I think from the manner of the attack and its intensity, that there is a state behind it," he told AFP.

"Israel could be involved as it announced yesterday it was considering the kind of sanctions."

News of the UNESCO vote sparked an angry condemnation from Israel's foreign ministry which described it as a "unilateral Palestinian manoeuvre that will bring no change on the ground but further remove the possibility for a peace agreement."

Netanyahu also attacked the move as yet another Palestinian attempt to seek "a state without a deal."

"We won't sit around idly in the wake of these moves that harm Israel and are a crude violation of the most elementary commitment the sides took upon themselves in the peace process - to solve the conflict between us through negotiations only," he said on Monday.

Winning membership in UNESCO will allow the Palestinians, who previously held observer status at the organisation, to apply to classify natural and cultural sites as World Heritage Sites.


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Post time 2011-11-2 08:59:50 |Display all floors
Originally posted by dragon8 at 1-11-2011 07:25
Tuesday 1 November 2011.

The United States said Monday it is stopping financial contributions to UNESCO after the Palestinians were admitted to the organisation as a full member.

"We ...

The USA shows just what a pathetic pawn of Israel it is - and now the P.A. infrastructure is being crippled by savage cyber attacks from the stinking zionists around the globe.

The wolf is your shepherd.
Man created god before god created man and the world has been in turmoil ever since. Dots freak some people out - so they join them with lines that aren't really there.

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Post time 2011-11-2 21:18:58 |Display all floors

Palestinians won't let Israeli punitive actions stop statehood bid

Wednesday 2 November 2011.

Israel's punitive responses to a successful Palestinian bid to join UNESCO - financial sanctions and a faster settlement drive in the occupied West Bank - are unlikely to halt a Palestinian quest for recognition as a state at the United Nations.

A senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday that Israel was trying to undermine the Palestinian Authority through a decision on Tuesday to freeze temporarily transfers of PA funds after it won membership of the UN cultural agency.

The vote at UNESCO marked a success for the Palestinians in their broader push for recognition as a state in the UN system - an initiative opposed by Israel and its U.S. ally.

In what the Palestinians saw as a reprisal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet also decided to accelerate the building of Jewish settlements on land where the Palestinian Authority aims to establish an independent state next to Israel.

"It is very serious. Israel wants to strive to destroy the role of the Palestinian National Authority," Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization , told Voice of Palestine radio.

The revenues Israel has decided to withhold include duties on goods being imported to the Palestinian territories and which amount to around half of the PA's domestic revenue base.

In May, Israel temporarily withheld the revenues in response to a reconciliation pact between Abbas and the Hamas movement which governs the Gaza Strip and is deeply hostile to Israel.

That suspension meant the PA was unable to pay salaries to its 150,000 employees on time for the first time since 2007.

A PA spokesman said it was too early to say whether Israel's latest action would disrupt PA salary payments this month.

While Israel may want to punish the Palestinian Authority for its pursuit of statehood at the United Nations, analysts question whether Israel has any interest in the PA's collapse, not least because of its role in policing the West Bank.

PA security forces currently cooperate with the Israelis.

"This is one point of strength the PA has," said George Giacaman, a political scientist at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

Moribund peace process

The Authority was set up in 1994 as a state-in-waiting at the outset of a peace process which the Palestinians hoped would yield their independence in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, which were all captured by Israel in 1967.

That process, if it exists at all, is in deep crisis.

The last round of direct peace talks broke down around a year ago because of a dispute over Israel's expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - construction which Abed Rabbo said aimed to kill any chance of Palestinian independence.

Israel said on Tuesday the areas where building would be accelerated would remain in its hands in any future peace deal.

"The Palestinians have no one but themselves to blame for the current impasse in the peace talks that stems directly from their refusal to negotiate peace, from their boycotting the negotiations and from their decision to attack Israel in international fora," Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said.

UNESCO was the first UN agency to admit the Palestinians as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for a full seat at the United Nations on September 23.

Israel and the United States both see the Palestinian policy as an attempt to bypass bilateral peace talks. Israel also says that the Palestinians are aiming to delegitimize it.

Saeb Erekat, another senior Palestinian official, said Israel's latest decisions would "not change our course of action," signaling the Palestinians will push ahead regardless in their UN initiative.

Palestinian analysts say Abbas' resolve has only been hardened by the recent success of his rivals in the Islamist Hamas movement, which last month scored points among Palestinians by brokering a prisoner swap with Israel.

The UN Security Council is expected to decide the fate of the Palestinian application for full membership around Nov. 11.

Washington has vowed to use its veto if it comes to a vote.

The Palestinians could then ask the General Assembly to upgrade their status to that of "a non-member state", an improvement on their current standing as an "observer entity."

They also have plans to apply for full membership of other UN agencies, regardless of the course of events in New York.


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Post time 2011-11-2 21:36:08 |Display all floors
You know I used to get enraged when labeled an anti-semitic for criticizing lsreal.

That was before my experience with internet forums.

Now I know why they say that!!!

Freakin bunch of nutters - seriously, I think it is its own mental illness.

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Post time 2011-11-3 08:49:25 |Display all floors
Originally posted by JFenix at 2-11-2011 23:36
You know I used to get enraged when labeled an anti-semitic for criticizing lsreal.

That was before my experience with internet forums.

Now I know why they say that!!!

Freakin bunch of nu ...

JFunk - maybe one day you will understand the difference between Semites, Jews and Zionists and how the zionists have used and hidden behind the facade of "anti-Semitism" so cleverly.

Have you ever read the translated documents and accounts of the Romans when they were in Judea?

They provide a very interesting insight into the gathering strength of the zionist cult and the way they used the religions to create a many layered facade in which to conceal themselves.

The Romans were great record keepers.

The wolf is your shepherd.
Man created god before god created man and the world has been in turmoil ever since. Dots freak some people out - so they join them with lines that aren't really there.

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Post time 2011-11-3 09:26:10 |Display all floors
Um...yeah...I'm talking about people like you.

Its a mental illness and there seems to be quite a few effected.

I'm guessing this is passed down from generation to generation?

Anyways, you'll never convince me of a fairytale where jews have super-human powers, secretely controlling the fate of the world.

I can't believe in a world where I am doomed to be controlled by some hidden hand.

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