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FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF FRENCH SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD

By Jonathon Schanzer and Claudia Rosett, October 21, 2011

 

[Editor: This article published in the Wall Street Journal is worth a read.] 

 

The Unintended Consequences of French Support for Palestinian Statehood - Jonathan Schanzer and Claudia Rosett
The Palestinian drive for UN membership is backfiring on one of its most vocal early supporters, French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In July, France announced it would upgrade the PLO delegation in Paris to a diplomatic mission. In recent weeks, however, while the Palestinians have pressed forward with a bid for full membership in UNESCO, both French diplomats and UN officials have been quietly back-pedaling on the issue.
According to American law since the 1990s, the U.S. is prohibited from giving funds to any part of the UN system that grants the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the same standing as member states. The U.S. is by far the largest contributor to UNESCO, giving 22%, while France chips in just 6%. French diplomats are now saying that, despite their earlier backing of the Palestinian unilateral bid, UNESCO is "not the right time, nor the right place" to wrestle with the question of Palestine. Mr. Schanzer is vice president for research and Ms. Rosett is journalist-in-residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Wall Street Journal Europe
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