After UNESCO voted membership for Palestine (TNT, 10-31), the U.S. announced that it would withdraw funds for the organization based on a law passed by Congress years ago that bars funding for any United Nations organization that recognizes Palestine.
Whatever one’s opinion or sympathy, this will be seen on screens from Casablanca to Jakarta as another example of America bullying the world. We wonder why we are not popular even as we need friends.
The U.S. and Israel insist on “negotiations,” yet much of the world knows that negotiations have been going on for 19 years with Israel gaining ever more land and power, supported always by the United States. This is not in the interests of Israel nor of the U.S.
Israel may enjoy the support of American taxpayers and the U.S. Congress, but it is increasingly isolated. Tom Friedman, no friend of Palestinians, recently wrote in The New York Times that he had never been more worried about the future of Israel. Distinguished Israelis note that Jews have exchanged the ghettos of Europe for one in the Middle East.
Negotiations are indeed needed, but the U.S. is not an honest broker. Nor can we alone assure Israel the security it claims to want.