The Daily Show has a scathing piece on a 20 year old law that has resulted in the pulling of $60m in UNESCO funding. Part of the law stipulates that any UN agency that recognizes a Palestinian authority would immediately lose its funding from the United States.
The piece points to an interesting trend in American politics: we absolutely have to do the wrong because it’s the law, and it’s “hard” to change laws. In fact, my wife and I ran into the same appeal to law when in a General Assembly: the GA could not change the text of a proposal because of something decided in the previous GA about proposals being only an up or down vote. It was interesting to see the facilitators squirm when confronted with a completely different group of people in that day’s GA who were angry that rules were being laid down on what was said to be the most open form of democratic discussion there is.
If we are consistently doing the wrong thing because of laws we’ve created decades ago, the law should be up for discussion. Period. To say that there is no room for discussion on the law simply because it is a law is to invite tyranny through rulemaking.
The indirect cost of our Palestine policy takes on new global dimensions with the loss of funding to UNESCO. As the Daily Show piece amusingly points out, even tiny Gabon has ponied up $2m to fund this agency.