"When UNESCO voted in 2011 to admit the 'State of Palestine' as a member despite the fact that there is no 'State of Palestine,' the United States suspended paying dues to the organization. This was done in accordance with U.S. law, because Congress had forbidden paying dues to any UN organization that admitted the PLO to full membership as a state.
The goal was to deter UN organizations from giving the Palestinians the diplomatic victory they wanted-being treated as a state-unless and until they negotiated a peace agreement with Israel. And it worked: since the U.S. move in 2011, other key UN organizations have not followed UNESCO down the PLO's preferred path. The United States pays about 22 percent of the budget of UNESCO and most other UN organs, so the threat of a loss of U.S. dues gets serious attention.
The old adage 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' would seem to apply here: the legislation is working. Were it to be repealed or waived, it's logical to expect other UN bodies to see that the Americans are bluffing-and to give the Palestinians full membership. Yet that is clearly where the Obama administration is heading, unless Congress blocks them...
Graham and other Republicans should block this Obama/Kerry effort... If we collapse on UNESCO, it will be assumed in the UN that we will eventually collapse on any other UN agency that admits 'Palestine.' If it is important to stop UN agencies from admitting 'Palestine,' we have the ideal tool in the 1990 law and should simply enforce it.
Graham and all the Republican members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees should quickly reject this show of American weakness. Moreover, the Republican candidates for president should find this an easy item over which to agree. The position of the United States has been clear for 25 years: admit the PLO as a state with full membership and you lose U.S. dues. UNESCO's member countries decided to do it anyway, testing American resolve. The Obama administration wants to show that they were right: we fold under criticism and pressure. Congress should 'just say no' and send a clear message to every other UN body: there will be no waivers."