It is not the place of UNESCO, the U.N. or any of its agencies to short-circuit the peace process by assisting the Palestinian leadership in its rejectionism. Such disdain for genuine efforts to achieve peace cannot be made with impunity.
The United Nations and its subsidiary agencies must not be allowed to become political tools that can be used to sidestep international obligations and, to the degree to which they are, they must be recognized as such. If the memberships of these agencies prove so irresponsible as to subordinate their institutional missions for wanton obstructionism, then, as is clearly the intention of the relevant laws, U.S. taxpayer money should not help them do so.
U.N. support for the PLO’s unilateral efforts rewards and reinforces Palestinian rejectionism, undercuts opportunities for direct negotiations that could lead to genuine peace and contravenes the fundamental principles that underlie the pursuit of Middle East peace.
The fact remains that rejectionist elements within the Palestinian leadership still today refuse to negotiate in good faith even as Israel reiterates its commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security.
These elements spurn Israeli overtures and continue to seek to establish a Palestinian state unilaterally through a vote at the United Nations.
Genuine peace cannot be achieved through unilateralism; rejectionism — whether by Hamas, Fatah, the PLO or UNESCO — must be abandoned.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., walks on Broadway after a Future Forum with young entrepreneurs in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended.