The Palestinian bid to obtain recognition of statehood by the United Nations has clearly irked some power players in Washington.  The United States has already made plain its intention to veto the application in the Security Council but is, at the moment, more concerned with delaying the vote for as long as possible, possibly in the unlikely expectation that everyone will forget about it.

Meanwhile the State Department is assiduously punishing the Palestinians in every possible way, making sure they are not represented in any international fora.  Last week, the US was on the losing side of a 40 to 4 vote approving Palestinian entry into UNESCO.  UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.  Its website says that it “Encourages international peace and universal respect by promoting collaboration among nations.”  It is not generally perceived as political, though it has sometimes become involved in controversy over Israeli destruction of Muslim historic and cultural sites.  In any event, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians.

The US has also blocked Palestinian membership in the International Institute of Aging, The World Telecommunications Union, The World Meteorological Organization, and the Office for Outer Space Affairs.  The State Department is considering withholding funding to any United Nations agency that admits Palestinians.  Washington contributes 22% of the UNESCO budget, which might be subject to a freeze by Hillary Clinton or by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is already working on stripping the Palestinians of all US foreign aid.