Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, October 31, 2011

With the UNESCO budget stretched by the Arab Spring, it is regrettable that the UNESCO budget is likely to fall by about 20%. USA which has been making a sizeable contribution to the budget will withhold all funding following Palestinian membership of UNESCO. 

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not regrettable as such, it's outrageous behaviour from the US government, who apparently has forgotten all it's own preaching about how it doesn't negotiate with blackmailers. Now it's own attempt at blackmail failed and it's pushing on which this craven behaviour in behalf of it's masters in Tel Aviv.

Anonymous said...

It's bad taste to complain when someone who's been giving you charity withdraws further charity. The U.S. has it's own things to take care of, UNESCO will have to do without.

Anonymous said...

A bit harsh 2nd anon. The Unesco funding does an absolutely vital job worldwide and the funding is very minor to the US in terms of their budget and is clearly being withdrawn for spiteful political reasons by the USA for a cause a big portion of the world actually supports. Daveh

Marianne Luban said...

What cause would that be? Whatever it is, let that "portion of the world" lend the monetary support, then, and quit belaboring the US.

Having said that, I really would not like to see this board get politicized. I don't think the members joined it for that but because they are interested in news relative to ancient Egypt and the ongoing reaearch in the field.

Anonymous said...

I think you are aware of the background to this act Marianne and as i also do not wish this blog to become politicized i am not going to continue this thread. UNESCO funding for culture is even more vital in these economically bad times as funding is diverted to other things, look at the cutbacks the SAC is making to projects in Egypt. While in Italy Pompei, is crumbling. Its a great pity the USA has withdrawn its funding but i guess its up to them and i really hope other countries step up to the mark. Daveh

Marianne Luban said...

Actually, Daveh, I wasn't aware--but I am now. And I don't support the Palestinian position in anything because I am an historian. I have heard of an ancient kingdom of Israel and Judah, but not of Palestine. The Philistines and their five cities were vanquished by the Jews even in BCE. Fast forward. Jerusalem or Al-Quds was not rebuilt by Palestinians after the king of Babylon allowed the captives of Judah to return from their exile. Now comes CE. There was no kingdom of Palestine for the Romans to conquer. Just Judea, whose people were dispersed into Europe and enslaved. Had they had the US for an ally, that might not have happened but Rome was the super-power of the time. During the Middle Ages, the area in question was not held by non-Christians until an Arab named Saladin came along. Fast forward again. When the Jews decided to return to their homeland after WWII, it was not controlled by the Palestinians. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the British in charge? If the British were allied with the Arabs, that was their choice but no one involved was able to repel the Jewish settlers. Then the UN voted for the statehood of Israel. Fair and Square. Just where the state of Palestine should be is difficult to know, wouldn't you say? I vote for Madagascar.

Jefferson's Table said...

and so much for politicizing, Luban?

Marianne Luban said...

I didn't start this! But, to correct an error, it was the king of Persia and not Babylon who allowed the Jews to return to their home. Sorry if I made some points that rattled your cage, Jefferson's Table. But it's history and not politics.I didn't intend to be mean about Madagascar. It was just a joke harking back to a temporary plan of Hitler's government to resettle the Jews there.

Anonymous said...

Well you seem to know a lot more about the historical perspective of the region, the politics and what has led to the current impasse than the average man on the street, Marianne and i am sure you can rain a fire-storm of historical facts and arguments down on me to counter my views. It is possible to argue endlessly about the legitimacy of historical claims to land v recent or current possession. But in my opinion and lots of other people around the world this long standing dispute really needs to be resolved and a pragmatic two state solution is thus required. Hence the Palestinian course of action in going to the UN in order to advance their ambitions of eventual statehood is something i think is worthy and born of sheer frustration at not being able to sustain negotiations with the Isralies. I appreciate that this cuts both ways and the Isralies have legitimate security concerns that require addressing before meaningful negotiations can take place but the Palestinians see new settlements being built on land that they and a lot of other people consider that they own (i am sure you will come up with numerous historical arguments as to why they do not own it) and this is something that also needs addressing. Daveh

tim said...

Ouch Hitler jokes!

Anonymous said...

Before 1948.......
The Romans deported the Judaeans (their term) after the revolt of AD 135. Jerusalem was raised then rebuilt as a Roman City and renamed Aeolia Capitolina if I remember correctly. So from AD 135 the area between the Mediterranean coast and the Jordan Valley was ruled and peopled by, successively, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, "Saracens", Ottoman Turks until it became a British Mandated Territory of the League of Nations. Britain withdrew in 1948 because it was bankrupt and needed financial support from the US. A fair number of British service personnel were murdered by terrorists in this period. CJB

Ron Lankshear said...

With Conquest Ruled by is one thing but peopled by is something else. The Romans needed the peasants to keep the crops going.
And so would other invaders.....
And there were Jews in Jerusalam throughout the Middle Ages into modern times

Please read
Jewish diaspora - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patrick said...

To bring the topic back towards our chosen field, the US action over the Palestinian bid for statehood is merely another proof that their attitude to aid is, to say the least disingenious, and depends on the pliability of the receivers. This was true during Mubarak's regime; it will be interesting to see how the US reacts to the ressults of the upcoming Egyptian elections.
As regards the contents of Kate's excellent page, in an ideal world we would just concentrate on Egyptological affairs, and leave the dirty business of politics on one side. Unfortunately, only a fool would believe we live in an ideal world!
On a personal note (and please do not respond)using often questionable historical data to justify present day atrociries just doesn't wash.

Marianne Luban said...

No, there certainly is no historical data that can justify atrocities like suicide bombers in crowded places killing children--or flying into buildings where hundreds of people are employed. And why shouldn't I respond? Oh--yes--I remember. We Jews are just supposed to shut up and take it. Never retaliate. That's the role we've been assigned for centuries. Jews get tough and--OMG--people sure do get mad. Keep the anti-Zionist drivel off this board. Make the world a little more ideal.

Anonymous said...

The pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe, the persecution by the Christian Church in all its forms, and the mass murders perpetrated by the Nazi Regime in its Conquered Territories are all bestial acts that are unforgivable. In the aftermath of WW2 there could be no doubt that a Jewish State was highly desirable to, hopefully, prevent such things ever happening again. What no-one took into account was the feelings of the people that such a state would displace and it is that oversight that the whole world lives with now. As ever, the politicians could not see beyond the end of their noses. CJB

Marianne Luban said...

People get displaced for various reasons. Look what happened in India after the British withdrew!
Anyway the Balfour Declaration made it plain that, at one time, Britain was in favor of Jewish settlement in Palestine.

Here's from Wiki to save typing;

" In September 1947, one month after the Partition of India, UNSCOP recommended the partition in Palestine, a suggestion ratified by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947.[49] The UN resolution stipulated the establishment of two separate states, one Arab and one Jewish, with the city of Jerusalem to be under the direct administration of the United Nations. The date for the proposed British withdrawal was to be 1 October 1948.

The UN resolution called upon Britain to evacuate a seaport and sufficient hinterland to support substantial Jewish migration, by February 1, 1948. Neither Britain nor the UN Security Council acted to implement the resolution and Britain continued detaining Jews attempting to enter Palestine. Concerned that partition would severely damage Anglo-Arab relations, Britain refused to cooperate with the UN, denying the UN access to Palestine during the interim period (a requirement of the partition decision). The British withdrawal was finally completed in May 1948. However, Britain continued to hold Jews of "fighting age" and their families on Cyprus until March 1949."

"Fighting between the Arab and Jewish communities of Palestine began soon after the UN decision to partition Palestine in November 1947. Neighbouring Arab states declared that they would greet any attempt to create a Jewish state with war. In January 1948 Arab volunteers from Palestine and from all over the Middle East began to gather in Syria to form the Arab Liberation Army (ALA). ALA raids into Palestine were repulsed by the British and by troops of the Palmach, a small elite force of the Haganah. A three-way war spread over much of Palestine, with the British trying to keep order, but conscious of the need to avoid casualties as they prepared for their withdrawal. The Arab-Jewish violence increased in the spring of 1948 as the British gradually withdrew. Britain imposed an arms embargo, which only really affected the Jews as supplies reached the Palestinian Arabs from neighbouring Arab states across the land borders of Palestine."

That's the history--and who wouldn't cooperate with the UN? It wasn't the Jews. In the end, Jerusalem was divided and Israel had no say over what happened to the east of it, but the Arabs couldn't accept that, either, or leave well enough alone. Two futile Arab wars and still Israel prevailed with the Arabs then complaining bitterly over territories they had lost via wars they had initiated. In due course, Israel relented and gave up some of the conquered territory. But no concessions were ever good enough. Too bad!

Not so long ago I was returning home from an ARCE convention and the cabbie driving me to the airport was a non-Jew from Jerusalem. Our conversation was pleasant until he started in ranting about how the Jews should not only get out of Jerusalem but the whole of Israel. When I asked the cabbie where he thought the Jewish homeland was he replied, "Egypt! The Jews come from Egypt and that is where they belong."

I said nothing more. What more was there to say?

Anonymous said...

The UN resolution stipulated the establishment of two separate states, one Arab and one Jewish,
This was in 1947, but we still do not have a Palestinian state!
The Palestinians go to the UN in frustration at slow progress in talks and the US cuts UNESCO funding because the US does not like this act. So every country that benefits from UNESCO assistance suffers!
The US could simply veto this in the security council without cutting the UNESCO funding.
Daveh

Marianne Luban said...

After all that I posted, Daveh, you still don't seem to understand that the Palestinians would not tolerate a Jewish state. Or maybe you do. That's all I have to say on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Well i think the Arab league would now accept a Jewish State Marianne. Things have moved on a lot since 1947. Israeli security would need be guaranteed by the quartet and every single member of the Arab league would be required to sign up to it and guarantee the security of the Jewish state. I can see you are not going to buy my point of view and believe me having worked in Israel i am pro isralie myself but i can also see the other side as well and i think we really need to try to take this forward. Perhaps i am just more optimistic than you. That's my last too on this. My point by the way was not about the merits of a palestinian state or not but about the fact that the USA could if they wished have vetoed this at the UN, why do they need to withdraw UNESCO funding which is so vital to other non involved parties as well. Surely you must acknowledge that this is unfair, i cannot see how this weakens your point of view which i respect.

Marianne Luban said...

Okay, I will address the subject of funding, money. I am not in favor of the US [where I live, BTW] funding a lot of things because I am of the opinion that charity begins at home. We are in a depression here! Just reading the newspaper, I see the progression of how one thing after another to aid American citizens and their culture [like funding for the arts] has been and could be cut. Social Security allotments haven't been raised in the last two years, with the excuse that the cost of living hasn't increased--but I certainly don't personally find that to be true. I just paid $1,100. for a root canal of a single tooth. I pay so much for medical insurance that I cannot afford dental as well. Let's see if there is a raise in SS after January 2012. The absolutely destitute can get free health care but the elderly who are nevertheless quite poor still have to shell out for Medicare and Medicare supplementary insurances that take up a good portion of their income. The younger population with families who cannot get health insurance through work [especially if they are self-employed] pay very high premiums for health care--no matter how much their income fluctuates. I do not hob-nob with the wealthy any longer and so I do not now know anyone who is doing well these days and not feeling the crunch. Food, shelter, fuel, electricity, everything you can name is very expensive. And jobs are very hard to find because places of employment are shutting down left and right.

Anonymous said...

Ok now i can see clearly your point of view re funding. I did not appreciate how bad things were over there. Things are tough here too by the way as they are everywhere. But i just do not want to see World Heritage Sites crumble to dust, Daveh signing off.

Anonymous said...

The new Jewish state was able to arm itself from all sorts of sources and ironically used Czech produced Messerschmitt 109 fighters alongside British built Spitfires and eventually American Mustangs. Don't rely on every statement that Wikipedia makes. CJB

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