Salim Solaiman


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What do you think of recent US stance of cutting funds for UNESCO on Palestine issue ?

It's a debate to have different perspectives on an issue.
Recently in a vote of member countries UNESCO decided to make Palestine a full member. In reaction of this US immediately decided to cut all their funding commitments to UNESCO.
What's your thought about it ?
UNESCO made the decision through vote - a democratic process and the vote resulted overwhelmingly in favour of Palestine.
By stopping funding to UNESCO , do you think US took a anti-democratic stance?
US is getting support from UNESCO for Afgan & Iraq already, what will happen with that? We want peace, do we not?

Yes funding or donation completely depends on donor will (though those donations are never pure donation being string attached always), but if giving a donation or funding is strongly linked with such terms is it really a donation?

For reference please check this news (though I am not fan of mainstream media , I am giving link as I did not find any other source)

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    Nov 2 2011: They have warned that Palestinian's entry in UNESCO will cost Palestine a huge price, but really it's the US that pays the high price as the world reveals to it that its not going to play along with the US-Israel peace talk scam and the US is forced to make a move that will seriously hinder its reputation. I think that the vote in favor of Palestine was good in two ways: The first is that it moves Palestine a little closer to statehood and the second is that it clearly shows the US that, in the absence of power to veto, you cannot just invent a new veto with money. The US threatened to take their money away, most of UNESCO ignored that and that was a great move to make. The rest of the world needs to stick it to the US, they don't get to legislate the world, especially given that their own politics are hardly exemplary.
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      Nov 3 2011: Thats the point Matthieu, price has to be paid by two party one is UNESCO which is immediate cut of fund which is actually in most cases working to establish US agenda though US is only around 20% contributor of UNESCO money.

      What price Palestine has to pay , we need to wait and see.
      Good part of it , as you said , so far UNESCO could ignore US , but how long it can ignore?
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        Nov 3 2011: Hard to say what will happen. But there's something exciting in seeing power being pulled out of the US' hands. Too bad it had to happen under Obama's watch though.
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    Nov 2 2011: Had US not taken side of Israel we might had issue already resolved. but this world is so much biased.

    I agree with Smith. US can achieve more if there is a fair solution on Palestine-Israel issue. I live in a Muslim country & here extremist always use US's role for Palestine as a propaganda for anti Americanism.

    A solution for the issue I,mean two states both for Palestine & Israel based on 1967 borders.
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    Nov 1 2011: Well, it is their right to do so, but I think that this measure is quite childish.
    I doubt that lasting peace can be achieved as long as Palestine is not a recognized state, so why not accept them?
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      Nov 2 2011: Yes Sabin , I also agreed in my main post donor has the right to donate or not to. But should we call anything as DONATION if such string is attached with ?
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      Nov 26 2011: Interesting perspective you came up with !!!
      Yes whatever your "our land" thinks democratic thats democracy others are not. Thanks for agreeing that fact. That's the todays reality

      A bit confused can you please elaborate a bit, when last US implemented something which was not passed with majority vote in senate or congress ?

      My understanding is , to support the interest of minority (which I also support , there shouldn't be any majoritry or minority on the basis of any criteria if it is not threat to mankind or nature) , the process of democracy tries to create support of majority before implementing.

      Please look in to the history of pre 1947 about the existance of Israel.
      Why you think Palestinians should have state everywhere ? What is your logic or reason?
      If jewish is not a religion based concept , what is that then?
      Why you are not having a jewish state within US ?

      The problem is already made too complex by US and other power centers where I am an individual to give any solution. Sorry I can't give any solution and the discussion is very specific to US act to UNESCO, so let's focus on that instead of spinning around.
  • Nov 2 2011: I think it is unfortunate that US took such an action. It is not justified that for the last few decades Palestinians are attempting to have a state and the same right that was given to Israel is not given to Palestinians. It is in the interest of Israel to not move forward with negotiations so how Palestinians can ever achieve their goal?

    Not only that but Israel continues to build settlements on occupied territories.

    If Isreal lobby in US did not have such a power I think US would be more independent and fair player in the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
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      Nov 2 2011: Thanks Zdenek for your thoughts.
      For long MIGHT is defining the definition of democracy. Is it not better to agree unconditionally "MIGHT is RIGHT" ?

      Though UNESCO can not ensure a defined homeland to Palestine , it's rather symbolic. Solution needs far more well thought mutually accepted solution.
      • Nov 2 2011: Hi Salim, what do you mean by "MIGHT" ?

        I think what UNESCO did has nothing to do with Israel if we agree that Palestinians have the right for their own independent state and as such have right to join any organization if they wish to do so. Palestinians do not dictate to Israel which organizations they can be member of ?
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          Nov 2 2011: Hi Zdenek
          MIGHT means power earlier it meant military power mostly, now it can be political power, economic power as well.......
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    Nov 27 2011: Democracy and politics sometimes don't mix - you can quote me on that!

    There is a complicated game of chess going on at the moment with regard to Palestine. The us is walking a tightrope with Israel and it doesn't help matters that we are entering an election year in the US. Obama is trying to advance the cause of a Palestinian state but also needs to convince Israel that it is a good thing.

    In regard to the pulling of "donations" to UNESCO, that I believe is a tactical move and needs to be viewed in the larger picture. It's difficult to make any progress when Syria is in turmoil, Iran is rumbling and anti-Israeli sentiment bubbles up everywhere in the middle east. I believe the middle east needs a leader who can speak to the region as a whole and in their best interests. They need an "Obama-like" person who speaks for the young people of the region who are hungry for change.
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      Nov 28 2011: Yes, sometimes politics become pivotal above anything else.......

      Agree Palestine issue for long a complicated issue and there was seldom any move in favour of them from US part....... this part of politics is not clear to me. When such move happened for political reason, how do you see US cry for democracy in other ME countries while all people of all those country right now on the street ?

      Middle East needs a leader who can pull the whole region and free from any extrinsic influence , that what I feel as well. Do you think my that feeling is utopic ?

      Thanks for your thought Jim :)
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      Nov 27 2011: There is no disagreement that funding or not funding is a choice , please look in to my original post I have no disagreement about that which I again agreed a couple of times with you.........

      The question was how aligned this act of immediate cut with democratic moral (I agree with you it's not undemocratic as it's the choice of fund owner) for , defying the will of majority (I know majority also can be wrong but practice of democracy is so)?

      Qoute " America implemented something which was not passed with a majority vote in senate & congress, I think there is a confusion here"....Sorry for confusing you, it was my question to you when you posted that democracy does not mean to follow what majority says in your earlier post here if I correctly understood and cited examples of gay right..... so I asked an example from you when last US implemented something which didn't get majority vote in senate or cogress.... hope I could explain.

      Look , UNESCO didn't took a stand against US (can UNESCO really do so!!!), it's US that walked away when their stance lost by majority vote......

      The idea of your solution has to be agreed none but by the palestinians.
      Well for hypotheitical reason say, all neighbouring Arab countries gave some land to Palestine to have a land and home, with current situation , Israel started occupying that ....don't you think then problem will be even deeper ?

      Qoute " your response and everyone else who responded, you realize this is not a yes or no debate".Ans: None of my questions are closed ended which can be answerd in YES or NO. Moreover this is very complex situation so I never expect an YES or NO question.

      Sorry for mistake with WORD, you are right JEW is not religion but JUDAISM is. S/he who follows judaism is a JEW. All religion claims so .. i mean being way of life...

      Will like to hear your thoughts about having a geo-ethnic situation of pre 1947 time in the region to solve the age old deadly conflict in the region...
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      Nov 28 2011: Hi Noel
      Thanks for your effort , got your mail. But if I copy and paste it will come as my post which will be confusing.
      Can you please try agian to post what you wrote.
      Thanks :)
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      Nov 26 2011: No disgreement about US right of cutting fund actually (already agreed in the original post).
      Question is after such action should we call such funding with string attached to be called as DONATION?
      Is not this action of US against the opinion of majority (a key point in democracy) of UNESCO members is undemocratic?

      I agree every human being should have home (I am uncomfortable with religion based country anywhere). Are you sure that land now occupied by ISRAEL is the home JEWs only ?
      Where did the holocust happened? Why a JEWs state was not formed in places where they were treated so inhumanly (I never support such act) as a compensation at least if not anything else.

      Any thoughts about these questions ?
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    Nov 11 2011: Salim! What a great question! I am not sure how I missed it!

    Unfortunately, this tactic is consistent with the ongoing policy of the American government to ignore the plight of Palestine. I am disappointed to report that my own government favours Israel as well.

    Here are two articles which make it clear about what the US government is willing to do. They are written by Prof. Steven Zunes who is an expert on the issues of the American government actions as they pertain to Palestine.

    I hope they are of interest to any fair minded people who wish to see a resolution of the problems facing all the people who are trapped in the results of these political machinations.
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      Nov 14 2011: Hi Debra
      Good to hear from you. Thanks for those links, well thought articles.

      Though UNESCO were never free from US political agenda , this time it seems it's a different twist of events. Well who knows , what is behind ......many will brand it as Conspiracy Theory..... but may be everything is game to faciltate Israel to build more infrastructure at their will in that region......

      Suspicious I am really...
  • Nov 9 2011: Palestine becoming a member or not is actually unimportant unless that contributes to peace.. What is important are those dying and the lack of economic opportunity. The legislation in the original congressional bill that authorized contributing was what caused funding to stop. It was not an overt action as many interpret. It could also be reversed legislatively. Will it? Probably not given the USA and the world is in a depression. Does that mean voluntary contributions from the USA will not continue to be made? No. You need to correct your assumption that the US is getting support from UNESCO. UNESCO is supporting the people of those countries. The base issue with respect to the middle east is the unending conflict. This is fueled primarily by Islamic fundamentalism not Jewish Nationalism. It will not stop until one of four things happen....A) All Arab and Israeli women decide that enough is enough....stop killing our husbands, sons and daughter, B) Terrorism stops, C) Materialism, not religion becomes more important (survival and opportunity), D) The "leaders" actually negotiate and come to terms. With the exception of the first....a simple website so please go win a Pultzer if you have the skill the other solutions are not near term. If you review UNESCO's purpose (somewhat confusing) is a link and there are many others, it's history has not been without blemish. But given the primary purpose of UNESCO is education I would submit that spending that much money (check the overhead costs) could be much more productively spent by simply setting up small computer centers in those areas of the world that do not have access to information. The Internet today, besides being the library of the world and free and translatable, contains educational courses (free) in almost every subject. I would pose solutions be posed....rants accomplish nothing.
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    Nov 7 2011: When ever there is a partition some humans lose out. Serbs living in Serbia lost their property, their businesses, and their homes. Bosnians living in Serbia lost their property, business and homes. For over a thousand years Jews lost their properties, their homes, their right to earn a livlihood, their right to practice their religion, the right to engage in a profession, their right to own land, and quite often their right to live. Most people in the world hear the Arab side of the Jewish-Arab conflict, but they never get a chance to hear the Jewish side.
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      Nov 13 2011: Hi Michael
      Sorry for being late in replying as was out of connectivity for sometime. Got your point. I am not a believer of any religion based country anywhere in the world neither on basis of any race, but thats the reality we have now.

      The Palestine Israel confilict is a very complex one. Don't know whats the way out. Here the discussion is about US stance against UNESCO.
      UNESCO can't ensure a country to Palestine , neither any UN body can , that's what I feel. It has to be resolved by Palestine & Israel themselves (fact is due to British political startegy of late 40s it evolved)

      What do you think about that?

      I didn't get you , what you wanted to mean by saying "Most people in the world hear the Arab side of the Jewish-Arab conflict , but they never get a chance to hear the Jewsih side".

      Intersetingly when you termed it "Arab-Jewish" , do you notice it's a very unique situtaion. "Arab" means a kind geo-social identity while JEWISH is completely relgious identity. Don't get me wrong I don't support religious / racial fanatism.
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    Nov 7 2011: There is a country where Arabs who had been living in Israel are the majority, they speak the language of Palestinians, they share their customs, they practice their religion. This country offers every Palestinian citizenship should they desire it. This is a country where Palestinians can feel at home. There is no other country in the world where Jews can feel at home except Israel.
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    Nov 7 2011: You can tell me there are some good Arabs. That is certainly true. But they are the minority, and they have no power. The 1967 borders were not realistic. There is zero chance Israel will go back to the 1967 borders now. For a long time Israel was willing to go back to the 1967 borders, but not anymore. Israelis still remember how Arabs desecrated their houses of worship when they gained control of Jerusalem. They did not allow Christians or Jews to worship at the Wailing Wall. Even though Israel has control of the Temple Mount, they still allow Arabs to worship at the only holy Jewish site. Israelis did not tear down the Mosque built on their holiest site. Both Christianity and Islam sought to appropriate the holiest Jewish site for themselves. It is no coincidence that Jesus and Mohamed choose Jerusalem as a holy site in their religion. If Tel Aviv had been the site of the old Jewish Temple, then Christianity and Islam would be claiming Tel Aviv as one of their holy sites. You have to be pretty stupid not to understand how bastard religions claim for themselves the sites of the religion they claim to supplant. I like Mormons. I think they are better than Christians are. But their religion is clearly a bastardized form of Christianity. Likewise, Roman Catholicism is a bastardized form of the Christianity practiced by Jesus, which was a bastardized form of ancient Judaism. The bottom line is Jews allowed Arabs to worship on the Holiest ground in the Jewish religion, to keep their Mosque on this ground, while Arabs deliberately destroyed and desecrated every Jewish house of worship they could.