Monday, August 29, 2011

Money talks even at the UN

Even as extremists from Gaza fire rockets and mortars at civilians in southern Israel and cause death and destruction, we must not forget about another danger facing Israel: a unilateral campaign by Palestinian leaders to secure recognition from individual foreign governments and from the United Nations for a self-declared Palestinian "state." This anti-Israel, anti-peace scheme must be stopped.

U.N. actions would severely undermine opportunities for a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians. They would provide implicit recognition and legitimacy to a self-declared "state" and reward and reinforce the unilateral, rejectionist policies of the Palestinian leadership. 

Fortunately, we are not helpless in the face of this dangerous challenge. There is a historical precedent for how to stop it. In 1989, Yasser Arafat's PLO also pushed for membership for a "Palestinian state." The PLO's strategy looked unstoppable until the George H.W. Bush administration made clear that the U.S. would cut off funding to any UN entity that upgraded the status of the Palestinian observer in any way. The UN was forced to choose between isolating Israel and receiving U.S. contributions, and they chose the latter. The PLO's unilateral campaign was stopped in its tracks.

This example demonstrates a simple but needed lesson: At the UN, money talks, and smart withholding works. It is time to use all our leverage to stop this unilateral Palestinian scheme - for the sake of our ally Israel and all free democracies, for the sake of peace and security, and for the sake of achieving a UN that upholds its founding principles.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen - Miami Herald

Originally posted by Israel Alert.

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