“We had no choice,” explained Sen. Robert Wexler. “We had to cut the funds from UNESCO. They accepted Palestine as a member and the U.S. has a twenty year old law that denies funding to any UN agency that recognizes Palestine.” The United Nations Economic, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) mission statement includes the building of peace and the alleviation of poverty. But, we had no choice, Wexler said, because we are the good guys and we want what is best for Israel and Palestine. Our responsibility is to force them to meet and negotiate their differences without outside interference.
So, we cut our $60 million pledge to an organization that seeks water for 950,000 refugees, promotes education in South Sudan, provides relief to tsunami victims and is teaching 3000 Afghan soldiers to read.
Peace talks between Israel and Palestine have been going on for more than 20 years and the sides are further apart now than they have ever been. Israel brings preconditions to the table, such as; existing settlements will become permanent parts of Israel,
As the year ended, plans were going ahead for 3,690 new apartments in East Jerusalem and 1000 in nearby settlements. Peace Now reported a 20 percent increase in settlement construction in 2011, with 1,850 new units going up in settlements east of the separation wall, and 3,500 elsewhere in the West Bank. Human Rights groups noted a corresponding increase in home demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians not only have settlements on their land, they have to deal with settlers who harass, intimidate, steal and seem to have no limits to their brutally.
In late December, a coalition of human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, reported that during 2011 settlers destroyed hundreds of homes, water wells and farm structures, as well as 10,000 olive trees.
Another precondition demanded by Israel; The separation wall will become the new border, encircling West Bank’s valuable water aquifers and more than 40,000 acres of its prime agricultural land, enclosing another 10 percent of Palestine pushing the Palestinians back onto 12 percent of what used to be their home land instead of the 22 percent they are asking for. What is left is cut up by Jewish only roads.
Now the Israeli government declares war on solar panels which provide the only electricity for many Palestinian villages. Others, more fortunate, may purchase electricity, at inflated rates, from Israel. It seems that Israel is saying to the Palestinians that your land is ours, your water is ours, your agriculture is ours, your homes are ours and now, even your sunshine belongs to us.
Still, our politicians declare Hamas as the enemy of peace.
March 22, 2011.
 Interview with John Oliver, Daily Show, 3/15/12.
 See Rachelle Marshall, Israel’s Current Demand: Most of the West Bank., The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March, 2012, p.8-9.
 Phoebe Greenwood, Palestinians Prepare to Lose the Solar Panels that Provide a Lifeline. The Guardian, Wednesday, March 14, 2012