U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding today's hosting by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of the anti-Israel "United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine":
"UNESCO is once again directly engaged in promoting Israel-bashing, this time by hosting and participating in this anti-Israel UN confab. This reminds us that UNESCO's admission of "Palestine' was not a fluke, and that UNESCO is reverting to anti-Israel bias and is unworthy of U.S. funding.
"The choice is clear. Rather than trying to defend the indefensible, the Obama Administration must stop spinning for UNESCO, condemn that body's anti-Israel behavior, and withdraw its request for Congress to amend U.S. law to restore funding to UNESCO."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, are the authors of a currently-circulating letter to Secretary Clinton expressing opposition to the State Department's stated intent to "seek legislation that would provide authority to waive restrictions on paying the U.S. assessed contribution to UNESCO." It also emphasizes that the U.S. should not resume funding for UNESCO absent a decision by that agency to reverse its admission of "Palestine."
Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 2829, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011, which requires the United Nations to switch its funding mechanism from an assessed basis to a voluntary basis. This shift will empower the U.S. and other member-states to use their strongest leverage at the UN -- their monetary contributions -- to press for badly needed reform. This legislation would cut off funding to any UN entity that recognizes a Palestinian state or upgrades in any way the status of the Palestinian observer mission at the UN prior to the achievement of a complete and final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. This legislation enjoys the support of over 140 cosponsors, and was marked up and reported favorably by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year.