One hundred seven members of UNESCO voted to admit Palestine to the body, which was enough. You can watch a short video of the rather suspenseful vote here. Reaction has been swift.
White House condemns Palestinian vote on UNESCO, calls it "premature," "REGRETTABLE" and "deeply damaging" ....and the US checkbook has closed. That didn't take long!
Some people will say these things are only symbolic, and it doesn't matter, but if that were true we wouldn't see all this huffing and puffing. It matters because it changes the facts on the ground. It changes the narrative. And it puts the US and Israel on the back foot.
Palestine can now apply for some sites to be World Heritage Sites. Some of these sites may have Israeli settlers around. That brings a different authority to the settler problem. Suddenly there's a teacher in the room.
There are about 20 sites that Palestine may submit to UNESCO for World Heritage status.
The inventory consists of twenty sites, including seventeen cultural and three natural heritage sites, which reflect the cultural and natural diversity of Palestine. The list includes the historical cities (Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus), major archaeological sites (Tell es-Sultan, Qumran, Sebastia, Mount Gerzim, Anthedon, and TellUm Amer), cultural and religious routes, natural (Wadi Gaza, Umm er-Rihan) and cultural landscape sites (Palestine, Land of Olives, El-Bariyah), as well as potential trans-boundary sites (Dead Sea). It is important to mention that “The Old City of Jerusalem and Its Walls” was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981.You can see if you click through that link, that this process has been ongoing for many years, meaning the process of recognizing and identifying sites in Palestine of "outstanding universal value" to humanity. To call it premature, regrettable, deeply damaging, etc., and to withdraw funding from UNESCO, simply reveals the pathetic whinging of the US and Israel.
Whatever will they do if Palestinian cultural and religious routes are declared UNESCO World Heritage sites? How are all those checkpoints going to feel to the tourists on their Palestine Holy Land vacations, as they retrace Palestinian World Heritage religious routes of pilgrimage? What about the Palestinian Land of Olives olive groves? We guess the IOF and settlers can't be burning up and tearing out Palestinian Land of Olive World Heritage olive groves, hmm? And maybe some of those settlers won't be allowed to throw their garbage out their windows onto the Palestinian World Heritage streets of Hebron?
You know how it is... fucking UNESCO... Ruining Everything.
Also see: shopping around
Meanwhile, Bosnia: no longer on the hot seat.
The three Bosnian leaders had to agree on a position vis a vis Palestinian statehood, otherwise, they could have no position. And guess what happened? That's right, they could not agree. So this likely puts the end to the nine votes in the UN Security Council that Abbas was hoping to gather.
The three presidents had to agree in order for Bosnia to vote. So far the Muslim Bosniak leader supports the bid, the Serb member is pro-Israeli and the Croat member has not yet not clearly stated his position. The three members have to agree on a common policy or abstain.Again, we touched on this aspect of Bosnia and the organized crime dimension here.
...Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman additionally visited the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Banja Luka where decisions are made on how the Serbs will vote in joint state institutions.
The leader of the Bosnian Serbs and president of their mini-state, Milorad Dodik, said after the meeting that the Serb representatives in the central institutions are against the possibility of Bosnia voting at the Security Council for the Palestinian bid.
He added that he now expects Bosnian Serbs and Israel to strengthen economic ties and work on tourism and agriculture.Lieberman, a Russian speaker who was born in Moldova, was on his second visit to the Bosnian Serbs this year, and spent several days of his vacation in the Bosnian Serb part of the country.
However, we also note that Bosnian foreign minister Sven Alkalaj, one of about 600 Jews in all of Bosnia who luckily happens to have the very influential job of foreign minister which of course is sheer coincidence and means nothing, visited Oman the past week to discuss trade ties.
The guest also spoke about the possible areas of cooperation in the trade between the Sultanate and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the products that could be exported to the Sultanate as this cooperation might be considered as the gate for European countries, in addition to the available advantages for investment there.
Oman, location location location...
Interesting because the latest US plan for "security architecture" involves making a little "mini-NATO" out of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman, in order for these countries to push back against Iran. And these arrangements will allow an expanded US military presence all around Iran, which makes Israel happy. Also, coincidentally, Bosnia's got a great trade deal on the line with Oman, and a few days later Bosnia managed to abstain from the vote on Palestinian statehood at the UN Security Council, which makes Israel happy. Win win win win.
Oman Upgrading its Air Defenses, 10/20/11
Oman is located on the eastern Arabian peninsula, controlling the Strait of Hormuz’s western bank, and providing an overwatch position for both the entrance to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean near Africa.
...This is not a sale, yet, just an announcement that will allow negotiations to begin, if Congress does not move to block the sale. Oman’s Foreign Military Sale request includes:
The prime contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, AZ (SLAMRAAM prime contractor), and Boeing of Huntsville, AL (Avenger prime, though Stinger is a Raytheon product). Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Oman involving many U.S. Government or contractor representatives over a period of up to or over 15 years for program and technical support, equipment checkout, and training.
- 18 Avenger Fire Units
- 18 AN/VRC-92E exportable Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS)
- 266 FIM-92 Stinger Reprogrammable Micro-Processor (RMP) Block 1 Anti-Aircraft missiles
- 6 FIM-92 Stinger Block 1 Production Verification Flight Test missiles
- 24 Captive Flight Trainers. Sensors and electronics, but missile can’t fire.
- 20 S250 Shelters
- 20 High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs)
- 1 lot AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved SENTINEL Radar software
- 290 AIM-120C7 Surface-Launched AMRAAM missiles
- 6 Guidance Sections
- Surface-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (SL-AMRAAM) software to support Oman’s Ground Based Air defense System
- Plus training missiles, missile components, warranties, containers, weapon support equipment, repair and return, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, and various forms of U.S. Government and contractor support services.
"American Cowboys Ride with Emirates to Quell Rebel and Iranian Attacks"