Palestinians have welcomed the granting of full membership of UNESCO but the US has immediately decided to cancel its funding of the cultural agency.
A US law forbids it funding any UN body that admits the Palestinians before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached.
Palestinian political analyst George Giacaman said: “UNESCO membership may be a moral victory for the Palestinians but there is no political advantage. It may put Palestine on the world map but it also creates a split between Europe and the United States.”
Washington views the Palestinian bid for state recognition by the UN as harming prospects for the resumption of peace talks.
US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland: “One of the the things that is most distressing about all this is that not a single thing changes on the ground for a single Palestinian. Life does not get better as a result of what has happened in UNESCO.”
The Palestinians got the backing of two thirds of UNESCO members to become its 195th member but UN Security Council recognition is likely to be vetoed by the US.