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      Israel Freezes UNESCO Dues

      UNESCO has lost another $2 million in revenue to its budget, this time from dues payable from the State of Israel.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 11/3/2011, 4:56 PM

       PM Binyamin Netanyahu, 11.9.11
      PM Binyamin Netanyahu, 11.9.11
      Flash 90

      UNESCO has lost another $2 million, this time from dues payable annually from the State of Israel.

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave the order Thursday afternoon for the Jewish State to stop payment on its dues to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

      Netanyahu instructed that the funds be diverted to parallel initiatives for regional cooperation.

      The move comes following the agency's decision to accept the Palestinian Authority as a full member, in a vote on Monday, despite the entity's  lack of membership in the U.N. itself, and despite the fact that it is not a sovereign nation.

      “Such steps will not advance peace; they only push it further away,” Netanyahu said. “The only way to reach peace is through direct negotiations without preconditions.”

      The PA, hoping to circumvent the necessity for direct talks with Israel with its bid for recognition as an independent nation and full membership in the international body, submitted its application to the U.N. Security Council in September.

      The United States, which warned the PA it would block the move by exercising its veto in the Council should the resolution approach passage, also cut off funds to UNESCO after the vote to accept the PA as a member.

      Canada said it would not be increasing its assistance to UNESCO. The decision affects future voluntary contributions, which are now about $10 million a year.