Voz media US Voz.us

A 1990 federal law could prohibit the Biden administration from funding the United Nations if it recognizes Palestine

Public Law 101-246 prevents the State Department from granting funds to an organization that fully recognizes the Palestine Liberation Organization.

El ejército israelí dentro de un recinto evacuado de las Naciones Unidas en la ciudad de Gaza


Published by

U.S. federal law could force the country to stop funding the UN if the organization recognizes the Palestinian state. It is a scenario that several legal experts have explained could happen in the event that Palestine achieves international recognition.

Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro University Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and president of Human Rights Voices, is one of the specialists who discussed this possibility with Fox News. "If the draft resolution is adopted in its current version, US law requires that the withhold all UN funds," the expert said, referring to provisions in a 1990 federal law.

Public Law 101-246, which was passed that year, deals with public funding available to the State Department. It also mentions the possibility of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), one of the organizations that has been fighting for the Palestinian cause since the 1960s, being included in the United Nations. Currently the PLO has limited recognition by the United Nations, which considers it as a representative of the so-called Palestinian people, in addition to granting it observer status in the General Assembly. It is not a member of the United Nations.

In connection with an advanced recognition of the PLO at the UN, the 1990 federal law stipulates that "no funds authorized under this Act or any other law shall be appropriated to the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same status as member states."

The issue is gaining interest again after the United Nations General Assembly voted Friday on whether to support the inclusion of Palestine in the organization. This vote is not binding and is only a recommendation. The body in charge of this decision is the UN Security Council, in which the United States has a veto vote.

Despite this, in Friday's vote, only nine countries voted against Palestine's formal membership in the United Nations. Another 25 abstained.