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After UNESCO Palestine vote, could US defund nuclear watchdog IAEA, too?

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And under UN rules, membership into the World Intellectual Property Organization would be more or less automatic at this point if the Palestinians pursue it. The WIPO has been strongly supported by the US, seeking to curb piracy of US movies and software.

Palestinian leaders say they're methodically seeking to enter other UN agencies, though are likely to go slowly in the coming weeks. The probable next target would be the WHO.

“We are working on it, one by one," said Ibrahim Khraishi, a Palestinian official at the UN in Geneva, in remarks quoted by the Associated Press today. "It’s now precedent that we are a full member in one of the biggest and one of the most important UN agencies, UNESCO. So it will open the door for us now to go further.”

All of this puts the United States in a bind. Though the State Department said it wants to continue to work with UNESCO, even as it cuts funding, it's hard to see how. The Obama administration is expected to reach out to Congress to find a way both to continue to funding UNESCO, and give the US government flexibility if Palestine is recognized as a member by other, more important UN organizations.

Whether it will get very far in that appeal is another matter. A number of pro-Israel congressmen and congresswomen have publicly backed the cut-off of aid, and called for further steps to punish the UN for the voting patterns of its members and the Palestinians for seeking membership.

Kay Granger (R) of Texas, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, said in a letter that she will seek to cut off aid to the Palestinians if they seek to join more UN bodies and implied that more UN funding could be cut as well.

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