Funding of palestinian propaganda by U.N. ‘unacceptable,’ Bolton says

Folks, while Cindy Sheehan was unforgiveably and uselessly the focus of the media’s groinlust, the rest of us who are more observant and astute noticed this excellent article about John Bolton, America’s newly installed ambassador to the United Nations, in The New York Sun and why he is turning out to be an excellent appointment by President Bush.

John Bolton has labeled “inappropriate and unacceptable” the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) financing of materials bearing the slogan “Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Mr. Bolton said yesterday that the UNDP had failed to explain why it funneled money to the Palestinian Authority to back the production of banners, bumper stickers, mugs, and T-shirts bearing the provocative slogan as well as UNDP logos.

Responding to angry reactions from Jewish and Israeli leaders, UNDP officials yesterday said financial support from the agency was intended to help the Palestinian Authority communicate with Palestinian Arabs during Israel’s evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza.

In a letter to the American Jewish Congress, which had decried the funding of the propaganda materials, a UNDP administrator, Kemal Dervis, said it was “not at all acceptable” that the agency’s logo was placed on the propaganda.

The response from the UNDP was not sufficient, Mr. Bolton said yesterday. “Funding this kind of activity is inappropriate and unacceptable. We plan to raise the issue with UNDP and with others,” he said in a statement to The New York Sun. In effect, Mr. Bolton expressed to the UNDP that the most serious problem for his office was not the logo, but the fact that the agency supported that message with its checkbook.

William Orme, a spokesman for the UNDP, told the Sun by telephone yesterday evening, “We’ve seen Ambassador Bolton’s comments, and we are taking this matter seriously.”

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