U.S. Will Leave UNESCO Over Anti-Israel Bias

Oct 14, 2017

The United States will leave UNESCO, the UN’s educational, scientific, and cultural body in 2018. The decision comes in light of what the White House calls anti-Israel bias in the organization. The agency accepted Palestine as a permanent member in 2011. More recently it designated the Jewish Tomb of the Patriarchs as an endangered Palestinian world heritage site. UNESCO has also disavowed Israelis sovereignty over Jerusalem. This won’t be the first time the U.S. pulls out of the organization. President Reagan withdrew from UNESCO in 1984 saying that the United States would not pay for policies that were hostile to American values. In 2002, the U.S. re-entered the UN organization. Israel supported the U.S. decision to withdraw calling it a “turning point” for UNESCO. “The organization’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences. Today is a new day at the UN, where there is price to pay for discrimination against Israel. The United States stands by Israel and is a true leader for change at the UN. The alliance between our two countries is stronger than ever.” The UNESCO’s director general called the U.S. decision “deeply regrettable.” The United States hopes to remain engaged with UNESCO but as a “non-member observer state.”