Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare for Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO, just a day after the US announced it would leave the international organization in December 2018, according to Haaretz.
Netanyahu welcomed the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw stating: “This is a brave and moral decision, because UNESCO has become a theatre of the absurd. Instead of preserving history, it distorts it.”
Yesterday the US confirmed that it would be withdrawing, explicitly citing the reason as UNESCO’s anti-Israel resolutions. It will instead establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organization to replace its representation.
— Abbs Winston (@AbbsWinston) October 14, 2017
“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” the US State Department said in a statement.
However Israel appeared to leave the door open to reconciliation with the UN cultural body, announcing that the change would take at least a year, and would be dependent on UNESCO’s future actions.
"It is deeply regrettable for the US to withdraw from UNESCO, the UN agency promoting education for peace & protecting culture under attack" pic.twitter.com/9dPK4PEGES
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) October 12, 2017
“If the United States changes its mind about UNESCO within another year and two months because of a change in the organization’s behavior following the election of a new director general, Israel may eventually decide not to withdraw,” a senior Israeli official said.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)