Israel Will Follow US Lead, Withdraw from UNESCO

UNESCO Meeting Room. (Photo: MEMO)

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.

“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.

“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)

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