Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered Israeli diplomats to prepare Israel’s withdrawal from the UNESCO in concert with Washington, which announced its decision to pull out of the agency.
Washington said Thursday it decided to pull out of the UNESCO because of its anti-Israel bias, and stressed the need for fundamentally reforming the agency in a way that serves US and Israeli interests.
The US decision cheered Netanyahu up and encouraged him to declare that Israel would follow suit.
He said the UNESCO became “a theater of the absurd because instead of preserving history, it distorts it.”
Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also praised Washington’s move as heralding “a new era at the UN where there is a price to pay for discrimination against Israel.”
“UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel bashing and has disregarded its true role and purpose,” Danon said in a statement. “The organization’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences.”
The US was angered in 2011 when UNESCO members granted Palestine full membership of the body and decided to stop funding UNESCO but did not officially withdraw.
The US opposes any move by UN bodies to recognize Palestine as a state, believing that this must await a negotiated Middle East peace deal.
Last July, UNESCO declared the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the occupied West Bank, as a Palestinian World Heritage site in danger, a decision sharply criticized by the US and Israel.
In recent years, UNESCO adopted resolutions that criticized Israel for mishandling heritage Islamic sites in Jerusalem and condemned “Israeli violations and illegal measures against freedom of worship.”
On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in
As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that European Union countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, MEMO and EuroPal Forum are hosting a conference to discuss the EU’s position on major issues related to the occupat