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The US Is Leaving UNESCO - Again

The US Is Leaving UNESCO - Again

The State Department announced today that the United States will withdraw from UNESCO, citing "continuing anti-Israel bias" at the United Nation's cultural, educational, and science organization as well as its "need for fundamental reform" and "mounting arrears".

Other members of the council said his withdrawal would help to pool votes for the remaining candidates, which would mean fewer chances for more tied results as witnessed in the previous two rounds.

Trump pulled United States out of UNESCO.

Netanyahu accused UNESCO of "becoming a Theater of Absurd because instead of preserving history, it twists it".

The Associated Press reports the move is based on UNESCO's inherent anti-Israel bias.

In July, the agency again delighted Palestinians when its members declared the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank an endangered World Heritage site - described as "another delusional decision" by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization ..."

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The text denounced "all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem".

UNESCO, which is best known for producing the list of World Heritage sites that includes the Grand Canyon and other United States attractions, has been the scene of diplomatic flare-ups in recent years after Arab countries succeeded in passing a number of resolutions critical of Israel.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama slashed U.S. funding to the organization in 2011 after it voted to accept Palestine as a full member-state.

UNESCO, officially the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is known mainly for naming and overseeing World Heritage Sites, a list that includes over 1,000 protected natural and built environments of great importance to humanity.

UNESCO is a specialized agency in the United Nations that encourages global peace and security through education, science, culture and communication.

Bokova released a statement in light of the news. After he was elected but before he became president, Mr. Trump made an extraordinary intervention on the world stage by criticizing the Obama administration's decision not to block a United Nations resolution criticizing Israeli settlements.

"It's a loss to UNESCO, it's a loss to the family of the United Nations and it's a loss to multilateralism", Bokova said in a statement. Israel would pull out on the same date as the U.S. Under the Reagan Administration, the USA quit UNESCO in 1984, at the time accusing the agency of a pro- Soviet Union bias. The U.S. rejoined it in 2003.

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