Is­rael quits Unesco over ‘dis­tor­tions’

The Northern Star - - NEWS -

IS­RAEL has with­drawn from Unesco fol­low­ing Amer­ica’s de­ci­sion to leave the United Na­tions body.

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu said of the US move: “This is a brave and moral de­ci­sion be­cause Unesco has be­come a theatre of ab­surd. In­stead of pre­serv­ing his­tory, it dis­torts it.”

The PM said he had in­structed the Is­raeli For­eign Min­istry to pre­pare the coun­try’s with­drawal in par­al­lel with the US.

Hours ear­lier the US State De­part­ment an­nounced it would with­draw from Unesco and be­come a non-mem­ber ob­server state by the end of next year.

The State De­part­ment crit­i­cised Unesco for its “con­tin­u­ing anti-Is­rael bias” and spoke of a need for “fun­da­men­tal re­form”.

Is­raeli of­fi­cials had pre­vi­ously con­demned Unesco for pass­ing res­o­lu­tions they claimed would erase his­tor­i­cal Jewish ties to Is­rael.

One such res­o­lu­tion crit­i­cised Is­rael’s ac­tiv­i­ties at holy places in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and made no men­tion of Jewish ties to a holy site in the area.

Mr Ne­tanyahu sus­pended co-op­er­a­tion with the agency and an­nounced a $1 mil­lion cut to Is­rael’s UN pay­ments in re­sponse. The US sus­pended its fund­ing to Unesco in 2011, af­ter Pales­tine was ad­mit­ted as a mem­ber.

The de­ci­sion will not af­fect ex­ist­ing Unesco World Her­itage Sites in the US or Is­rael, or pre­vent them from sub­mit­ting sites for con­sid­er­a­tion in the fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.