US and Is­rael to with­draw from Unesco

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

The United States is pulling out of Unesco af­ter re­peated crit­i­cism of res­o­lu­tions by the UN cul­tural agency that Wash­ing­ton sees as anti-is­rael.

Is­raeli prime min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu said Is­rael plans to fol­low suit.

While the US stopped fund­ing Unesco af­ter it voted to in­clude Pales­tine as a mem­ber in 2011, the state depart­ment has main­tained a Unesco of­fice at its Paris HQ and sought to weigh in on pol­icy be­hind the scenes.

The with­drawal was con­firmed yes­ter­day by US of­fi­cials.

Unesco di­rec­tor-gen­eral Irina Bokova, who is Bul­gar­ian, ex­pressed “pro­found re­gret” at the de­ci­sion and said the de­par­ture was a loss for “the United Na­tions fam­ily” and for mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism.

Ms Bokova de­fended Unesco’s rep­u­ta­tion, not­ing its ef­forts to sup­port Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion and train teach­ers to fight anti-semitism.

Mr Ne­tanyahu said yes­ter­day that Is­rael will also with­draw from the agency, which had be­come a “the­atre of the ab­surd be­cause in­stead of pre­serv­ing his­tory, it dis­torts it”.

Pic­ture: Getty.

Is­raeli PM Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has crit­i­cised Unesco.

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