US and Israel to withdraw from Unesco
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”.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised Unesco.