An Ex­cel­lent Exit

New York Post - - POST OPINION -

In with­draw­ing US mem­ber­ship from UNESCO, Pres­i­dent Trump sent a clear sign that the world body’s fla­grant anti-Is­rael bias will be met with puni­tive ac­tion, not just rhetor­i­cal broad­sides.

It’s a shame, given Wash­ing­ton’s role in cre­at­ing the UN Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion af­ter World War II. But even by the UN’s no­to­ri­ously cor­rupt stan­dards, UNESCO’s re­cent be­hav­ior has been es­pe­cially hate­ful.

The agency has be­come part and par­cel of the Pales­tinian cam­paign to erase Jewish con­nec­tions to the his­toric land of Is­rael. UNESCO has even des­ig­nated such sites as the Western Wall solely by their Mus­lim names.

As UN Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley rightly said, such “ex­treme politi­ciza­tion” (es­pe­cially to re­write his­tory, rather than pre­serve it) “has be­come a chronic em­bar­rass­ment.”

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu quickly an­nounced that his coun­try will fol­low Trump’s lead and also with­draw.

Just as out­ra­geous as its ef­forts to erad­i­cate Is­rael from world cul­ture, UNESCO has re­tained Syria’s govern­ment on its hu­man­rights com­mit­tee — even af­ter doc­u­mented ev­i­dence that Bashar al-As­sad’s regime is com­mit­ted geno­ci­dal war crimes against his own peo­ple.

Trump is the first pres­i­dent in more than three decades to do some­thing about this be­hav­ior. In 1984, Ron­ald Rea­gan pulled out of UNESCO, cit­ing its pro-Soviet and anti-Western bias, and sus­pended pay­ments, which cov­ered one-fifth of the agency’s bud­get.

Ge­orge W. Bush re­joined in the runup to the Iraq war, but Barack Obama was forced to sus­pend pay­ments un­der a Clin­ton-era law — which he tried hard, but un­suc­cess­fully, to over­turn.

Now Trump has taken strong ac­tion. We sus­pect it won’t be the last while the UN con­tin­ues to vi­o­late its own prin­ci­ples.

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