An Excellent Exit
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.