Israel officially leaves UNESCO

Israel announced that it will leave UNESCO by the end of 2018.

By: World Israel News Staff and AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend instructed the Foreign Ministry to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Speaking at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said that the move “is appropriate, given this organization’s biased, one-sided and absurd attitude toward us, and against the background of the US’s strong stand at the UN, which we welcome.”

The US announced in October that it is withdrawing from the UN cultural body, following several of its resolutions denying the Jews’ connection to Israel and Jerusalem.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Friday that the decision was based on the organization’s “attempts to disconnect Jewish history from the land of Israel.”

He said the official letter of departure will be submitted before the year’s end and that Israel will leave the organization by the end of 2018, like the US.

Israel has long complained of anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic bias within the UN, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab and Muslim countries and their supporters.

Recent resolutions by the organization outraged many Israelis who viewed these pronouncements as denying the deep Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the biblical city of Hebron.

In November, Chris Hegadorn, the chief US envoy at UNESCO said anti-Israel bias and opaque bureaucracy are hobbling the UN cultural agency and urged deep reforms.