Thursday, 14 December, 2017

U.S. drops out of Unesco over arrears, 'anti-Israel bias'

Berlin Holocaust memorial Germany U.S. drops out of Unesco over arrears, 'anti-Israel bias'
Stacy Diaz | 12 October, 2017, 17:06

The United States has chose to pull out of UNESCO, after repeated criticism of resolutions by the U.N. cultural agency that the Trump administration sees as anti-Israel.

The United States plans to withdraw from UNESCO, the U.N.'s cultural and educational agency, diplomats said on Thursday, dealing a further blow to an organization hobbled by regional rivalries and a lack of funds.

The move, which could be announced as early as next week, marks the United States further estrangement from an organisation that it helped establish after World War II to widen access to education and ensure the free flow of ideas.

The move is not a surprise, considering the Trump administration's public rebukes this past year.

The Obama administration cut off funding to UNESCO in 2011 because the group admitted Palestinians as full members, which the United States saw as undercutting its influence in countries around the world.

Unesco said the withdrawal was a loss to the "UN family" and to multilateralism.

The organization has voted through several decision that have enraged Israel, particularly resolutions that appear to downplay or omit the importance of holy sites in Jerusalem and West Bank to Judaism.

No longer. This is what the White House has reportedly been planning for months.