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Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel’ bias

Israel/Palestine
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Israel and the United States have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing “anti-Israel bias.”

The decision, which was announced by the two countries in October 2017, officially took effect at midnight on New Year’s Day.

UNESCO was co-founded by the US after World War II with the mission of seeking to “build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.”

Since its establishment, the Paris-based organization has promoted cultural diversity through educational programs in developing countries, and most famously, maintaining a list of World Heritage Sites in efforts to protect unique landmarks across the globe.

The Trump administration has demanded “fundamental reform” from the organization, with the Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon saying the organization “rewrites history, including by erasing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.”

“Israel will not be a member of an organization whose goal is to deliberately act against us, and that has become a tool manipulated by Israel’s enemies,” Danon said.

The move is largely being regarded as symbolic, and will not immediately affect the financial situation of the organization, which has been struggling for years since 2011 when both Israel and the US stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state.

Leaving UNESCO, by Carlos Latuff.

Israeli officials have long attacked UNESCO for listing several sites in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem as “Palestinian World Heritage Sites.”

In 2016, Israeli officials were outraged after UNESCO member states voted in favor of a resolution criticizing the threats posed by the Israeli occupation at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, criticizing the organization of “erasing” Jewish claims to the city.

In July 2017, Israel’s then Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused UNESCO of being anti-semitic after the organization listed the Old City of Hebron as a World Heritage Site in danger, and the Ibrahimi Mosque, or Tomb of the Patriarchs, as a Palestinian site.

The Old City of Hebron is one of three sites in the occupied West Bank designated as a World Heritage Site in Danger, including Bethlehem Nativity Church, and the sprawling irrigation terraces of Battir village.

Palestinians have long celebrated UNESCO’s recognition of their cultural landmarks, saying that their designation as World Heritage Sites offers a layer of protection for the sites that would otherwise be under threat of destruction or confiscation by the Israeli occupation.

yumnapatel
About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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20 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    January 2, 2019, 5:47 pm

    RE: “Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel’ bias”

    MY COMMENT: This speaks very well of UNESCO!

    P.S. F##k both the U.S. and Israel.
    I’m serious!
    Not literally, mind you.
    God, no! Just figuratively.
    I would kick them both out of my bed.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    January 2, 2019, 11:41 pm

    Anyone and anything that stands in the way of Israel’s illegal occupation, and the blatant theft of lands, becomes the marked enemy, anti semitic, and accused of supporting terrorism.
    They keep insulting the intelligence of the rest of the world…except Jared, Trump, the US, Congress, and American zionists, of course. Who are doing their utmost to aid and abet in their ongoing crimes.

  3. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    January 3, 2019, 9:33 am

    Don’t want to hear the truth? Just stick your head in the sand…but be careful, your behind is sticking out.

  4. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    January 3, 2019, 10:11 am

    I grow ever so disgusted with and weary of watching bought and paid for U.S. politicians and journalists kowtow to, protect and support the financing** of the entity known as “Israel,” which is undeniably fascistic, racist, expansionist and an illegal, brutal occupier/ethnic cleanser of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs as well as a thoroughly documented serial/accelerating violator of hard won international humanitarian law. Thanks however, to the knowledge, courage and integrity of certain journalists, rapidly increasing numbers of Americans are realizing it is most definitely not in their country’s interests to do so.

    To wit:

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israel-is-bad-for-america/

    “Israel Is Bad for America A New York Times Columnist explains why” by Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review, January 1, 2019

    EXCERPTS:
    “American journalism has become in its mainstream exponents a compendium of half-truths and out-and-out lies. The public, though poorly informed on most issues as a result, has generally figured out that it is being hoodwinked and trust in the Fourth Estate has plummeted over the past twenty years. The skepticism about what is being reported has enabled President Donald Trump and other politicians to evade serious questions about policy by claiming that what is being reported is little more than ‘fake news.’

    “No news is more fake than the reporting in the U.S. media that relates to the state of Israel. Former Illinois congressman Paul Findley in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby observed that nearly all the foreign press correspondents working out of Israel are Jewish while most of the editors that they report to at news desks are also Jews, guaranteeing that the articles that eventually surface in the newspapers will be carefully constructed to minimize any criticism of the Jewish state. The same goes for television news, particularly on cable news stations like CNN.

    “A particularly galling aspect of the sanitization of news reports regarding Israel is the underlying assumption that Israelis share American values and interests, to include freedom and democracy. This leads to the perception that Israelis are just like Americans with Israel’s enemies being America’s enemies. Given that, it is natural to believe that the United States and Israel are permanent allies and friends and that it is in the U.S. interest to do whatever is necessary to support Israel, including providing billions of dollars in aid to a country that is already wealthy as well as unlimited political cover in international bodies like the United Nations.

    “That bogus but nevertheless seemingly eternal bond is essentially the point from which a December 26th op-ed in The New York Times departs. The piece is by one of the Times’ resident opinion writers Bret Stephens and is entitled Donald Trump is Bad for Israel.”

    “Stephens…. looks at the situation from the ‘Israeli standpoint,’ which is presumably easy for him to do as that is how he looks at everything given the fact that he is far more concerned about Israel’s interests than those of the United States. Indeed, all of his opinions are based on the assumption that U.S. policy should be supportive of a right wing Israeli government, that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has recently been indicted for corruption and has called for an early election to subvert the process.

    “Bret finally comes to the point, writing that ‘What Israel most needs from the U.S. today is what it needed at its birth in 1948: an America committed to defending the liberal-international order against totalitarian enemies, as opposed to one that conducts a purely transactional foreign policy based on the needs of the moment or the whims of a president.’”

    **
    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mid…
    “Congressional Research Service, U.S. Foreign aid to Israel, Jeremy M. Sharpe, Specialist in Middle East Affairs, April 10, 2018.”

    “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $134.7 billion (current, or non inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance. At a signing ceremony at the State Department on September 14, 2016, representatives of the U.S. and Israeli governments signed a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid covering FY2019 to FY2028. Under the terms of the MOU, the United States pledges to provide $38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing grants plus $5 billion in missile defense appropriations) to Israel. This MOU replaces a previous $30 billion 10-year agreement, which runs through FY2018.”

  5. amigo
    amigo
    January 3, 2019, 11:13 am

    Bye bye/slan agut/asta lavista/au revoir/ and don,t let the door hit you on the way out.

    I deliberately omitted these two!!.

    Auf weidersehen and bon voyage .

    We hope never to see them again nor do we wish them a pleasant journey.

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 3, 2019, 1:57 pm

    @amigo
    “We hope never to see them again nor do we wish them a pleasant journey”

    Perhaps they will set up an alternative “International” body and call it something like “The League of Nations”. So let`s think Israel ,the US , Micronesia and all those right wing Quasi-Nazi states that the Yahoo has been courting recently as founding members. This new body eg could grant all of the Middle East to Zionists as their ancient historic “homeland” , they wouldn`t have the irritation of having to abide by membership rules since they will be setting the rules. The only thing they will miss out on is the mothers milk of being able to whinge and whine and moan incessantly about being “singled out” and the “anti-Semitic bias”. Sob Yawn.

    • amigo
      amigo
      January 3, 2019, 4:20 pm

      ” This new body eg could grant all of the Middle East to Zionists as their ancient historic “homeland” .0ssinev

      Yup and they will claim that the whole Middle East is a Continent without People for a People without a Continent and God gave it to them.

      My preference would be to find a way to Compress them and use suspended animation , say for 1000 years and dispatch them to the
      furthest regions of the universe and let someone else deal with them.

      Happy Brextmas.

  7. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    January 3, 2019, 4:32 pm

    Good riddance. Tired of their attempts to politicize the agency in order to facilitate more base thievery

  8. James Canning
    James Canning
    January 3, 2019, 6:29 pm

    What utter stupidity on the part of the US.

  9. Albert Westpy
    Albert Westpy
    January 4, 2019, 10:35 am

    Now that the two sociopaths have pulled their countries out of UNESCO one would hope that it will be much easier to accomplice their objective of building peace through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture.
    Best of luck !

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 4, 2019, 6:35 pm

      They basically admitted that they were interested in manipulating UNESCO and not supporting its goals. And when they realized that they couldn’t they were not longer willing to pay their annual bribes.

  10. Talkback
    Talkback
    January 4, 2019, 6:09 pm

    That was a very bad strategic move. Good!

  11. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    January 5, 2019, 5:56 pm

    The United States could smell the stench of biased politicisation coming from UNESCO 35 years ago when Ronald Reagan withdrew. UNESCO is a specialised agency of the United Nations (a chip off the old block), the legitimacy of which these days is very questionable. It is an immoral, anti-semitic organization that any self-respecting decent country should leave. Praise is due to Israel and the United States for having the conviction to leave such a corrupt, manipulated body.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      January 5, 2019, 10:03 pm

      “UNESCO … is an … anti-semitic organization…”

      Of course it is.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      January 6, 2019, 12:26 am

      It’s legitimacy is not kn question. The legitimacy of Isreal being a part of the UN certainly is.

      Go. Please go. You keep saying you want to. You have no place amongst the commity of nations until you adhere to at least some of the rules and norms obtained after thousands of years and many millions of deaths. Sensible people reject your bile and violence

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 6, 2019, 5:06 am

      Since UNESCO doesn’t defame Jews as such, it’s just another case of an immoral and pathetic accusation of antismitism.

      • Albert Westpy
        Albert Westpy
        January 18, 2019, 6:32 pm

        When there is no logical explanation to use the anti-semitic card. The good thing is that it’s not working anymore except for the fundies and the zionist.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 6, 2019, 2:50 pm

      || Mayhem: … Praise is due to Israel and the United States for having the conviction to leave such a corrupt, manipulated body. ||

      Yup, they’re better off just staying in bed and fooling around with Saudi Arabia.

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 6, 2019, 1:39 pm

    @Mayhem
    “It is an immoral, anti-semitic organization that any self-respecting decent country should leave. Praise is due to Israel and the United States for having the conviction to leave such a corrupt, manipulated body”

    The last Apartheid country to leave UNESCO was South Africa in 1955 in protest at its “Anti-Apartheid policies”. Like Israel Apartheid South Africa also saw themselves as “self- respecting” and “decent” LOL when basically the country like Israel was quite simply a Fascist Racist Colony.

    Great colonies think alike.

    As for the US leaving basically another case of the little Ziotail wagging the big bought and bent dog.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 6, 2019, 5:58 pm

      Ossinev: “The last Apartheid country to leave UNESCO was South Africa in 1955 in protest at its “Anti-Apartheid policies”. Like Israel Apartheid South Africa also saw themselves as “self- respecting” and “decent””

      Lol. And its apologetics made the same stupid arguments to justify its existence:

      “South Africa Shouldn’t be Singled Out” [No satire!]
      The images of racism, white supremacy, Nazism, etc. are a most effective part of a campaign to play on white guilt and to condition hatred for South Africa. While it is true that there are many things wrong in South Africa, the facts are sensationalized and distorted. … Contrary to popular belief, the whites did not take the country from the blacks. When the Dutch settled in the Cape in 1652, they found a barren, largely unpopulated land. … Contrary to myth, the blacks were never run off their land…. When the whites met the blacks, the blacks had no written language, no technological knowledge, no cure for infectious diseases. … Blacks [in South Africa] possess one of the highest living standards in all of Africa. ”
      https://www.csmonitor.com/1989/1012/ekri.html

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