On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that the United States will withdraw from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), a virulently anti-Israel branch of the U.N. that has had its mission corrupted by Islamic authoritarian states and the anti-American, tyrannical nations of the world.
Originally founded by the United States, UNESCO was at one time solely dedicated to preserving important global institutions and heritage sites. Today, it’s nothing more than a branch of a vice-ridden international organization that is damaging world order.
The United States has not paid membership dues to UNESCO for quite some time (citing the organization’s illegal recognition of the state of “Palestine”), racking up a bill of $500 million in unpaid dues. According to Foreign Policy, the State Department determined that leaving UNESCO would be an effective cost-cutting measure, as the U.S. would no longer be liable for the unpaid fees.
In addition to the savings garnered from leaving UNESCO, the State Department cited the organization’s notorious anti-Israel bias as another reasons to leave the UN outfit.
These days, UNESCO, like many U.N. agencies, is preoccupied almost solely with attempting to delegitimize Israel. According to data compiled by UN Watch, from 2009 to 2014, UNESCO passed 47 condemnatory resolutions; 46 of those resolutions condemned Israel, while one targeted Syria.
Last year, UNESCO passed a resolution denying Jewish and Christian claims to holy sites in Jerusalem, declaring the Temple Mount (which is the holiest site in Judaism) Muslim land. And there are no signs that UNESCO is reversing its tyrannical trend line. The leading candidate to head UNESCO is a Qatari minister who has, in the past, disseminated Islamic supremacist, anti-Semitic materials.
In a statement Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made it very clear that the United States could not continue to retain membership in UNESCO while it was attacking Western values, harassing Israel, and elevating dictators to prominent positions.
“Its extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment,” Ambassador Haley said. “Just as we said in 1984 when President Reagan withdrew from UNESCO, U.S. taxpayers should no longer be on the hook to pay for policies that are hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense.”
As Ambassador Haley notes, the U.S. withdrew from UNESCO under President Reagan in 1984, but reentered the organization in 2002.
Shortly after the U.S. announced that it was departing from UNESCO Thursday, Israel followed suit. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded President Trump’s decision, calling it a “moral choice, because UNESCO has become the theater of the absurd, where instead of preserving history, it is distorted.”
The U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO will officially take effect on Dec. 31, 2018, according to the State Department.
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Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.
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