Russia Today: The US – followed by Israel – has left UNESCO, citing a “pro-Palestinian bias” allegedly persisting within the agency. Recently, Washington has been eager to ditch any institutions and deals which supposedly harm its interests.
The decision of the US took effect late Monday, closely followed by Tel Aviv, which kicked in on the first day of 2019. The withdrawal of the US and Israel from UNESCO is hardly surprising, as both have had long-standing tensions with the agency. Washington’s move was made public in October 2017 when it announced the withdrawal, citing “concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”
A similar evaluation was produced by Israeli officials, who have repeatedly made accusations against the UN cultural body.
“It is corrupted and manipulated by Israel’s enemies, and continually singles out the only Jewish state for condemnation. We are not going to be a member of an organization that deliberately acts against us,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told The Times of Israel on Monday.
Leaving any international organization that does not serve the US’ – and often Israel’s – interests appears to be a trend in Washington under the Trump administration.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with Iran, citing “flaws” with the deal and opening the way to imposing sanctions. While the move alarmed European nations, which tried – and failed – to stop the US from leaving the agreement, the decision was enthusiastically hailed by top Israeli officials.