Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon praised the Trump administration’s decision to pull the US out of a UN organization responsible for a series of high-profile anti-Israel resolutions in recent years.
UNESCO's board is set to meet next week and had announced that the anti-Israel resolutions it had intended to bring to a vote would be postponed for six months, but not shelved. This, although the result of months of diplomatic efforts by Israel, may have been an attempt to stave off the actions of the US and Israel.
On Thursday, the US State Department announced that the US was withdrawing from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over its anti-Israel bias and need for reform.
The withdrawal will come into effect in 2019.
Earlier this year, UNESCO declared the ancient city of Hevron, King David’s first capital and home to the tomb of the biblical patriarchs, an endangered Palestinian heritage site. Last year, UNESCO passed resolutions declaring that Israel has no rights to Jerusalem, and described the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem as Muslim holy sites.
Ambassador Danon praised the decision, saying UNESCO had been corrupted and used as a tool for “Israel bashing”.
“UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel bashing and has disregarded its true role and purpose. Today’s decision is a turning point for UNESCO. The organization’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences.”
Danon went on to praise the Trump administration’s leadership on the issue, stating that the State Department’s decision demonstrated that the US would not tolerate attacks on Israel’s legitimacy.
“Today is a new day at the UN, where there is price to pay for discrimination against Israel.” Danon added: “The United States stands by Israel and is a true leader for change at the UN. The alliance between our two countries is stronger than ever."