UNESCO headquarters, Paris
UNESCO headquarters, Paris REUTERS

Israel’s Internal Security Minister, Gilad Erdan (Likud) praised the Trump administration’s announcement Thursday that the US will be leaving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), following the organization’s passage of multiple resolutions against the Jewish state.

“The US decision to leave #UNESCO is right and just, and shows the depth of the US-Israel friendship,” Erdan tweeted Thursday night.

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.

Erdan warned that UNESCO was not the only United Nations body serving as a de facto anti-Israel lobby, and called for the US and Israel to put the international organization on notice that pro-BDS actions by the UN would lead both countries to withhold all funding of the UN.

“Now is the time to officially announce that if the UN publishes a blacklist of companies that operate in Judea and Samaria, the US and Israel will cut off all funding. The UN is turning itself into an anti-Israel delegitimization and BDS organization, and there is no reason American and Israeli taxpayers should foot the bill.”

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry to pull Israel out of UNESCO.

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 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.”

“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."

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. This is seen by sources as a possbile attempt to stave off the actions of the US and Israel.

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