Citing, among other things, the body’s “continuing anti-Israel bias,” the State Department announced last week that the U.S is withdrawing from the UN Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Sohrab Ahmari applauds the decision:
UNESCO’s anti-Israel stances have been egregious even by [the United Nations’] debased standards, especially since 2011. That was the year the Palestinian Authority sought and won admission to UNESCO as a full member-state. . . . UNESCO only doubled down on its anti-Israel agitation in the years that followed, passing a raft of resolutions that denied the Jewish (and Christian) connection to Jerusalem and other holy sites in Israel.
A resolution on Jerusalem passed in May described Israel as the “occupying power,” denying the Jewish state’s claim to its own capital. Another Jerusalem resolution, approved last year, referred to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount by their Muslim names only. The agency thus attached the UN’s name to the odious Arab project to de-Judaize the City of David. . . .
[A]nti-Israelism and—it must be said—anti-Semitism are part of UNESCO’s diplomatic culture. When, in July this year, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO called for a minute of silence for Holocaust victims, Cuba’s envoy objected: “Only the chairman can request a minute of silence. So with your indulgence, let me request, Mr. Chairman, that we stand for a minute of silence for all of the Palestinians who have died in the region.” Footage of the scene . . . shows numerous delegates standing up and clapping in favor of the Cuban motion. . . .
By withdrawing from UNESCO, . . . the Trump administration is sending an important message to the UN mandarins: that America doesn’t have infinite patience for international institutions that function as platforms for Jew-hatred. Long before Donald Trump came on the scene, that used to be a bipartisan American position.