After US, Israel too withdraws from UNESCO, says UN body has become 'theatre of the absurd'

Jerusalem: Israel will withdraw from the UN's cultural and education body UNESCO after a United States decision to do the same on accusations of bias against the Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

File image of Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP

File image of Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP

"The prime minister instructed the foreign ministry to prepare Israel's withdrawal from the organisation alongside the United States," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Netanyahu "welcomes the decision by President (Donald) Trump to withdraw from UNESCO. This is a courageous and moral decision because UNESCO has become the theatre of the absurd and because instead of preserving history it distorts it."

Israel's UN ambassador on Thursday said Washington's decision to pull out of the world body's culture and education agency showed there was a "price to pay for discrimination against Israel".

Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement the decision marked "a new era" at the United Nations, after the US State Department said the United States had decided to leave UNESCO, in part due to "continuing anti-Israel bias".

Washington opposes any move by UN bodies to recognise the Palestinians as a state, believing that this must await a negotiated Middle East peace deal.

US president Donald Trump's administration is reviewing many of its multilateral commitments.


Published Date: Oct 12, 2017 10:22 pm | Updated Date: Oct 12, 2017 10:22 pm


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