Israel to Quit UNESCO

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Israel to Quit UNESCO

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

The organization should say good riddance. It’s the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organization. It stresses “building peace in the minds of men and women” – notions Israel and Washington reject.

It “works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.”

Through dialogue it hopes the “world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.”

In October, a State Department press statement “notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the US decision to withdraw from the organization,” adding:

“This decision…reflects US concerns (about its alleged) anti-Israel bias.” It’s truth-telling is more than Washington and Israel can bear, unrelated to bias, just the opposite.

Last may, UNESCO correctly called Israeli control of Jerusalem “illegal” and “null and void.” It passed a resolution, aiming to safeguard “the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem.”

In July, it recognized Hebron’s Old City as a Palestinian World Heritage Site, affording the same status to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Trump outrageously accused the organization of promoting “fake history.” At the time, Netanyahu said Israel would withhold another $1 million of its UN membership dues.

Following all Security Council members except America and the overwhelming majority of General Assembly member states rejection of Trump’s unlawful Jerusalem declaration, Netanyahu announced Israel is quitting UNESCO.

He cited the long ago discredited canard about nonexistent “anti-Israel bias.” He told his envoy to the OECD, Council of Europe and UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen to submit a withdrawal letter to the organization by yearend.

He said “(t)he bottom line is that the US is leaving UNESCO because of Israel, and it’s our moral duty” to follow suit, adding the following Big Lie:

“UNESCO, led by Arab states, has broken records of hypocrisy, incitement and lies against Israel and the Jewish people, while polluting its noble basic values with politicization and diplomatic terror that sometimes bordered on anti-Semitism.”

Israel considers legitimate criticism of its high crimes anti-Semitic. Its foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon absurdly said the decision was based on the organization’s “attempts to disconnect Jewish history from the land of Israel.”

Netanyahu signaled Israel’s withdrawal last fall, the decision not finalized until days earlier.

In November, Audrey Azoulay succeeded Irina Bokava as UNESCO’s 11th director-general, its first Jewish chief.

She’s a prominent French public official of Moroccan descent, most recently as Minister of Culture and Communication, other positions earlier related to culture and the media.

Hopefully she’ll support Palestinian rights and speak truthfully about Israel’s unlawful agenda.

A Final Comment

On Friday, Israeli forces killed two more Palestinian protesters. Another died of his wounds, the Palestinian death toll since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration at 14, virtually certain to go higher.

During yesterday’s day of rage throughout Occupied Palestine, nearly 700 more Palestinians were injured, including 65 by live fire, according the the Palestine Red Crescent Society – more than 4,000 since December 7.

The Journalists Support Committee said 10 journalists were injured while doing their jobs on Friday, covering Israeli brutality. Since December 7, around 100 journalists were harmed by Israeli security forces.

Palestinian medical personnel were also injured, including by live ammunition and beatings.

Israeli brutality is notorious – in plain sight for the world to see throughout the Occupied Territories.

Israel should be expelled from UNESCO and the UN – along with its partner in high crimes America!

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.