Israel supported the United States in its decision to withdraw from UNESCO. Irina Bokova, the organization’s Director-General, called the US withdrawal a matter of “profound regret”.
An official site of The Department of State reported that the US intends to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO.
On Wednesday, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO. This decision was not taken lightly, the US believes that UNESCO needs for fundamental reform and should stop anti-Israel bias.
Thus, US withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018, according to the UNESCO Constitution. Until that date, the United States remains a full member of an agency with all obligations. As well as accusing the organization of bias, the US state department said it was also concerned about mounting financial arrears at the agency and said it should be reformed.
Israel joins US in its decision to leave UNESCO
Hours after the US announced its withdrawal, the Israelis joined in. According to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Foreign Ministry is already received his order to begin preparations for withdrawal.
It is worth to note that in 2011 the US cut its funding to UNESCO significantly in protest at its decision to grant full membership to the Palestinians. And last year, Israel suspended co-operation with Unesco after the agency adopted a controversial resolution which made no reference to Jewish ties to a key holy site in Jerusalem.