Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s move came after US’ announcement to exit UNESCO because of ‘anti-Israel bias’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday instructed Israel’s special envoy to the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to formally announce its withdrawal from the organization.
According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Netanyahu asked Carmel Shama-Hacohen to submit an official letter of withdrawal by the end of the year
Israel’s move came after the U.S. on Oct. 12 notified UNESCO, it would exit the group, citing “anti-Israel bias” and financial reasons.
In 2016, UNESCO officially adopted a resolution denying a Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex (Haram al-Sharif).
The resolution calls on Israel — as an “occupying power” — to restore the “historic status quo” that prevailed until September 2000, under which the Jordan-run Organization for Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs exercised exclusive authority over the iconic mosque complex.
The text of the resolution also strongly condemns “escalating Israeli aggression and illegal measures” against the organization and Israeli violations of Muslims’ right to worship at the site.
UNESCO was formed after World War II, aimed at improving the flow of information across cultures, and is known across the globe for its World Heritage program.