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Trump Withdraws America from UNESCO

October 16th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

UNESCO is the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organization. It stresses “building peace in the minds of men and women.”

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 2011, it granted Palestinians full membership in the organization, applied for by the PA weeks earlier. Israel called the decision a “tragedy.”

Last May, UNESCO passed a resolution on Israel, saying it aimed to safeguard “the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem.”

It rightfully called Israeli control of Jerusalem “illegal” and “null and void” – an international city recognized by no nations as its capital.

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

US and Israeli pressure to block UNESCO’s pro-Palestinian resolutions failed. Following the Hebron one, Trump irresponsibly tweeted “(t)his irrelevant organization (UNESCO) promotes FAKE HISTORY.”

Netanyahu announced Israel would withhold another $1 million of its membership dues to the UN. He urged Washington to defund the organization, outrageously adding “the Palestinian Authority doesn’t seek peace but rather seeks to incite against and slander Israel.”

On Thursday a State Department press statement said the following:

“On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the US decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO.”

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

Washington will remain a “non-member observer…to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise.”

US withdrawal becomes effective on December 31 - the Trump administration ending America’s membership since 1945.

Commenting on the move, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said “(a)t the time when the fight against violent extremism calls for renewed investment in education, in dialogue among cultures to prevent hatred, it is deeply regrettable that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations agency leading these issues.”

“At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack.”

Bokova failed to explain Washington’s responsibility for creating violent extremism, along with stoking and perpetuating conflicts worldwide.

Following Trump’s move, Netanyahu ordered Israel’s foreign ministry to prepare for withdrawing from UNESCO.

He praised Trump’s deplorable action, calling it “a brave and moral decision,” adding “UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd. Instead of preserving history, it distorts it.”

America and Israel are rogue states, the world’s leading perpetrators of state-sponsored terrorism and wars of aggression, partnering in each other’s high crimes.

Truth-telling about their destructive agendas is called “bias.” Their ruthlessness threatens everyone.

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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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