Alleging anti-Israeli bias, United States quits UNESCO, Israel follows suit

Hyderabad: Accusing it of anti-Israeli bias, the United States followed by Israel announced to quit UNESCO, on Thursday, 12 October.

The withdrawal of the United States is seen as a major blow for United Nation’s cultural agency, as United States provides a fifth of UNESCO’s funding. The Paris-based organisation was founded after World War II to help protect cultural and natural heritage around the world.

Terming the US decision to withdraw from UNESCO as “brave and moral” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would also quit.

However UNESCO director general Irina Bokova expressed disappointment.

It must be noted that the United States and Israel were among just 14 of 194 members who voted against membership to the Palestinians.

Earlier also United States had protested against a decision to grant the Palestinians full membership and had cancelled its substantial budget contribution to UNESCO in 2011.