In May, Netanyahu said Israel would cut another $1 million from its payments to the UN, bringing the total cuts since December 2016 to $9 million. Instead, Thursday morning's statement from Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, alluded to the United States' alliance with Israel and UNESCO's "anti-Israel" bias.
All the candidates running to head UNESCO vowed grass-roots reforms and efforts to de-politicize the institution.
Israel issued a statement after US's withdrawal from the organization. France's U.N. ambassador encouraged the U.S.to remain part of the global agency this week, but the administration moved ahead despite the objections from close allies. It also withdrew back in 1984 under the Reagan Administration, because of what it saw as corruption and a perceived pro-Soviet Union bias. It is a special multi-country agency, formed in 1945 and based in France, that promotes sex education and literacy as well as improving gender equality in countries around the world. She added that the Statue of Liberty is among the many World Heritage sites protected by the organization.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that Israel would join the U.S.in leaving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). "Universality is critical to UNESCO's mission to strengthen international peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity", she wrote. Today's decision is a turning point for UNESCO.
Azoulay, who is Jewish, is the daughter of André Azoulay, adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
The US cited the UN body's "anti-Israel bias" alongside financial considerations in explaining its decision.
The membership of the UN carries with it a right to the membership to UNESCO, according to Article II of the UN Constitution.
Consequently, U.S. arrears at UNESCO have been snowballing each year. Its 2017 budget was about $326 million, almost half its 2012 budget. "They have not paid their dues since 2011, and if you starve any organization of funding, it becomes totally ineffective".
Netanyahu blasted UNESCO during his speech to the UN General Assembly last month, holding the organization up as an example of the absurdities at the UN when it comes to Israel. "In this way, it's a real baggage problem for the US going forward even though they might have initiated it. [UNESCO has] turned into something else and been turned against them".
However, this is not the first time that the U.S. has so officially disagreed with UNESCO. "That needs to change".
"This is a loss to the United Nations family". On Twitter, Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid announced the Chinese decision and referred to China as a "long-standing and true friend" of Egypt. The Chinese foreign ministry has kept silent on the issue domestically so far. After a complete withdrawal, it is highly likely that Washington will welsh on its arrears, analysts say. Israel says this creates a built-in majority for states that are hostile to it.