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Israel exits UNESCO hours after US

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Benjamin Netanyahu

Israe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Just hours after the United States of America reality pulled out of UNESCO, Israel is the latest country to follow, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Thursday.

“Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare Israel’s withdrawal from the organisation in parallel with the US,’’ the prime minister’s office said.

Netanyahu in a statement praised the US decision earlier Thursday to pull out of UNESCO citing an “anti-Israel” bias.

“This is a courageous and moral decision, because UNESCO has become the theatre of the absurd and because, instead of preserving history, it distorts it,” he said.

Also, the US withdrawal from UNESCO is the “price to pay for discrimination against Israel,” Israel’s UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, said in a statement in New York.

“UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel-bashing and has disregarded its true role and purpose. Today’s decision is a turning point for UNESCO.

“The organisation’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences. Today is a new day at the UN, where there is price to pay for discrimination against Israel.

“The US stands by Israel and is a true leader for change at the UN. The alliance between our two countries is stronger than ever.”

Washington has already withheld its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body admitted Palestine as a full member.

The U.S. and Israel were among just 14 of 194 members that voted against admitting the Palestinians. Washington’s arrears on its 80 million dollars annual dues since then are now over 500 million dollars.

Although Washington supports a future independent Palestinian state, it says this should emerge out of peace talks and it considers it unhelpful for international organisations to admit Palestine until negotiations are complete.

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