The United States has announced that it is exiting entirely from UNESCO due to its anti-Israel bias and the lack of any reform within the organization.
The U.S. stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member in 2011, but the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office and sought to weigh on policy behind the scenes. The U.S. now owes about $550 million in back payments.
In a statement, the State Department said the decision will take effect Dec. 31, 2018, and that the U.S. will seek a “permanent observer” status instead. It cited U.S. belief in “the need for fundamental reform in the organization.”
…U.S. officials said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision and that it was not discussed with other countries but was the result of an internal U.S. government deliberation. The officials, who were not authorized to be publicly named discussing the issue, said the U.S. is notably angry over UNESCO resolutions denying Jewish connections to holy sites and references to Israel as an occupying power.
The article notes that this happened back in the 1980s, but fails to mention that it was President Reagan who did it, and faced harsh criticism from the usual liberal suspects in the mainstream press and academia. In the end, however, the 1980s pull out worked. UNESCO made reforms, and the U.S. rejoined in 2003.