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The US Is Withdrawing from UNESCO Over 'Anti-Israel Bias'

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Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization logo is at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris France

She said the Department of State today notified United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organisation and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO.

The move is not a surprise, considering the Trump administration's public rebukes this past year. U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley made the Trump administration's position clear in July following UNESCO's ruling that the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron is a Palestinian World Heritage Site threatened by Israel.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stated that USA decision to leave membership was a loss in name of "pluralism" in United Nations family. "The decision", Haley claimed, "is an affront to history and further discredits an already highly questionable United Nations agency". US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly made the decision, which allows America to remain as an observer state in the organization, a few weeks ago.

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The organization has voted through several decision that have enraged Israel, particularly resolutions that appear to downplay or omit the importance of holy sites in Jerusalem and West Bank to Judaism.

The decision to leave UNESCO comes at a time when the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is voting to choose a new director this week.

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