While former President Barack Obama allowed Israel to be mistreated by international organizations, President Donald Trump just showed how a true leader defends allies.
Citing a continuous bias against the Jewish state, the Trump administration announced on Thursday that it was pulling out of UNESCO, the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, CBS News reported.
As part of its obvious anti-Israel agenda, UNESCO has granted full membership to the Palestinian Authority and passed resolutions condemning the Jewish state — referring to it as an occupying power — and has even denied Israel’s claim to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the Old City of Hebron, one of the most ancient sites in in the ancient history Judaism.
In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert explained that the decision to withdraw from the group was not taken lightly, and reflected U.S. concerns with “mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”
UNESCO was established — like the U.N. as a whole — to help promote global cooperation around the flow of ideas, culture and information, according to The Washington Post.
However, like the U.N. as a whole, its policies have not always been in line with the U.S. In 1984, then-President Ronald Reagan withdrew from the agency due to what the Reagan administration considered its bias toward the Soviet Union.
In 2002, the U.S. rejoined under President George W. Bush, who hoped to participate in its stated goals of advancing human rights, tolerance and learning, according The Post. (Anyone with a passing knowlege of how the U.N. really works knows that was going to be a non-starter.)
Naturally, tensions returned several years later, and in 2011, the U.S. stopped paying its dues after UNESCO approved the Palestinian Authority as a member. A 1990s-era law prohibits U.S. funding for U.N. groups that recognize Palestinian territories, the Post reported.
The official withdrawal from the agency will go into effect in December 2018, but it will not be a total elimination of American involvement with UNESCO, as the Trump administration requested to participate as a “nonmember observer” to provide American perspective and expertise.
This show of support for Israel is a refreshing change of pace from the Obama administration, which in December abstained from a U.N. vote that permitted passage of a resolution condemning Israel over settlements and declaring the territories legally Palestinian without requiring any concessions, including peace.
As pointed out at the time by conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, such a resolution gave “immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis.”
Obama could have used the powerful U.S. veto to overcome this blatantly anti-Israel resolution, but chose not to side with our closest, most loyal ally in the Middle East.
Fortunately, our current president understands loyalty and clearly has Israel’s back, even against the rest of the world.
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