In 1984, Secretary of State George Schultz, acting at the direction of President Ronald Reagan, notified the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization that the United States would withdraw from that corrupt and feckless organization:
The decision to withdraw from Unesco was made by President Reagan at the recommendation of Mr. Shultz and was made known on Tuesday. The formal letter informing Unesco that the United States was planning to withdraw on Dec. 31, 1984, and was giving the required year’s notice was presented to Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow of Senegal, the director general of the group, in Paris on Wednesday.
”Unesco policies, for several years, have served anti-U.S. political ends,” he said. ”The Reagan Administration has frequently advised Unesco of the limits of U.S. toleration: for its misguided policies, its tendentious programs, and its extravagant budgetary mismanagement.
”For nearly three years now, the Administration has applied to Unesco the same priorities that guide our relations to all multilateral organizations – but Unesco alone, among the major U.N. system organizaitons, has not responded.”
He gave these examples of American concerns:
– The time and resources earmarked for projects that the United States does not believe should be dealt with by Unesco, such as spending $750,000 in discussing Soviet-inspired disarmament proposals.
– The ”collectivist” trends in the group, which, Mr. Newell said, promotes ”group rights” at the expense of individual human rights.
– Efforts to promote the licensing of foreign reporters and the setting up of a ”new world information order.”
– What he said was the excessive attention given the so-called New International Economic Order, in which wealthy countries are supposed to tranfer resources to the poorer ones.
– Unesco’s request for a budget increase of nearly 10 percent while other United Nations agencies were abiding by requests to keep their budgets at near zero growth, The budget for Unesco is about $200 million yearly, with the United States contributing a fourth.
In 2002, President George Bush said that the United States would rejoin.
Today, we left again.
This is long overdue. UNESCO is so hostile to the West, corrupt to its very marrow, and it has raised Jew-hatred to a religious rite. In this episode, UNESCO, at the urging of Cuba, refuses to grant a moment of silence in remembrance of the Holocaust and replaces it with one remembering Palestinian terrorists:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bitterly attacked as “absurd” a UN statement that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are an integral part of the “occupied” Palestinian territories.
“The attempt to disconnect the nation of Israel from its heritage is absurd,” he said in a statement his office issued on Friday, in response to an October 21 decision regarding both sites by the executive board of the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.
“If the places where the Jewish nation’s forefathers and mothers – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel – were buried 4,000 years ago is not part of the Jewish nation’s heritage, then what is a heritage site?” Netanyahu asked.
He said he “regretted that an organization which was created to promote the heritage of historical sites around the world, was trying for political reasons to uproot the connection between the nation of Israel and its heritage. This attempt won’t succeed. The nation of Israel, unlike our neighbors, will continue to preserve freedom of worship for all religions.”
This was not the first time that Israel has argued with the international community over its right to these two West Bank biblical sites. In February, Jerusalem’s decision to include both sites in the country’s new national heritage list was condemned.
Muslims also consider both sites holy. They call the Tomb of the Patriarchs the Haram al- Ibrahimi Mosque, and claim that Rachel’s Tomb was once the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque, named after the third convert to Islam.
In its press statement UNESCO referred to both sites, first by their Muslim names and then by their Jewish ones.
It reaffirmed that the “two sites are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories and that any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law, the UNESCO Conventions and the United Nations and Security Council resolutions.”
Time is long overdue for the United States and its allies to withdraw from these useless organizations and cease giving them the legitimacy of our presence.