US Pulls Out Of UNESCO Claiming ‘Anti-Israel Bias’; AP

Palestine – Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem

The United States is pulling out of UNESCO because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and a need for “fundamental reform” of the U.N. cultural agency.

While the Trump administration had been preparing for a likely withdrawal for months, the announcement by the State Department on Thursday rocked UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, where a heated election to choose a new director is under way.

The outgoing UNESCO chief expressed her “profound regret” at the decision and tried to defend the reputation of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions.

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