U.S. and Israel Pull Out of UNESCO Over ‘Anti-Israel’ Bias

The Trump administration announced Thursday that is pulling the United States out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO, because of its “anti-Israel” bias. Israel withdrew from the organization just hours after the U.S. made its announcement. The State Department said the U.S. will instead act as an observer to the Paris-based U.N. organization, which encourages collaboration among countries through culture, education, and science programs—and has long faced criticism from American anti-abortion groups. “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” said State spokeswoman Heather Nauert. The United States stopped its financial contributions to UNESCO in 2011 after the organization offered full membership to Palestine.