The United States is dropping out of the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization only months after the international organization went “delusional” by declaring the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron a “Palestinian heritage site.”
Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, announced the move will be made before the end of the year, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.
“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,” Nauert said.
President Trump’s administration has been highly critical of the United Nations in general and in particular of its anti-Israel bias. A petition is encouraging Congress and the president to defund the U.N. and expel its headquarters from the U.S.
In July, WND reported a prominent supporter of Israel said the United Nations has turned “delusional.”
Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, was responding to UNESCO’s vote to declare the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron a “Palestinian heritage site.”
It was just the latest in a series of actions by the U.N. against Israel, including its move to call the Temple Mount “Islamic.”
“This recent UNESCO resolution is another delusional U.N. decision which disregards the historical truth and the Jewish people’s deep connection to Hebron,” said Staver.
Staver also is president of Christians in Defense of Israel and founder of Covenant Journey, all in support of Israel.
“To refer to Hebron as ‘Islamic’ denies thousands of years of Jewish history as well as Christian ties to the site. The biblical patriarchs Abraham and Isaac, as well as the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are believed to be buried there, and to deny that is another move toward the Palestinian Authority and Hamas renaming the entire land to Palestine and denying Israel’s right to exist,” said Staver.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution declaring, by a 12-3 vote with six abstentions, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron a Palestinian heritage site.
The committee already had declared the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem and another location in the “state of Palestine” as similar Islamic heritage sites.
WND CEO Joseph Farah commented when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked about the issue at the U.N.
“Netanyahu pulled no punches in reminding the body of its anti-Israel and, more bluntly, anti-Semitic bias,” Farah wrote. “He condemned UNESCO’s July declaration of the Tomb of the Patriarchs as a ‘Palestinian World Heritage site,’ saying sarcastically, ‘That’s worse than fake news, that’s fake history.'”
Netanyahu continued: “It’s true that Abraham, the father of both Ishmael and Isaac, is buried there, but so too are Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca – Sarah is a Jewish name, by the way – and Leah, who just happen to be patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. You won’t read about that in the latest UNESCO report. But if you want to, you can read about that in a somewhat weightier publication. It’s called the Bible. I highly recommend it. I hear it even got 4 ½ out of 5 stars on Amazon. And it’s a great read. I read it every week.”
When UNESCO made the announcement over the summer, Netanyahu cut an additional $1 million from Israel’s U.N. membership dues. Israel will give those funds to the Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Kiryat Arba and Hebron.
That resolution, brought by seven Muslim nations, emphasized Islam’s claims to the site but ignored the historical facts about Jewish presence there over 3,000 years.
UNESCO said at that time it “firmly deplores the continuous storming of Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram Al-Sharif by Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces, and urges Israel, the occupying Power, to take necessary measures to prevent provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram Al-Sharif.”
East Jerusalem has been part of Israel since the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians want the city as part of a future state.
“Jews refer to the hilltop compound in Jerusalem’s Old City as the Temple Mount, site of the two Jewish biblical temples. Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary, and it is home to the Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia,” Fox News reported.
Netanyahu at that time issued a statement on Facebook he titled “The theatre of the absurd continues at the UN.” The statement reads:
Today UNESCO adopted its second decision this year denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site for over three thousand years.
What’s next? A UNESCO decision denying the connection between peanut butter and jelly? Batman and Robin? Rock and roll?
Is it any wonder the UN has become a moral farce when UNESCO, the UN body tasked with preserving history, denies and distorts history?
UNESCO’s drive to rewrite the history of the Temple Mount according to Islam began shortly after it accepted the Palestinians as a member state in 2011. There initially were attempts to have it declared a solely Muslim site, which failed. Since then, resolutions regarding Jerusalem repeatedly have used only the Muslim terms for the Temple Mount area and its adjacent wall.
Carl Gallups, a Christian pastor in Florida and author of “When the Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies for Our Time,” said the hatred of Israel is a sign of the end times.
“The Word of God has much to say about the abject hatred of the revenant nation of Israel in the last days. It also speaks of Jerusalem ultimately being surrounded by enemies and, at least, the temple area – being trampled upon by ‘Gentiles,'” he said.
“To Satan, it is not enough that an ultimate symbol of an ‘abomination that causes desolation’ (The Dome of the Rock) is sitting upon the Temple mount – but now, apparently he is indwelling an organization that fancies itself to be the head of a rising ‘one world order,’ and attempting to assassinate historical truth in the furthered cause of alienating Israel in the last days.”
The anti-Israel agenda at the United Nations even has moved into the farcical at times.
WND reported in June that Arabs at the U.N. were placing the blame for Palestinian men who beat their wives on Israel.
The outlandish claim came during a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council when a report on violence against women was submitted, reported Palestinian Media Watch.
According to PMW, the report claimed there was “a clear linkage between the prolonged occupation and violence against women.”
However, U.N. Watch Director Hillel Neuer responded immediately.
See his statement:
The report on “violence against women” was undermined, he explained, “by its subservience to the recurring and unproven assumption … that there is, quote, ‘clear linkage between the prolonged occupation and violence against women.’
“In other words, what you are saying is as follows: When Palestinian men beat their wives, it’s Israel’s fault.”
He asked where was the evidence for a “clear linkage.”
“Where is the data. I don’t see it anywhere in the report,” he said.
And he questioned why those submitting the report had not done the basic comparisons, such as looking at similar statistics from Lebanon, Jordan, and other Arab nations.
“Why have you not done so?” he asked.
Besides, he said, Arab television routinely promotes messages to men about how to beat their wives, he said.
PMW produced a video documenting the messages:
The U.N.’s actions caught the attention of the U.S. Senate, where all 100 senators signed a letter calling for a change in the international body’s behavior toward Israel.
“Too often, the U.N. is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing the lofty goals of its founders,” the letter states. “These actions have at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism, and distracted certain U.N. entities from their original missions.
“As both the U.N.’s principal founding member and its largest contributor, the United States should insist on reform. As duly elected representatives of the American people, we take seriously our responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight of U.S. engagement at the United Nations. We are deeply committed to international leadership and to advancing respect for human rights.
“But continued targeting of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council and other U.N. entities is unacceptable. This situation must change. We urge you to engage member states in a comprehensive effort to directly confront and root out this bias.”