Netanyahu instructs Israel to abandon UNESCO

Monitoring Desk
Monday, 25 December 2017
ISLAMABAD: Israeli foreign ministry, in a statement, on Sunday declared Israeli prime minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu’s instructions to withdraw Israel from united nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation (UNESCO), accusing the body for being biased, one-sided and of an absurd attitude towards Israel and against the background of United States’s (US) stand at united nations (UN) on Jerusalem, which Israel welcomes.

Netanyahu at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting said, “Over the weekend I instructed the foreign ministry to withdraw from UNESCO. I think that this is appropriate, given this organisation’s biased, one-sided and absurd attitude toward us, and against the background of the US’s strong stand at the UN, which we welcome.”

He added, “At the same time, we have been informed of the Danish government’s decision to tighten its criteria for supporting Palestinian nongovernment organisations (NGOs). I have met with the Danish prime minister and spoke with him by telephone, and with the Danish foreign minister, and afterwards with European foreign ministers at the meeting in Brussels, in which a Danish representative was present, and I demanded that they all stop supporting organisations that support terrorism and promote boycotts of Israel. Denmark has decided on this step; it is neither the first nor the last. We will continue with this line.”

Netanyahu asserted, “To close, a word about Abu Mazen and the Palestinians. He declared that he is quitting the process and, in effect, is not interested in any proposal that the US might submit. I think that once again it is becoming clear: It is the Palestinians who do not want to resolve this conflict.”

He said, “The US has said something else that is very important: The root of the general conflict in the Middle East does not lie in Israel, but in Iran and in radical Islam and the terrorism that it inspires. All of these are the true reasons that have been revealed to everyone. Whoever sees clearly and has integrity cannot deny them.”

Netanyahu concluded, “Today the cabinet will approve the start of the implementation of the agreement with the handicapped. Finance minister, the social welfare and social services minister and I are submitting a proposal according to which the first phase of the agreement will be a Israeli new shekel (NIS) 1.45 billion supplement to support payments for the handicapped. This is very good news. It will be followed up in our 11th January vote on the budget. I think that this is very major progress and is, in effect, a change that is without precedent for decades that constitutes genuine consideration for a needy population. There are none more deserving of this assistance.”