US President Donald Trump with PM Netanyahu (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Netanyahu praised the US withdrawal from UNESCO as a “courageous and ethical decision,” adding that Israel will also leave the organization.

The State Department announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday, citing “continuing anti-Israel bias” among the reasons.

“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,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“This is a courageous and ethical decision because UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd and instead of preserving history, distorts it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated.

He has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO in parallel with the US, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a press statement.

“In recent years, UNESCO has transformed itself into a delusional organization that lost its professional path in favor of the political interests of certain countries,” said Israel’s representative Carmel Shama-Hacohen.

In July, UNESCO voted to designate Hebron’s Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian World Heritage Sites.”

In May, Israel called a UNESCO resolution passed on Israel Independence Day, which rejects Israeli sovereignty and jurisdiction over Jerusalem, “fake history” and “absurd.”

US-Israel Alliance ‘Stronger than Ever’

“UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel bashing and has disregarded its true role and purpose. Today’s decision is a turning point for UNESCO. The organization’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences. Today is a new day at the UN, where there is price to pay for discrimination against Israel,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny declared.

“The United States stands by Israel and is a true leader for change at the UN. The alliance between our two countries is stronger than ever,” Danon added.