Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, continued to exert pressure on the United Nations to clean up its act, even as she wraps up her time in office.
On Tuesday, Haley, who officially left her job as the U.N. Ambassador on December 31, 2018, issued a stinging rebuke to the U.N. over UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, for its rabid anti-Israel bias.
The U.S. officially quit UNESCO on Haley’s last day, according to Fox News.
“UNESCO is among the most corrupt and politically biased UN agencies,” Haley declared on Twitter. “Today the U.S. withdrawal from this cesspool became official. #USStrong”
Haley is largely responsible for the major departure in how the United States treats UNESCO, a United Nations agency that’s largely seen as benevolent because its primary job is to declare certain global landmarks as “world heritage sites” — historical sites around the globe, protected by the United Nations for their historical and cultural significance.
But beneath UNESCO’s surface lies the same raging anti-Semitism exhibited across the U.N.
“Paris-based UNESCO, which supports various educational and cultural projects around the world, has been denounced by critics for criticizing Israel’s occupation of east Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011,” Fox News reports.
UNESCO insists that a number of ancient Jewish sites in the Holy Land actually belong to the Palestinians, regardless of how important the sites are to Jewish history — in particular, the city of Hebron, which houses both the Jewish site, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the Muslim al-Ibrahimi mosque.
Instead of recognizing the site as important to both religions, the Telegraph reports, in July of last year, UNESCO voted, by a margin of 12 to 3, to “recognize both the religious site and the Old City around it as Palestinian heritage sites, infuriating Israelis who believe Hebron is the birthplace of the Jewish people.”
To make matters worse, UNESCO “voted that the Israeli occupation was endangering the site.”
Before that, in 2012, UNESCO passed dual resolutions denying a Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The year before that, UNESCO voted to unilaterally rename both the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem as Islamic holy sites, even though Jewish claims to their importance predate Islamic claims by centuries.
In October 2018, Haley and her counterpart from Israel announced that both nations would pull out of UNESCO — a symbolic gesture, mostly, but a devastating financial blow to the group charged with global historical preservation. The United States reportedly provided nearly 25% of UNESCO’s operating budget and Israel contributes around $10 million per year, which is not insignificant.
In late October, the United Nations reportedly tried to salvage the relationship, appointing a UNESCO executive with Jewish heritage who quickly set up a Holocaust remembrance site, according to Fox News, and issued a series of “educational guidelines” on fighting anti-Semitism, but the changes were made too little too late for both the United States and Israel.