AJC eBook - Dashed Hopes: Anti-Israel Bias at the UN - Page 11
UNESCO – THE UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL , SCIENTIFIC , AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION – is a specialized agency of the UN whose mission is to contribute to world peace and security by promoting global collaboration through educational , scientific , and cultural measures . Until the Six-Day War in 1967 , Israel and UNESCO maintained good working relations . Regrettably , since that war , neighboring Arab states and the Palestinian leadership have repeatedly used this UN agency as a forum to isolate and censure the Jewish state .
In recent years , these states have persuaded UNESCO to pass several resolutions negating the millennia-old links between the Jewish people and Jerusalem . In October 2016 , UNESCO adopted a measure referring to the Temple Mount , Judaism ’ s holiest site , only by its Arabic name , Haram al-Sharif , ignoring the Jewish people ’ s connection , which preceded the advent of Islam by more than a thousand years . And again , in May 2017 , UNESCO passed a resolution that referred to Israel as an “ occupying power ” in Jerusalem , denying the Jewish state ’ s sovereignty over any part of the city .
In the 1990s , the U . S . Congress passed two laws that forbade payment of dues to any international body that grants membership “ to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood ” ( meaning the nonexistent “ State of Palestine ”). And consequently , in 2011 , the U . S . halted payment of its membership dues to UNESCO after it admitted a unilaterally declared Palestinian state as a member .
In January 2019 , both the U . S . and Israel withdrew their membership in UNESCO , citing anti-Israel bias .