The recent anti-Israel votes at the United Nations cultural body has led multiple US Senators to propose cutting ties with the organization, while separately, even the US government supporter of another U.N. body still voiced concerns about continued anti-Israel bias. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a former candidate to be the Republican nominee for president, joined three other senators urging U.S. President Barack Obama to “suspend ties” with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The move comes after a UNESCO vote that undermined the connection between Israel and Jerusalem’s holiest site—the Temple Mount—a move the senators called an effort to “delegitimize Israel” according to a copy of their letter to Obama posted to Rubio’s Senate office website. And UNESCO isn’t the only U.N. body under fire from the U.S. Even after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the U.N. Human Rights Council for work it had done, he still called for an end to the “the Council’s excessive and biased focus on Israel,” according a press release on the U.S. State Department’s website.
Rubio, who called for the U.S. not to rejoin the Human Rights Council due to the expected presence on the Council of nations that abuse human rights in a separate press release, joined with Senators Mark Kirk, David Perdue, and Johnny Isakson in calling the UNESCO anti-Israel resolutions “inflammatory” while expressing “grave concern.”
The senators noted that the U.S. already is prohibited from providing taxpayer dollars to the U.N. cultural body, but believe that the latest UNESCO actions show that is not going far enough.
“At a time when the Middle East is in turmoil and historical heritage sites are being destroyed by groups such as ISIS, it is imperative that the U.S. stands with Israel, our closest ally and the sole democracy in the region,” wrote the four senators to Obama. “Recent UNESCO resolutions that deny Jewish and Christian ties to holy sites in Jerusalem not only reinforce the necessity of withholding American funding from this counterproductive U.N. organization, but also call into question future U.S. membership in UNESCO.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 7, 2016)