(ConservativeSense.com) – President Joe Biden decided to reverse a decision by former President Donald Trump, announcing on Monday that the United States will be returning to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In 2017, Trump withdrew the United States from UNESCO because he claims it maligned Israel unfairly in favor of Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Israel withdrew a couple of years later, in 2019.
The stated goal of the United Nations organization is to provide aid to countries to preserve culturally and historically significant sites.
Trump’s policy reduced spending toward the United Nations in other ways besides withdrawing from UNESCO, he also withdrew from the Human Rights Council as well as the World Health Organization, a very controversial move during the pandemic at the time.
Audrey Azoulay, the former Culture Minister from France who is currently heading UNESCO, praised the president’s decision as showing strong “confidence” in the organization. The Associated Press reported that Biden decided to return due to concern about the influence of China, according to unnamed government officials.
Trump believed the organization to be pushing policies that were anti-Israel and antisemitic, and that were ineffective and a waste of money.
In 2017, UNESCO made a proclamation that the Old City and ancient walls of Jerusalem, as official heritage sites, were being “occupied” by the state of Israel. This caused outrage among Israelis and preceded a terrorist attack at the Temple Mount by Palestinian radicals. The organization continues not to recognize general sovereignty over Jerusalem by Israel.
The way was cleared for the president to bring the U.S. back into UNESCO last December when a provision was attached to an omnibus bill passed by Congress. It granted Biden power to waive the law keeping the U.S. from providing funds to any agency of the United Nations that recognizes a specific Palestinian organization as a member or to members not technically recognized as a sovereign state.
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