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US, Israel formally leave UNESCO

The United States and Israel have officially quit of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the US after World War II to foster peace, World News reported.

The Donald Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and the usurper regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit, accusing the UN agency of anti-Israel bias.

The Paris-based organization has previously criticized Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds, naming ancient sites as Palestinian heritage sites, and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.

The US has demanded “fundamental reform” in the agency.

UNESCO is best known for its work to preserve heritage, including maintaining a list of World Heritage sites, and programs to promote education in developing countries.

The withdrawals will not greatly impact UNESCO financially, since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both the Zionist regime of Israel and the US stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state.

Since then officials estimate that the US – which accounted for around 22 percent of the total budget – has accrued $600 million in unpaid dues, which was one of the reasons for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw. Israel owes an estimated $10 million.

The US State Department couldn’t comment because of the US government shutdown.

Earlier, the department told UNESCO officials the US intends to stay engaged at UNESCO as a non-member “observer state” on “non-politicized” issues, including the protection of World Heritage sites, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

The US could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

The US has pulled out of UNESCO before.

The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt