A group of U.S. Senators from the Republican party urged President Barack Obama in a letter on Wednesday to suspend ties with the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The senators are pressuring Obama to suspend American ties with the world body over the two resolutions it approved in the past 10 days, denying ancient historic Jewish ties with Jerusalem.
“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.
“Recent UNESCO resolutions that deny Jewish and Christian ties to holy sites in Jerusalem not only reinforces the necessity of withholding American funding from this counterproductive UN organization, but also call into question future U.S. membership in UNESCO,” wrote the senators in their letter.
It was signed by Senators Marco Rubio, Johnny Isakson, Mark Kirk and David Perdue.
“Given that U.S. law already forbids American taxpayer money going to UNESCO, we urge your administration to join Israel in suspending ties to UNESCO.
“In 1984, the U.S. severed ties with UNESCO due to disparities between American foreign policy goals and UNESCO’s agenda.
“Because UNESCO continues to deviate from its founding mission and adopt one-sided, anti-Israel resolutions, it is time for the U.S. to stand with Israel, and suspend our ties with UNESCO.”
The second resolution, passed this week by the World Heritage Committee, was entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls. It was approved by a secret vote with only 10 member states casting their ballots in favor; eight abstained, two opposed and one was absent from the room. The Philippines and Tanzania reportedly were the two nations who opposed the measure; Jamaica was absent.
”The theater of the absurd continues,” said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a speech at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya following the vote. “We will decide what to do and what further steps to take against this organization.” Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, was also recalled to Jerusalem “for consultations.”