The USA and Israel have quit UNESCO. This is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The two countries pulled out at the stroke of midnight at the New Year. It is the second time the U.S. has pulled out of UNESCO. The first time was in 1984 over relations with the Soviet Union. It re-joined in 2003. The current withdrawal is because both nations say UNESCO is biased against Israel. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said: "UNESCO is among the most corrupt and politically biased UN agencies....The U.S. withdrawal from this cesspool became official."
The U.S. co-founded UNESCO after World War II to build peace through international cooperation in education, the sciences and culture. It is famous for its World Heritage program, which protects cultural sites and traditions. It also improves education for girls, promotes understanding of the horrors of the Holocaust, and defends freedom of the press. The U.S. will follow UNESCO as a non-member state. The Israeli envoy to the United Nations Danny Danon said his country, "will not be a member of an organization whose goal is to deliberately act against us".