PLO: ‘US risks isolating itself by alienating Palestinians’

The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – Ramallah

The US faces the danger of isolation if it pulls-out of more international organisation – such as UNESCO – because of the perceived anti-Israel biases of these international bodies, senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi warned on Sunday.

“If the US continues to threaten to withdraw from multilateral organisations that recognise Palestine, it will find itself outside most international bodies,” PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said.

“The US and Israel have taken an organisation with a mandate to contribute to peace and security through education, science and culture and have politicised it to a despicable degree in an effort to provide cover for Israeli impunity and lawlessness,” according to Palestinian-Authority-owned news agency Wafa News.

She also said that the US and Israel “have decided to stand at odds with these basic principles and with an international organisation tasked with serving our basic humanity”.

The US announced on Thursday its withdrawal from UNESCO after accusing the global body of “anti-Israel bias”.

Hours later, Israel followed Washington act, when Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the US decision was “brave and moral”.

UNESCO angered the US in 2011 after UNESCO members granted Palestine full membership, and the US,consequently, decided to withdraw its funding from the organisation.

Israel has long accused the cultural body of bias, most recently in July when UNESCO declared the occupied West Bank town of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site.

In July the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs slammed a UNESCO decision to label Israel as an “occupying power in Jerusalem”, describing it as a “sad, unnecessary and pathetic” decision in a statement.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no UNESCO resolution will change this reality. The decision is sad, unnecessary and pathetic. It should be noted that the resolution did not even achieve a majority of the votes,” the statement further said.

Source: The New Arab

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