Omnibus Bill Would Let U.S. Rejoin Antisemitic UNESCO, Reversing Trump Policy

A picture taken on March 30, 2010 in Paris, shows the facade of the United Nations Educati

A provision in the $1.7 trillion “omnibus” spending bill currently before Congress would let the U.S. rejoin the antisemitic United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which it left in 2019.

Section 7070 on page 1582 of the bill allows the president to waive section 414 of Public Law 101–246 of 1990, which bars U.S. funding for any United Nations organization that gives the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the same status as member states; and section 410 of Public Law 103-236, which bars U.S. funding for the United Nations or any affiliated organization that grants state membership to something that is not a state.

These provisions were triggered in 2011, when the Obama administration was reluctantly forced to cut funding to UNESCO after it admitted Palestine as a member state. In 2019, following years of anti-Israel resolutions and outright antisemitism, including the denial of any Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem, the U.S. and Israel both left the organization, with the U.S. still withholding some $550 million in payments at the time.

However, the omnibus lets the U.S. rejoin UNESCO — and pay hundreds of millions of dollars in withheld funds — if the president decides that “to do so would enable the United States to counter Chinese influence or to promote other national interests of the United States,” a meaningless and open-ended provision. The provision is void if any other United Nations agency admits “Palestine” without a formal peace agreement with Israel.

The Trump administration decision was hailed as a moral stance against antisemitism. But the Biden administration, which is looking for ways to support the Palestinians, has been quietly plotting a reversal.

Ironically, the bill proposing to rejoin UNESCO came the same week that Biden promised at a White House Hanukkah reception to fight antisemitism:

This year’s Hanukkah arrival — arrives in the midst of rising emboldenment of antisemitism at home and, quite frankly, around the world.

I recognize your fear, your hurt, your worry that this vile and venom is becoming too normal.

As your President, I want to make this clear — as my dad would say, and many of you have said: Silence is complicity. We must not remain silent. (Applause.)

And I made no bones about it from the very beginning: I will not be silent. America will not be silent. (Applause.) I mean it.

The omnibus does not require UNESCO to reverse its antisemitic policies.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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