Daily Israel Report

Kadima Blasts Netanyahu for Freezing UNESCO Funds

"It is time Netanyahu realizes that his actions punish his fellow Israelis more than they hurt anyone else."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/3/2011, 7:06 PM

The opposition Kadima party reacted to the freezing of Israel's membership dues in UNESCO by saying that "The government of Israel has lost a diplomatic confrontation and is punishing the state of Israel for its losses. First it fails to block the Palestinian gains and then it decides to simply give up and leave the game. It is time Netanyahu realizes that his actions punish his fellow Israelis more than they hurt anyone else."

The party went on to state: "Netanyahu is forcibly isolating Israel in the international community in order to try and make excuses for his government's failures… Israel needs the international community on its side in order to take care of the threats around us and the faux-tough talk only weakens its ability to do this."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Thursday that Israel's $2 million-per-annum participation fee in the budget of UNESCO be frozen, following the organization's decision to accept the Palestinian Authority (PA) into its ranks. The Prime Minister ordered that the budget be directed to cooperative initiatives towards the same goals in the region. 

The United States has stopped funding UNESCO following the acceptance of the PA and Canada will not increase its participation in its funding.

Regarding the PA's unilateral move to be accepted into UNESCO, Netanyahu said that, "Such steps will not advance peace; they will only push it further away. The only way to reach peace is through direct negotiations without preconditions."