Karen Harradine: America and Israel have called the corrupt UN out – others should follow suit

Finally the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the so-called heritage protection agency of the UN, is getting what it deserves. The US, under President Donald Trump’s guidance, is pulling out of UNESCO – and so is Israel.

Since the exemplary and courageous US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, took office, the US and Israel are now standing up to this bloated and outdated behemoth. Trump cited UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias as one of the reasons why the US is withdrawing, further cementing the strong ally relationship between the two countries.

The accusations of Trump’s supposed enabling of idiotic white supremacists – the new byword in identity wars – are a distraction. The real racism, the true harmful hatred, comes straight from the UN and is against the West and specifically the US, UK and Israel.

In response to the US and Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO its director-general, Irina Bokova, claimed this was a bad idea as UNESCO counteracts anti-Semitism. Given its propensity to pass around ten resolutions a year criticising Israel, her statement was at best disingenuous and at worst a blatant lie. Why should Israel pay to belong to an organisation which has such a destructive and negative focus on the only democracy in the Middle East? Particularly when members include despotic countries like Chad, Egypt and Sudan.

No other UN member country has been criticised like Israel has been, with the exception of a (one-time) resolution against Syria. And despite the heinous destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues by the Taliban and the ancient city of Palmyra by ISIS, UNESCO has not passed a single resolution in protest. Its glaring hypocrisy is astounding.

A year ago UNESCO passed a resolution negating Israel’s connection to the Temple Mount and the Kottel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem. Both are in the Old City sites of the Jewish First and Second Temples, constructed long before the Muslim colonisation of Israel in AD 635. The Second Temple was destroyed by Roman conquerors in AD 70 and precipitated the forced dispersal of Jews into the diaspora. The controversial al-Aqsa Mosque was built in the 8th century by the Caliphate on these ruins. Although the Old City is part of Israel, the Mosque is controlled by the Waqf, a joint Jordanian/Palestinian administration. Access for non-Muslims is severely restricted.

In July UNESCO passed yet another ridiculous resolution denying Jewish links to Israel when they declared Hebron, the location of Cave of the Patriarchs, a Palestinian world heritage site. As a child I visited the Cave of the Patriarchs with my parents. My memories are of a silent place, the cenotaphs of the patriarchs and matriarchs of our Jewish faith surrounded by shadows and flickering candlelight. I remember a single line of Jews of all ages walking slowly around the tombs to pay homage. I have also been to the Kottel several times and the connection I felt as a Jew to the remains of the Second Temple was deeply transcendent and awe-inspiring.

But way beyond my own experience with these sacred and holy places is the mass of archaeological and historical evidence which supports Jewish ties to them. By denying any Jewish connection to the sites UNESCO, and its Islamist supporters, are participating in an abhorrent lie and historical deception.

UNESCO is not the only anti-Israel UN agency. The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has real form with its infamous demonisation of Israel. Despite ISIS waging war in Syria and Iraq, the nuclear terror threats of Iran and North Korea and an assortment of despicable human rights abusers and warmongers worldwide, more than half of resolutions passed by the HRC were against Israel.

This is no surprise given that members include dictatorships and police states such as Bolivia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The president of the HRC, Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, is from El Salvador, a country not known for its pristine record on human rights.

Most of the members of UNESCO and HRC use Israel as a means to deflect from horrible human rights abuse in their own countries. Israel is a convenient smokescreen for them and this is why the anti-Israel bias will continue. Stable and prosperous Western countries such as the US and UK are relegated to the sidelines and fight a losing battle in overcoming the continuous bile directed against the West and Israel that the UN has become so good at.

These are not the only reasons why the iniquitous UN needs to be disbanded. Saudi Arabia, which only recently deigned to allow women to drive (under strictly controlled circumstances), was elected to serve a term on the UN’s Commission on the status of women. This would be a laughable irony if it were not so damaging to women suffering in misogynist regimes – such as Saudi Arabia. Girls and women in the Third World will continue to endure heinous practices like FGM and lack of educational opportunities while despots remain in charge of women’s rights under the guise of the UN.



Through their obsessive focus on Israel the UN, UNESCO and HRC enable the suffering and slaughter of the neglected and the dispossessed. The plight of persecuted Christians and the Yazidi sex slaves are continually ignored in favour of yet another anti-Israel declaration. And what is the point of UN peacekeepers, given their propensity to rape vulnerable children? Or their criminal inaction during the Rwandan genocide? The UN is toothless with tyrants too, unable to rein in autocrats like North Korea for fear of upsetting dominant China, or to end the war in Syria as members will not cross that other big player in town, Russia.

The UN is nothing more than an Islamist and Left-wing dominated political club, full of endless meetings, posturing and resolutions which do nothing to entrench peace and security for those who need it. The UN and its agencies like UNESCO and HRC are unaccountable. They are a gravy train for career diplomats and administrators who continually push their own agendas or gang up like a bunch of nasty schoolyard bullies on Israel.

So is time for the rest of West, as the US and Israel have done, to start to withdraw from this tyrannical organisation and its nefarious agencies. Built on the ashes of the Second World War, the UN’s objective was to maintain worldwide peace. Now stuffed with self-important apparatchiks, corrupt officials, warlords and dictators whose agendas obliterate and obscure this objective, this entire organisation is no longer fit for purpose.

Karen Harradine

  • Andrew Tettenborn

    Excellent piece: Unesco is becoming a bad joke, and the UN isn’t much better. This time the withdrawal from Unesco might even be permanent. Those with long memories will recall the extraordinarily silly Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow, who ran the outfit in the 1980s again on a dreary third-world-socialist-anti-West ticket. The US lost patience in 1984 and Reagan got out of the whole caboodle. GW Bush in 2003 gave it another chance and rejoined: Hillary (of course) gave it her imprimature in 2011. I suspect this may be for good. The otherwise unemployable functionaries will have to look to some other sugar-daddy for their substantial tax-free salaries.

    • Reborn

      The muslim dominated UN is a bad joke.
      Presumably the only reason the US tolerates this institution on US soil
      is to observe the behaviour & contacts of some of the nastiest & most corrupt
      politicians on Earth.
      The Saudis on the “human rights” panel – sick.
      The Saudis on the women rights panel – words fail me.

      • It is, presumably, handy for the intelligence community, still that’s valuable real estate, maybe we should move someplace more suitable – Guantanamo Bay, perhaps.

        • norman’s nonsense

          You immediately made me think of Live and Let Die..

        • Reborn

          Love it !

  • Flaketime

    Saudi money and their Salfist counterparts does a lot of talking. We have to consider the possibilities our leaders are also affected by it.

    We have seen massive donation from Saudi and others to the Clinton foundation, money which mysteriously dried up when she lost her election bid, so we can pretty much rule out any altruistic charitable motivation on the part of the Saudis, and we are talk around $200 million from just one country !

    Then there’s the place where BLiar made all his money according to his biographers in BLiar Inc. even more money was transferred, somewhere in the region of £200 million for work which no one really knows the true value of.

    And then there is the inexplicable move by Cameron to promote Saudi onto the UN Human Rights committee and also the women’s rights one too ! A country in the top ten worst abusers of women’s rights in the world ! The incongruity here is breath taking yet the media remained largely silent.

    The independent reported on something of a scandal in Belgium when the Prime Minister denied having assisted Saudi onto the womens rights committee but was then later forced to admit that he had personally ordered it, with the additional instruction that Saudi were to be informed that Belgium had voted for them (in an anonymous vote). Why would any straight politician want to do that ?

    Currently Saudi is the biggest foreign donor to UK and US universities and sponsors other universities all over the world. That money does not come without strings, and the price of it is the promotion of Islamic Salafism and the hatred of Israel. Campus watch reports that it is impossible to find a Middle Eastern Studies department which is not anti Semitic in a US University.

    Theresa May is in my opinion attempting to find a way to introduce and incorporate Sharia Law into British law and has commissioned Mona Siddiqqi at the Prince Alawaleed centre at Edinburgh University which receives £8 million a year from the kingdom.

    The question arises again as to why any British PM would do that?

    The answer is the same for the UK USA and the UN. Money talks and the amount of money Saudi is throwing at this is astonishing, astronomical according to one observer, so much that they have nearly bankrupted themselves and are having to float the countries oil company Aramco.

    If you are ever wondering why something seemingly inexplicable is happening, then look back to this piece and suddenly all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place.

    • Pretty Polly

      All this is the inevitable result of universal suffrage which puts socialists and communists into parliament, and Britain withdrawing from the Middle East which allowed vast oil revenues to be spent irresponsibly.

      • The Duke of Umberland, England

        When you say ‘universal suffrage’, do you mean giving women the vote?

        • Pretty Polly

          Giving anyone the vote who is not responsible and competent enough to use it.

        • Flaketime

          And therein lies the revisionism which even Conservative thinkers have swallowed.

          The suffragettes were not what was presented to you in revised history. You might have noticed the middle class nature of the majority of them?

          Soon after the emancipation of working class men who did not own property over a certain rental value the middle class women outraged they did not have the vote when the oiks did started a campaign to remove it from them and to enfranchise the women folk of the middle classes.

          Far from this being a campaign for universal suffrage it was a class war in favour of the middle classes.

          As if that weren’t enough the suffragettes allied themselves with the newly formed British Union of Fascists under resigned ex Labour minister Oswald Moseley.

          Or should I call him ‘Sir’? amazing how when looking back it seems so clearly wrong, and yet he was admired enough at the time to attract a knighthood.

    • Reborn

      I’m appalled at your suggestion that Mrs May, a church going Anglican, would want to
      introduce anything related to heathen sharia law in to the UK.
      This is outrageous !
      Just remembered the recent Archbishop of Canterbury, lounging around on a fat pension in the anti democratic House of Lords proposed the same thing.
      And he’s a fully authorised spokesman for the Judeo Christian God – or so he would have us believe.
      I’ll say one thing for American Christians of all stripes.
      They’re not hypocrites.

  • Pretty Polly

    As can clearly now be seen, relinquishing control of much of the Middle East was one of Britain’s most serious foreign policy mistakes.

    • Reborn

      I’m afraid our US friends let us down on this one.
      When the UK, France & Israel tried to hold the gangster Nasser to the
      rule of international law, the US effectively frustrated us.
      There is a direct line of descent from the Suez debacle to 9/11 & beyond.

      • CRSM

        I’ve never understood the USA perfidy on this. What did they gain by it?

        • I’m a bit young to remember it at the time, and it’s little thought of over here but the State Department’s history website has a bit. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/suez

          To me the pertinent paragraph is this.

          “In response, the Eisenhower administration, concerned about dissociating the United States from European colonialism—especially in light of its strident condemnation of the Soviet intervention in Hungary the same week—as well as the possibility that the Soviets would intervene to assist Nasser, pressured Britain and France to accept a United Nations ceasefire on November 6. Moreover, the United States voted for U.N. resolutions publicly condemning the invasion and approving the creation of a U.N. peacekeeping force. Washington’s public censure of two of its most important allies temporarily soured relations with London and Paris and helped contribute to the resignation of British Prime Minister Anthony Eden in January 1957. Concurrently, U.S. worries about the continued viability of European (particularly British) political and military power in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis prompted the creation of the Eisenhower Doctrine, which gave the administration increased power to aid countries in the region. By March 1957, however, the U.S.–U.K. bilateral relationship had recovered under Eden’s successor, Harold Macmillan.”

          Given that it was Eisenhower, a pretty pro-Europe president, I’d say that’s fairly close to accurate, not so much perfidy (we always were, you’ll recall, rather anti-colonial). Looking back, we were probably wrong to be so, but we always had been. Professor John Charmley talks of this a certain amount in his “Churchill’s Grand Alliance” as I recall. Roosevelt while an Anglophile was also anti-Empire all through the War.

          • Reborn

            As a great Americaphile I find US anti colonialism a bit unconvincing.
            If Mexico, or even Canada, elects an anti US regime, it would go the way of
            the Sandinistas PDQ.
            As it is, virtually all the states south of Texas make sure to follow US policy
            instructions, much as the mini states in the EU follow the orders
            of Berlin, aka Brussels.

    • The Duke of Umberland, England

      The error was to hinder Jewish migration to Israel. Overnight, God ensured, we lost the Empire.

      British policy thinking was: we must appease the Moslems of the Empire.

      The irony was, we lost the Empire.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    The reference to 635 AD needs to be corrected to 65 AD

    • Nick

      Why?
      It seems to me to be a reference to when the Muslims conquered Jerusalem.

      • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

        65 AD destruction of the temple by the romans led to the growth of synagogyes. The Muslim agression in 635 AD had nothing to do with synagogues.

        I notice that the text has been altered to make clear the reference to the Muslim conquest.

        • The Duke of Umberland, England

          I thought the destruction was in 70 AD.

          • Simon Platt

            Didn’t we all?

  • Owen_Morgan

    There are so many reasons to de-fund the UN that it is hard to know where to start. Disbanding it will never work; disbanding is a voluntary action and that is not going to happen with the UN. A few countries, however, especially the United States, are the paymasters of the UN and could really pull the magic carpet from under it. I don’t doubt that the remainder would find subventions from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or China, but I doubt if Riyadh, Doha, or smog-ridden Beijing would have quite the same appeal for even the most vociferously anti-Western delegate as New York does.

    Karen Harradine documents expertly the wilful nonsense of the UNESCO attacks on Israel and Jewish history. To pretend that the muslim al-Aqsa fantasy outweighs history and a huge amount of solid archaeology is to deny everything for which UNESCO purports to stand. Simple fact: when Mohammed died (632, we are told), Heraclius was Eastern Roman emperor (dd 641, we are a lot more reliably told). Heraclius was not big on religious tolerance. He gave a hard time to Jews, to Maronite and Alexandrian Christians. There was no mosque in Jerusalem in his time.

    I have a feeling that the current fad for making accusations of “cultural appropriation” is an extension of the attacks on Israel’s civilisation. Spanish history and archaeology are also under siege, even though all the evidence shows that the Moors took their culture from the Christians and Jews whom they subjugated. Down the line, we get to stuff like cooking Mexican food, having dreadlocks, or wearing a certain shape of earring, all of them, supposedly, justification for loud protest.

    What we are seeing, on the one hand, is the monolithic muslim attempt to build a world culture. The lies about Jerusalem and the destruction at Bamiyan and Palmyra are integral to this, as is the ayatollah’s dictat that no part of Persia’s history, preceding the arrival of Islam, should be taught in schools; similarly, the desire of the muslim brotherhood to demolish the Egyptian pyramids is a work in progress, I suspect. On the other hand, helped by teaching establishments in North America and right across Western Europe, the deprecation, denigration and disintegration of the greatest culture in history continues apace.

  • Bravo, Karen. If she keeps this up, Nikki Haley has a real shot at being our first woman president. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up with a different job, because I would not be overly surprised if we flat quit the whole organization, and told it to leave. There is a lot of support here for that happening, and yes, a lot of it is the anti-Israeli bias of the organization. Israel, like the UK, is our friend, we disagree fairly often, but Little Satan is very popular in Great Satan. Always has been, and always will be.

  • MorganCourtenay

    The UN is a complete disgrace. Bokova is kidding herself if she thinks that UNESCO speaks out against anti-Semitism. Stealing Jewish identity, history and culture to award to the Palestinian people on a platter is anti-Semitism. China continues to threaten political dissidents. Does this mean the Great Wall of China is now a Tibetan heritage site? This was the logic used by UNESCO in their disgraceful decision to rob Jews of their history for daring to defend the land of Israel. Meanwhile, millions of people lie trapped under the heels of the worst human rights violators on the planet. The UN hardly says anything. It’s time for a BDS campaign against the UN and anyone financing the fraudulent and anti-Semitic Palestinian “cause”.

    • Might as well add Christians, Bethlehem is another one of those sites.

      • Reborn

        As I recall, either Bethlehem or Nazareth has a mohammedan mayor.
        Imagine that Johnny come lately religious city Mecca having a Christian or Jewish mayor.
        What next, a muslim mayor for London ?

        • MorganCourtenay

          Although I don’t particularly care about the Mayor of London’s religious affiliation (mostly because I don’t care for the Mayor of London anyway), you make a valid point. Rampant discrimination in Muslim cultures is always ignored, whereas bigotry in Western culture is always touted as being a unique Western failing, regardless of the many laws and levels of progress made.

      • MorganCourtenay

        Oh yes. Christians are being driven out of historic towns like Nazareth and Bethlehem in alarming numbers.

  • Raul

    Another great powerful piece Karen . I would have more faith in Tesco than Unesco. UNWRA is another United Nations organization that needs abolishing . Maybe the UN itself needs reforming.