If you pay attention to unimportant news, then you are probably aware that President Trump is officially pulling us out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at the end of the year.
This is nothing new — literally. We have left and rejoined UNESCO before. Ronald Reagan pulled us out, back when UNESCO had a thing for the Soviets. George W. Bush put us back in. Barack Obama even pulled U.S. funding to UNESCO in 2011. We haven’t had a vote on it since 2013. Hillary Clinton, who was critical of the program before, probably would have said that UNESCO needs to UNES-GO away.
However, as should be expected, some on the left have preached that this is their absolute last straw with Trump. The fact that he can just so boldly turn his back on world culture just makes their head pop Scanners-style. How else will other nations understand the importance of International Jazz Day?
Unfortunately, UNESCO is kind of like the Jimmy Kimmel of world organizations. What I mean by that is that UNESCO has lately done about as much good for anything as Kimmel has been funny. What should be an organization to promote free press, protection of cultural sites and education rights has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-Israel stances and disturbing support for terrorism.
First of all, it’s not UNESCO’s job to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Second of all, let’s take a look at the first Palestinian university UNESCO stuck its fingers in by establishing a departmental chair: the Islamic University of Gaza. This was the university used to store weapons for Hamas in 2007, unsurprisingly co-founded by one of the founders of Hamas.
The university also allegedly copied the University of Virginia’s website design. If it could support this university, where was brave UNESCO to defend Charlottesville during this summer’s riots?
Next, let’s look at leadership. The leader from 2009 to last Friday, Irina Bokova, was a former member of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Her membership in the party ceased in 1990, only when a rule declared government officials couldn’t have an official party. She literally worked for the KGB to prep young agents. Maybe Russia has been trying to meddle with cultural sites, too.
I am certainly not always the biggest fan of the United Nations. I think it has lost its way a bit, but I do not believe it to be some evil force of anti-American scorn and hate, even if many of the member states have nothing but contempt for Western values.
On the other hand, UNESCO is the supporting character in the movie who turns on the protagonists about two-thirds of the way in, but you knew he was corrupt from the moment he appeared on the screen screen. Obama gave us a step back in the right direction by withdrawing funding. Now, it is time for Trump to take the final leap needed.
Matthew Dean is a senior criminal justice major from Possumneck.