After Unesco’s Hebron Vote, Netanyahu Cuts Israel’s UN Dues by $1 Million

Statement by His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel General Assembly 70th session 22nd plenary meeting Continuation of the General Debate
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday he has ordered a $1 million cut in Israel’s annual United Nations after UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific arm, declared Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs as an endangered Palestinian heritage site.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the $1 million will be transferred to fund the establishment of a Jewish heritage museum in Hebron and Kiryat Arba as well as additional heritage projects related to Hebron.

Netanyahu called UNESCO’s latest anti-Israel vote “delusional.”

“This time they decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning that it is not Jewish, and that the site is in danger. Not a Jewish site?! Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah—our patriarchs and matriarchs!” Netanyahu said.

PM Netanyahu with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer

“And the site is in danger? It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured,” he added.

After a UNESCO resolution in early May that denied Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Netanyahu also ordered a $1 million cut in Israel’s annual U.N. dues. In March, Israel withheld $2 million from the world body following the passage of anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N. Human Rights Council. The Jewish state also reduced its U.N. funding by $6 million in the aftermath of last December’s U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which described eastern Jerusalem’s Jewish holy sites as “occupied Palestinian territory.”