Israel Cuts Funding to United Nations

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -

Israel has announced that it’s reducing its payments to United Nations institutions following recent anti-Israel votes.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Wednesday’s decision was taken following votes critical of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Nahshon says Israel is cutting “2 million dollars from its United Nations dues, given the anti-Israel votes at UNHRC. The money will be used for development projects in countries” that support Israel in international organizations.

He says the cut is from annual payments of about $11 million.

Meanwhile, another United Nations agency, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), is preparing to publish a report attacking the Israeli “occupation,” The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.

The Lebanon-based ESCWA was recently forced to withdraw a report accusing Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime,” at the insistence of U.S. envoy Nikki Haley.

The new report, a joint project of ESCWA and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), will attempt to calculate the cost in economic terms of Israel administration of the Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron.

In a section called “Previous Experiences from Other Regions,” the authors compare the Palestinians’ experience to that of black South Africans under white rule and African-Americans during the slavery years.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said that while Yerushalayim was unfamiliar with the upcoming report, it rejected ESCWA’s attempts to “delegitimize Israel.”

“ESCWA continues its work, as seen in previous reports meant to delegitimize Israel, work that has been rejected not only by Israel but by other countries in the region and the U.N.’s secretary general. We continue to reject anti-Israel reports,” said Michal Maayan, a deputy spokesperson at the Foreign Ministry.

Executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein said that the new document should share the fate of the previous one.

“We hope the United Nations will work to prevent its publication and distribution and posting it online,” he said.

The report will “be used by the Palestinians, either in negotiations or even going to an international court and making demands on Israel for compensation, saying, ‘Well, look, a U.N. agency evaluated it,’” he told The Times.

Hoenlein also questioned claims on the part of the ESCWA researchers to scientific methodology in their study.

“There’s no way that you can calculate that cost or even define it,” he said. “They claim that they have developed new methodologies in order to calculate it. This is at the very least specious.”