Israel announced on Thursday its decision to withdraw from UNESCO shortly after the United States adopted the same measure, arguing the institution is “anti-Semitic”.

The announcement of Israel came a few hours after the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US decision, describing the move as “dignified and moral.”

“It is a dignified and moral decision, because UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd. Instead of protecting history, they distort it”, added Benjamin.

Israel became a UNESCO member on September 16, 1949

The United States has announced they want to maintain their observer status, highlighted the State Department in front of the UN-based UN headquarters in Paris.

The withdrawal will take effect on 31 December 2018, according to the UNESCO Statute.

Washington warned in early July they are planning or reexamining relations with UNESCO after the organization’s decision to declare the old city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank as a “protected area” of the World Heritage.

This decision, described as an “affront to history,” “discredits even more a very questionable UN agency,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley said at the time.

The United States, the Allies of Israel, had already distanced themselves from Unesco.

They did not participate in the institution’s 2011 funding after the Agency received Palestine between Member States.

According to the State Department, an observer status will allow it to continue to bring American “vision” and “expertise” into some important files managed by the organization, “protecting the World Heritage, defending press freedom, and promoting science and education.