UNESCO chief Bokova defended her agency's reputation, noting its efforts to support Holocaust education and train teachers to fight anti-Semitism and saying that the Statue of Liberty is among the many World Heritage sites protected by the United Nations agency.
Israel on Thursday welcomed USA pulling out of the UN's cultural organization, announcing the Jewish state was considering a similar move due to the body's "anti-Israel" bias.
Nikki Haley, the U.N. ambassador, has repeatedly criticized the United Nations for what she called its anti-Israel bias.
It says the withdrawal will take effect December 31, 2018.
And a year ago, Israel suspended cooperation with it after the agency adopted a controversial resolution which made no reference to Jewish ties to a key holy site in Jerusalem.
"UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel bashing and has disregarded its true role and objective", Danon said.
Irina Bokova, UNESCO's outgoing director-general, said she "deeply regrets" the decision and is convinced that "UNESC has never been so important for the U.S., or the U.S. for UNESCO" given the rise of what she called violent extremism and terrorism in the world.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the vote "another delusional decision" by UNESCO, which promotes education, cultural development and free media initiatives around the world.
While the United States withdrew from the group, the Trump administration said it wanted to continue providing American perspective and expertise to Unesco, but as a nonmember observer. This is a loss to the United Nations family.
"The US relationship with Unesco is a matter for them".
Until that time, the United States, which provides around $80 million to UNESCO annually, will remain a full member. The officials, who were not authorized to be publicly named discussing the issue, said the US was notably angry over UNESCO resolutions denying Jewish connections to holy sites and references to Israel as an occupying power.
Michael Worbs, chairman of the UNESCO Executive Board, appreciated the Vietnamese' notable jump in the second round. The U.S. stopped making payments to the agency in 2011, but maintained an office at its Paris headquarters in the hopes of encouraging a change of course from behind the scenes. In the USA, listed sites include the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall, as well as national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite.
But according to Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, the Trump administration found it to be a step too far when the agency decided this summer to designate "the Old City of Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as part of Palestinian territory".
The Director General gave examples of collaborating during that time, such as launching the Global Partnership for Girls' and Women's Education and celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Washington, D.C., with the National Endowment for Democracy. "Ideally, it steers it in way that US interests and UNESCO's mandate will converge".