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UN Hebrew Broadcasts to Continue

Citing political realities, the United Nations has decided not to discontinue payments to Israel for the use of Kol Yisroel reportage. The decision was confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today by Paul Jankowski, acting director of the Radio-Visual Information Division, who on Jan. 31 said the idea was under consideration along with cessation of payments for broadcasts in Dutch, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Serbo-Croatian.

Since the UN has regular staff members handling Arabic translations, Jankowski explained, it was deemed advisable to continue underwriting Hebrew broadcasts for UN use, especially as Security Council meetings on the Middle East are a regular feature of the UN agenda. “We haven’t been careful enough of the political considerations,” Jankowski said in reference to the proposal to cease payments for the Hebrew broadcasts, which cost the UN $2,585 a year.

The question of the broadcasts in the other seven languages–which together cost the UN $27,415 a year, an average of $3,816–is not considered as politically significant as the Hebrew transmissions, and has not yet been decided, Jankowski said.

The proposal to eliminate the $30,000 annual expenditure for the eight broadcast services was made in the wake of Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s determination to alleviate the UN’s financial crisis. Israeli officials are known to have been “in touch” with Waldheim on the proposed elimination of the Hebrew broadcasts.

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