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UNESCO Vote Dangerous for Jerusalem

Abraham S. Karlikow, director of the American Jewish Committee’s office for Europe and North Africa, who attended the UNESCO meeting here last week, said “the vote in UNESCO, jointly inspired by the Arab and Communist blocs,” to impose sanctions on Israel, “allegedly to preserve the cultural heritage of the city of Jerusalem, is in fact a vote pregnant with danger for that city.”

He said “this vote is patently a political and not a cultural act, demeaning Jerusalem, city of peace, by using it as an instrument to stir up perilous passions. That UNESCO should be the medium chosen for this political act in violation of all that agency should stand for, and, indeed, its own constitution, is only to compound the serious damage being done.”

The vote in the UNESCO Commission for Social Sciences, Humanities and Culture, invited the director general to “without assistance from Israel in the fields of education, science and culture.” Though only a recommendation, it is virtually certain to be adopted at the UNESCO general conference later this month. The Commission resolution was approved last Thursday by a vote of 54-21 with 25 abstentions. The U.S. delegate said after the vote that it was a tragic step.