PARIS (Nov. 24)
In its third vote hostile to Israel, the UNESCO General Conference approved a resolution yesterday morning asking the Director General to cooperate with Arab states and the PLO in assuring the right of education and culture to Arabs in Israeli-occupied territory. The vote was 51-5 with 22 abstentions. The five countries voting against the resolution were Israel, Paraguay. Guatemala. New Zealand and the United States. France and England were among the countries abstaining.
The resolution calls on Israel to abstain from all acts obstructing the rights of the population of the occupied territories to education and “a national cultural life.” It further directs the UNESCO Director General to survey completely the state of educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories.
In addition, the Conference expressed “the firm hope that Palestine (would) rejoin the community of nations through international organizations. particularly UNESCO.” An amendment by Israel to delete this paragraph was defeated 60-18 with 20 abstentions. including that of France.
Friday evening, the Conference by a vote of 75-16 with 14 abstentions asked the UNESCO Director General to provide increased assistance within its projected budget to the movements for the liberation of Palestine and other liberation movements. An amendment by Israel to delete this paragraph was defeated. In earlier actions Thursday and Friday the Conference voted to withdraw all assistance from Israel because of alleged Israeli changes in Jerusalem resulting from archaeological diggings and excluded Israel from its European regional group.
These moves were denounced by many Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals and Nobel Laureates, and Jewish leaders here and abroad. All the UNESCO resolutions were inspired by the Arab-Communist bloc nations in that body.
WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO WITHDRAW
Nathan Bar Yaakov. Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO’s General Conference, said at a press
He told reporters that Israel will have to decide “at the appropriate time” on whether to withdraw from UNESCO and possibly other international organizations.” This move, he stated, will have to be decided in Jerusalem after the government has a chance to review what happened in UNESCO during the last few weeks.
Yaakov said that though Israel has been excluded from all regional bodies it will nonetheless be able to attend, any conference it wishes in an observer status. As for overall UNESCO activities. Israel’s activities and presence have not been curtailed or hampered in the least. “We have only been deprived of $25,000 worth of assistance over two years while we contribute ten times more to the UNESCO budget.” Yaakov said.
PROTEST BY INTELLECTUALS NOBEL LAUREATES
Thirty-eight intellectuals issued a protest in Paris against the UNESCO actions. They included Raymond Aron, Sinone de Beauvoir, Jean-Louis Barrault, Claude Lanzman, Eugene lonesco, Albert Memmi. Madeleine Renaud. Denis de Rougemont, Jean-Paul Sartre. Arthur Rubenstein, Laurent Schwartz. Mannis Sperber, and Andre and Simone Schwartz-Bart. In the United States, the World Jewish Congress-American Section announced that a number of American intellectuals Joined with their French colleagues in the protest action. These included Prof. Simon Kuznets (1971 Nobel Prize winner). Prof. George Wald (1967 Nobel Prize winner) Prof. Paul A. Samuelson (1970 Nobel Prize winner).Prof. Hans Morgenthau and Prof. Noam Chomsky.
Meanwhile, the new UNESCO Director General. Annadou Mahtar M’ Bow of Senegal, warned UNESCO delegates yesterday against adopting resolutions which lead to “systematic confrontations between the member states.” Speaking during a meeting of the General Conference, he expressed his concern for the future of the international organization and declared that UNESCO members should resolve their differences with dialogue, tolerance and understanding father than through confrontation. In making his comments, the UNESCO Director General alluded to the UNESCO resolutions adopted against Israel.