Boell, Ionesco, Bellow. Call for Worldwide Boycott of UNESCO

Three internationally-known writers today called for a worldwide boycott of UNESCO until the organization reverses its anti-Israel resolutions. The call was made by Heinrich Boell, Saul Bellow and Eugene Ionesco at separate press conferences as the 39th PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) Congress opened here.

Boell, a holder of the Nobel Prize for Literature, said a large group of West German writers had adopted a resolution urging a boycott of UNESCO in conjunction with a similar call by French writers. Bellow, calling the UNESCO action stupid and ignorant, said, “I think the United States should withdraw its financial support and, in fact, I think the United Nations should move to Uganda.” Bellow said if the UN did so, “many of the so-called Third World delegates would not have so far to travel and would be deprived of the life in New York which they adore.”

Ionesco said UNESCO’s action was “incomprehensible, especially against a country that has done so much for culture and knowledge and could do so much more for the benefit of the entire world.”

RABIN ASSAILS FAHMY’S STATEMENT

At today’s opening session of the week-long convention, Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin called Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy’s demand for a 50-year ban on immigration to Israel absurd and warned that it could “disturb prospects for peace, if that is what Egypt wants. Rabin declared that “nothing, however, can possibly dissuade Israel from its historic human mission of national ingathering. For this, Israel was reborn. It is the lifeblood of our homecoming nation. It is what Israel is all about.”

The convention, whose theme is “Cultural Heritage and Creativeness in the Literature of Our Times,” was to have been held in Dec. 1973, but was postponed for a year because of the Yom Kippur War.

NEXT STORY