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Israel Accuses UNESCO of Premeditated Discrimination

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Israel has accused UNESCO of premeditated discrimination as a result of its Executive Committee’s vote here last week to exclude Israel from a 1976 international educational conference of European and Mediterranean countries to discuss diploma equivalencies and educational levels among the participants. A spokesman for the UNESCO Permanent Secretariate rejected the charge, claiming that Israel has shown no interest in educational questions until now.

The Israeli Embassy here, which studied the UNESCO resolutions, noted that the invitation effectively included all countries bordering the Mediterranean region except Israel. A UNESCO report discussing preparations for the educational conference was distributed to Mediterranean countries in 1972 but Israel never received it. An Embassy spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Israel is the only country that was not furnished with the report.

Israel has been a member of the European Convention of University Diploma Equivalencies since October 7, 1971. Therefore, the Embassy spokesman said, Israel had no reason to believe that it would be excluded from a cultural program to be participated in by European and Mediterranean countries. The UNESCO Administrative Council will make the final decision on countries to be invited to next year’s conference. Israel is not a member of the Council.

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