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Israel to Boycott Crime Confab

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An Israeli professor will be the rapporteur for the United Nations crime prevention conference next month but the Israeli government will boycott the event being held in Geneva. The conference was moved from Toronto to Geneva after a dispute arose in Canada over admitting representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization to that country as observers to the conference.

The Israeli decision came after criticism was aired that Prof, Shlomo Shoham, a lecturer on criminology at Tel Aviv University, had accepted an invitation from the UN Secretariat to guide the discussions and organize the professional papers. He had consulted the Foreign Ministry before accepting. But critics here charged that an Israeli was selected as rapporteur to give the appearance of Israeli approval for the conference.

The Foreign Ministry, which supported Shoham, said that no official Israeli delegation would attend the conference. One source noted that while Israel’s policy was not to withdraw from UN organizations or conferences even if the PLO was present, having the PLO at a crime prevention conference was a “blatant absurdity.”

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