Arabs Seeking to Expel Israel from UNESCO
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Arabs Seeking to Expel Israel from UNESCO

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A virulent anti-Israel draft resolution denouncing Israel for having carried out “wanton destructions” in Lebanon and violating “the rights of man” during the “Peace for Galilee” campaign was submitted yesterday to the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Israelis sources in Paris believe the resolution is paving the way for an Arab attempt to have Israel expelled from UNESCO. Arab diplomats attending the executive session privately confirm that such an attempt will be made at UNESCO’s General Assembly here next month.

The draft resolution, which is expected to come up for a vote late today was submitted by the Arab states with the support of the Soviet bloc. It is also backed by most of the Afro-Asian delegations.

The resolution, based on a report prepared by UNESCO’s Director-General, Amadou Mahtar M’Bow, accuses Israel of having destroyed schools and educational facilities in Palestinian refugee camps and of having arrested teachers and students. It also accuses the Israeli army of having seized the archives of the Beirut-based Center for Palestinian Studies, a PLO subsidiary.

In his oral report to the board, M’Bow said that Palestinian students who had formerly attended schools operated jointly by UNESCO and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Lebanon are now scattered and that 79 teachers had been arrested by the Israeli army. A two-man UNESCO mission had studied the situation in Tyre, M’Bow said, with Israel’s formal approval.


Israeli delegate Ambassador Yael Vered energetically denounced the slander campaign conducted against Israel at UNESCO and at other UN specialized agencies. She said “Israel has nothing to hide” and charged the resolution’s sponsors with waging a political war against Israel in on organization created to conduct and study educational and cultural matters.


Neither Israel nor the United States are members of the UNESCO executive board. The American observer has reportedly played a highly active role in trying to persuade member-states to withdraw the resolution or at least to refuse to support it. The American delegates reportedly warned that the U.S. will “have to draw the logical conclusions” should Israel be expelled or unjustly condemned.

Last month, the Vienna-based international Atomic Agency refused to confirm the credentials of the Israeli delegation which was barred from attending the agency’s annual conference. The Arab states failed to obtain, however, the two thirds majority needed to expel a member-state.

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