A number of prominent French personalities, including Simone de Beauvoir Jean Paul Sartre and Eugene Ionesco, have strongly protested an Arab-Communist proposed UNESCO resolution which suggests Israel is not protecting cultural works in Jerusalem. A coalition of Arab and Socialist countries proposed the resolution, which would direct UNESCO to cut off social, educational and cultural aid to Israel unless it “scrupulously respected” the proposed resolution guidelines for protection of historic sites.
The protest statement, signed by 27 prominent French men and women, declared that excavation ventures in Jerusalem had not menaced in any way the city’s historic sites. The signers of the protest added that it was ironic that Jordan, which had destroyed 30 synagogues in Old Jerusalem and removed the stones from ancient tombs to build latrines for occupying soldiers, was first on the list of those proposing the UNESCO resolution.
In the statement, the signatories declared that what was really at stake “under cover of unfounded accusations” was the attempt to deprive the Jewish people of their historic home “by suggesting that the rebirth of the Jewish nation on its proper homeland is a monstrosity.” The signers of the protest declaration urged other member nations of UNESCO to reject the resolution. The resolution was introduced last week by 34 Arab and Communist bloc countries including the Soviet Union and China.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.