New York, NY, October 5, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called a vote by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board to recommend that "Palestine" be admitted as a full member of the UN agency "woefully premature and dangerously inappropriate."
Of the 58-member UNESCO Executive Board, 40 voted in favor of the resolution, 14 abstained and four voted against the membership bid. This recommendation will now need to be approved by two-thirds of the 193 member states at the UNESCO General Conference, which meets in late October.
"This recommendation by the UNESCO Executive Board to extend membership to "Palestine" is both woefully premature and dangerously inappropriate," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The Palestinians have unduly politicized this body, and if this action is approved by the full membership, it risks undermining the truly important work of UNESCO."
"The international community has been deeply engaged in efforts to forestall Palestinian unilateral efforts to upgrade their status until completion of a peace agreement with Israel. This UNESCO decision not only helps to complicate those diplomatic efforts, but it also rewards the Palestinians for their confrontational, unconstructive campaign and their deliberate circumvention of peace negotiations."
ADL also expressed great appreciation to the United States, Germany, Latvia and Romania, the four countries who opposed this resolution, for their strong stand against this effort. ADL called upon these nations and other like-minded states to work to prevent the two-thirds majority needed to approve the board recommendation at the UNESCO General Conference.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.