UNESCO Executive Board Recommendation that 'Palestine' Be Admitted as a Full Agency Member 'Dangerously Inappropriate'

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 was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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