PRESS RELEASE

GENEVA, January 17, 2014 – UN Watch condemned UNESCO’s last-minute suspension of a major exhibit at its Paris headquarters on the Jewish people and Israel, under pressure from Arab states, and issued the statement and fact-sheet below.

“UNESCO chief Irina Bokova justified her cancellation of Monday’s Jewish exhibit by invoking UNESCO’s alleged concern not to endanger the fragile Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Yet somehow this noble principle of caution for peace never stopped UNESCO from excoriating Israel incessantly,” said Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based human rights group.

“Sadly, Bokova’s decision to sacrifice education, science and culture to backroom political pressure is routine at UNESCO when it comes to Israel,” added Neuer.

“Since 2009, UN Watch has counted no less than 46 UNESCO resolutions against Israel, one on Syria, and zero on Iran, North Korea, Sudan or any other country in the world.” 

“This malicious treatment is especially tragic because UNESCO was founded after World War II with the express purpose of combating the doctrine of the inequality of men and races, Today it as sadly become a serial perpetrator of inequality.”

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FACT SHEET: UNESCO AND ISRAEL

UNESCO RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS CONDEMNING COUNTRIES

2009
On Israel: 10
On rest of world: 0 (including Iran, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, etc.)
Data & Sources: UNESCO Executive Board adopted eight resolutions against the Jewish state at its 181st session and 182nd session, and then another two resolutions against Israel at the 35th session of the General Conference. Zero on rest of the world.

2010
On Israel: 10
On rest of world: 0 (including Iran, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, etc.)
Data & Sources: UNESCO Executive Board adopted 10 decisions against Israel at its 184th and 185th sessions.

2011
On Israel: 12
On rest of world: 0 (including Iran, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, etc.)
Data & Sources: the UNESCO Executive Board adopted 10 decisions against Israel at its 186th session and 187th session, and another two resolutions against Israel at the 36th session of the General Conference.

2012
On Israel: 8
On Syria: 1
On rest of world: 0
(including Iran, Sudan, North Korea, etc.)
Data & Sources: Four resolutions on Israel and one on Syria at its 189th session, and four on Israel at the 190th session. UNESCO condemned Syria for its bloody crackdown, in one resolution. Yet this took place only after Western countries were pressured by UN Watch’s protest against UNESCO’s shameful election of Syria to its committee that judges human rights petitions, as well as to its committee that oversees non-governmental organizations. This condemnation of Syria was a one-off; it failed to reappear in 2013. Instead, Israel returned once again to being the only country singled out by UNESCO.

2013
On Israel:
6
On rest of world: 0
Data and sources: Resolutions and decisions from and reports on 191st, 192nd and 193rd session.

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