NEW YORK, May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised several UNESCO member states for voting against the organization's latest resolution attacking Israel. The measure was adopted today in Paris by a vote of 22 to 10, with 23 abstentions.
"Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Paraguay, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Togo, Ukraine and the United States asserted moral leadership in unequivocally rejecting this malicious Arab- sponsored resolution," said AJC CEO David Harris. "Indeed, the Arab sponsors could not even muster a majority of nations voting, which they must regard as a setback from their usual expectation of an 'automatic majority.'"
The resolution was submitted to the 59-member UNESCO Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan. It mostly repeated the assertions of previous UNESCO resolutions regarding Jerusalem, Israel's capital city, and holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
"The Palestinian leadership and their allies have consistently abused UNESCO as a forum to censure Israel, including on Israel's Independence Day today," said AJC CEO David Harris. "This misguided strategy undermines the UNESCO mission, and does nothing to advance the peace that the Palestinians continue to assert they desire." UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was established as a non-political body to promote education, science, and culture around the world.
AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, has long supported a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on two states living side-by-side in peace within secure and recognized borders. Such a solution can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.
"It's a tragedy that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and several Arab countries have sought for a long time to exploit this body to castigate Israel and deny self-evident historical truths in the process," said Harris, who met last week in Rome with Italy's foreign minister, part of AJC's outreach to UNESCO members in advance of the vote.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee