Paragraph 3 of that resolution admits that "the status of Palestine is the subject of the ongoing deliberations at the United Nations in New York" 

"This UNESCO move is a duplication that voids the simultaneous procedure at UN Headquarters, thus undermining the Security Council. It is a rebuff to the Quartet Statement, designed to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian bilateral relations and aims at avoiding negotiations to continue the conflict", stated the Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels. 

"This step prejudges negotiations in New York and allows the Palestinians to ignore Israeli calls to resume peace talks. Indeed, it can only provoke a new wave of violence", added Latin America Director, Sergio Widder. 

The Centre has called on the Foreign Ministers of the European and Latin American/Caribbean blocs of UNESCO's Executive Board to postpone this draft resolution and permit the negotiation procedure in New York to take its course. 

The resolution is accompanied by a letter from the Palestinian Observer to UNESCO which speaks of Palestinian heritage sites on its territory. The letterhead of this same document features a map of Palestine superimposed over the entire State of Israel. 

"The purpose of the UNESCO ploy is patently clear. This exercise in terrorism diplomacy aims to hijack the UN system for the perpetuation of the conflict", concluded Samuels and Widder. 

This call was sent to the Foreign Ministers of the European bloc : Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Uzbekistan 

Latin American/Caribbean bloc: Argentina, Barbados, Chile, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Peru, Santa Lucie. 

Attached : Palestinian Draft Resolution and accompanying letter of Palestinian Observer for UNESCO

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.

For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58