Racing against the clock, Israel submits letter quitting UNESCO

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December 28, 2017 20:30

The Israeli delegation to UNESCO attempted to submit a formal letter of resignation only to be sent away as the UNESCO offices are closed until early January 2018.

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Racing against the clock, Israel submits letter quitting UNESCO

Carmel Shama-Hacohen standing in front of the UNESCO office with the unaccepted letter . (photo credit: ISRAELI DELEGATION TO UNESCO)

Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen arrived at the UNESCO office with chocolates and an official letter in which the State of Israel announced its withdrawal from UNESCO.

“The chocolates were presented to the security guards as a new year gift and to sweeten the disturbance,” stated Shama-Hacohen. However, the Israelis were told that due to the holiday break the UNESCO office was not accepting any packages or letters, including from the French postal service.

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Ergo, they were unable to present the Israelis with official confirmation that the letter had been submitted.

After some discussion, the office manager agreed to write on the official letter that the Israelis attempted to deliver the letter, and that his office workers refused to accept it.

However, an e-mail with the same content as the paper letter was sent to the inbox of UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay, who agreed that the e-mail will be viewed by her organization as if Israel submitted an official request to leave UNESCO in 2017.

The meaning of this agreement is that Israel will no longer be a member of UNESCO as of December 31, 2018, one year later.


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