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Paris, 8 November 2017

Report by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels:

"Of the 58 member-states Executive Board, 28 today stood for reelection or replacement: 8 were reelected; 20 replaced; 30 states remain until 2019.

Of those who generally vote against Israel:

- 10 are newly or reelected: Cuba, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, St. Lucia, Venezuela and Zimbabwe;

- Of those remaining until 2019, the 9 deemed problematic are: Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa and Sudan;

- The United States’ departure is being debated, as to whether it may be replaced by another member of 'Group 1' Western states.

In summary, today’s election has left 19 of the 58 Executive Board states whose declaratory policies are anti-Israel.

On the other hand, current political circumstances – Sunni versus Shi’a or Gulf versus Qatar – can improve the operational environment.

In summary: one third of the Executive Board may be deemed problematic for Israel, though some are likely to moderate their policy in the context of a shifting configuration of interests, thus leaving Israel in a potentially improved situation.

Nevertheless, the next challenge is the forthcoming election of the Executive Board Chair, the favourite being Iran…"