UNESCO Narrowly Avoids Anti-Semite as Leader


Farouk Hosny: Egypt, UNESCO, antisemite

Farouk Hosny

Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny, who last year said that he would burn all Hebrew books in Egyptian libraries, only narrowly lost the election to become head of the U.N. culture-and-education body.   Hosny blamed a “group of the world’s Jews” for the defeat.  

He was edged out by Bulgarian diplomat Irina Bokova. Bukova was supported by French intellectuals and the press, who objected to Hosny because of his record of strong press censorship.

For those of us who still believe in right and wrong, it is significant that Hosny was accused of having used his position as a Rome-based diplomat to shield Arab terrorists in 1985 after they murdered an American tourist in the hijacking of the Achille Lauro liner. (Today’s radical Muslim organizations, however, see Hosni as a liberal!)

In the election, Washington took a neutral stand. France’s President Sarkozy ordered Catherine Colonna, the French ambassador to UNESCO, to vote for Hosny. (To her credit, she violated her orders and voted for Bukova.) Hosny was also backed by the Arab and African nations on the UNESCO executive board.

Bokova will be the first woman to head UNESCO. Hosny would have been the first Arab.

What does it say about UNESCO that a library-book-burner and press censor was only narrowly defeated as the UN’s leader for culture and education, or that he was even considered at all?

Welcome to the new Century.   Same as the old Century.

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