The Ever-Lovable United Nations - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Ever-Lovable United Nations

Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. out of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization because of its misbehavior, particularly support for media censorship.  Too bad Ronald Reagan isn’t still president–the U.S. might need to withdraw again.

The Washington Post writes about leading candidate Farouk Hosni of Egypt:

Over his career, Hosni has accumulated a long record of opposing exchanges with Israel, repeatedly saying normalization must await resolution of the Palestinian issue and warning that opening up to Jewish culture would be dangerous for Egypt. But his most notorious sally came in May last year, when he told an Islamist member of the Egyptian parliament that he would personally burn any Israeli books found in Egyptian libraries.

Hosni apologized for the remark three months ago, as his campaign for the UNESCO post gathered speed. In a statement published in Paris, he attributed it to a hot temper and an Arabic-language metaphor that sounded worse than it was. But for his opponents, particularly Jewish activists and intellectuals, the evocative image of book-burning would not go away, and they said it disqualified him for the job.

Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher; Claude Lanzmann, the producer of a landmark film on the Holocaust; and Elie Wiesel, the writer and Holocaust survivor, issued a joint statement charging that Hosni’s election would be a “shipwreck” for already troubled UNESCO and calling on the organization to “spare itself the shame” of choosing such a leader.

“Mr. Farouk Hosni is the opposite of a man of peace, dialogue and culture,” they said. “Mr. Farouk Hosni is a dangerous man, an inciter of hearts and minds.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish group dedicated to tracking down former Nazis, said that, given his background, the prospect of Hosni as director general poses “a major threat to the very values of UNESCO.”

Attacking from another angle, Reporters Without Borders, the Paris-based journalism watchdog, said Hosni had failed to demonstrate his support for the freedom of expression that is one of UNESCO’s main missions.

“This minister of Hosni Mubarak has been one of the main actors of censorship in Egypt, unfailingly trying to control press freedom as well as citizens’ freedom of information,” the group said.

Well, what is the United Nations if not predictable!?

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