Egypt's culture minister(Farouk Hosni) is a top candidate to head the United Nations's main intellectual body, but his declaration that he would burn books by Israeli authors has forced him to walk a fine line between appeasing extremists in his country and satisfying Western critics.Read the whole thing.
Several diplomats familiar with the selection process for director-general of the U.N. Education Scientific and Cultural Organization said yesterday that Farouk Hosni's candidacy could now be doomed, after he told the Egyptian parliament that if any Israeli books were found in Egyptian libraries, he would burn them.
Such a statement is "couched in the language and actions of Nazi 'Minister of Culture' Josef Goebbels," the director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Shimon Samuels, said in a letter to the current Unesco director-general, Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan. "An aspirant book-burner, who threatens to wield culture as a weapon, cannot head the intellectual arm of the United Nations."
"Anyone who presents a candidacy for the top U.N. education body should know that incitement is one of our region's worst problems," an Israeli U.N. ambassador, Daniel Carmon, said. "Hatred helps to create the infrastructure of terrorism."