Tuesday, September 22, 2009

UNESCO Saves Its Conscience

UNESCO rejected Farouk Hosni's candidacy in favor of Bulgarian Irina Bokova. Claude Lanzmann and Bernard-Henri Lévy had made quite an issue of this in France, owing to Hosni's threat as Egyptian minister of culture to burn any Israeli books he found in Egyptian libraries. Others had argued that Hosni's election would be a signal to Muslim countries.

Yes, but what kind of signal? It's not often that I agree with BHL, but really--making a man who threatened to burn books, and Jewish books at that, the head of an organization charged with the world's culture. It was an affront to the world's conscience. And the vote--31 to 27--suggests that the world has precious little of that invaluable quantity.

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