Last week, Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher and writer, posted the following open letter on the Huffington Post:
UNESCO: The Shame of a Disaster ForetoldRead the whole thing.
Here is an open letter I have co-signed along with Elie Wiesel and Claude Lanzmann:
Who declared in April 2001: "Israel has never contributed to Civilization in any era, for it has only ever appropriated the contributions of others" -- and added almost two months later: "the Israeli culture is an inhumane culture; it is an aggressive, racist, pretentious culture based on one simple principle: steal what does not belong to in order to then claim its appropriation"?
Who explained in 1997, and has repeated it since in every way possible, that he was the "archenemy" of all attempts to normalize his country's relations with Israel?
Or who, as recently as 2008, responded to a deputy of the Egyptian parliament who was alarmed that Israeli books could be introduced into the Alexandria Library: "Burn these books; if there are any there, I will myself burn them in front of you"?
Who said in 2001 in the newspaper Ruz-al-Yusuf that Israel was "aided" in its dark intrigues by "the infiltration of Jews into the international media" and by their diabolical ability to "spread lies"?
To whom do we owe these insane declarations, this anthology of hate and error, and this frenzy of conspiracy theories?
To Farouk Hosny, the Egyptian Minister of Culture for the past fifteen years and undoubtedly the next Director General of UNESCO if nothing is done before the May 30 deadline for nominating candidates to stop his apparently unstoppable march to one of the most important posts of cultural responsibility on the planet.
Even worse: the words that we just cited are only a few -- and not even the most nauseating -- of the innumerable declarations of the same tenor that punctuate the career of Mr. Farouk Hosny over the past fifteen years and that, consequently, precede him as he aspires, even today, to a role on a worldwide scale.
Not to be outdone, the EU has their own special envoy to the Middle East:
Marc Otte. He is the EU’s special envoy to the Middle East, and you may agree he is perfect for the job. Here are his words to the Jordan Times:
“Things are changing. Look at Iraq, Lebanon, and other places in the region, [and] you will see that foreign occupation is not legitimate, whether it’s Israel, the U.S. in Iraq, or even NATO forces in Afghanistan.” I ask this question: Is it the official position of the EU that the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan constitutes illegitimate foreign occupation? (This is to say nothing of the U.S. and its allies in Iraq.) Also, what would Mr. Otte have thought about international forces in France, c. 1944?
His statement, above, is morally, historically, and geopolitically perverse. But there’s more. Otte says,
“Israel wants Syria and Iran not to interfere in Lebanon. Fine, but we also want them to stop the occupation of Palestinian lands . . .”
First, I’m not sure I believe that Otte is sincere about “Fine.” Second, who decided that the disputed territories were “Palestinian lands”? How about Jaffa, Haifa, and Tel Aviv? A lot of people consider those “Palestinian lands,” too. Furthermore, Otte equates Syrian and Iranian designs on Lebanon to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (and Israel is now out of Gaza, to the immense sorrow of Gaza). Think about that historically, morally, etc., and you will again conclude, I suspect: perverse.
Shame and perversity.
Far too much of the latter, and not nearly enough sense of the former.
There is nothing Israel can do about Otte, but it had been protesting Hosny's appointment--till now:
As part of a secret agreement, reached during their May 11 meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Netanyahu promised Mubarak that Israel would cease the international campaign it has waged against Hosni's appointment during the past year. It is still unclear whether Netanyahu, who is known for his insistence on the principle of quid pro quo in Israel's relations with the Arab world, received something from the Egyptian leader in return.If Netanyahu has, he isn't telling.
This is the sort of thing we would have expected from Olmert--except that Olmert would be talking it up and explaining why it was a necessary and wonderful thing.
UPDATE: In Putting Our Faith in the UN Cesspool, Jonathan Tobin adds:
But already in office and far higher up in the Byzantine labyrinth of UN bureaucracies is another ideologue and hater: Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, president of the United Nations General Assembly. A hardcore Sandinista veteran of Nicaragua’s nightmarish past, d’Escoto has already provoked concern in the United States for his open hostility to the state of Israel. Now, the New York Times has reported on his plans for using the UN as a platform for institutionalizing his socialist dogmas.Yup, the list just keeps on growing.