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Friday, December 23, 2011

Wiesenthal Center calls on UNESCO to stop funding Zayzafuna; UPDATED

Earlier this week, I reported that UNESCO is funding a youth magazine called Zayzafuna, which recently admired Hitler because he murdered Jews. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on UNESCO to stop funding that magazine.
Wiesenthal Center wrote: "How was it possible that your patronage could be abused despite the Ramallah office's responsibility to vet all projects endorsed by UNESCO?"

UNESCO responded, "thank you for drawing our attention to the information reported by Palestinian Media Watch... Allow me to underscore that UNESCO takes this matter extremely seriously and it cannot but strongly deplore and condemn the statements you are referring to... We will bring this matter to the attention of the concerned Palestinian authorities..."

The Wiesenthal Center called UNESCO's response "inadequate."
Read the whole thing.

My guess is that UNESCO will find an excuse not to stop funding the magazine (possibly based on a promise of better behavior) and that the real value to the Wiesenthal Center's call will be to embarrass UNESCO. I would also guess that if UNESCO stops funding the magazine, one or more Arab or Muslim countries will step in and fund it.

But if anyone is paying attention, we have now proved once again that the 'Palestinian Authority' is no partner for peace.

Let's go to the videotape.

I guess no one is paying attention. What a shock....


The Simon Wiesenthal Center reports in an update that UNESCO has agreed to stop the funding.
A letter from the office of UNESCO's Director-General read:
"UNESCO’s attention has been drawn to the February 2011 issue of the Palestinian children’s magazine Zayzafouna. This magazine is published by an NGO of the same name under the patronage of the Palestinian National Commission for UNESCO, which is the national body set up by the Palestinian Authority to facilitate its work with the Organization. The February issue features a story written by a 10-year-old girl in which Hitler is quoted by her as stating that he “killed [the Jews] so you would all know that they are a nation who wreak havoc on Earth”. While UNESCO upholds freedom of expression as an integral part of its mandate, the inclusion in this publication of a statement that may be interpreted as an apology of the holocaust is contrary to UNESCO’s constitutional mandate and values. It is totally unacceptable.

UNESCO supported the publication of three issues of the Zayzafouna Magazine six months after the February 2011 issue. The support was provided for these issues following agreement with the editorial board that they would focus on building greater appreciation amongst Palestinians for their heritage and culture. They were to open the way for positive dialogue aimed at overcoming the consequences of the Middle East conflict, and to fight against stereotypes that may be conducive to violence. It was UNESCO’s intention to foster a positive view of Palestinian heritage based on the values of tolerance and UNESCO’s mandate of building peace in the minds of men and women. This vision guides all of UNESCO’s activities, and we urge all partners to work in this direction.

UNESCO is shocked and dismayed by the content of the February issue, and has requested more detailed information and clarification from the editors of the magazine and to Palestinian Authority.

UNESCO strongly deplores and condemns the reproduction of such inflammatory statements in a magazine associated with UNESCO’s name and mission and will not provide any further support to the publication in question.

The Organization, which is deeply committed to the development and promotion of education about the Holocaust, disassociates itself from any statement that is counter to its founding principles and goals of building tolerance in the full respect for human rights and human dignity."
Of course, the 'Palestinian Authority' - as UNESCO's letter notes - is publishing this magazine and they obviously have no problem with it. Some 'peace partner.'

Anyone want to take bets on which Arab or Muslim country will come forward to fund this?

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At 1:34 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.


At 1:50 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Wow! A UN agency does the right thing. They say even a stopped clock is right twice a day. A real Flying Pigs Moment, Carl!


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