J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement following reports of UNESCO Director-General candidate Farouk Hosni’s anti-Israel rhetoric:
J Street expresses its deep concern over the possible appointment of Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni as UNESCO Director-General. Mr. Hosni’s hateful comments last year, pledging to burn Israeli books in Egyptian libraries, run directly counter to UNESCO’s stated mission of promoting international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. While we welcome Mr. Hosni’s recent apology for these comments, we hope that the UNESCO leadership will keep in mind his offensive record as they appoint a new Director-General. It is critical that an organization dedicated to “dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture” has a leader who truly promotes tolerance and reconciliation.