Egypt's culture minister on Wednesday blamed a conspiracy "cooked up in New York" by the world's Jews for keeping him from becoming the next head of the U.N.'s agency for culture and education.Sounds like he would have been an appropriate representative of the UN!
Farouk Hosny was defeated on Tuesday by Bulgarian diplomat Irina Bokova in a tight race for the position of UNESCO chair.
"It was clear by the end of the competition that there was a conspiracy against me," Hosny told reporters at the airport upon his return from Paris.
"There are a group of the world's Jews who had a major influence in the elections who were a serious threat to Egypt taking this position," he said.
Hosny's candidacy raised an outcry because of a threat he made in the Egyptian parliament last year to personally burn any Israeli book he found in Egypt's famed Library of Alexandria. While he later apologized and Israel said it had withdrawn its opposition to his candidacy, several prominent Jewish activists spoke out against him in the runup to the vote.
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and filmmaker Claude Lanzmann wrote a protest letter listing comments they took issue with, including Hosni's 2001 description of Israeli culture as "inhumane" and "racist."
Opposition came from other quarters as well. International human rights activists, as well as some Egyptian artists and intellectuals, expressed concerns over his role in the Egyptian government's restrictions on freedom of expression.
The tight UNESCO race was closely watched, with a flurry of secretive diplomatic efforts between each round.
While Hosni was cited as a favorite for months before the election, Bokova gained ground at the last minute as other candidates dropped out, partly amid attempts to consolidate support for a strong challenger to the Egyptian candidate.
The Egyptian press also all agreed that the evil Jews pulled the strings:
It's nice to see that Abu Kraisha agrees that Israel has been a Jewish nation since Biblical times.
In a long rant in the state-run Al-Gomhuria, Mohamed Abu Kraisha begins by describing the Jewish love of “bargaining” and the fact that “they want everything brought to them, like ‘home delivery.’”
Abu Kraisha then goes on to say that “Israel, ruled by the Jewish nature since the time of Moussa [Moses], is never patient for one meal, even if it is a strategic choice. It wants more meals, and more Arab concessions, and more negotiations to amuse itself with, and more dancing of Arab monkeys on tables.”
“Israel will never give up it’s strategy, which is war and aggression towards Arabs…It is for this reason that they waged war against the Arabs in UNESCO, and fought viciously in order to bring down the Arabs’ candidate, Farouk Hosni.”
Writing in Al-Ahram Ahmed Moussa laments the fact that “some people in Egypt stood against Hosni and attacked and criticized him. In so doing they lent support to the Israeli and American positions.”
The US, Moussa says, rallied “all its forces” against Hosni “with the support of the Jewish lobby.”
Moussa also criticizes Egyptians who did not support Hosni’s UNESCO bid.
He asks, “why is there a group of people living side by side with us in our nation who have no sense of loyalty to the country and its people, and who are in alliance with the Americans and the Jews? Are these people really Egyptian?”