Israel agreed to lift its objection to the appointment of Egypt's vehemently anti-Israeli culture minister as head of UNESCO, following a recent meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.Editorial comment: This would seem to greatly increase the likelihood that Farouk Hosny will become the next Director General of UNESCO. JAD
Farouk Hosni, who has served as Egypt's culture minister since 1987, has declared that if he could, he "would burn Israeli books in Egyptian libraries." Despite such rhetoric, Hosni is a leading candidate for the top spot in the UN's education and cultural organization, having been recommended by Mubarak.
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.
Monday, May 25, 2009
According to Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper: