Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brotherhood is not sorry Hosni lost UNESCO post


The Egyptians are still seething over the defeat of their UNESCO candidate for director-general, Farouk Hosni. It's a defeat that probably cost them millions. (At the time the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot carried a report that envelopes stuffed with 50,000 Euros apiece were offered to members of the UNESCO executive committee.) But not everyone is sorry that Hosni lost, Masry-al Yom reports:

"(Muslim) Brotherhood deputy leader Mohamed Habib told news website Al-Youm Al-Saaba that Hosni had lost due to “American-Zionist bullying." Habib went on to say that the culture minister should not have pandered for Western approval in his electoral campaign but rather "should have stuck to his Arab cultural identity."

"Hussein Ibrahim, the brotherhood's deputy parliamentary spokesman, holds the Egyptian government responsible for Hosni’s failure since it nominated “an incompetent and ineffective" candidate to begin with. Hosni’s nomination, Ibrahim told brotherhood website Iknwanonline, “was undermined on a local level thanks to the minister's tireless crusade against Islamic morals and values such as the Hijab headscarf."

"Some local writers, viewing Egypt’s longest-serving minister as a symbol of Egyptian autocracy, even welcomed Hosni's defeat.

"In independent daily Al-Dustour, Wael Abdel Fattah claimed that Hosni had lost due to "the very short distance between him and the Egyptian regime." Abdel Fattah went on to say that Hosni, over the course of his long tenure as culture minister, had "successfully pressed Egypt’s cultural elite into serving the regime," occasionally supporting the censorship of books and the suppression of free expression. "

Read article in full

While the entire Al-Ahram publishing group has announced a boycott of Israel, conspiracy theories abound in the Egyptian press to explain Hosni's failure. French journalist Richard Labeviere, an anti-Zionist ex-journalist for the radio station RF1, is quoted in Al-Masry - al Yom as claiming that the Mossad had sent a team of ten agents to Paris to lobby diplomats and journalists:

"Labeviere a assuré (...) que la Présidence de la République française a reçu une déclaration du département du renseignement militaire, sur l'arrivée de 8 agents du Mokhabarat (renseignements) israéliens à Paris, et deux autres les ont rejoint, et ils ont séjourné dans un hôtel populaire sans contact direct avec leur Ambassade, ou avec leurs collègues français de cette visite.

"Labeviere a expliqué que la cellule israélienne est arrivée le 21 septembre, et ils ont prouvé qu'ils sont experts dans les médias occidentaux dans «les techniques impact psychologique», et leur mission était de lancer une campagne visant à contrecarrer l'élection du candidat Farouk Hosni dans la phase critique des élections.

"Il a souligné qu'ils étaient plus d'une fois au siège de l'UNESCO et ont eu de fréquents contacts avec un certain nombre d'ambassadeurs européens et des fonctionnaires de l'ONU. Ils se sont également entretenu avec des éditeurs de journaux Français, et étaient derrière la campagne de presse virulente contre Farouk Hosni, qui fit rage dans les jours avant le cycle des élections. "

Qui a perdu a l'UNESCO? Alaa al-Aswany in Le Monde (French)

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