Last Update 22:22
Wednesday, 24 July 2019

UNESCO cuts funds for Palestinian magazine

UNESCO pulls funding for, Zayzafouna, a Palestinian youth magazine, after a girl said in an article she dreamt of the Hitler who had asked her to show patience over the Israelis who spread destruction all over the world

AP , Friday 23 Dec 2011
UNESCO
General view of the Leaders' Forum room during the 36th session of UNESCO's General Conference in Paris. (Photo/ file: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 685
Share/Bookmark
Views: 685

The U.N.'s cultural agency said Friday it is pulling funding for a Palestinian youth magazine that published an article suggesting admiration for Hitler.

The magazine, Zayzafouna, published an article in February written by a teenage girl who presented four role models: a medieval Persian mathematician, a modern Egyptian novelist, the Muslim warrior Saladin, and the Nazi leader.

UNESCO said in a statement it "strongly deplores and condemns" the "unacceptable" material and would cease funding the magazine. UNESCO also said it funded three different issues later in 2011, and not the one in question.

The magazine also receives funding from the Palestinian Authority, the Western-backed Palestinian government in the West Bank.

In the article, the author has Hitler telling her in a dream that he killed Jews "so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world." He advises her to be "resilient and patient concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands."

"Thanks for the advice," the narrator replies.

A translation was made public by Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli organization that tracks incitement in Palestinian media.

The magazine's director, Shareef Samhan, did not dispute the translation, though he said the girl was "accusing" Hitler and not praising him. He said he had not been aware of the text and noted that UNESCO was not a central backer of the magazine.

He defended the publication. "We depend in the content of our magazine on the participation of school students, and it's not our job to prohibit the freedom of speech," he said.

The publication sparked a written protest by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish group, to UNESCO, and that protest appears to have triggered the U.N. agency's decision and public statement.

"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," read the statement issued from the agency's Paris headquarters.

The statement also said UNESCO "is deeply committed to the development and promotion of education about the Holocaust."

A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, Ghassan Khatib, said the article was "not acceptable."

"We educate young people in our textbooks about the Holocaust and the massacres of Hitler against Jews and against others, and we refer to these massacres as crimes against humanity," Khatib said. "This instance is exceptional, and the editor will try to be more careful in the future."

A U.S. group, the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, released a statement praising UNESCO's decision.

"As victims of the horrors of Nazi brutality, we learned with deep shock that a Palestinian children's magazine could approvingly speak of Hitler's extermination of Jews as an example to be emulated. This was monstrous and grotesque," the group said.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.