A Qatari official with a questionable record on antisemitism is among the leading candidates standing for election this week for the post of the next director-general of UNESCO — the UN’s Paris-based educational, scientific and cultural organization.
Seven candidates are in the running for the post, with voting continuing through this week until one of the contenders wins a majority. Qatar’s candidate for the post is its former culture minister, Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari.
Dr. Shimon Samuels — director of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) — told The Algemeiner on Monday that the Jewish human rights organization had been tracking Al-Kawari’s antisemitic statements and activities for several years. Despite protests from the SWC and other Jewish organizations, Al-Kawari permitted the prominent display of violently antisemitic literature at the Doha Annual Book Fairs in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Antisemitic texts have also been display on Qatar’s stand at the world-famous book fair in Frankfurt.
Most glaringly, an antisemitic book published in 2013 by Qatar’s Ministry of Culture — titled Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Poets — contains a preface written by Al-Kawari himself.
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