GENEVA, July 18 – The independent Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch today called on U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power to oppose the candidacy of UNESCO chief Irina Bokova to replace Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary-General so long as she continues her “selective outrage in support of the Hamas line.”
According to UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, Bokova, the Bulgarian-sponsored candidate for the UN’s top post, has “rushed to aggressively condemn Israel for alleged violations of freedom of the press, yet failed to defend UNESCO’s mandate regarding Hamas’ flagrant violations to basic rights of culture and education” when the terror group placed 20 rockets in an UNRWA school, and launched long-range rockets at Israel from “somewhere near” another school.
In a stinging complaint filed by Israel’s representative to UNESCO, Bokova was accused of turning a blind eye as Hamas fired 1500 rockets that robbed Israeli students of their ability to study and take exams, a fundamental exercise of the right to education, and also endangered UNESCO-protected heritage sites across Israel.
This is not the first time that Bokova has looked the other way at Hamas violations, said Neuer. In 2013, Hamas destroyed parts of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in Gaza for use as a terrorist training camp.
“Despite UN Watch appeals,” said Neuer, “Bokova refused to condemn Hamas or to bring the matter before the UNESCO Executive Board for protective action.”
Earlier this year, said Neuer, “Bokova surrendered to Arab pressure by wrongly postponing and then partly censoring a major exhibit on the Jewish people’s age-old connection to the land of Israel.”
According to UN Watch, under Bokova UNESCO continued to rank as the UN’s most one-sided body in singling out Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment.
Since 2009, the year Bokova was elected, Neuer said that “UN Watch has counted no less than 46 UNESCO resolutions against Israel — and only one on Syria, and with zero on Iran, North Korea, Sudan or any other country in the world.”
“This malicious treatment is especially tragic because UNESCO was founded after World War II with the express purpose of combating the doctrine of the inequality of men and races, Today it has sadly become a serial perpetrator of inequality.”
“If Bokova continues to display this pattern and practice of bias and selectivity, we urge Ambassador Power and the United States to vigorously oppose her candidacy to head the UN,” said Neuer.