UNESCO cuts funds for Palestinian magazine

Last Updated: Friday, December 23, 2011 - 21:51

Jerusalem: The UN`s cultural agency said
on 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.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 23, 2011 - 21:51

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