UNESCO cuts funds for Palestinian magazine
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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.


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

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