Saturday, November 12, 2011

UNESCO's Cartoonish Idiocy

Credit: Eran Wolkovsky, Haaretz

The leadership of UNESCO has officially complained to the Israeli government about a satirical cartoon in Ha'aretz. The cartoon, shown above, depicts Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak instructing Air Force pilots to hit UNESCO offices in Ramallah on their way back from attacking nuclear facilities in Iran.

This complaint is so dumb on so many levels. First of all, it's quite clear that the cartoonist was attacking Netanyahu and Barak, not UNESCO. They are depicted as overreacting to the admission of Palestine as a member state of UNESCO. Second of all, what do they expect the government to do? We're a democratic country. Our government doesn't control the newspapers (maybe accept for the free daily Yisrael Hayom, owned by Sheldon Adelson, a Netanyahu supporter).

Maybe UNESCO is too used to working with non-democratic regimes that it thinks that it can complain about what appears in newspapers, and the government will make things go away. Rather than spending time filing silly complaints, the organization should be finding new ways to fund itself, now that the United States and other countries have stopped paying it.

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