Middle East specialists associated with the French Military said Israeli intelligence agents were involved in a secret campaign against Farouk Hosniâ€™s bid to head UNESCO, according to French journalist Richard Apfier.
Egyptian newspaper AlMasry AlYoum reported on September 29 that the French government received a statement from the Department of Military Intelligence that Mossad agents were operating in Paris out of a hotel. They had allegedly arrived on September 21 to initiate a calculated campaign to thwart the election of the Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni for the Director General position at UNESCO.
Richard Apfier, former editor of Radio France International, told the Egyptian daily that Israeli agents were behind the press campaign that grew in the days leading to the election. While in France, the Mossad agents made several visits to the UNESCO headquarters, forged contacts with European and United Nations officials, and met with several newspaper editors.
This clandestine campaign was part of the wider Israeli effort to tarnish the character of Hosni in the eyes of the world. Both the public and covert operations of the Israeli government proved successful as media organizations and official government representatives echoed the false Israeli charge of Hosni’s anti-Semitism.
The accusations ultimately led to Hosni’s defeat and the election of Irina Bokova of Bulgaria to UNESCO’s highest post.