Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

Question to Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO

Good evening from Tel Aviv, Madame Bokova, where I have recently moved from France. This is my fourth continent of residence, after having lived in Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, the United States, and, finally, Europe (Milan, Brussels, and Paris, the latter for the past 36 years).  I often used to attend your interesting concerts, conferences, and performances from around the planet. It was a real pleasure to discover new worlds or to revisit through dances, operas, and exposés places familiar to me.

A multi-lingual writer and photographer – if you wish, you may click on my website: -, open to all human groups, no matter what their religion or their philosophy of life, be they agnostics or atheists, I draw a line: between that which shows respect and consideration for the OTHER and that where intolerance, hate and lies are the rule.  It’s the line between the love of life and innovation and the glorification of destruction and death.  I need not give you further clues.  You are perfectly aware of what and who I am alluding to.

I don’t know whether you have ever set foot in Israel, as a private traveler, in Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv, the most welcoming and freest city in the world, where peoples of all colors, creed, and sexual orientation intermingle in harmony, much more so than, let’s say, Paris, where the expression ‘to each his own’ is prevalent – there are, of course, exceptions.

Let me also tell you, Madame Bokova, that Tel Avivians could teach much to the inhabitants of La Ville Lumière, in terms of savoir-vivre, étiquette, liberté, fraternité et solidarité, all qualities which very often are lacking in Paris.  Just ask visitors and foreigners, or even French provincials, what their Parisian experience has been.  Here again, there are delightful people in the French capital, I can’t deny it, like those I used to meet and frequent in my own neighborhood in the 17th arrondissement, or elsewhere.

I understand that you received death threats because you just wanted to be fair on the issue of Jerusalem, which is the most sacred city of the Jewish people, but also of Christianity, and only the third most sacred for Muslims.  Archaeological finds attest to what I have just claimed, as well as to the fact that Jerusalem is mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible, mostly the Torah, whereas it is NEVER mentioned in the Kuran. Actually there is no proof that Muhammad ever visited Jerusalem, which in Arabic is translated by Al Aqsa, meaning ‘the farthest place’ – it isn’t even a name.

What a disgrace and a blatant falsehood to call the Temple Mount, the Mount of Mosques, and even worse, is the claim that the whole area encompassing it, including the Western Wall, is solely a Muslim site.

Now, Madame Bokova, my question is the following one.  You wanted to be fair, by heeding your conscience, but, fearing for your life, you have bowed to the pressures of the Muslim world, knowing full well that most of them are negationists and revisionists, and that the powerful and rich Arab countries, which pour millions of dollars into the Western world, are dictatorships, where women are considered the equal of servants, if not worse – when they marry an Infidel, they are kicked out of their family and their community, sometimes disfigured with acid or stoned to death -, where the LGBT community have no rights and their members are either imprisoned or murdered.

Madame Bokova, even if like me, you are an agnostic or a downright atheist, you are probably of Christian origin, as is the majority of the original inhabitants of Europe, the most antisemitic continent in the world.  Is your dignity less important than your glamorous post at Unesco?  Has your political ambition more value than your personal integrity?  I can only guess what this dichotomy is doing to you.  Yet, I wonder, because I know what an intelligent and educated lady you are, and that you have studied History as it ought to be taught, reading the very best journals on foreign affairs on a regular basis.

If I were in your shoes, which, evidently I am not, I would immediately offer my resignation.  But you seem to enjoy the limelight of being Director-General of an entity that propagates lies and historical falsehoods, an organization that has lost all credibility in the eyes of the millions of civilized people around the globe.

I could have written this message in French, Madame Bokova, since it is, with English, my other mother tongue, but I have chosen otherwise since I no longer feel free to express myself in that language.  It is also one of the reasons I have left France, in spite of its rich past and its magnificent culture.

Let’s take the example of la Francophonie: the French authorities have bowed to the whims of the Arab world, negating that Israel, with its 800,000 French speakers, belongs to that association, while Qatar, where the educated people speak English – not French -, is part of it. What an absurdity, you must admit, Madame Bokova!

Before I end this letter, Madame Bokova, I would like you to read what two enlightened Arabs – both Palestinians – have to say about the conflict here.  A bon entendeur salut!

Avec mes salutations très distinguées.

Madame Bokova – It is good to hear that you are doing something to redress the situation about the Jewish people, who, with the Chinese and the Indians, have the oldest civilization still in existence. For your information, these three entities respect each other.

Les pays musulmans, même non radicaux, mentent constamment à propos d’Israël, et les Nations Unies, avec, malheureusement, l’Unesco leur font écho.

La vérité historique, contrairement à cette propagande délétère, finira par s’imposer, car Israël est admirée par de grands pays comme la Chine, l’Inde, l’Amérique du Nord, les pays africains chrétiens-animistes, les Bouddhistes et tous les pays dits ‘civilisés’, sauf, et cela est flagrant, la majorité des démocraties européennes, dont la France, ce beau pays, où j’ai vécu plus de 36 ans, avec un antisémitisme de 2000 ans fixés dans leur ADN.

Faites donc plus de place à la vérité, Madame Bokova, et cessez de propager les mensonges, les insanités et les fadaises de ces dictatures fanatiques qui vont de l’Algérie à l’Iran, en passant par la Mauritanie, ce pays esclavagiste qui promet, avec l’Iran d’éradiquer Israël de la carte, Israël, ce minuscule pays de près de 9 millions d’habitants, que les 20% d’Arabes israéliens ne voudraient pour rien au monde quitter pour un quelconque pays musulman y compris pour une future Palestine – ce petit pays a certes de graves problèmes; le paradis n’existe pas sur notre planète – qui fait beaucoup plus de bien pour l’humanité entière avec sa médecine, son agriculture et sa haute technologie d’avant-garde que tous ces pays réunis. Vous ne dites rien de tout cela, Madame Bokova. Je ne crois pas que vous soyez antisémite, mais prouvez-le par des actes, des présentations des activités israéliennes bonnes pour le monde.

Cessez d’être politiquement correcte. Vous savez bien qu’en restant ainsi la France, l’Allemagne, la Belgique (dont je suis citoyen) et bien d’autres pays européens frileux vont connaître des guerres civiles dans le proche avenir. Non, le mensonge et la délation ne paient pas à la longue.

Voyez comment les musulmans s’entretuent, par centaines de milliers, et comment les femmes sont traitées, servantes de leurs ‘hommes’, ‘esclaves’, voire pire. Et c’est Israël le tueur d’enfants??? Si ce n’était pas tragique, ce serait drôle, mais j’ai de la peine pour tous ces pauvres enfants, ces hommes et ces femmes innocents, assassinés, au nom d’Allah, pour tous ceux qui sont tués dans ces interminables guerres entre sunnites et chiites.

Et vous Madame Bokova, vous ignorez tout cela? Non, je le sais, alors dites le avec des actes, à l’UNESCO, qui est devenu un autre ‘grand machin’ comme De Gaulle définissait l’ONU, cet ONU qui est devenu encore pire aujourd’hui.

Avec mes salutations distinguées, certain que vous ne voudrez pas me répondre, alors que j’aimais tant me rendre à l’UNESCO avec de nombreux amis, lorsque vous organisiez de belles conférences et des événements non délétères sur des pays que j’aime ou que je découvrais.

Je vous réinvite à consulter mon site littéraire:

A “Palestinian Refugee” reveals the truth about Arafat and the UN.

Did “Palestine” ever exist? asks an Arab.

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo