Will a Jewish woman lead UNESCO?

France seeks to appoint former Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to head UN culture body which has denied Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Audrey Azoula
Audrey Azoula

France is working to appoint former Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to head the UNESCO organization, which has come under fire in recent years for its increasingly anti-Israel stance.

Azoulay served as French Minister of Culture from February 2016 until the inauguration of the new government of Emmanuel Macron.

Macaron met with Azoulay last week to plan France's strategy ahead of October. The UNESCO board of directors will choose the next leader of the organization for a four-year term.

Azoulay, 44, is the daughter of Andre Azoulay, a senior advisor to Morocco's King Mohammed VI. France's former president, Francois Hollande, expressed support for Azoulay's candidacy in March. McCron added his support after being elected president.

France is the only European country that has submitted a candidate for the post. The other candidates were represented by China, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Guatemala, and four Arab states: Egypt, Qatar, Iraq and Lebanon. Azoulay's candidacy angered Arab and European diplomats who hoped that France would allow an Arab to be elected as the organization's leader for the first time in its history.

UNESCO has been criticized for passing multiple resolutions denying the connection of Israel and the Jewish people to Jerusalem.

Azoulay is considered to be a left-wing politician, although she has never been a member of the Socialist Party of France, and she does not speak frequently about political issues. However, as a culture minister, she promoted a joint venture with Israel, called "Integrated Seasons". She visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last year, together with then-Prime Minister Manuel Wells.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel prefers not to speak about Azoulay's candidacy, since any Israeli statement on her behalf would only harm her chances.