Objective Nonsense (part 3)

Zahi Hawass

The claim: National Geographic isn’t biased. That our Society isn’t politicized or ideological. We report, you decide.

The quote: Zahi Hawass is the secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. He’s also one of our Society’s Explorers-in-Residence — one of 11 marquee talents who (supposedly) personify the NGS brand. Here’s Dr. Hawass in an interview with Channel 1 on February 21, 2010:

Interviewer: Do you continue to maintain the position you declared in the past – that you will not open a museum for Jewish antiquities in Egypt?

Zahi Hawass: I am adamant about this. I carry out restoration of Jewish antiquities because they are Egyptian, but I will not open a Jewish museum. I will open such a museum only when the Palestinians get their rights, and Israel…. Under no circumstances will I open a Jewish museum. This is impossible. Politically, I cannot do this, because all the people would hold me accountable. I am Egyptian, and I would like to see the Palestinian issue resolved. Until that happens, I will not open such a museum. I will build the museum only when there is peace.

The questions:

  1. Does Zahi Hawass have a political agenda?
  2. To maintain access to Egyptian antiquities (a bread-and-butter subject for National Geographic), does NGS need to maintain cordial relations with Zahi Hawass?
  3. Does National Geographic have a political agenda?

≡  photo of Zahi Hawass by Kenneth Garrett via National Geographic

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