Monday, April 20, 2009

UN Delegates Stage Walk Out After Ahmadinejad Calls Israel 'Racist' And Denies Holocaust

A group of mostly western delegates to the UN's so-called conference against racism in Geneva walked out on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech today, after he referred to Israel's as a racist regime that was founded "on the pretext of Jewish suffering" during World War II.

Around 20 delegates, including envoys from the UK, France, and Finland stood up and left the room at what was considered an anti-Semitic remark by the Iranian leader, who has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Nine Western countries including Israel and the United States had already decided to boycott the conference entirely because its draft declaration endorsed the conclusions of an anti-racism conference in South Africa eight years ago in which Islamic nations pushed through a text equating Zionism with racism. [...]

The Obama administration announced at the weekend that it would boycott the meeting because its draft declaration makes reference to the text agreed in 2001 at the UN's first anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa. That document was agreed after the United States and Israel walked out over attempts to liken Zionism - the movement to establish a Jewish state in the Holy Land - to racism.

Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland joined the boycott.

The major sticking points in the draft final declaration prepared for the current meeting concern its implied criticism of Israel and an attempt by Muslim governments to remove all criticism of Islam, Sharia law, the Prophet Muhammad and other tenets of their faith.

Let's examine some of this a bit more closely.

President Obama and UN Ambassador Susan Rice have known for weeks what this conference was about, what the problems with the draft final declaration were and that Ahmadinejad would be addressing the conference on Hitler's birthday, which with supreme irony falls on Yom HaShoah, the day when Israel and Jews around the world memorialize the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Yet they waited until the last minute to bow out.,,probably carefully weighing the political effect on President Obama's attempt to appease the Muslim world versus the Obama Administration's Jewish constituency here in the US, and whether it would be less of a problem to simply not show up versus having to walk out later.And for that matter, the American taxpayer is still footing a large chunk of the bills for the conference.

I doubt even Bill Clinton would have been that amoral, cynical and calculating.

As a contrast, Canada and Italy, to their eternal credit, announced from the very first that they would not be a part of this obscene theater.Nor am I surprised at the German and Polish decisions to boycott. They understand what's going on at the conference all too well, because they lived it.

The UN is an idea formed from the ashes of World war II that has outlived its usefulness, and what happened there today simply underlines it. When an organization designed to be a forum for freedom, democracy and dialogue between nations degenerates to the point where someone like Ahmadinejad is an honored guest, there's no saving it - it's terminal.


christopher Ronk said...

although I do not necessarily agree with Ahmadinejad. I don't think that walking out is the appropriate response. It seems a little childish to me.

Freedom Fighter said...

Interesting to note you don't 'necessarily ' agree with Ahmadinejad.I'm sure the Jews will be pleased by your tolerant attitude.

That said, I agree with you. The appropriate behavior would have been not to attend in the first place.

Or in this case, not to invite him in th efirst place merely to score press points by being rude to him once he arrives.


realhawker said...

Its time for a "league of democracies". A group of nations that have something in common with our values - too many cooks spoil the broth IMO. The UN is too unwieldy - UN mandates are broken without reprise all the time.