Trouble brewing at a United Nation conference on Race.
The Wall Street Journal
Iran’s President Slams Israel, Prompts Walkouts
April 20, 2009
By CHIP CUMMINS and CHARLES FORELLE
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prompted an angry walk-out by European diplomats at a racism conference in Geneva, calling Israel the “most cruel and repressive racist regime” and throwing up what could be a new hurdle to U.S. rapprochement with Tehran.
The U.S., along with a handful of European allies, had previously said they’d stay away from the United Nations event, worried it would become a platform for criticizing Israel. The Iranian president’s planned attendance added fuel to those concerns. Earlier in his term, he questioned whether the Holocaust really happened and has said Israel should be wiped off the map.
Early Monday, Israel said it would temporarily recall its ambassador to Switzerland, protesting a meeting between the Swiss president and his Iranian counterpart Sunday evening.
Keeping with his unpredictable style, some of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s more recent comments about Israel have been more muted. He has also made reserved but tentatively welcoming comments in response to Mr. Obama’s diplomatic charm offensive.
But Mr. Ahmadinejad’s tone and comments Monday shocked the international community once again. The uproar the comments sparked could make it more difficult for Mr. Obama to convince allies, in particular Israel, along with the U.S. public, to continue to accommodate his outreach to Tehran.
The speech comes just days after an Iranian court sentenced an Iranian-American journalist to eight years in prison for spying, drawing a rebuke from the U.S. State Department.
Let’s remember that on April 19th Sunday, Jewish communities in Europe began several days of events to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is supposed to be conference AGAINST RACISM. Ahmadinejad comes in and makes statements that continues hatred and racism.
The conference was attended by many U.S. and Israeli allies, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier Monday reprimanded those countries who chose to stay away in protest. But he was forced into an embarrassing reversal, saying after the speech he deplored “the use of this platform by the Iranian president to accuse, divide and even incite.”
Am I remembering this correctly? Isn’t this the very same man that Obama wants to have an open dialogue with? Ahmadinejad lecturing the world on race at a United Nations conference is like the KKK offering a diversity workshop. I commend those who walked out on this farce.
Please President Obama have wisdom and let it lead you.
Autographed Letter Signed,