Ahmadinejad has a habit of upsetting the West, this time outrageously explaining how Palestine WAS wiped off the map. Only to be followed by a shameful shower of Nakba deniers walking out in disgust.
The Iranian president was famously misquoted as saying he wanted Israel wiped off the map, a phrase repeated often and attributed to him incorrectly. It was repeated so often in Israel that it became part of the political lexicon, with one cabinet minister, Meir Sheetrit, tellingly slipping up in revealing that ”we must take a neighbourhood in Gaza and wipe it off the map”. A year later and more than just one neighbourhood has disappeared.
Do actions speak louder than misquoted words? Not in the West it seems where Ahmadinejad remains the favourite Bond villain.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized on Monday, April 20, Israel’s racist practices against the Palestinian people, sparking a walkout by European delegates from the UN conference on racism.
“In fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine,” Ahmadinejad told the conference.
“The UN Security Council has stabilized this occupation regime and supported it in the last 60 years giving them a free hand to continue their crimes.”
The Iranian leader accused Israel of committing “genocide” against the civilian population of the besieged Gaza Strip.
More than 6,600 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed and injured in 22 days of air, land and sea Israeli attacks.
The onslaught, which inflicted heavy damage on the infrastructure of the densely-populated enclave, left some 20,000 homes and thousands other buildings in ruins.
“The word Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religion and abuses religious sentiments to hide their hatred and ugly faces,” Ahmadinejad said.
More than 35 states are participating in the Geneva conference, the UN’s first global racism conference in eight years.
The five-day meeting will review progress in combating racism since a sequel meeting in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, a few days before the 9/11 attacks.
Ahmadinejad’s speech sparked a collective walkout by 23 European delegations from the meeting hall.
“I hope this protest gesture inspires the international community to take notice,” Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement.
“The defense of human rights and the fight against all types of racism are too important for the UN not to unite against all forms of hate speech, against all perversion of this message.”
British ambassador Peter Gooderham described the Iranian leader’s remarks, applauded by the delegations that remained in the UN assembly hall, as offensive and inflammatory.
Slovenian ambassador Andrej Logar claimed the comments were “detrimental to the dignity of this conference.”
The US and some European countries had boycotted the conference, expecting Ahmadinejad and others to be critical of Israel.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused the Iranian leader of incitement.
“I deplore the use of this platform by the Iranian President to accuse, divide and even incite,” he said in a statement.
“This is the opposite of what this conference seeks to achieve.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy also blasted the speech.
“The UN conference that opened on Monday in Geneva had a goal that should have united and mobilized the international community: the struggle against all forms of racism,” he said in a statement.
“The speech given by the President of Iran was the exact opposite: an intolerable appeal to racist hate, it tramples on the ideals and values recorded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
In a later press conference, Ahmadinejad defended his comments and criticized the boycotters.
“In our opinion, this is arrogance and selfishness and the root cause of the problems of the world.”
9 thoughts on “Ahmadinejad criticism of Israel sparks UN walkout en masse”
Ahmadinejad can’t be the first statesman to stand up in the UN and tell the truth re-Israel.
Yet BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen,curiously found by the Corporation of being “pro-Palestinian” was trumpeting the Iranian leader’s remarks as heralding some sort of grave crisis preceding a possible WW3!
The BBC and elite disinformation network generally are so out of touch that they appear not to have noticed that Ahmadinejad’s comments will ring a chord universally not only with anti-Zionists but with sensient observers with any spark of human decency anywhere who despite the BBC’s appallingly distorted pro-Zionist reporting over the years noticed the war crimes Israel committed most recently in Lebanon and Gaza.
UN General Assembly debates have routinely featured stinging rebukes of the Anglo-US establishment and their Zionist allies from Saudi and Arab representatives there present.
Ahmadinejad’s rebuke comes as the latest in a long line of reproach against the conspirators who created the Sabbatean statelet in Palestine against the will of the indigenous population,Arabs and anti-Zionist Jewry worldwide.
In fact,Ahmadinejad is where he is today because the same elites who foresaw a means to forward their agenda for regional destabilization in the Middle East via Israel sensed the same potential by installing an Islamist proxy state in Iran.
I think it was completely inappropriate for Ahmadenejad to be giving this speech. All the UN has is its reputation, and this reputation has been severely damaged with this spectacle. Maybe it is a lot of fun to see israel be whipped by A., but too many people depend for their survival on the UN, too many are affected by racism (not in the least those in Iran) to let this clown do his one and only trick and jeoapardize the whole conference. A. is guilty of the same self-centerness as Israel and the US. By not participating, or by giving such an inflammatory speech (we are lucky they made him take out the holocaust denial) they completely disregard the needs of the people this conference was made for.
I completely disagree with Israel’s actions. But that doesn’t make me a fan of Ahmadinejad. He actually did an enormous disservice to the palestinian cause. Israeli hard liners couldn’t have wished for a better display and a better reason to aggravate the conflict. I am starting to think A. is zionist’s biggest supporter.
Ban ki moon should be made to resign over letting this happen. It was not good for anything, except for those that want more conflict, war and bloodshed.
I think it was completely inappropriate for Ahmadenejad to be giving this speech. All the UN has is its reputation, and this reputation has been severely damaged with this spectacle. Maybe it is a lot of fun to see israel be whipped by A., but too many people depend for their survival on the UN, too many are affected by racism (not in the least those in Iran) to let this clown do his one and only trick and jeoapardize the whole conference.
So the Iranian president should not have attended because the Israel lobby resents him? And he should not have spoken about endemic racism at a conference about racism? Not sure what your argument is here. Or are you saying that this conference should not have happened?
A. is guilty of the same self-centerness as Israel and the US.
You mean failure to observe diplomatic etiquette is the same as mass murder? Which is the last country A. invaded?
of course he should attend. But he should not have been allowed to give a speech. Critizing israel is one thing, denying the holocaust is another (thank god they managed to stop him there). He was bent to say idiotic stuff. Of course Israel is a racist state, but not by the far the most racist state. In fact, Iran is a lot more racist than Israel is. Iran is anti-everything. From anti-woman to anti-gay to anti-jew to anti-american. So by spouting all this nonsense he made the UN look foolish, he made all the other countries that participated in good faith look foolish, and in an opening speech of a conference on racism he spouted some of the most racist nonsense himself. This ain’t good for the UN. And what isn’t good for the UN is not good for all the NGO’s and people that depend upon the UN for their survival. Ahmadinejad is self centered because his self glorification is at the expense of all these people that depend upon the UN and that suffer from racism. Not even the palestinians were served by this. Because A. has given Israel just another excuse to add another layer of paranoia. The argument is not whether or not an honest dialogue should occur or not. Of course it should. But not in an opening speech in this way with the whole world watching and just waiting for Ahmadinejad to give the world a reason to ignore this conference.
About Iranian violence. Iran has done nothing but instigate a huge amount of violence of the last few decades. They are not exactly angels. I don’t like the behavior of Israel at all. But that doesn’t mean I have to kiss the ground on which walks A. I think Ahmadenejad is an anti-Semitical baffoon.
What I meant to say about the self-centerness is that A. only cares about his own upcoming reelection and is using this platform at the expense of those that really suffer from racism. The US, Israel, etc don’t care about the victims of racism either and let some legitimate criticism of Israel take priority over the victims as well.
So yet the conference is important, yes dialogue has to happen, the more the better, but A. should not have been allowed to stage his own little show. The UN and especially the people that depend upon the UN are too important for that. There has to be a serious exchange of ideas. This was not it.
Owlminerva, your unsupported assertions need to be supported with evidence if they are to be taken seriously. I’m afraid most of your blanket assumptions do not bear out in reality.
First, as the representative of a country, albeit the figurehead, President Ahmadinejad has every right to be giving a speech. Former President Bush fares far worse in speeches and I don’t hear complaints that by giving a speech he discredits the UN.
You claim that Iran is a much more racist state than israel is. What evidence are you using to support this judgment? Did you know that mainly Shi’a Iran has sizeable multi-religious minorities that includes at least a 40,000 strong community of Persian Jews, with political representation?
Anti-woman? Anti-gay? Anti-American? All your claims are spurious. In Jerusalem, you can get bashed by Haredic Jews for being a woman and refusing to ride at the back of the bus. Homophobia is also well documented in the apartheid state, so I don’t know what measures or concrete evidence you are using to arrive at your blanket characterisation. By all means enlighten us.
Iran has not invaded any country for over 200 years. In contrast, israel is a warring state on many measures, routinely and savagely attacking its neighbours right from its imposition on the region, and most of this belligerency has been offensive, not defensive, including the 1967 wars.
As for being anti-American, I think israeli actions, including but not limited to the deliberate firing on the US ship the USS Liberty, spying for a foreign government by israel-firsters and the actions of the Likud Lobby and zionist neocons who have spearheaded the war campaigns against Iraq and Iran, are far more anti-American than anything Iran could ever be accused of in its anti-imperialist rhetoric. About the worst thing Iran has demonstrably done in this respect has called the US the Great Satan, really no worse or better in rhetorical value than “the axis of evil” or Reagan’s characterisation of the Soviet Union as “the evil empire”.
As for being anti-women, I wonder what you really know about the status of proud Iranian women. The status of women everywhere could be improved, but to out-and-out state that Iran is “anti-women” is absurd and I know many female Iranian architects, academics and professionals (and homemakers too, for that matter) who would disagree with you. I suggest you read some Iranian blogs by women if you don’t already. I’d be happy to suggest a few.
I’d rather be a woman travelling in Tehran than in many parts of israel. Were I Jewish, I would not be able to sit at the front of the bus in many areas. Haredic men commonly beat women who do not sit at the back of the bus. Were I Jewish I would also be subject to “modesty patrols”, the type you would associate with Saudi Arabia. No I am referring to israel, where they exist in an ostensibly “secular” society. Were I Jewish I would be subject to compulsory military service and complicit in the illegal and immoral military occupation of another people’s land.
Let us also clarify and repeat an important fact: the Durban II walkout was premeditated. As Craig Murray and others have observed, “Jeremy Paxman obtained the information that the walkout had been agreed upon by EU states before the session, ie before they heard a word Ahmadinejad had said. They did not have a text in advance.” ie it was a stunt.
You claim, “About Iranian violence. Iran has done nothing but instigate a huge amount of violence of the last few decades.” Iran has “done nothing” but instigate violence over the past few decades? I’m all ears — pray tell exactly what violence you are referring to.
No-one is asking you to kiss the ground upon which any leader walks, nor to be uncritical about Iran. But I’m afraid you do not have facts to support your claims. You are invited to provide them, and to explain just how President Ahmadinejad’s one speech somehow prevents and displaces the possibility of dialogue and an exchange of ideas. Rather than being “his own show”, it sounds like the pre-planned walkout stunt was the self-centred show-stealer.
As for the Holocaust, questioning its history and facts is not immoral, its an important part of intellectual enquiry. At the minimum, I’d point out that the founder of Holocaust studies, Raul Hilberg estimates that 5.1 million Jews died (The Holocaust on Trial, The Atlantic Monthly February 2000), does that make him a “Holocaust denier”, too? Historians are still questioning the numbers and facts about WWII and to construct and elevate any group’s deaths above others as a cult-like observance is wrong and counter-productive.
Germany lost 2 million civilians in WWII (and three times that in combatants) and the Soviet Union is estimated to have lost 25 million, two thirds civilian and mostly Christian. Yet we are made to direct disproportionate focus on one group each year. When we have a Holodomor Remembrance Day and several lavishly funded memorials and museums devoted to other groups who were systematically killed, perhaps we may have learned the lesson. We haven’t got there yet. President Ahmadinejad has been challenging this one-sided rhetoric and its cynical exploitation, as have others like Norman Finkelstein who has written on the Holocaust Industry, and who has paid the price in terms of his career.
There will not be a “serious exchange of ideas” until we jettison the illusion that our countries (namely, the ones who refused to attend the conference) are benign guardians of international values — our countries have often been the worst perpetrators of racism — as well as refrain from employing the patronising and de-legitimising disdain of the very type you employ towards Iran and its people and representatives in your comments.
Your indecently superficial arguments seem to be suspended in mid-air by nothing more than an excessive dose of political correctness abetted by a clutch of establishment shiboleths and taboos.
You appear to have been utterly duped by a set of establishment narratives re-the benign role played by the UN and NGOs.
Most people around the world-in fact anyone who doesn’t actually work for the UN or an NGO-would find your assumptions about their non-partisan peace-keeping role pretty damn specious at best.Don’t you need to ask yourself a few questions about the role played by the UN in places like Rwanda for one.
The role played by US in subverting the very peace-keeping role that gives it its credibility has been openly questioned by former representatives such as Mary Robinson and Boutros-Ghali.
Both were ousted by pressure on the UN from Washington.Robinson had found evidence of RPF atrocities against Rwandan refugees had proceeded apace hard on the heels of the Anglo-US backed RPF invasion of Rwanda in 1990.Such events antedated the official genocide in the establishment narrative wherein militant Hutus were blamed exclusively for the killing and the external precipitating factors were ignored.
Boutros-Ghali spoke of the part Washington played in suppressing a report that blamed the double assassinations of the Hutu Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi that triggered the killing orgy in 1994 on the CIA.The report lies still under lock and key in the UN building in NY.
The UN role in Rwanda,which is likely just the tip of a huge iceberg of US subversion,and several other recent conflicts makes its depiction by yourself as some august and sacrosanct body whose presence has been soiled by Amadinejad’s invocations against Israel look quite ridiculous.
The taboo around the Holocaust and the idea that the UN should deny a platform to representatives who question the establishment narrative is equally absurd.
Evidence of the complicity of Labour Zionists with the Nazi agenda for channeling the flow of European Jewry by offering the sole choice to them of Israel or death is undeniable.Likewise the unconscionable role played in the same process by the US-based Zionist lobby.The Jewish cabal around Roosevelt were active in ensuring that the US maintained at minimal levels the quotas for Jews wishing to flee to the US.
The 6m figure for WW2 Jewish victims cited by Zionists and their Holocaust fundamentalist camp followers is also decidedly dubious.All the evidence suggests that none of the camps had anything approaching the infrastructural capacity to carry out killing on such a scale.
Only recently the authorities at Auschwitz had to revise the 4m figure for victims who died in the camp downwards to 1.5.
The elevated victimhood status ascribed Jewish victims in WW2 is not shared by the millions more who died in the Armenian massacres,Soviet gulag,the Ukrainian genocide of 1932 or by any of the other ethnic groups who died in Nazi concentration camps.
This elevated status is itself a form of the very racism you decry.
The US subversion of the UN and the Holocaust fundamentalism you would enforce on the organisation’s debates will in point of fact be the most likely cause of future wars.
owlminerva, why are you copying and pasting the same post in blogs who put something about Ahmadinejad? She pasted her first same post on my blog. What is inappropriate is for you to call people names just because you disagree with them. The Iranian president didn’t say anything other than the truth.
Doesn’t it make you mad that none of these so called “world powers” lift a finger to the human rights violations and ethnic cleansing in Palestine? If the Iranian president called it as it is then he should be applauded.
Read this about the holocaust even in “Israel” they think it is abused by Zionists:
Fascinating link on the Holocaust Day protest and the rabbis shoulder to shoulder with Ahmadinejad in Geneva.
Funny….the BBC must have edited out that highly evocative image of peace and concord between supposedly implacable adversaries out of their coverage.
The priority for the BBC and the corporate media generally was the Zionist agenda and their distorted and decontextualised reporting of Ahmadinejad’s speech was the means to forward this.