I am in Geneva at the Durban Review Conference standing up for Israel against bigotry.
Nothing reflects the divisiveness between the two cultures better than the reaction to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tirade at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The Muslim world cheered; delegates from twenty-four Western countries rose as one body and marched to the exit.
The diminutive despot chose April 20, 2009, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, to call for the decimation of Israel. He appealed to the assembly to encourage and support the fight to eradicate what he called Israel’s “barbaric racism. Efforts must be made to put an end to Zionism,” intoned the fanatical Ahmadinejad. We must not forget that eradicate means to exterminate.
The leader gave a nod to what was to be the central point of the conference, human rights worldwide; then he zeroed in on the West and berated what he characterized as the evils of Zionism. He had the audacity to minimize the horrors suffered by the Jewish people during World War II by labeling the Holocaust the “pretext of Jewish suffering.”
Prior to the opening ceremonies of the conference, Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Israel and the United States sent their regrets. During Ahmadinejad’s speech dozens of delegates rose and marched out in protest including Britain, France, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and a number of other countries. While Ahmadinejad decried the behavior of those who exited the hall as “rude,” he had no problem being interrupted with applause by delegates from some Muslim countries including Iran and Pakistan.
Outside the conference setting pro-Jewish organizations reverently recited the names of some of the six million people who perished in the Holocaust.
A statement issued by the U.S. called the Iranian’s remarks “hateful.” Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, told reporters: "Obviously, the president disagrees vehemently with what was said, as, from some of the video I saw, so did many others."
Although UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had asked Ahmadinejad not to cause disruption and division with his comments, he was sorely disappointed. Ban pointed out that the comments were used “to accuse, divide and even incite.”
Even as Ahmadinejad was holding court in Geneva, a solemn ceremony was being conducted at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel. President Shimon Peres called Ahmadinejad’s trip to Geneva “a deplorable disgrace.” He said, “The conference opening today in Geneva constitutes an acceptance of racism, rather than the fight against it, and its main speaker is Ahmadinejad, who calls for the annihilation of Israel and denies the Holocaust.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to those countries that chose not to give their seal of approval to the events in Geneva. Netanyahu vowed, “We will not let the Holocaust deniers perpetrate another holocaust on the Jewish people," he said. “This is the highest responsibility of the State of Israel and of myself as prime minister.”
One has to question why the United Nations provided a venue for a head of state who leads a country where methodical and organized tyranny is practiced daily, a country where women are cruelly subjugated.
It is horrifying to think that the rhetoric spouted during yesterday’s speech was delivered by the man who controls a country on the brink of becoming a nuclear power. Iran will soon have the tools to attempt to carry out its threats to wipe Israel off the map.
The leaders of this superpower wanna-be are motivated by an evil and deep-seated hatred for all things the Western world represents – freedom and choice among them. This is a dogma that can’t be ignored by those so wishful for adulation that they will turn a blind eye to the nature of the beast in order affect change. Ahmadinejad is a fanatical leader whose only emotions are hatred and vengeance. This is why delegates from twenty-four countries rose as one and marched out of the conference in Geneva, Switzerland on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Durban Diary, day two: The outrage continues - New York Daily News
Israel: Iran trying to do 'what Adolf Hitler did to Jewish people' - Times Online
Ahmadinejad raps Obama for shunning racism meeting - AFP