European, Other Delegations that Walked Out on Ahmadinejad’s Lies to be Commended, but Should Have Withdrawn in Advance
Statement by Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress
“As we prepare to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow (April 21) and the worst genocide in history, the European Jewish Congress condemns the platform given by the United Nations to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Durban II, the UN-sponsored anti-racism conference. In fact, a new study released today has shown an increase of global anti-Semitism in the first few months of 2009.
If there was any doubt about what Ahmadinejad and conference organizers Iran, Libya, Pakistan and their allies had in mind as they planned Durban II, it has now been made abundantly clear. Is it any wonder that Ahmadinejad, an avowed Holocaust denier and sponsor of international terror, would vent forth the hatred, vitriol and lies that he spewed during his address to the Durban II delegates?
It is telling when some of the world’s worst human rights abusers are not only let off the hook, but chair an international conference on the issue.
It is a shame that once again, hindsight is 20/20. Based upon the planning process and draft resolution language, every nation and delegation should have known what to expect. The EU and other delegations that walked out in the moment Ahmadinejad began his diatribe against Israel should be commended for having the moral conviction not to stand for this mockery of human rights, but they should not have been participants to begin with.
It should be noted that Mr. Jonas Gahr Store (Norway’s FM), speaking immediately after Ahmadinejad’s vitriol, called Iran “the odd man out” of international society because of the extremist views of its president. In response to Ahmadinejad, Mr. Store said, ‘freedom of expression yes, but this is beyond what the society of nations has decided under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because it is incitement to hate.’
If Hitler himself had addressed this forum, would UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sat as quietly and politely as he did for the lies and hatred spewed forth by Ahmadinejad? Shame on him, and shame on anyone who stayed in the room to hear – or applaud – his evil rants. Revisionist history and lies should not rule the day, but we fear that Durban II will continue to provide a platform for more of this hatred.”