B’nai B’rith International commends the many nations that matched their convictions with action by walking out in protest as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his latest hateful speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 23.
Iran, with its unrelenting pursuit of nuclear weapons, poses perhaps the biggest threat to world security today. The principled stand taken by the nations that protested his speech reminds us that there are world leaders who won’t be complicit as the Tehran regime grows more belligerent.
During his sixth appearance on this global stage, Ahmadinejad stuck with his familiar anti-American and anti-Israel script and said the United States played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks in order to bolster its own economy and gain sympathy for Israel. Ahmadinejad said of Israel: "This regime, which enjoys the absolute support of some Western countries, regularly threatens the countries in the region and continues publicly announced assassination of Palestinian figures and others, while Palestinian defenders...are labeled as terrorists and anti-Semites.” His anti-Israel diatribe also included: "All values, even the freedom of expression, in Europe and the United States are being sacrificed at the altar of Zionism.”
Fortunately, many nations recognized his intentional and malicious misrepresentation of history and current events and chose not to listen. “It is an outrage that the United Nations continues to give Ahmadinejad a platform year after year,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “This man makes a mockery of the founding principles and guidelines of the United Nations. We commend those nations that said ‘enough’ and walked out.”
B’nai B’rith was encouraged to see the United States and many European nations leave the hall as Ahmadinejad spouted his conspiracy theories.
“For Iran to have this megaphone year after year is at odds with the purpose of the United Nations,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Ahmadinejad and his regime do not in any way abide by the U.N.’s human rights code which includes a commitment to the respect for human life. His contempt for global consensus is palpable. His deceit seems to know no bounds. Ahmadinejad oversees the largest and most active state-sponsored terrorism on earth. What is he doing speaking at the General Assembly?”
During the opening weeks of the 65th session of the General Assembly, B’nai B’rith International is meeting with world leaders to help them better understand the organization’s views on Israel, Middle East peace, human rights, and other issues facing the global community.
B’nai B’rith has had an active presence in the United Nations since the world body was founded in San Francisco in 1945.