Friday, September 25, 2009

Netanyahu Blasts Ahmadinejad at U.N.

Tweet It!

The Wall Street Journal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a blistering attack on the floor of the United Nations Thursday on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying the hearing granted the Iranian president the night before amounted to a "disgrace of the U.N. charter." Mr. Netanyahu dramatically held up copies of minutes of the meeting of Nazi officials in 1942 where plans were made for the extermination of the Jews, as well as constructions plans of Nazi concentration camps. "Are these protocols lies?" he asked, waving them in his hand. "Are the successive German governments that have kept these documents for posterity all liars?" He opened his remarks by saying that the greatest threat to the U.N. effort to prevent a repetition of the carnage of the World War II is the "assault on truth."

"Yesterday the president of Iran stood at this very podium and spewed his anti-Semitic rants," he said. "Just a few days earlier he claimed that the Holocaust was a lie." He then described how he had obtained the documents he held up before the assembly. "Nearly one-third of all Jews at the time perished in the Holocaust," he said. "Nearly every family was affected, including my own." Mr. Netanyahu continued about Mr. Ahmadinejad, "Perhaps some of you think this man and his odious regime only threaten the Jews. Well, if you think that you are wrong, dead wrong. "What starts as attacks on Jews always ends up engulfing others … this regime embodies the extremes of Islamic fundamentalism." He concluded by quoting Winston Churchill, and his warnings about mounting threats in the run-up to World War II.

"The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront these forces or just accommodate them," he said. Mr. Netanyahu also denounced a U.N. report accusing Israel of war crimes in its winter war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. He said the report turned the victims into the aggressors and encouraged terrorism. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Palestinians cannot return to peace talks at this time because of "fundamental disagreements" with Israel on what should be on the agenda, the Associated Press reported. Mr. Abbas rebuffed an appeal by President Barack Obama that both sides get back to the table promptly. The Palestinian leader said he wanted to avoid a crisis with the Obama administration at any cost and emphasized that dialogue was the only way to close the gaps and resume negotiations. But he said that for now "there is no common ground" with Mr. Netanyahu.