(United Nations) – Representatives from more than twenty Jewish organizations took to the stage at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza today to protest the appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations this week. Ahmadinejad will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and threats against the state of Israel were the most widely cited complaints against Ahmadinejad at the National Rally to Stop Iran Now. “Such a man belongs in the docket of the accused, not the podium of the United Nations,” said Irwin Cotler, a member of the Canadian Parliament. Several speakers also denounced Iran’s record of human rights violations, particularly against Iranian youth.
More than a thousand protestors lined 47th Street between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue across from the United Nations to hear from speakers such as Natan Sharansky of the Adelson Institute, Dalia Itzik, the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, and former U.S. Congressman, the Reverend Floyd Flake, who warned that nuclear weapons “represent a threat to all of us.”
Protestors held signs that read, “United Against the Iranian Threat,” and “Stop Iran From Going Nuclear,” among others. Organizers of the rally explained that “Ahmadinejad will be in New York and he should see that the American people will not tolerate his threats to destroy America and Israel and to develop the nuclear weapons to do so.”
D’Escoto to Dine With the Dictator
Newly elected General Assembly President – Nicaragua’s Miguel D’Escoto – has accepted an invitation to honor Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a dinner to promote religious tolerance and peace. It will take place Thursday evening at the Grand Hyatt in New York. The dinner is sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, World Council of Churches, and Religions for Peace.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has protested d’Escoto’s appearance with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. As pointed out by the AJC in a letter to Ban, General Assembly Resolution 60/7 “rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or in part,” and General Assembly Resolution 61/255 calls on states “unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event.” Mr. D’Escoto made a point in his acceptance speech last week that resolutions of the General Assembly should be binding. His actions honoring Ahmadinejad violate those resolutions as the Iranian leader has repeatedly denied the Holocaust.
Gordon Gekko to Visit the UN
Actor Michael Douglas who personified Wall Street greed as Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s 1980 movie Wall Street, will visit the United Nations on Thursday to promote the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). He will be joined by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry.
Thomas P. Kilgannon is the President of Freedom Alliance and the author of Diplomatic Divorce: Why America Should End Its Love Affair With the United Nations. He is reporting this week from the United Nations as a correspondent for Radio America.
The mission of Freedom Alliance is to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense.
By Tom Kilgannon