BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE UN
By Naomi Farrell
UNITED NATIONS (WUP)---The place is a madhouse, although very exciting especially for journalists. Heads of State of 192 countries are speaking in the General Assembly Hall, press conferences are held almost every hour or two in various locations of the building and simultaneous important meetings are taking place relating to world issues like economics, world food security, nuclear test ban treaty, health, hunger, climate change, water and sanitation to name a few. Almost every meeting or seminar has a President, Prime-Minister or Foreign Minister on the panel and there is often a movie star or other celebrity who acts as an official good will ambassador. For example, Michael Douglas was at the test ban treaty meeting. Bill Gates was honored and offered generous contributions to alleviate hunger and disease in Africa. Queen Rania of Jordan, is one of the Royals participating.
I am describing one day here. One can get a lot of exercise running from one meeting to another since the building is four blocks long. There are reporters from all over the world and it warms my heart to hear Hebrew around representing Israeli TV and newspapers.
WHO SAID WHAT
On the evening of Tuesday, September 23rd, the President of Israel, Shimon Perez gave a press conference at the "stake-out" in a corridor near the Security Council which attracted some 20 journalists (actually there is not room for much more). In reference to Ahmadinejad who had just held a press conference in a large conference hall which held at least one thousand people, Perez said, "I feel uneasy that people are listening to him, he should be ignored."
He said it was a pity that such a great land as Iran with such a noble history and very nice people are suffering from their fanatic leadership which is their problem and the world's concern.
He said that the Iranian president's speech to the United Nations that morning was reminiscent of one of the most notorious anti-Semitic tracts in history. "This is the first time in the history of the United Nations that the head of a state is appearing openly and publicly with the ugly and dark accusations of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion,''' Peres said after Ahmadinejad's speech. This was the darkest accusations in an air of hatred and anti-Semitism, an attempt to bring to life one of the ugliest plots of history." He was referring to an anti-Semitic tract published in the early 1900's that described a Jewish and Masonic plot to take over the world.
As Ahmanidenjad was ushered to the podium of the General Assembly to speak, the U.S. delegation walked out, leaving only a low ranking note taker.
He began with a long tirade of religious philosophy, starting with the concept that God made man from mud, "but he did not want humanity to remain in the soil so he kindled the ight of guidance in their souls and asked them to rise to the heavens and to Him with the help of wisdom, prophets and perfect men." He also talked about obeisance to God and justice.
Then with a smile on his face, Ahmadinejad went on to explain his version of the Palestinian-Israeli situation: "In Palestine, 60 years of carnage and invasion is still ongoing at the hands of some criminal and occupying Zionists. They have forged a regime through collecting people from various parts of the world and bringing them to other people's land by displacing, detaining, and killing the true owners of that land. They invade, assassinate, and maintain food and medicine blockades, while some hegemonic and bullying powers support them. The Security Council cannot do anything and sometimes, under pressure from a few bullying powers, even paves the way for supporting these Zionist murders."
He added with a touch of sarcasm, "It is natural that some UN resolutions that have addressed the plight of the Palestinian people have been relegated to the archives unnoticed."
He described the Jews of the world as a, "small deceitful number of people called Zionists who have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner."
He concluded with a rather chilling description of a perfect community coming in the future, "devoid of any fear, despair and privation. Such a community will soon be ours. The Community promised by the great divine Prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and Mohammad is about to materialize. The Promised One will come accompanied by Jesus Christ."
Meanwhile in Israel, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni blasted the United Nations for granting Iran's president a platform to deliver an address against "Zionist Murderers" that contradicted its vow to prevent another Holocaust.
"Ahmadinejad's speech makes the situation absurd for an organization that raised the banner of "Never Again' upon its establishment," Livni told the press.
Parallel to the General Assembly, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs held a well attended conference in Washington on the possibility of indicting him for incitement to genocide.
At a press conference when asked why, as President of the European Union, French President Sarkozy had not met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address the issue of nuclear weapons, he said it was difficult for him to take the hand of a man who had said that "we have to wipe out Israel," a statement he called "unacceptable. He also said that Iran was playing with the world regarding the question of good nuclear power, and part of the Iranian leadership was relying on the inactivity of the international community.