The West made it clear from the beginning that it would not tolerate criticism, albeit legitimate, of Israel.
Half of the Western governments didn't show up (including the US, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands), and the other half (Britain and France) simply walked out when Ahmedinejad began his talk.
The Western media has toed the line of their governments, and are in uproar over the Iranian president's comments.
But what did Ahmedijenad actually say?
Quotes of Ahmedijenad's speech from the Washington Post:
- Israel is a "paragom of racism" founded on "the pretext of Jewish sufferings during World War II." (nothing wrong about that)
- He criticised the UN Security Council's five permanent powers by stating that "such powerful countries condemn racism in words, but by their deeds they ridicule and violate all laws and humanitarian values." (pretty accurate so far)
-"Following World War II, they [Israel] resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless, on the pretext of Jewish sufferings and the ambiguous and dubious question" of the Holocaust. They sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world, in order to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine. And in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racists, in Palestine." (again, nothing incorrect here)
- In regards to Zionism, he said: "their domination to the extent that nothing can be done against their will. So long as Zionist domination continues, many countries, governments and nations will never be able to enjoy freedom, independence and security. As long as they are at the helm of power, justice will never prevail in the world and human dignity will continue to be offended and trampled upon. It is time the ideal of Zionism, which is the paragon of racism, be broken." (true, how else has Israel been able to avoid international scrutiny for six decades?)
Ahmedinejad didn't deviate from the obvious, didn't descend into anti-Jewish vitriol, nor did he racially attack Jews. So why the furore?
Hundreds of thousands worldwide protested against Israel's racism in Western capitals throughout the Gaza war. Yet, Western governments continue to remain blind and deaf to Israel's racist policies.
The fact that the West has chosen to plug its ears demonstrates not only its hypocritical selectivity in regards to Israel and the Middle East, but speaks volumes of the distance that exists between the West and the Arab/Islamic world.
Ahmedinejad's comments have been echoed on the Arab street since Israel's inception. Hezballah and Hamas have extraordinary popularity in the Arab world for a reason. The Palestinian cause arouses high emotion in the Arab street for a reason ... Israel's racist policies and apartheid treatment of Palestinians.
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami came to Australia a few weeks ago urging the West to treat the developing world as equal. No dialogue of civilisations can take place, he said, whilst one civilisation subjects the other to inferior status. The Western walkout on Iran's speech at Durban II indicates that the Western superior complex still prevails. The West continues to snub the sentiments of injustice and anger felt by the Arab and Muslim world. The walkout is but an example of that continuation.
The West didn't storm out of Durban II due to Iran, it did so because it doesn't want to hear the truth. Western governments are surrounded by the brutal facts of the Middle East, but will continue to shelve such facts in support of Israel's apartheid regime. The West is just as culpable of the Palestinian suffering as Israel.
As far as truth goes, Iran's president couldn't be closer to it. Whilst the West flaps its wings about human rights and racism, when the crunch comes its interests come first. At present, the Zionist influence in the Western world has curbed their interests towards Tel Aviv. That takes precedence over every human right, particularly that of an Arab.
Shame, shame, shame indeed.
An excellent article on this in Australia's The Age by Professor John Langmore, the president of the UN Association in Australia:
Opponents have been claiming recently that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has been invited to give a keynote address to the conference. It is true that, like all heads of member states, he has been invited to attend and, as a head of state, will be entitled to speak in the opening plenary session as will any other heads of state who attend. But he has received no courtesy beyond that given to every head of state or government.
The opponents of the conference have been highly organised. The Australian Government has received hundreds of letters opposing participation. The media too have been inundated with criticism of the meeting. As often happens in such situations, the supporters have been much less well organised, which gives the impression that staying away would have less political cost than attending.