UNITED NATIONS (Mar. 13)
There were no gold statuettes, no applause and no acceptance speeches.
In fact, none of the winners of B’nai B’rith International’s seventh annual “Haman of the Year” Awards — Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the Islamic Jihad — even showed up at the B’nai B’rith Purim party Monday night to claim their prize.
The dubious award is presented every Purim by BBI to one or more individuals who have made “a unique contribution to the random suffering of humanity.”
Deng garnered the honor for brutally suppressing the budding democracy movement in China; Hussein won for reportedly gassing to death 5,000 Kurds; and Islamic Jihad took the award for its attack on an Israeli tour bus in northern Egypt.
Dr. Harris Schoenberg, director of U.N. affairs for B’nai B’rith, noted that this was the first time that “Haman of the Year” had been shared between multiple oppressors.
He added that former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu had also been a strong contender for the prize, but the judges felt Ceausescu “no longer needed the recognition.”
As usual, Schoenberg said, B’nai B’rith’s choices were “arbitrary, prejudiced and final.”