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Ahmadinejad impresses church leaders

The Anti-Defamation League blasted a meeting between a U.S. Christian delegation and the Iranian president as a “betrayal.” By meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Christian leaders “are collaborating with a dangerous despot who calls for the destruction of Israel and denies the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said after last week’s meeting. “Their action is a shameful betrayal of American values and the Christian-Jewish relationship.” The delegation included Quaker, Mennonite, Methodist and Episcopal representatives as well as a representative of the National Council of Churches. One participant described Ahmadinejad as “seeming reasonable and having a witty personality,” the ADL release said. A statement last week from the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby, said, “What the delegation found most encouraging from the meeting with President Ahmadinejad was a clear declaration from him that Iran has no intention to acquire or use nuclear weapons, as well as a statement that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through political, not military means.” The statement failed to mention Ahmadinejad’s threats against Israel’s or his Holocaust denial.