Menu JTA Search

U.N. official speaking at dinner for Ahmadinejad

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

A Jewish group is criticizing a U.N. General Assembly official for speaking at a dinner honoring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The American Jewish Committee in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized the scheduled address by Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, the General Assembly’s president, at a dinner Thursday recognizing the Iranian president.

“The presence of the President of the General Assembly at an event in honor of Mr. Ahmadinejad would make a mockery of you, the United Nations, and the nations and leaders who have made a point of rejecting Holocaust denial whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is made,” wrote AJC President Richard Sideman and Executive Director David Harris in their letter.

The dinner, sponsored by The Mennonite Central Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee, has been promoted as a venue to promote dialogue, which the AJC leaders reject.

“Given Mr. Ahmadinejad’s repeated statements about the ‘annihilation’ and eradication of a U.N. member state, Israel, the claim that this event is a dialogue for peace cannot be taken seriously,” they wrote. “Furthermore, the claim that this dinner promotes dialogue of any kind is undercut by Mr. Ahmadinejad himself, who has clearly stated: ‘We are ready to hold dialogue with all countries of the world except for the Israeli regime.’  It will serve as a platform through which the UN will help legitimize Holocaust denial, not to mention the destruction of a member state.”

NEXT STORY