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Jewish groups: Boycott Ahmadinejad in NYC

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NEW YORK (JTA) — Jewish groups are calling on U.N. member representatives to walk out in protest when Iran’s president speaks next week at the United Nations.

Mahmoud Ahmadenijad’s plans to address the U.N. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference on May 3 makes a mockery of the proceedings, Jewish groups said.

"We call on all countries, particularly those that value democracy and freedom, to leave the United Nations hall when Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rises to speak," the president and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said in a statement. “Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability poses a threat to the region and the entire Western world. To have President Ahmadinejad address this review conference makes a mockery of the efforts of many countries to prevent nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism from becoming the gravest global threats of this century."

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York issued an action alert urging readers to e-mail U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at sg@un.org to protest Ahmadenijad’s inclusion at the conference.

The World Jewish Congress asked its member communities to contact their government representatives to persuade them to participate in the protest walkout, saying in a statement, "It is dismaying that, once again, the U.N. is allowing the head of a regime, foremost in the sponsorship of terrorism and the abuse of human rights, who defies U.N. resolutions regarding its nuclear ambitions, to appear before the international body."

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