The New York Times has an editorial today titled "More Hatred From Mr. Ahmadinejad":
The fear all along has been that the United Nations conference on racism would be manipulated into yet another forum for demonizing Israel. All too predictably, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who has called the Holocaust a myth and has advocated Israel’s destruction — did just that. …
The last United Nations conference on racism –in 2001 — deteriorated into an Israel-bashing spectacle. Israel was the only country singled out in the final conference communiqué. Many participants, including the Russians, worked hard to try to ensure that this year’s meeting would be different. While there have been improvements in the communiqué, as now written, it would affirm the conclusions of the last one, implicitly still singling out Israel.
The United Nations conference can never have credibility, or value, if it is used to attack one country — Israel — especially when so many other countries have truly abysmal human rights records, including China, Sudan and Iran.
While many Jewish organizations see Ahmadinejad’s speech as validating the U.S. decision to stay away, the folks at the Times come to a different conclusion.
After weighing the issue, President Obama decided not to send an American delegation to the conference. Perhaps it would have been better if his administration had been present to fight for an improved communiqué until the end. Ceding the podium to Mr. Ahmadinejad and his ilk is not the most effective strategy — for defending Israel or for promoting human rights.