Presidents Conf. again calls for U.N. walkout on Ahmadinejad


(JTA) — A major Jewish umbrella organization again has called on the ambassadors of United Nations member states to walk out on a speech by Iran’s president.

Anticipating that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again will seek to address the General Assembly this year, leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations sent letters asking delegates to leave should Ahmadinejad be allowed to speak before the international body.

The letters were sent to all member states, including members of the European Union, as well as South American, African and Arab states.

"We have appealed to democratic nations that cherish the values of freedom and mutual respect to stand against President Ahmadinejad and either absent themselves from the U.N. General Assembly or walk out of the hall when he speaks, particularly if he should once again resort to threats, incitement or appeals to bigotry and anti-Semitism," said Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.

"We would hope that his extremist rhetoric, calls for elimination of another UN member state, violation of human rights against his own people and support for international terrorism would bar him from this international platform. Moreover, his threats to destroy another member state violate the U.N.  charter and should subject him to charges of incitement to genocide.

"Should he be allowed to speak in this forum, however, we call upon all member states that uphold democracy and human rights to manifest their rejection and disapproval of President Ahmadinejad’s incitement, bigotry, and Holocaust denial by walking out of the General Assembly during his speech. We hope that the decision and walkout by these member states will influence other nations to do the same," they said.

In mid-August, the group sent a similar appeal to the governments of U.N. member states.

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