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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Libyan ambassador compares Gaza to Nazi concentration camp, 5 walk out

At the end of a long speech in the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, the Libyan ambassador compared the situation in the Gaza Strip to Nazi concentration camps. Five ambassadors - the United States, Britain, France (!), Belgium (!) and Costa Rica walked out of the room, and the current Council President ended the meeting. Yes, Virginia, pigs can fly!

According to several diplomats, Libya's deputy UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi ended a long speech about the plight of the Palestinians by comparing the situation in Gaza to the concentration camps set up by Nazi Germany to exterminate Jews. Some 6 million Jews and between 220,000 and 500,000 Gypsies were killed during the Nazi Holocaust.

Immediately after Dabbashi mentioned the concentration camps, diplomats said, French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, US deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff, Britain's deputy ambassador Karen Pierce, Belgian Ambassador Johan Verbeke and Costa Rica's deputy ambassador walked out of the council's consultation room.

South Africa's UN Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, the current council president, then ended the meeting.

"We support the South African presidency's decision to close the meeting," Britain's Pierce said in a statement. "A number of council members were dismayed by the approach taken by Libya and do not believe that such language helps advance the peace process."

Kumalo would not confirm the walkout, saying "ambassadors always walk in and out" of council meetings.

"It was very clear that we weren't going to agree (on a statement), as we haven't on many other occasions when we've tried, so there was no need to keep us in," he said, adding that some members wanted the council to address the humanitarian situation "which is horrible" while others insist on including the underlying political and security issues.

Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, who is not a Security Council member, told reporters afterwards that he agreed with Libya's characterization of the situation in Gaza.

"We have many times compared this situation - I mean the one prevailing in the occupied Palestinian territories - to the situation in Europe during World War II," he said. "Unfortunately, those who complain of being victims of some kind of genocide are repeating the same kind of genocide against the Palestinians."

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the situation in Gaza, accused the IDF of perpetrating "atrocious crimes against humanity ... resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of Palestinians."

In the letter, obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press, he urged Ban "to take all necessary measures in order to stop the inhumane actions of the Zionist regime, and to help alleviate the sufferings of the Palestinian people."

"There is no doubt that the continuation of this genocide and actual holocaust will bring about dangerous ramifications for the peace, stability, tranquility and security of the volataile region of the Middle East and the whole world at large," Mottaki warned.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Mottaki said "the question arises for the nations across the globe as to why the Zionist regime ... has been allowed to continue to be a member of the United Nations."
The real question is what right the United Nations has to continue to exist. It serves no useful purpose.


At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The German ambassador didn't walk out???



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