Today, on the 120th anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler, the annual World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance opened in Geneva, Switzerland.
Germany, Australia, Israel, Italy, Canada, The Netherlands, Poland, New Zealand, and the United States boycotted the meeting altogether, explaining that the tone of the meeting indicated a preconceived bias toward Israel. Perhaps — and this is just pure speculation — the fact that the opening address would be delivered by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was their first clue.
True to form, Ahmadinejad’s rambling polemic accused Israel of being the “most cruel and racist regime,” and further accused the West of using Israel as a willing tool of oppression against the Palestinian people, “on the pretext of Jewish suffering” during World War Two.
During the speech, delegates from forty additional nations — most of the rest of the First World — walked out of the proceedings and left the conference.
During his speech, Ahmadinejad was interrupted by protesters dressed as clowns, who chanted “Shame! Shame!” and “Racist! Racist!”, and tossed red clown noses at the Iranian leader as he spoke. Later, a group of 100 protesters from pro-Israeli groups tried to stop Admadinejad from attending a press conference. The protesters explained that they were trying to convey a sense of “the masquerade that this conference represents.”
Their efforts were redundant, to say the least.