'The best riposte is not to walk away'

UN high commissioner encourages response to Ahmadinejad's address calling to eradicate Israel.

By
April 20, 2009 19:56
1 minute read.
'The best riposte is not to walk away'

Ban Ki Moon 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on countries to remain engaged in this week's UN anti-racism conference in Geneva, even though Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used it as a platform on Monday to call for the destruction of Israel. "The best riposte to this type of event is to reply, to correct, and not to walk away; not to withdraw and boycott the conference. If that happens, who is going to provide a rational response to what had been said?" she asked. "Generally, I feel that if you focus on this one intervention you would be doing a great disservice to the outcome of this conference and a great disservice to the expectations of victims of racism," she said. Prior to the start of the conference, nine countries, including the US and Israel, had announced they were boycotting the event, partially out of fear that it would disintegrate into an anti-Semitic debacle similar to the first such conference which was held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. After Ahmadinejad's speech, the Czech Republic pulled out of the conference as well. Pillay harshly condemned the speech in a press conference she held along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "It is improper for a United Nations forum to be used for political grandstanding and I find this totally objectionable," said Pillay. "Much of the speech of the president of Iran was clearly beyond the scope of the conference, which is, as you all know, racism, racial discrimination and action plans to implement the undertakings made by the states eight years ago," said Pillay. Ban added that it was unusual for a head of state to give this type of speech. "I have not experienced this kind of destructive proceedings in an assembly, in a conference, by any one member state. It was a totally unacceptable situation," he said. Still, Pillay defended Ahmadinejad's right to address the parley - whose official name is the 2009 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. At the United Nations, she said, "everybody has a right to speak, and more especially a head of state. And that was his right."

Related Content

US President Donald Trump
July 23, 2018
Analysis: Trump's 'fiery and fury' moment with Iran?

By YONAH JEREMY BOB