clown heckler 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
The three "clowns" who interrupted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech in Geneva on Monday were Rafael Haddad, Jonathan Hayoun and Jeremy Cohen, three Jewish French students from L'Union des Etudiants Juifs de France (UFJ), the union of Jewish French students.
They positioned themselves at opposite ends of the hall when Ahmadinejad took the stage, and as he uttered his first words whipped out the clown wigs from their pockets and yelled "racist" at the Iranian president.
The students said they wore clown outfits in order to "show that this speech and the entire conference is a circus." One of the students expressed satisfaction that EU delegates left the conference when Ahmadinejad's speech turned to focus on Israel.
The students were promptly escorted out by security personnel. They managed to gain entrance in the first place because they were registered as participants on the part of NGOs. They were released by UN security personnel shortly after being removed from the premises.
Later in Ahmadinejad's speech, Israeli students shouted "You are the racist" from the balcony of the conference hall. Boaz Toporovsky, head of the Israeli Student Organization and two female students managed to enter the hall. They said that they managed to infiltrate the hall from one of the balcony doors after being refused entrance at the main floor. Toporvosky and his colleagues were advised by the Foreign Ministry not to stand out, so they decided to shout at Ahmadinejad from the balcony. Initially their plan was to wave an Israeli flag in the main hall.
Ahmadinejad made eye contact with the students. They continued to shout at him, to roaring applause.