Wigged hecklers booted from Durban II

UN expels group that disrupted Iranian president; students hold demo at Swiss Embassy in Tel Aviv.

By ELIE LESHEM, AP
April 21, 2009 12:44
1 minute read.
Wigged hecklers booted from Durban II

Durban II Ahmadinejad clown protest 248. (photo credit: AP)

The United Nations on Tuesday said it had expelled a "large number" of members of a Jewish student group from the Durban Review racism conference after some of them disrupted a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Spokeswoman Marie Heuze said the UN acted in response to Monday's disturbance by rainbow-wigged protesters, who shouted insults and threw small red clowns' noses at Ahmadinejad. Members of the European Union of Jewish Students also attempted to block the Iranian leader's appearance at a news conference. Heuze said Tuesday the students "have no chance of returning." In Israel, a group of students from the Amit Kfar Batya High School in Ra'anana held a demonstration Tuesday across from the Swiss Embassy in Tel Aviv to protest the meeting between Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz and Ahmadinejad. The students delivered a letter addressed to the Swiss president, who on Monday defended his decision to meet Ahmadinejad, saying, "Switzerland is neutral and not part of any alliance." "Ahmadinejad uses Nazi terminology, which is why it is so scary and perhaps ironic that exactly a day after your distressing meeting with him, Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day," the letter read. The Swiss president's "dinner with the Iranian president," the students said, "shows that Switzerland - under your leadership - has apparently learned nothing from history and you, too, like your forefathers during the Holocaust, ignore the existential threat to us today. "History repeats itself. Please do not allow that horrible chapter in human history to repeat itself."


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