Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Ahmadinejad Harms the Palestinian Cause

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 21st April, 2009

mahmoud-ahmadinejadThe Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, looked smugly satisfied when British and other Western delegates to the UN anti-racism conference in Geneva walked out yesterday, once he started his anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish rant. While his uncompromising words — including yet another questioning of the reality of the Holocaust — may have played to a certain radical gallery, they were disastrous for the Palestinian cause. As a result of his intervention, once again Israel and Jews worldwide can portray themselves as victims, whose very existence is threatened by Iran. The Palestinian issue, which the Iranian leader was supposedly highlighting, was effectively sidelined, as so often is the case.

There are many reasons to criticse Israeli policy; I do so often myself. There was no justification for the sickening scale of the assault on Gaza earlier this year, for example. But to couch such criticism in terms that play into the hands of those who cry ‘anti-semitism’ anytime Israel is scrutinised is counter-productive. Far from helping the Palestinian cause and their just struggle for dignity, freedom and statehood, Ahmadinejad has put it back. And he has persuaded the rational world — if it wasn’t persuaded already — that he is anti-semitic himself. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was right to attack the speech as contrary to the very purpose and spirit of the conference. Maybe Ahmadenijad thinks his display of arrogance will improve his chances of being re-elected in the forthcoming presidential elections back home. But actually he has damaged the reputation of Iran, as well as doing the Palestinians a disservice.

5 Responses to “Ahmadinejad Harms the Palestinian Cause”

  1. owlminerva said

    i completely agree with you. It was completely inappropriate for Ahmadenejad to be giving this speech. All the UN has is its reputation, and this reputation has been severely damaged with this spectacle. Maybe it is a lot of fun to see israel be whipped by A., but too many people depend for their survival on the UN, too many are affected by racism (not in the least those in Iran) to let this clown do his one and only trick and jeoapardize the whole conference. A. is guilty of the same self-centerness as Israel and the US. By not participating, or by giving such an inflammatory speech (we are lucky they made him take out the holocaust denial) they completely disregard the needs of the people this conference was made for.
    I completely disagree with Israel’s actions. But that doesn’t make me a fan of Ahmadinejad. He actually did an enormous disservice to the palestinian cause. Israeli hard liners couldn’t have wished for a better display and a better reason to aggravate the conflict. I am starting to think A. is zionist’s biggest supporter.
    Ban ki moon should be made to resign over letting this happen. It was not good for anything, except for those that want more conflict, war and bloodshed.

  2. Ian said

    The Palestinians seem to be good at picking the losing side as their allies.First it was the Nazis and then the Communists,although Israel did enjoy for a few years after its foundation support from Communist states,indeed without Czech aid it would not have defeated the invading Arab armiies and established itself.
    With the fall of communism came support from Saddam Hussein.
    Kuwait had a large Palestinian population.I remember one Palestinian resident telling me that Hitler was a good man.I asked him did he think the Ayrians(Iranians) were the master race?

  3. Julien said

    I disgree, I think Ahmadinejad did wonders for the Palestinian cause. While I am a strong Zionist I know that there are many who will totally sympathies with the Iranian President’s views. Yes, all those foreign ministers walked out but they do not represent the views of all their citizens. Even in the UK there is a rise in BNP support and many BNP members question the holocaust.

    One of the main reasons Israel gained a lot of international support for its creation was the guilt felt by countries such as the USA for letting the holocaust happen and not having dropped their policy of isolationism earlier. Therefore if the holocaust did not occur Israel lacks one of the main reasons it was established. If I was anti-zionist I would play on the fact the holocaust did not occur. It’s easy to question given all the camps burned the bodies making evidence of mass-murder difficult to provide. The figure of 6million (which of course I know is correct) is easy to question because of this. Holocaust denial is not necessarily anti-semitism in this context but a misunderstanding of historical fact. And this misunderstanding could cause many to disregard one of Israel’s main reasons for having been created thus aiding the course for the disestablishment of Israel.

  4. Daniella said

    Hi, this photo needs to be credited to Daniella Zalcman @

  5. jonathanfryer said

    Thanks for letting me know, Daniella. That´s one of the problems with the Internet — one doesn´t always know where something comes from. Great pic, by the way!

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