The Day In Israel: Thurs Sept 24th, 2009

More of the same from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN General Assembly.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel of “inhuman policies” in the Palestinian territories and of dominating world political and economic affairs in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad assailed Israel for what he said was a barbaric attack on the Gaza Strip last winter. He also accused the West of hypocrisy, saying it preached democracy, but violated its fundamental principles.

Addressing Israel, the Iranian leader said, “The awakening of nations and the expansion of freedom worldwide will no longer allow them to continue their hypocrisy and vicious attitudes.”

“How can one imagine that the inhuman policies in Palestine may continue?” Ahmadinejad continued. “How can crimes of the occupiers against defenseless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools be supported unconditionally by certain governments?”

Ahmadinejad spoke to a half-empty chamber as he sought to cast himself as a beleaguered champion of the developing world, that he portrayed as under attack from rapacious capitalism.

At the same time, the Iranian leader issued stinging attacks on the United States and its allies without calling them by name, prompting a walkout by the U.S. delegation.

At times, Ahmadinejad struck a softer tone, declaring that Tehran was prepared to warmly shake all those hands which are honestly extended to us. He peppered his speech with religious references, invoking the prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Ahmadinejad made a passing reference to the nuclear issue – call for global nuclear disarmament – but most of the speech focused on his usual themes – scathing verbal attacks on Israel and the West.

Ahmadinejad also accused foreign forces of spreading “war, bloodshed, aggression, terror and intimidation” in the Middle East, citing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Iranian leader said it was time for the world to respond. “It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks, and establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the U.S., to attain its racist ambitions,” he said.

If you have the time and sufficiently masochistic tendencies, you can view his full speech here.

Bonus: Ahmadinejad answering a question about his Holocaust denial.

Don’t tell me the idea of this man having nuclear weapons doesn’t terrify you.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

2:38PM: Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, explains how the Goldstone report is a victory for terror.

Excerpt:

Consider this scenario. In response to the atrocities of 9/11, the United States invades Afghanistan and battles non-uniformed Taliban terrorists who fight within densely populated areas. Though American forces do their utmost to avoid inflicting civilian casualties, many innocents are killed – not the least because the Taliban uses them as human shields. Nevertheless, the United States carefully investigates each civilian death and, in the case of misconduct, punishes those soldiers responsible.

But then an international organization notorious for its one-sided condemnations of America launches an investigation into US “war crimes.’’ The inquiry is held under Taliban auspices, and Taliban commanders – disguised as civilians – are interviewed. Inexorably, the organization finds America guilty of mounting a pre-meditated campaign to inflict the maximum amount of civilian deaths and of failing to try those responsible. The final report calls for punitive action against the United States for its “crimes against humanity.’’

If true, this scenario would mark an unparalled victory for terror and deal a crippling blow to any democracy trying to defend itself. Yet, this is precisely the catastrophe created by a UN report on Israeli military actions against Hamas in Gaza last January.

12:38PM: You have to hand it to the palestinians. Their imaginations truly run wild when it comes to dreaming up ways to demonize Israel.

Case in point: the palestinian version of the killing of Israeli Arab Walid Tawil, who was shot after he broke through a checkpoint, and then tried to run over a soldier.

Walid Rabi At-Tawil, shot dead Tuesday by Israeli forces near the Beta Illit checkpoint, died not because the 27-year-old failed to stop when ordered, but from a planned ambush that abused the power soldiers wield over travelers, local residents told Ma’an.

The Israeli officer that shot At-Tawil met the young man Monday at the Betar Illit checkpoint, where he had pulled him over and detained At-Tawil for two and a half hours, according to purported witnesses. An altercation between the two during the period of detention saw the officer scream at At-Tawil that he was never to return to the checkpoint, they said, claiming that the officer threatened to kill At-Tawil if he ever saw him again.

The following day At-Tawil was stopped at a gas station near the checkpoint when Israeli army vehicles pulled in, one carrying the same officer with whom the altercation had taken place, according to the same witnesses. They said the officer disembarked from the jeep, walked over to At-Tawil, struck him and then demanded to see his ID card. He was instructed to get in his car and follow the military vehicle, they said.

A short distance from the gas station Israeli soldiers opened fire on the vehicle, shooting the car and driver at least 35 times, they said. One Palestinian said At-Tawil attempted to flee in his car when soldiers began firing their weapons, but did not manage to escape the scene.

They also said that the soldier was from the regular army, not an Israeli police officer or border guard. Their reports countered claims made in the Israeli press that At-Tawil had run through the Betar Illit checkpoint, been chased down by Israeli forces, and then tried to run them down when he was caught.

According to the Palestinians who spoke to Ma’an, the gas station’s owners had working video cameras operating at the time of the incident, but by Wednesday no footage had been brought forward.

Which begs the following questions:

  • Why would the soldier with whom Tawil had an altercation the day before ask to see his ID card? If he intended to kill him, he surely would have recognized him without any ID, since they had spent two and half hours together the previous day.
  • Why was Tawil  instructed to get in his car and follow the military vehicle, given that he was killled a short distance from the petrol station? The soldiers could have walked with him and then killed him, given that they were seemingly not concerned with the prospect of witnesses.
  • Doesn’t it seem coincidental that the very same witnesses to the two-and-a-half hour detention and altercation happened to be on the scene to witness the killing the next day?
  • What is the bet that video footage confirming this palestinian version of events does not actually exist?

11:36AM: Many delegations walked out before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s UN General Assembly rant, including those from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Costa Rica, Denmark, France Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand and the United States.

Meanwhile, this graphic on the Herald Sun site suggests that delegates walked out because of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (although the report to which it links tells the true story).

rudd empty

Beware, the mighty ear wax picker!

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media