Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday took to task the countries of the world that had sat silently and listened the day before to Holocaust-denier Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asking them, "Have you no shame, no decency?"
To those who boycotted Ahmadinejad's speech, or left in protest, Netanyahu said, "I commend you, you stood up for moral clarity.
"But for those who stayed - I say on behalf of the Jewish people, my people and decent people everywhere - have you no shame? No decency? What a disgrace, what a mockery of the charter of the UN," he declared.
Netanyahu opened his General Assembly address... by saying that the UN had been "founded after the carnage of World War II precisely to prevent a recurrence of such events."
"Nothing has undermined that mission, impeded it more, than the systematic assault on the truth," he said.
"Yesterday the president of Iran stood at this podium spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he claimed that the Holocaust is a lie..."
There are those who will wave this away because it comes from Netanyahu. It's a bad principle. Think about what he's saying, and it yields one of those pinch-yourself moments: realizing (what you already knew) that within the world body created as some sort of guarantor of human rights and bulwark against future genocides, a man who repeatedly denies the Holocaust can be given a respectful hearing by a substantial number of the delegates. The fact that such pinch-yourself moments come and go rather frequently at the UN doesn't detract from their being what they are, though it does tell you something about the state of the world. (Thanks: MK.)