At least Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lives up to the fears and expectations the rest of the world has for him.
The only national leader to attend the Durbin II UN human rights conference in Geneva kicked off the conference by delivering a speech where he accused Israel of genocide.
The European nations that had not previously decided to sit out the gathering walked out in protest.
Several others, including Germany and the Netherlands, had joined the United States and Israel in boycotting the conference for fear that Israel would become its focus. Ahmadinejad guaranteed that those concerns would come true.
Of course, it's popular to accuse Israel of human rights violations. That's fine, and fair game. But I guess the conference avoids the issue of rights in Iran.
Let's see ... a freelance journalist is picked up for buying wine (horrid!) then held for reporting (for the BBC, NPR and others) without a press card and then is convicted behind closed doors and without representation of her attorney of spying for the United States.
Women are routinely arrested for showing strands of hair in public.
And as Ahmadinejad has said himself, there are no gays in Iran. At least no identifiably gay people. Well, at least no identifiably gay people who are still alive.
Those nations that sat out Durbin II did so out of conscience. Those that attended wanted to give it a go because the issue is, of course, a serious one. There are human rights violations all across the globe. And all of them deserve our attention and remediation.
But those who walked out had little choice. Because if the only human rights violations the UN is going to focus on are those allegedly committed by Israel, then a lot of people suffering elsewhere in the world will find no relief. And that includes those who live under the repressive regime controlling Iran.
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