- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2009

UNITED NATIONS (AP) | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waved designs of the most infamous Nazi death camp from a U.N. podium on Thursday, exhorting the world to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

And Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told assembled world leaders that he smells hope not sulfur, a small compliment for President Obama, after branding President George W. Bush as “the devil” in his last speech to the world body three years ago.

Just days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again denied the Holocaust, Mr. Netanyahu used his speech before the U.N. General Assembly to warn of another catastrophe.

He held up a copy of the minutes from a notorious meeting at Wannsee Lake, where top Nazis formalized plans for the systematic extermination of Europe’s Jewish population.

Transcript: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the U.N. General Assembly

“Is this protocol a lie?” he asked.

Then he brandished original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp - a representation in chilling detail of gas chambers, crematoria and other facilities where 3 million Jews perished.

“The most urgent challenge facing this body today is to prevent the tyrant of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he declared.

Iran denies that it is producing nuclear arms, but Israel, the U.S. and other world powers do not believe it and are hoping to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions through a series of sanctions. Mr. Netanyahu warned that Tehran’s nuclear program threatens not only Israel, but the entire world.

“Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime, perhaps they threaten only the Jews. Well, if you think that, you’re wrong. You’re dead wrong,” he said.

Mr. Chavez’s praise of Mr. Obama came a day after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi expressed hope that the president, whom he called a son of Africa, could remain president forever.

“It doesn’t smell of sulfur. It’s gone. It smells of something else. It smells of hope and you have hope in your heart,” Mr. Chavez said during a rambling, 57-minute address.

Though at times he waved his arms, shook his fist and pointed for emphasis, Mr. Chavez was largely calm and often even jovial during his speech. He denounced capitalism as being a chief cause of global climate change and other environmental problems, and accused Mr. Obama of making lofty promises but failing to live up to them, asking “doesn’t it seem like there are two Obamas?”

Mr. Chavez also urged Mr. Obama to “come over to the socialist side. Come join the Axis of Evil over here.” He was only half joking.

A socialist and populist, Venezuela’s president did not mention Mr. Bush by name, but got in another dig when he said “please, don’t anybody throw a shoe at me!”

On Mr. Bush’s last trip to Baghdad, an Iraqi journalist stood up at a press conference and hurled both of his shoes at Mr. Bush, who ducked them both.

At the 51-minute mark, Mr. Chavez quipped “I think I’ve spoken for 10 minutes,” then finally concluded six minutes later.

“I’m not going to speak any more than Gadhafi. Gadhafi has said everything that had to be said,” Mr. Chavez opined at the start of his speech.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide