April 20, 2009
Posted: 02:12 PM ET
In a defiant speech, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad argued before a United Nations anti-racism conference Monday that Israel is a "paragon of racism," founded on what he called "the pretext of Jewish sufferings" during World War II.
The comments, a hard-edged version of Ahmadinejad's often-repeated anti-Zionist views, prompted several dozen European diplomats to walk out of the opening session of the week-long Geneva meeting, which the Obama administration and eight other Western nations already were boycotting. In addition, a handful of pro-Israel protesters shouting "shame, shame" and "racist, racist" threw things at the podium and prevented Ahmadinejad from entering a room where he was to hold a news conference.
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