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U.S. Officials Stay Seated While Ahmadinejad Blasts Israel

The AP is reporting that the U.S. delegation stayed seated while Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waxed philosophical about the historical accuracy of the Holocaust and the illegitimacy of the “Zionist regime” yesterday, even as Israel’s ambassador to the UN walked out in protest. I don’t see Susan Rice on the Fox News video, but at least three U.S. officials remained in their chairs (one of whom seemed to be diligently taking notes).

A UN walkout can be an important symbol of rejection when done effectively, but the fact that Israel left alone, while the U.S. stayed to listen to Ahmadinejad’s eliminationist musings, sent another message. Taken with Obama’s refusal to meet with Netanyahu, and the recent dismissal of Israeli “noise,” there’s a growing sense that the administration is distancing itself from Israel because it wants nothing to do with a potential attack on Iran:

Iran’s president called Israel a nuclear-armed “fake regime” shielded by the United States, prompting Israel’s U.N. ambassador to walk out of a high-level U.N. meeting Monday promoting the rule of law.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also accused the U.S. and others of misusing freedom of speech and failing to speak out against the defamation of people’s beliefs and “divine prophets,” an apparent reference to the recently circulated amateur video made in the U.S. which attacks Islam and denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. ….

The U.S. delegation did not walk out of Monday’s meeting, as it has in the past when Iran attacked Israel directly.

Ahmadinejad did not name either Israel or the U.S. in his speech but his targets were clear when he said: “We have witnessed that some members of the Security Council with veto right have chosen silence with regard to the nuclear warheads of a fake regime while at the same time they impede scientific progress of other nations.”

This paragraph (via Breitbart) is also a clear allusion to Iran’s Holocaust denial conferences:

[Ahmadinejad] also bore down on those who have revolted at Holocaust revisionism. He did this by calling attention to those who “infringe upon other’s freedom and allow sacrilege to people’s beliefs and sanctities, while they criticize posing questions or investigating into historical issues.”

Keep in mind that yesterday’s speech was just a warmup for Ahmadinejad — he’s set to give his big UN address on Yom Kippur tomorrow. Unless he somehow manages to steal another term (not permitted under the Iranian constitution), this is his last hurrah at Turtle Bay. So we can expect plenty of insanity on Wednesday.

At the Washington Times, Kerry Picket flags a USA Today report that President Obama’s UN speech today will denounce, yet again, the anti-Islam film the administration has repeatedly blamed for provoking riots across the Middle East. The Obama administration gave a perfunctory condemnation of Ahmadinejad’s speech yesterday, but the big question is, will Obama’s speech address Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitic vitriol, as well?