Coalition Gears Up To Protest Ahmadinejad Dinner

By Marc Perelman

Published September 22, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A coalition of Jewish and non-Jewish groups is planning a demonstration to protest a September 25 dinner organized by five American Christian organizations at which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be a featured guest.

“These religious leaders are about to betray their brethren across all religions, parties, and countries by ‘honoring’ the tyrannical regime of Ahmadinejad and the Iranian mullahs of this terrorist state,” protest organizers said in a statement posted on their Web site.

The rally will come just three days after another anti-Iran rally held outside the United Nations. That rally became embroiled in controversy after the organizers decided to rescind invitations to Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Democratic Party officials.

The sponsors of the dinner protest have invited Palin to participate, though she is not expected to attend.

The protest will take place outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan at the same time that Ahmadinejad is dining inside. Among the 30 groups organizing the protest are Americans for a Safe Israel, Stand With Us and the Catholic League. The Ahmadinejad dinner has also prompted the American Jewish Committee to send a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon protesting the planned attendance of the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann.

“The President of the General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, has put the credibility of the United Nations into question,” the AJCommittee’s president, Richard Sideman, and executive director, David Harris, wrote in their September 22 letter. “The presence of the President of the General Assembly at an event in honor of Mr. Ahmadinejad would make a mockery of you, the United Nations, and the nations and leaders who have made a point of rejecting Holocaust denial whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is made.”

The September 22 protest outside the United Nations was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and local Jewish groups. Because of the flap over Palin’s invitation, the event did not feature American politicians as it did in previous years. Among the participants were Israeli Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, former Soviet refusenik Nathan Sharansky and former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler. The sizable crowd was made up largely of youth brandishing signs assailing Ahmadinejad for his anti-Israel pronouncements and his country’s poor human rights record.

The American presidential campaign remained mostly on the sidelines, except for a few signs directed against Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

A block away, one demonstrator, Bill Rubin, was standing at a corner, waving an Israeli flag and a sign that said, “Dems hate Sarah Palin more than they hate Islamo-fascists.”

“I am ashamed, you don’t tell someone to come to Shabbat, have the person accept and then say ‘Oh no,’” he said.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.