The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday blasted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who hosted 79-year-old Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan Tuesday at a dinner for “leaders of Abrahamic religions.”
In a press release, the ADL said the meeting of “two leading purveyors of anti-Semitism” was “yet another example of the extreme views of the Iranian government toward Jews and Israel and their attempt to promote those hateful views before an American audience by consorting with like-minded bigots.
“The Iranian president may have held back in his speech to the United Nations, but when he was not speaking on the dais before world leaders Ahmadinejad once again gave voice to his virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
“I’m sure the irony is lost on no one that the Iranian government felt it necessary to invite one of the foremost purveyors of anti-Semitism in the United States to have dinner with their president and foreign minister. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime apparently will go to any extreme, even consorting with like-minded bigots, to endorse their warped worldview.”
The Iranian leader reportedly said at the dinner: “If in every country today, and in America in particular, they were to take a poll, they would see that the majority of the people are opposed to the Zionists and would end support of the Zionist regime.”
He also said he believed “Zionists” were behind the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which sparked a wave of violence and anti-American protests across the Muslim and Arab world.
The Iranian leader’s remarks were posted on his government web pages, along with a photo of Ahmadinejad sitting behind a table with a smiling Louis Farrakhan and others .
While Ahmadinejad avoided much of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel invective he has employed in past appearances before the UNGA, in his remarks on Wednesday he did use the opportunity to refer to “the occupation of Palestine and imposition of a fake government” after the Second World War.