Disgrace at the U.N.

It is hard to know which is the greater affront: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lecturing the world about the rule of law, as he did at the United Nations on Sept. 24, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spewing his anti-Semitic trash on Yom Kippur, as he was scheduled to do before the General Assembly on Sept. 26.

In either case, the U.N. once again demonstrated its institutional contempt for Israel. Year after year, the U.N. has allowed itself to be used as a platform for virulent anti-Semitism, and not all of it from the mouth of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Indeed, the coddling of anti-Semites is one of the U.N.’s most durable traditions—remember that the General Assembly condemned Zionism as a form of racism in the mid-1970s.

That mind-set hasn’t changed much—otherwise the audience for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s diatribes would have disappeared years ago. It hasn’t. Indeed, the fact that he was allowed to speak on the topic of international law should tell us all we need to know about the view of some powerful functionaries at the U.N.

Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Ron Prosor, said that asking Mr. Ahmadinejad to speak about the rule of law was akin to “appointing an arsonist as fire chief.”

But it’s actually worse than that. Somebody at the U.N. clearly is willing to hand this arsonist a few matches. And somebody seems eager to see the results.

Israel has known for years that it should expect nothing but insults from the U.N. General Assembly. Still, it is imperative to remind fair-minded people in the U.S. and elsewhere of this ongoing outrage.

editorial@observer.com