The sooner the better

The sooner the better

No one should be surprised that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a statement Sunday before a high-level United Nations General Assembly meeting, said that Israel has “no roots” in the history of the Middle East.
One wonders how he rationalizes Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, Deborah, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, the Prophets and …
Well, you get the idea.
Still, it’s no surprise that he would utter such an insult. You can’t be surprised by what you have come to expect.
But here’s something that should be surprising, should be downright shocking, in fact: Ahmadinejad is scheduled to make his annual — and, thank heaven, final — address to the General Assembly as Iran’s president, Wednesday — Yom Kippur.
Talk about an obscenity!
While Jews the world over are in their synagogues that day atoning for their transgressions of the past year, Ahmadinejad, who has denied the Holocaust ever happened, and has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, will be addressing the world body, no doubt adding a few new verbal transgressions to his already substantial repertoire before he leaves office.
Who’s in charge of scheduling these speeches, anyway? To have Ahmadinejad speak on the holiest day of the year for Jews is oratorically akin to the Yom Kippur War. And while the timing of his speech has no practical impact, it should rightly be taken as a thumb in the eye to Jews around the world.
Why Yom Kippur, of all days, to schedule a speech by the best-known living Jew hater? Wouldn’t another day do? Did Ahmadinejad request it to rub salt in Jewish wounds? Were U.N. protocol experts simply asleep at the switch?
We can’t answer those questions. Surprisingly, this snub by the world body is garnering insufficient media attention, even from the Jewish media.
That’s a shame. Maybe calling out the United Nations for letting Ahmadinejad speak on Yom Kippur wouldn’t change anything. Still, someone should be expressing outrage; it shouldn’t be allowed to go unnoticed.
If there is any silver lining to Ahmadinejad’s final insult to the Jews and Israel before departing the world stage, it is that he is about to leave office in Iran as an extremely unpopular president.
As Bloomberg News reports, Ahmadinejad, who has nine months to go in his term of office, “presides over an economy hobbled by European and U.S.-led sanctions and a currency collapse that’s firing inflation.”
In fact, “There is a high probability that he will leave Iran in somewhat of a disgraced fashion, in terms of what he has done for the country,” Bloomberg reports author Hooman Majd, an interpreter for Ahmadinejad on some of his previous U.N. trips, as saying. He’s already run afoul of leading clerics in his country, and the degree of power he still commands in the Iranian government is highly questionable.
That’s something anyway. In the final analysis, what Ahmadinejad says at the U.N. doesn’t mean a hill of beans to much of the world. The sooner he goes, the better.