Last update - 16:59 20/04/2009
Ahmadinejad at Durban II: Israel is racist government
By Haaretz Staff and News Agencies
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday branded Israel a "racist government," seemingly living up to concerns that the United Nations conference on racism which he was addressing would turn into a forum to vilify the Jewish state.
The comments sparked a mass walk-out of the conference hall by Western delegates to the summit.
Ahmadinejad accused Israel of "being the most cruel and racist regime," sparking a walkout by angry Western diplomats at the conference and protests from others.
In a rambling speech, Ahmadinejad on Monday pointed the finger at the United States, Europe and Israel and said they were "destabilizing the entire world."
Some European diplomats immediately walked out of the room when Ahmadinejad said Israel was "created on the pretext of Jewish suffering from World War II."
A wigged protester shouting "Racist! racist!" threw a soft red object at
Ahmadinejad, hitting the podium and interrupting his speech.
Ahmadinejad's speech came as Israel prepared to mark its own Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Iranian leader has repeatedly claimed the Holocaust never happened and has called repeatedly for Israel's destruction.