I was going to write a few things about the walkouts at the UN anti-racism conference, but the WSWS has put it pretty well:
No political credence can be given to the political posturing of Ahmadinejad. He heads a repressive anti-democratic Islamic regime and has, at times, deliberately stirred up anti-Semitic sentiment by questioning whether the Holocaust occurred. But that his brief mention of the historical origins of Israel and the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people produced such a response indicates the depth of political tensions in the Middle East. Neither Israel nor its US sponsor will allow any public discussion or debate on these issues.
Notwithstanding Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, his comments were not animated by any genuine concern for the Palestinian people, nor will the Iranian government conduct any genuine struggle against Zionism and its imperialist backers.
Ahmadinejad faces national elections in June and with falling oil prices and growing unemployment his speech was primarily aimed at an Iranian domestic audience. He is also acutely aware that the deep-seated hostility among the Arab masses over collaboration between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern governments has provided him with an opportunity to posture within the region as a representative of the masses.
I don’t like Ahmadinejad or the government that he represents, and if he’d said anything in the direction of Holocaust denial, then I could understand people leaving the room (though they would have to do the same in a lot of other situations). But the content of this particular speech was totally harmless – he didn’t say anything that many Israeli historians haven’t said before.
It’s all a show. The Europeans, the Americans, the Iranians, the Israelis. Everyone wants to stay in power and keep things as they are. There can never be any real change before people recognize that.