Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Although the U.N.’s racism conference in Geneva has been dominated by Middle East politics, Palestinian rights groups say Palestinians have effectively been silenced.On the one hand tough rules by the conference organisers prevented Palestinian NGOs from holding “side events”, they say. On the other hand Monday’s controversial speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, slamming Israel as a “totally racist government” founded “on the pretext of Jewish suffering”, has distracted attention from the issues that actually affect Palestinians.
“One thing that we have noticed in this conference is that there has been a concerted effort to silence the voices of the Palestinian presence and raising the Palestinian issue,” said Wisam Ahmad of Al-Haq, a Ramallah-based advocacy group.
Ahmad says that Ahmadinejad’s speech became the symbol of the conference, as intended by “those that wanted this conference to fail”.
“We as Palestinians want to be heard and it is unfortunate that the press attributes the statements of the president of Iran to all of the Palestinian people,” he said.