Jerusalem, 21 September, 2022 (TPS) — Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan walked out of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) hall in protest as the President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi began his address to the Assembly Monday. Erdan did so because of Holocaust denying comments that Raisi made during an interview that he gave to the news program “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night.
World leaders are currently gathered in New York for the opening ceremonies of the 77th annual plenum of the UNGA and take turns addressing the Assembly.
Just as Raisi got up to speak and before he left, Ambassador Erdan placed on Israel’s table in the UNGA hall a picture of his late grandmothers, Holocaust survivors who survived Auschwitz and lost family members who were murdered.
On the “60 Minutes” season premiere, correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Raisi during the interview if he believed “the Holocaust happened? That 6 million Jews were slaughtered?”
“Look… Historical events should be investigated by researchers and historians,” he said. “There are some signs that it happened. If so, they should allow it to be investigated and researched.”
Stahl then challenged Raisi asking him, “So you’re not sure, I’m getting that you’re not sure. What about Israel’s right to exist?”
Raisi then changed the subject and attacked Israel saying, “the people of Palestine are the reality. This is the right of the people of Palestine who were forced to leave their houses and motherland. The Americans are supporting this false regime there to take root and to be established there.”
On the Iranian President’s Holocaust denial and his own decision to walk out of the UNGA in protest, Erdan said, “This is a new moral low for the UN. A mass murderer who denies the Holocaust, gets the UN platform to spread his despicable hatred. Any ambassador who stayed in the hall to listen to him should be ashamed.”
“While in Iran the Ayatollah regime oppresses its citizens,” he added, “murders women who did not cover their heads and finances terrorist attacks around the world, here at the United Nations, which was established to prevent such atrocities, the president of Iran, the murderer and Holocaust denier Raisi, is given a platform to spread his hatred.”
Erdan went on to call Raisi’s appearance a disgrace He called on all of the ambassadors to leave the assembly hall and said that he placed the picture of his late grandmothers for Raisi to see in order to show “the despised Holocaust denier that the Holocaust took place and to make him realize that we will never allow the horrors that happened to us to happen again.”