Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Iranian Prez Gets New York Welcome
Monday, September 24, 2007 11:43 PM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Iranian president did not make good on his threat to visit the site of
the ground zero memorial on Monday, but he was given a New York welcome
by tens of thousands of protesters at the United Nations and at
Hundreds of the protesters carried
yellow signs bearing the Iranian president’s likeness and a phrase,
Hundreds more lined police barricades
at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza along 47th Street with posters that said,
“Christians united for Israel.” Malcolm Hoenlein, vice president of the
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish organizations, was thrilled as
he gazed out at the sea of bodies stretching all the way back to First
Avenue, about a full city block away.
“In just 10 days, look at all the
people who have come to this coalition,” he said.
“In the front lines, all are
Willam Daroft, of the United Jewish
Coalition, told NewsMax that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s early afternoon
speech at Columbia University had galvanized its members.
“Speaking at the United Nations is
par for the course for dictators,” he said.
“But polluting an institution of
higher learning such as Columbia – that was a real spark.”
Security was tight up at Columbia
where police sealed off all gates leading onto campus and patrolled
overhead in helicopters.
More than a thousand predominantly
young protesters were confined to the sidewalks along Broadway at 116th
Street. Speakers had to use bullhorns to be heard.
“The police wouldn’t give us a permit
to use a sound system,” said Jennifer Cogan, who helped organize
demonstrators for Hasbara scholarships and the David Project, groups
that offer pro-Israel education programs in high schools and colleges.
Fear of an Iranian nuclear bomb
motivated the crowd, who carried posters with Ahmadinejad’s picture
that said, “Stop Iran from going nuclear.”
David Jonas, a 21-year-old rabbinical
student from Riverdale, N.Y., said that he had been proud to be a
Columbia student that morning.
“Tonight, I am proud to no longer be
a student at Columbia. Shame on Columbia!” he said to a cheering crowd.
Elisha Davidovitz, who recently
earned a master’s degree from Columbia’s school of journalism, said she
could not longer in good conscience hang the diploma on her wall.
“Today, a terrorist has been given
more respect than we are here,” she said to the protesters.
By inviting Ahmadinejad, Columbia has
“shown more respect to a terrorist than to the victims of 9/11 or to
the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. So in their honor, I am
tearing up my diploma.”
Holding up her pigskin to the
cameras, Davidovitz tore it in two. “President Bollinger, this is free
speech,” she said, addressing the university president who at that
moment was introducing Ahmadinejad to an invitation only event inside.
New York Democratic Congressman Eliot
Engel said Congress would pursue tougher sanction legislation “to
squeeze the Iranian regime because the Iranian people deserve better
and don’t want Adolph Hitler running their country.”
Instead of Ahmadinejad being allowed
to address the United Nations and Columbia, the Iranian president
“should be arrested,” Engel said.
“Columbia University should be
ashamed of itself,” he added.
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