UN chief tries to block Israeli ambassador's speech

Thursday, December 11, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

United Nations General Assembly President Miguel Brockmann failed in his attempt to further slight Israel when the Jewish state's envoy to the international body, Prof. Gabriela Shalev, addressed a special session marking 60 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Brockmann tried to block Shalev's speech after he learned that she would be representing the unofficial regional group known as "Western Europe and others."

After European diplomats thwarted Brockmann with their furious protests, the UN chief decided to let Shalev go on, but added speakers from the Arab bloc and the traditionally anti-Israel bloc of non-aligned nations to the day's roster.

Brockmann, a Nicaraguan diplomat, previously angered Israel and its Western allies when he publicly embraced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following his address at the 63rd anniversary of the General Assembly in September.

Brockmann later accused Israel of being an "apartheid state" that was "crucifying the Palestinians."

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