Holding aloft evidence of Hitler's Final Solution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday railed against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his denial of the Holocaust and scolded the United Nations for allowing Ahmadinejad to speak during its opening session of the 64th U.N. General Assembly.
With detailed reminders in hand of the war that sent 6 million Jews to their deaths in concentration camps, including construction blueprints for Auschwitz, Netanyahu took his turn at the dais to recall the agreement within the world body to create the Jewish state and express astonishment at what he witnessed a day earlier in that organization's great hall.
He commended those who boycotted Ahmadinejad's speech, but condemned those who allowed it.
"To those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people. ... Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu also scolded the United Nations for giving the Iranian president "legitimacy" just six decades after the Holocaust. Ahmadinejad addressed the body Wednesday, and in the run-up to the session repeated his belief that the Holocaust is a myth.
"What a disgrace," Netanyahu said. "What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations."
Netanyahu challenged the international community to step up and prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but expressed broad disappointment with the United Nations.
He accused the United Nations of remaining silent on attacks on Israelis from Hamas, and blasted the U.N. Human Rights Council for its "twisted standards."
The Human Rights Council issued a recent report that condemned Israel for its offensive in the Gaza Strip last January. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice last week called the report, conducted by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, "unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable," but the White House on Wednesday corrected a report that it would not allow the findings to reach the International Criminal Court.
"What a travesty," Netanyahu said. "Israel justly defended itself against terror."
He said the latest report presents a test to the international community: "Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?"
Netanyahu drew applause only when he talked about the need for a Palestinian state and when he finished his speech.
The day before, President Obama also drew heavy applause when he declared that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Obama called for Palestinians to end their "incitement of Israel" as well, but that line did not trigger a response from the audience.
Obama earlier met with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to re-start peace talks. It's unclear how Israel will respond to the U.S. president's firm declaration on the settlements. Netanyahu, while suggesting Israel is open to a temporary freeze on West Bank settlements, told FOX News Tuesday that the settlers must be allowed to extend the "possibility of normal life."
He said the settlers need schools, health clinics and other buildings, and that he believes the issue should come at the end of negotiations -- not the beginning.