UN Racism Conference Boycotted, Protested

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Nine countries are boycotting the United Nations racism conference.

And more than 20 others walked out while Iran's president delivered a speech that attacked Israel.

With their mouths sealed, students march outside the United Nations' human rights meeting in Geneva.

Click play for more insight with CBN News Senior Reporter Dale Hurd following this report.

"The racism conference that UN human rights council is convened today is a sham; it's a wasted opportunity," student protest organizer Michael Dixon said.

"Instead of talking about real racism and human rights, some of the worst human rights offenders in the world that form the UN human rights council have created this conference," he added.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the offender sparking the silent protest outside -- and as he begins to speak, vocal protests erupt inside.

This is day one of the week-long meeting the U.S., Israel -- and seven other nations -- are boycotting after the 2001 UN conference in South Africa condemned Israel.

And as Ahmadinejad begins his tirade against Israel this year, diplomats from Britain, France -- and other European countries -- walk out, honoring their promise to leave if the talk descended into anti-Semitism.

CBN's Middle East bureau chief Chris Mitchell is following the story.

"From Israel's point of view, I think it can be a very effective conference in a negative manner. That is why they have boycotted and they are very heartened by other countries that have boycotted and heartened as well that many people have walked out Ahmadinejad's speech," Mitchell said.

But even with more empty seats in the audience, Mitchell says it's not clear how this week will end.

"I think there is actually a battle going on right now, where the Foreign Minister here in Israel has actually called back their ambassador from Switzerland," he said.

"The diplomatic war is being waged by Israel and its allies and those nations like Libya, Iran and Cuba that are trying to stigmatize Israel as a racist nation."

Back outside, Jewish students from France are prepared to continue their protest of the conference they call a sham.

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Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

CBN News Reporter

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