Dozens Walk Out on Ahmadinejad During UN Speech

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The United States criticized Iran's president for resorting to "anti-semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories" during his speech to the United Nations Thursday.

Representatives of more than a dozen countries walked out as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his comments.

Although known for making controversial statements to the he U.N., the Iranian leader wasn't the focus in New York this year. Instead, all eyes have been on the Palestinians.

Still, in vintage Ahmadinejad style, he exploited the global gathering to rant against American imperialism.

In his remarks, he called the 9/11 attacks "mysterious" and said they were a pretext for a U.S.-led war against Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ahmadinejad also accused the West of using the Holocaust as an excuse to oppress the Palestinian people.

"They threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and Sept. 11 with sanctions and military action," he said.

Ahmadinejad's speech comes as Palestinian and Israeli leaders are locked in a standoff over formal U.N recognition of a Palestinian state.

Sentiment for and against the declaration is running high on the streets of New York.

"We are here to show our support for Israel and show that the United States has only one friend in the Middle East and that's Israel," said Israel supporter Jerrold Rabinowitz.

"When Israel presented its application for statehood to the United Nations they didn't ask the Palestinians whether to grant it or not," Ricken Patel, founder of the grassroots group Avaaz. "The same should be true for the Palestinians."

Meanwhile, Israeli forces are on high alert as Palestinian officials warn that violence is inevitable if they are denied a state. In Tel Aviv residents are watching the diplomatic proceedings in New York closely.

"The Palestinians won't get what they want, I think it will cause more riots," Tel Aviv resident Yaniv Malichi said.

Undeterred by diplomatic pressure, Palestinian officials say they'll forge ahead on Friday with their bid to be recognized as a full member of the world body.

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