WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – In the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitic interview on CNN Monday night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators released a public letter condemning and denouncing the president’s hateful language.
Ahmadinejad is in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
“We, the undersigned members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, strongly object to and condemn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his hate-laced speeches and anti-Semitic comments,” said the legislators in the letter. “Unfortunately, Ahmadinejad’s appearance at this week’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly will give this reckless dictator another forum in the world media for his evil point of view.”
The letter, which is addressed to the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Westchester Jewish Council, notes that the president’s anti-Semitic comments come during the Jewish Days Of Awe, between Rosh Hashanah, and one of the religion’s holiest days, Yom Kippur.
“This man’s speech is not just hateful and anti-Semitic,” said Tom Staudter, press secretary. “He says things that are troubling to anyone who wants peace in the world.”
The decision to support the letter condemning Ahmadinejad’s speech was unanimous among the 17 legislators and is in step with the Board’s dedication to protecting all Westchester residents against hate speech, Staudter said. Ahmadinejad’s role as a world leader makes his anti-Semitic language a threat to not only the Jewish community, but to everyone working to create a more peaceful world as well, Stauder said.
“He has a certain kind of dangerous swagger when it comes to upsetting a region of the world where, right now, there’s uneasy peace,” Staudter said.
The letter called Ahmadinejad’s presence in New York during the Days of Awe “a profound affront to all those who wish peace in the Middle East and around the world.” Along with condemning the hate speech, the letter calls for a serious dialogue about the Iranian people working toward a peaceful existence. The Board ended the letter by thanking the Jewish Community Relations Council for its work against hateful language.
“The fight for justice means vigilance against those who want to spread evil,” said legislators in the letter.