[Hoje Macau, Macau]



Folha, Brazil

Hosting Ahmadinejad Diminished Brazil's Standing in the World


"President Lula's deranged foreign policy advisors lied by saying that Washington supported his mediation with the pariah of Tehran. ... The fact is that the U.S. and other Western powers consider the visit as offering legitimacy to the Iranian regime."


By Sérgio Malbergier*



Translated By Brandi Miller


November 24, 2009


Brazil - Folha - Original Article (Portuguese)

Holding the plans for Auschwitz, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu scolds U.N. members who tolerate the Holocaust denial of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, Sept. 24., 00:29:29.


UNITED NATIONS TV: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses the opening of the 64th U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 24., 00:29:29RealVideo

My great-grandfather, concerned about anti-Semitism and poverty, left his small village in southern Poland on his way to America at the beginning of the last century. Like many of his countrymen, he found a job in New York - at a garment factory. Religious Jews, however, couldn't accept working on Saturdays, which is the day of rest in Judaism, so he returned to Poland.


“He went back for Hitler to kill him,” my grandmother Pessel (Paulina) said in her yard in Niterói, where she told and retold the story dozens of times in never-ending sorrow.


My great-grandfather is the bearded man in the photo [below] and my grandmother is the smaller of the two girls that are standing beside him. Aside from the two girls, the sister on my grandmother’s lap and the son, all had the luck of fleeing Europe before the Nazi barbarism. The others in the picture were killed in German extermination camps during the war (1939-45).


It's painful to imagine what my grandmother (if she were alive) would feel watching the country that had given them refuge and where she was brought up with a joy she has passed on to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, extending the red carpet to Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an international pariah that denies and promotes the denial of the Holocaust (the extermination of six million defenseless Jews by Nazi Germany), a denial of the history of humanity and, on a more personal level, of my grandmother and her immense suffering. Hers, mine, and that of tens of thousands of Jewish Brazilians and millions of Brazilians of other faiths who deplore the atrocities of the Nazis and those of the Iranian Islamic theocracy against its own citizens.


Family of Sérgio Malbergier, before Nazi terror claimed Poland.


President Lula and his diplomats are at the very least naive to argue that Ahmadinejad's visit will elevate the image of Brazilian diplomacy.


The pariah of Tehran is barred from Western capitals that practice responsible foreign policy due to his extensive criminal record of torturing and killing hundreds of his regime's opponents; because he was the winner of a contested election (probably stolen) in which opposition protests were repressed with bullets and which Lula irresponsibly likened to a battle between rival fans; his promotion of international terrorism; and his bloody oppression of religious minorities; his persecution of homosexuals (executed in public plazas) and of political parties, especially those from the left.


But the Lula government, poorly advised by the increasingly imbalanced group that controls its foreign policy, argues that by granting state honors and a platform to this oppressor, supporter of terrorists and denier of the absolute evil promoted by the Nazis, Ahmadinejad could be moved to moderate his position.



First, Lula’s deranged foreign policy advisors lied by saying that Washington supported his mediation with Iran to try and persuade the country to abandon its clandestine and illegal nuclear program.


The fact is that the U.S. and other Western powers, that are legitimately concerned about the prospect of a belligerent Iranian regime (which threatens to destroy Israel and seeks the nuclear means to make possible this new Holocaust) obtaining a nuclear bomb, consider the visit as offering legitimacy to the Iranian regime.


Actually, the negotiations with Iran that Lula is calling for began the day Obama took over at the White House. The talks, led by the U.S., China, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and Germany, are going nowhere, precisely because Tehran wants The Bomb - and Lula and Itamaraty [Brazil's ministry of Foreign Affairs] just pretend not to notice.


In the West, Ahmadinejad is received only by neo-generalissimo Hugo Chávez and his satellite regimes. Barred elsewhere, he seeks allies in South America and anywhere else he can find them.


What Ahmadinejad has to gain from his visit to Brazil is clear to all: 1) Legitimacy from an emerging power that still doesn’t know what to do with its new global influence gained, above all, due to a powerful economy and because of the leadership and charisma of Lula himself. 2) A valuable platform to freely and cynically speak of his “peaceful” and “humanitarian” intentions, which are just the opposite. And even hitting at Brazil’s historic allies like the U.S. 




[Hoje Macau, Macau]



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Brazil, however, can only lose by this arrangement, such as its global image as a country of tolerance and defender of human rights and democracy.


Today my grandmother more than just an image in the yellowed photograph that accompanies this article. She is a large part of me, which cries in sorrow to see the country that took her in and gave birth to me extend a red carpet for a dictator who denies the greatest hardship of her life and the lives of millions who were compelled to endure the greatest iniquity ever committed by humanity.


By receiving Ahmadinejad, Lula stained Brazil and made me embarrassed to be Brazilian.


And there's something worse.


If this shameless support for the Iranian weren’t enough, the Brazilian government still felt a need to retaliate against Jewish leaders in Brazil who have courageously and publicly protested the despot’s visit. During Israeli President Shimon Peres' recent visit to Brazil, they were denied invitations to meet him.


For the Lula and his advisors, the Jewish community should remain silent as their memory is trampled upon - which is anything but democratic.


Sérgio Malbergier is the editor of the Money section of the Folha de S. Paulo. He was the editor of the World section (2000-2004), a correspondent in London (1994) and sent as a special correspondent to countries like Iraq, Israel and Venezuela, among others. He has directed two short films, A Árvore [The Tree] (1986) and Carô no Inferno [Carô in Hell] (1987). He writes for Folha Online on Thursdays.








































Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Nov. 28, 6:05pm


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