[Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was asked how he can visit with the President of Iran given that he has called openly and repeatedly for the destruction of Israel.
Instead of taking the opportunity to condemn the statements, Annan limits himself to:
#1 “Israel … has the right to exist, and one cannot wipe away Israel with statements. (AL: his version of the children’s rhyme “sticks and stones can break….”?)
#2 “And those kinds of statements should not be made.” (AL: apparently because of the “technicality” that “Israel… is a recognized Member State”.
Put another way: judging from UN Sec’y Gen. Kofi Annan’s remarks, he wouldn’t necessarily have a problem with Iran’s president calling for destroying the Jewish State – or perhaps even going about and actually delivering on his threat – if not for the technicality that Israel is a member of the UN. Throw Israel out of the UN and all bets may be off.
It should be noted that while Annan is extremely careful in his remarks about Iran, he has had no problem attacking Israel during his visit to the region.]
Here is the Secretary-General’s press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (unofficial transcript).