UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brandished at the U.N. on Thursday Nazi-era documents on the extermination of Jews, dramatically rebutting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust.
“Yesterday, the man who called the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium,” Netanyahu said in an address to the U.N. General Assembly.
“To those who refused to come and to those who left in protest, I commend you,” he said.
“But to those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?”
Netanyahu held aloft two documents -- a copy of the minutes of the Wansee Conference, in which Nazi officials planned the Final Solution that led to the killing of six million Jews and the original blueprints of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps.
He received the blueprints, discovered last year, during a visit to Germany in August.
“They contain a signature by Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s deputy himself. Are these plans of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where one million Jews were murdered ... a lie, too?
“And what of the survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie, too?” he asked.
In his speech on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad accused Israel of “inhuman policies” in the Palestinian territories and suggested that Jews dominated world political and economic affairs.
Netanyahu called the Iranian leader’s remarks a “systematic assault on the truth” and accused him of “spewing ... anti-Semitic remarks.”
Several delegations, including that of the United States, left the hall around the time of Ahmadinejad’s comments directed at Israel. The hall remained at least half full throughout the speech, which drew little reaction from delegates.
Ahmadinejad has called for Israel’s destruction. Israel has urged stronger international sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, which western nations believe is aimed at building an atomic bomb.
Editing by Alan Elsner
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