Israel Yanks Ambassador to Switzerland

Outraged as Iranian, Swiss leaders meet at UN racism conference
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 20, 2009 7:51 AM CDT
The seat of Israel, center, and other countries are empty during the UN Racism conference at the United Nations headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, April 20, 2009.    (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – Israel has angrily called home its ambassador to Switzerland after that country's president met with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ahead of a politically charged UN meeting on racism that began today, the Times of London reports. On Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day, Switzerland’s “guest of honor is a racist and a Holocaust-denier who doesn’t conceal his intention to wipe Israel off the face of this earth,” PM Benjamin Netanyahu said.

The US, Israel, Canada, Germany, Australia, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, and New Zealand aren’t attending the meeting over concerns of anti-Israel sentiment and a fear that Islamic countries may use the gathering to bar any criticism of Islam. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened the meeting today, calling for extra vigilance against racism in difficult economic times. “I fear that today’s economic crisis, if not handled properly, could evolve into a full-scale political crisis,” he said.