A wreath for Yasser Arafat

The New York Sun’s Meghan Clyne has rounded up an impressive set of quotes commenting on Kofi Annan’s laying a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat while visiting Israel earlier this week to attend the opening of the new Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem: “Annan’s bow at Arafat’s grave sparks outrage in city.” Perhaps the most astute of the many quotes in this piece is Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s:

To Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, Mr. Annan’s tribute to Arafat was symptomatic of the anti-Semitism ailing his organization. “A lot of what is wrong with the U.N. is nicely summed up by the fact that Kofi Annan, who goes to Israel to participate in the dedication of a memorial museum to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, lays a wreath at the grave of someone whose career was murdering Jewish civilians,” Mr. Nadler said.

Also deserving of special recognition is Jeffrey Wiesenfeld’s observation:

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld – one of the members of the United Nations Development Corporation, the city-state entity overseeing the [U.N.’s planned] expansion – was also outraged by Mr. Annan’s gesture. “It’s certainly not in his self-interest, nor in the interest of the image of the U.N., to put a wreath at the grave of such a vehement Jew-hater,” Mr. Wiesenfeld said, adding that he would be no more appalled if Mr. Annan had honored the grave of Hitler henchman Adolf Eichmann, who implemented the Nazis’ “Final Solution.”
“As far as Jews are concerned, the only difference between Eichmann and Arafat is that Eichmann mechanized Jewish murder, and Arafat would do it, as they say, on the installment plan. The concept is the same,” Mr. Wiesenfeld, who is the son of Holocaust survivors, said.

Clyne’s article touches on the possible impact of Annan’s action on the U.N.’s expansion plans. Clyne has written previously on the U.N.’s expansion plans for the Sun and it is a subject to which we will have to return.
The Washington Post’s story on the opening of the new museum is excellent: “The Holocaust at human scale.”