Critics have been trying to get Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thrown out of The Barclay hotel where he is allegedly staying during a U.N. conference this week. They haven’t succeeded, but are pleased to learn that Ahmadinejad has had a banquet at the New York Helmsley cancelled by the hotel’s management. The Helmsley claims it didn’t know at first that the President was scheduled to attend the banquet, booked months ago by an Iranian student group. Nonetheless anti-Iran group United Against Nuclear Iran had threatened a boycott, to which the hotel responded with the cancellation and the strong statement that “Neither the Iranian Mission nor President Ahmadinejad is welcome at any Helmsley facility.” That leaves The Barclay, which has yet to acknowledge that Ahmadinejad is staying there, to face the undiluted wrath of protesters.
Meanwhile Ahmadinejad has upped the ante by declaring the Holocaust “false pretext for creating Israel,” which seems rather impolitic just before Rosh Hashanah.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 18, 2009