Libya’s eccentric dictator Muammar Qaddafi told a sleepy United Nations audience Wednesday night that he has the solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict: a single state called Isratine, an acronym for Israel and Palestine. He previously has suggested the term, but last night was the first time the phrase was introduced in the United Nations
"The solution is a democratic state without religious fanaticism," he said. "Everybody should live in peace. Isratine, Isratine is the solution." Qaddafi did not resort to including his usual anti-Israeli rhetoric.
Qaddafi’s speech was the first time in his 40 years in power that he has addressed the U.N. General Assembly, but many of the ambassadors either walked out or slept. At one point, he scolded the tired delegates, "Please can I have your attention," he said in his native language. "All of you are tired, having jet lag. ... You are tired. All of you are asleep."
Besides calling for a single state with a new name, the Libyan leader’s rambling one hour and 35-minute speech included demands for $7.77 trillion in compensation for African countries for damages when they were colonies.
He also mocked the United Nations charter, dramatically tossing over his shoulders after calling the United Nations Security Council the “terror council.” As for the charter, he said Libya “does not accept it” because its preamble states that all nations are equal but that any one member of the Security Council has veto power over a majority. Libya is a temporary council member this year.
Qaddafi spent the night at the Libyan missions after hotels refused to let him bed down in their posh quarters, and New York police turned down his request to erect his elaborate Bedouin tent in Central Park.