The racist, anti-Semitic ranting by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations conference on race on Monday confirms that President Obama was right to boycott the event.

The goals of fostering tolerance and fighting racism are obviously worthy ones. Having global dialogues about how to achieve these ends is also often a good way to advance relations and understanding.

But the United Nations has proven once again that it is not up to any of the tasks of taking on such a delicate topic.

The underlying sentiment for this week's meeting in Geneva was the Israel-bashing document approved at the last U.N. hate-fest, in Durban, South Africa, which ended on the eve of Sept. 11, 2001.

In his quest to push dialogue and chart a new foreign policy course, Obama had initially hoped to reverse the Bush administration's plans to boycott "Durban II." There was even some jockeying in pre-conference gatherings to be more accommodating to Western concerns regarding Israel, defaming religion, and compensation for slavery.

But in the end, the United States made the right call, as did eight other Western nations that boycotted the event.

The hatred for Israel - illustrated so well by Ahmadinejad's ravings Monday - crowds out any potential for good that might arise from such a conference.

During Ahmadinejad's speech, diplomats from 23 European nations walked out. Sadly, far too many countries kept their seats, enthusiastically applauding what they were hearing.

Protesters in rainbow clown wigs disrupted the event and threw red foam noses at the Iranian leader. That perfectly summed up the day's circus-like atmosphere.

Unfortunately, too much of the world continues to take this conference and its work seriously.