The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Geneva-based UN Watch on Friday issued harsh responses to a UN General Assembly vote to hold a summit commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Durban conference, which famously likened Zionism to racism.

The ADL issued a statement saying the summit, dubbed "Durban III," "will undermine rather than advance the fight against discrimination."

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ADL Director Abraham Foxman called on governments "to announce that they will not participate" in the conference. He said that from its inception, "the Durban process was tainted by the very bias it purported to work against."

Foxman added, "Durban marked the start of a new chapter in the vilification and delegitimization of the state of Israel and the Jewish people. We recall how many abused the conference as a platform to turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a racial conflict and their incendiary branding of Israel as an apartheid state."

Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch alleged that "the 2001 Durban conference and its progeny have become staging grounds for contemporary bigots and bullies -- like the regimes of Sudan and Iran -- to cover up their own racism and repression, and to scapegoat the US, the West, and Israel," in a statement Friday.

Neuer added, "Based on past experience, we fear that the banner of human rights and anti-racism will be hijacked by Iranian President Ahmadinejad and other dictators to deflect attention from their crimes, and to incite anti-Western and anti-Semitic hatred."

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