On Monday, December 20, the UN General Assembly is slated to vote on an initiative calling to hold “Durban III.” If the Non-Aligned Movement and other Israel- and America-bashers prevail, when the General Assembly holds high-level meetings in New York City next September, a special ceremony will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa.

Like the 2001 conference and its successor, held in April 2009 in Geneva, this third incarnation will have absolutely nothing to do with its high-minded ostensible purpose. Instead, it will undoubtedly become a clearinghouse for vitriolic anti-Semitism – “the coalescence,” as human rights legal scholar Irwin Cotler put it when describing Durban I, “of a new virulent globalizing anti- Jewishness reminiscent of the atmospherics that pervaded Europe in the 1930s.”

The cynicism and intentional disregard of human rights and freedom at both Durbans was mind-boggling.

One of the fliers distributed at Durban I, for instance, had a picture of Adolf Hitler above the text: “What would have happened if I had won? The good things.

There would have been no Israel and no Palestinian’s [sic] bloodshed. The rest is your guess.” The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were freely handed out, together with huge quantities of Islamist, Trotskyist and anti-globalist propaganda relating to Israel as a racist, theocratic, and apartheid state. The NGO Forum in Durban referred to the “ethnocide” supposedly being carried out against Palestinians by Israel.

Durban II’s organizing committee, chaired and cochaired by such beacons of humans rights as Libya, Iran, Pakistan and Cuba, issued an 88-page draft declaration ahead of the conference accusing the US, Israel, Western Europe and other liberal democracies of racist attitudes and policies against Islam. The hundreds of thousands murdered in Darfur on racist grounds were not even mentioned, nor were the atrocities inflicted in the Congo and Kenya, not to mention routine human rights abuses throughout the Muslim world.

Judging from its track record of effortlessly mustering a majority to support any anti-Israel motion, there is a good chance that the General Assembly will vote Monday in favor of holding Durban III. There is a slim hope, however, that the UN will retain a modicum of reason and quash the proposal, if only out of respect for American sensitivities.

September 2011 happens to be the 10th anniversary of another historic event. It would be downright evil to hold another hate fest against the West as Americans commemorate the loss of loved ones murdered by terrorists in the 9/11 attacks.

IF THE UN moves forward with Durban III, setting the stage for a an orgy of hatred, bigotry and racism against America and the West, there will be no alternative but to heed the call by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations for all sane, morally responsible countries to refrain from participating.

Unfortunately over the years, the UN’s bright hours have been few and far between. Among them, on December 16, 1991, almost exactly 19 years ago, was the revocation of the 1975 Resolution 3379 that equated Zionism with racism. And foremost, of course, was the UN General Assembly’s November 25, 1947 partition resolution for Palestine, which gave birth to the State of Israel – and would have given birth to a Palestinian state as well if not for Arab states’ virulent intransigence.

Sadly, the capacity of the UN to uphold its founders’ moral imperatives has diminished drastically since then.

The UN has become a tool in the hands of the world’s biggest perpetrators of human rights abuses, used to divert attention from their own hideous deeds by attacking America, Israel and other countries where a valiant attempt is being made to safeguard freedom and liberty while waging a war against terror.

As the historian of anti-Semitism Robert Wistrich notes in his book Lethal Obsession, it was the Soviet regime that in the late 1960s and 1970s first used the delegitimization of Israel, including constant visual and verbal comparisons between Israel and South Africa, as a means of rallying Arab and African support during the Cold War. This campaign was particularly successful in the UN, where the “one country, one vote” system gave disproportionate power to the many small African and Muslim states.

An organization created to advance freedom and equality has effectively been hijacked by authoritarian regimes. If the UN decides on Monday to launch Durban III, the little respect and credibility it retains will be reduced still further.

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