UN statehood and Durban III part of ‘one-two punch'

Analysis: Experts to address both at NY conference; 'Post' journalist to speak at counter Durban conference.

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
September 20, 2011 05:08
John Bolton

John Bolton 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

BERLIN – This week will see two seemingly separate anti- Israel events coalesce at the United Nations. The first is the Palestinian Authority’s move to secure recognition as a new member state of the United Nations by circumventing the negotiating peace process with Israel. The second event is the infamous UN-sponsored anti- Israel Durban III anti-racism ten-year commemoration event.

Leading experts in the field of international relations are slated to argue at a counter- Durban III conference titled “The Perils of Global Intolerance: the United Nations and Durban III,” on September 22 that there are important interconnections between the unilateral Palestinian statehood bid and Durban III. In short, both events, say some experts, are two wings of the same anti- Semitic and anti-Israel bird.

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The UN anti-racism conference, which was dubbed Durban after the South African city where the notorious 2001 event took place, has earned a global reputation as a vehicle for stoking anti-Semitism and racism. A sizable number of Durban I conference participants openly championed Hitler’s destruction of European Jewry, and sought to modernize and extend his lethal anti-Semitism to Israel.

All of this helps to explain why some experts see an interplay between the PLO’s goal to create a state fused with the terror group Hamas, whose goal is the abolition of the Jewish state, and the commemoration of an anti-racist conference, namely Durban III, which has, sadly, turned out to be filled with a hate-based UN-sponsored agenda.

In 2009, the second act of Durban took place in Geneva. While speaking at the second conference, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad further stained, in the view of many critics in 2009, a non-reformable Durban process, with his calls for the obliteration of the Jewish state and crude expressions of Holocaust denial.

Anne Bayefsky, the principal organizer of the anti-Durban III conference in New York and a prominent human rights scholar, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that “Arab states at first sought to focus their attention on the defeat of Israel solely through military means, but they soon realized that the political battlefield was as important. The Durban Declaration and the follow-up processes it has spawned are the centerpiece of that political battle. By alleging Israel is racist – which they have done consistently since the mid 70’s and the Zionism is racism resolution, Israel becomes a rogue state like apartheid South Africa and a country so vile in its moral character that there is no need to negotiate with it, only to impose upon it the right answers.”



She continued: “And who better to supply those answers but the emblem of human rights, the United Nations. That is why Durban and the unilateral Palestinian move at the UN go hand-in-hand, a one-two punch. It is, therefore, imperative to point out that Durban and UDI [unilateral declaration of independence] are part and parcel of the rejection of a Jewish state; the racists are masquerading as anti-racists; and the organization that is supposed to protect human rights is run by those who oppose those same rights.

“All the world’s major democracies have pulled out of Durban III because they have finally understood exactly that. Durban is not about combating racism, it is about demonizing Jews and the Jewish state.”

Bayefsky noted that “The fact that every Western member of the permanent five powers on the UN Security Council has decided to boycott a UN conference is a historic step of tremendous importance. The Palestinians – and Yasser Arafat in particular – were behind Durban I and its message. This is a major defeat of their message of rejectionism and a refutation that anti- Semitism is a legitimate political tool period.”

In an e-mail to the Post on Monday, John Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote that he plans to discuss at the counter- Durban III event “what’s wrong with singling out Israel for criticism in Durban III, plus some history of what happened in 2001 to remind everyone that it was Powell’s decision to walk out of an anti-racism conference” and “how we repealed ‘Zionism equals Racism’ in 1991” and “how we stopped the PLO from joining the WHO [World Health Organization] in 1989.”

Bolton added that he plans to “talk about the Palestinian statehood effort, and how that is the flip side at the UN of Durban III’s effort to delegitimize Israel.”

The award-winning Post correspondent for Palestinian affairs, Khaled Abu Toameh, is slated to deliver a talk at the opposition Durban III event. He said he plans to discuss “how the anti-Israel and anti- Semitic messages coming out of international gatherings like UN’s Durban conference serve the agenda of the radicals and fundamentalists in the Arab and Islamic countries. These messages also promote anti-Israel and anti-Jewish violence, embolden Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria and undermine moderate Arabs and Muslims.”

In addition to the anti-Israel UN agenda, he plans to address “what does it mean to be an Arab citizen of Israel.”

The former governor of Arkansas and 2008 Presidential Candidate, Mike Huckabee, who will deliver a talk at the anti-Durban III event, told the Post that “the effort to condemn and isolate Israel on the world stage is an affront to American values and American security. The effort by those at the UN who have attempted to destroy Israel from the moment of its creation ought to be completely unacceptable to every American. Americans are committed to the State of Israel for moral, ethical and strategic reasons. Ours is an unbreakable bond, and no use of politics dressed up as human rights will succeed in undermining our absolute commitment to Israel.”

With such major European and North American countries as France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, the United States and Canada boycotting Durban III, the anti-racism conference appears to be ancient history. The pressing question is, will the major European countries make the connections, following the analysis of many experts from the counter-Durban III event, between the hate-filled Durban agenda and the unilateral PLO gambit at the UN?


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