UN mulling Durban III event for next year

Resolution under consideration, drafted by Yemen, proposes “commemorating” conference that was marked by crude anti-Semitism.

By JORDANA HORN
November 17, 2010 01:56
1 minute read.
UN mulling Durban III event for next year

Durban II protest 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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A United Nations committee met Tuesday in New York to discuss a 2011 commemoration of the first UN anti-racism conference held nine years ago in Durban, South Africa, that turned out to be an Israel-bashing affair.

The resolution under consideration, drafted by Yemen, proposes “commemorating” the Durban conference on September 21, 2011, in New York during the UN General Assembly with “various highvisibility initiatives.”

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The initial Durban conference was marked by crude anti-Semitism and rampant expressions of anti-Israel sentiment.

The prospect of a commemoration event prompted criticism from a leading legal expert on UN human rights organizations.

The event would be scheduled for September 2011, the 10th anniversary of the original Durban conference.

The so-called Durban I and its follow-up conference, Durban II, held in Geneva in April 2009, singled out Israel in a resolution for alleged racism.



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the only head of state to speak at Durban II, issued statements that included elements of Holocaust denial and calls for the destruction of Israel.

Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “The Durban Declaration is an overt attempt to demonize the State of Israel and to marginalize and defeat Jewish self-determination.

It charges Israel with racism and names no other state.

“Removed from the final declaration were many key detailed references to combating anti-Semitism. The final product and the Durban conference, as well as the numerous follow-up mechanisms invented to perpetuate its message, are a symbol for encouraging racism under the guise of combating it,” said Bayefsky, a leading expert on the UN.

It is unclear if the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and European countries would boycott a commemoration event next September.

The US, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland walked away from Durban II because the event was tainted by anti-Semitism and disparate treatment toward Israel.

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