The first Durban meeting was famous for equating Zionism with racism. But if Zionism is “racism,” then so is every other form of nationalism imaginable, including Arab nationalist movements. Of course, Israel has been singled out, targeted particularly by Islamic states which will try every possible tactic and angle to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state, the better to set it up for conquest by its neighbors, by hook or by crook.
One could just as easily argue that the obsession with Zionism to the exclusion of real forms of discrimination and racism is itself racist, and smacks of a supremacism all its own, but that would be thinking logically, and thus might not fly at Durban III.
Thus, word of the boycott is excellent news, though the conference still promises to be a surreal spectacle this September in New York. “US to boycott UN world racism conference,” from the Associated Press, June 2 (thanks to PRCS):
The Obama administration will boycott a world conference against racism being held at UN headquarters in September because of concerns about anti-Semitism.
The UN summit in September marks the 10-year commemoration of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism that was held in the South African city of Durban.
The US and Israel walked out of that meeting over a draft resolution that criticised Israel and equated Zionism with racism.
The United States will not participate in the upcoming conference because the Durban process “included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism”, Joseph E. Macmanus, acting US assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, wrote in a letter to Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today.
Sen Gillibrand welcomed the administration’s decision.
“It is an insult to America that the United Nations has decided to hold the Durban III conference in New York just days from the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks,” the New York senator said.
“We all witnessed how extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American voices took over” the original gathering in South Africa and a follow up conference, the senator wrote.
The administration’s move was also lauded by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella of 52 groups including B’nai B’rith International, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
The US and at least seven other countries also boycotted a 2009 follow up event that the UN held in Geneva, citing concerns that Islamic countries would demand a denunciation of Israel and insist that all criticism of Islam be banned.