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      UN to Hold Another Durban Conference; Anti-Semitism Expected

      By 121-19 vote (35 abstentions), UN General Assembly resolves to launch what has been called a “global anti-racism hatefest,” known as Durban III.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 11/25/2010, 2:37 PM / Last Update: 11/25/2010, 2:31 PM

      Israel news photo

       

      By a 121-19 vote, with 35 abstentions, the UN General Assembly resolved to launch what has been called another “global anti-racism hatefest,” known as Durban III.

      The conference, known as the World Conference against Racism, commemorates the 9th anniversary of the first such conference, held in Durban, South Africa just 10 days before the 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. That conference was described by the ICEJ as a “concerted effort by nearly all the Muslims of the world to denounce and de-legitimize the Jewish state of Israel; an awful verbal forerunner much as the one the Nazis sent before launching the Holocaust of the expunging of Israel as sovereign Jewish state from their Arab Muslim midst.”

      Though the vote in favor of Durban III was overwhelming, a majority of the world’s democracies either voted against or abstained. Among those who voted against were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as most of the countries that knew Nazism at very close range: Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

      The upcoming conference is to be held in New York City just ten days after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in September 2011. 

      Conveniently Scheduled
      Human rights scholar and activist Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, commented that most heads of government avoided Durban I, and the only one to attend Durban II was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and therefore “for Durban III, the UN decided to ensnare most heads of state and government by scheduling the event to coincide with the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, when they are all present in New York anyway.”

      Israel, the U.S., and others have expressed their opposition to the UN vote. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “unfortunate there are those who want to deflect from the fight on racism for anti-Israeli propaganda purposes.”

      John Sammis, the U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN’s Economic and Social Council, stated that the vote “risks undermining the relationship we have worked hard to strengthen over the past few years between the United States and the UN.” In addition, he added, the U.S.is “deeply troubled by the choice of time and venue for the 10th anniversary commemorative event [just days after] we will have honored the victims of 9/11… [We] regret that this resolution contains elements that require us to vote no…”

      Calling on Obama
      U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY, D) said, “We all witnessed how extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American voices took over Durban I and Durban II, and we should expect the same thing to happen with Durban III…  I appreciate the Obama Administration’s strong statement opposing yesterday’s resolution, and urge it to again withdraw from the event and encourage other nations to do the same.”

      Similarly, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Obama administration to “announce publicly, right now, that we will stay away from Durban III, deny it U.S.taxpayer dollars, and oppose all measures that seek to facilitate it. And we should encourage other responsible nations to do the same.”

       

      The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was very critical of the UN resolution, calling it "outrageous and shameful." ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman issued a statement saying, “The 2001 Durban Conference is permanently tainted as a notorious vehicle to promote anti-Semitism and incite hatred against Israel… [It] represented a colossal failure of the international community to prevent the perversion of a UN conference designed to address the scourge of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance. Each commemoration or review of the 2001 conference is an outrageous and shameful reminder of the harm perpetrated by an automatic majority of member states who allowed the Durban conference to become the symbol for expressions of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate...”