Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini announced on Friday that Italy has decided to boycott the Durban III Conference to be held in September due its anti-Israeli nature.
In a statement, Frattini made clear that Italy would boycott the conference because there are no minimum conditions for participation in the conference. He noted that previous conferences were used as an arena to hurl accusations at Israel rather than discussing the struggle against racism, discrimination and xenophobia.
Frattini noted that Italy chose not to attend the second Durban Conference in 2009 for the same reasons.
The Durban II Conference in 2009 was boycotted by nine countries including Israel, the United States, Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Poland.
The original Durban Conference was held in Durban, South Africa in September of 2001, just ten days before the September 11 attacks in the United States. The conference was originally planned to protest against racism and discrimination and examine various methods to eradicate the phenomenon.
While the conference was supposed to present a united international front against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, it was in fact a hatefest against Israel. It 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.”