Durban Boycott – Changing Times?

The Czech Republic and the Netherlands have joined a growing boycott of Durban III, putting the brakes on the worldwide anti-Israel campaign

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ,

Anti-Israel Durban poster and UN
Anti-Israel Durban poster and UN
Israel news photo montage

The Czech Republic and the Netherlands have joined a growing boycott of the United Nations session of Durban III on September 22, putting the brakes on the worldwide anti-Israel campaign.

Durban III takes place on the 10th anniversary of the Durban, South Africa Declaration and Program of Action to Fight Racism, and focuses on Israel while ignoring genocide and racism in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and dozens of other countries, most of them Muslim.

"Unacceptable statements with anti-Jewish connotations” emanating from the program for Durban III were the reasons for pulling out of the conference, the Czech Foreign Ministry said. "The Czech Republic will not attend the September top-level meeting and will not participate in any informal talks designed to pass a political declaration that is to ensue from them," it added.

Israel, the United States, Canada and Italy already have announced they will not attend the conference.

The Netherlands, like Italy and the Czech Republic, objected to the Durban III planners’ refusal to include in a final statement that "all participating states emphatically distance themselves from the linking of subjects that have nothing to do with the fight against racism.”

“The three countries now see themselves forced to no longer participate in the preparations for the celebration, and also not to attend it, " the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

"A number of countries have in the past continually put the peace process in the Middle East in the center of the discussions on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination, along with which denying Israel's right to exist," the ministry added.

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 and noted that Italy chose not to attend the second Durban Conference in 2009 for the same reasons.

Prague cited concerns that the conference would be used as a platform to make "unacceptable statements with anti-Jewish connotations.”