Australia Refuses to Attend Durban III
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has decided Australia will not attend the Durban III conference over concerns of of anti-Semitism.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 8/23/2011, 6:37 PM
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's spokesman announced on Tuesday that Australia will not attend the Durban III conference.
"We have not been convinced that the High Level Meeting will avoid unbalanced criticism of Israel and the airing of anti-Semitic views," said Gillard's spokesman.
Australia could not "support a meeting that chooses to reaffirm the original Durban Declaration, as appears likely," they added.
The conference on the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action is scheduled to take place at the United Nations in New York City on September 22.
The conference was organized to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Durban I conference, which took place in Durban, South Africa. The original conference was widely denounced as an anti-Semitic, UN-sponsored event that singled out Jews and Israel in order to attack them, including calls to eliminate Israel.
The presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Durban II conference in Geneva in 2009 set the tone for the event as well. Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and called for Israel’s destruction.
The United States, Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, Italy and The Netherlands already announced plans to boycott Durban III.