Canadian Parliament
Canadian ParliamentiStock

B’nai Brith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) on Wednesday called on the Canadian government to take a principled stand in defense of its core values by disavowing the Durban IV conference and publicly affirming Canada’s refusal to participate.

Durban IV is a series of events to be held by the United Nations in September, marking the 20th anniversary of the 2001 “World Conference on Racism” that turned into an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate fest.

Canada boycotted the "Durban Review" conference in 2009 and also boycotted the event in 2011 when Durban III was held.

All Durban conferences, including the planned Durban IV, "reaffirm" the original Durban Declaration in its entirety, noted B’nai Brith Canada and FSWC. This process has received longstanding support from anti-Semites who have hijacked the conference agenda to advance their venomous attitudes towards Israel and Jews.

The two organizations noted that at previous Durban conferences, speakers such as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have used the platform for denigrating Jewish history. Speaking at Durban II on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, Ahmadinejad minimized the Holocaust and claimed that the West had "used the pretext of Jewish suffering" to "set up a totally racist government in occupied Palestine."

“At a time of continuously rising anti-Semitism worldwide, Canada must continue its longstanding policy of boycotting Durban and rejecting all efforts to glorify or honor the outrageous events of Durban I,” said the organizations.

B’nai Brith Canada and FSWC last month wrote to Bob Rae, Canada's UN Ambassador, and Marc Garneau, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressing their concerns and pointing out that as recently as December 31, 2020, Canada voted against the UN resolution to convene Durban IV. Canada must now have the courage to abide by its principles and state a position.

“The United States has already indicated that it ‘will not attend or participate in any events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration.’ We call on Canada to do the same,” they said.

“We urge Canada to stand with the United States and set an example for our allies around the world by publicly and unequivocally rejecting Durban and the overt anti-Semitism that it has always been associated with,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of Policy at FSWC. “In this moment of growing anti-Semitism, it is more important than ever that Canada stand firm in the face of hateful double standards and the demonization of Jews and of Israel in all international fora.”

“Canada must adhere to its own values and offer a principled ‘no’ to Durban IV and its scourge of anti-Semitism,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Durban’s legacy is well-known, and Canadians must be certain that our government does not support any commemorations or celebrations of that legacy.”