Austria is joining eight other nations who have announced they will be boycotting the Durban IV conference taking place in New York City in September over concerns that the meeting will be marred by anti-Semitism.
Durban IV is to mark the 20th anniversary of the original 2001 Durban conference that took place in South Africa that was roundly criticized for descending into an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatefest.
“Austria supports efforts to combat racism worldwide, while rejecting the misuse of the Durban process to unfairly single out and target Israel,” the Austrian Embassy in Israel said on Friday. “Therefore, Austria abstained from the vote to hold a high-level conference in New York to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Durban conference. There will be no participation at the political level.”
Eight other countries have announced they will not be attending Durban IV, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Hungary and most recently the Netherlands.
On Thursday, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag said that the Netherlands would not be participating in the conference.
Kaag said there was an unacceptable risk that the September conference would be a repeat of the Jew hatred of the 2001 conference. She also said that her country would continue to fight against anti-Semitism, reported the Centrum Informatie En Documentatie Israel (CIDI), a Dutch Jewish advocacy organization.
“The Netherlands will not participate in the Durban IV meeting, in view of the historical burden of the Durban process, the risk of repetition of abuse of this platform for anti-Semitic expressions and the disproportionate and one-sided attention to Israel as reflected in the original Durban statement,” Kaag said.
In March, Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and the NGO Human Rights Voices, criticized a UN statement signed by 150 nations endorsing the 2001 Durban conference. She also slammed the the Biden Administration's decision to take the lead along with South Africa and the African regional group in presenting the statement.
"The Durban Declaration encourages the hatred of Jews. Everyone who was there at its creation (as I was) knows that. Anti-Semites manufacture tools to spread intolerance by manipulating current events, appropriating the history of others, inverting right and wrong," Bayefsky said.
UN Watch described Durban IV as "(endorsing) this perversion of the principles of anti-racism.”