The UK has denounced the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for reaffirming its support for the “Durban Declaration,” which has been shown to be a vehicle used to incite hatred against Israel and promote anti-Semitism.
On Monday, the resolution passed the UNHRC in a vote of 32-10, with five countries abstaining. On Sunday, it was feared that the measure would pass unanimously. However, the UK insisted on a vote at the meeting instead of allowed for a consensus approval, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Simon Manley, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, denounced the declaration to other UNHRC member countries in a joint statement with non-UNHRC member Australia.
“Racism should be tackled in all its forms and, regrettably, for far too long, the UN has downplayed the scourge of anti-Semitism. This must end,” Manley said.
He added: “The UK is clear that we will not attend future iterations of the Durban Conference while concerns over anti-Semitism remain.”
The 2001 Durban Declaration singles out Israel as a racist state, not naming any other countries.
It followed the Durban conference that infamously deteriorated into an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatefest, with Israel being accused of "crimes against humanity,” “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “genocide.”
The ADL described the 2001 conference and its follow up events as “permanently tainted as a notorious vehicle to promote anti-Semitism and incite hatred against Israel.”
Countries voting against reaffirming the declaration included the UK, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine.
The Board of Deputies, the main Jewish communal organization in the UK, praised the government for its decision to vote against the resolution.
"Thank you for this demonstration of the UK’s dedication to combatting anti-Semitism,” they said in a tweet. “It is vital that anti-Jewish racism is not left out of the fight against racism. Thank you to countries in the UNHRC that joined in showing such leadership."
Israel is not a UNHRC member but reportedly spoke behind the scenes to members urging them not to vote for the resolution.
“Thank you to the 10 countries who voted against the language referring to the Durban process, which has been repeatedly tainted with anti-Semitism," the Israeli diplomatic mission in Geneva tweeted. “Israel's commitment to fighting all forms of racism & discrimination and to promoting tolerance & equality remains steadfast.”