On April 20th, in Geneva, the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance will begin in Geneva. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran was invited and will attend.
This is the long-awaited follow up to the first conference in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 which turned into an anti-Israel hate-fest.
The conference was effectively hijacked by the anti-Israel lobby and its original aims completely lost in a torrent of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and resolutions. Israel and the United States withdrew in disgust.
The draft documents, (which were eventually rewritten but not adopted by all parties – you can guess which ones adopted the originals), expressed “deep concern” at the “increase of racist practices of Zionism and anti-Semitism”. It thus attempted a sleight of hand to discriminate between this particular form of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. The draft continued to describe “movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas, in particular the Zionist movement, which is based on racial superiority”.
Notice the “in particular” and the lies about “racism” and “racial superiority”. Firstly, which “race” is doing the racism against which other race? Jews are not a race, unless you are a supporter of Hitler’s views on this matter. Israel has the most racially diverse population in the Middle East by a very long way.
“Racial superiority”? We have already debunked the “Jews as a race” canard, so this is covert language for Jews being the “Chosen People” which the anti-Israel camp interpret as “racial superiority” and which leads to the “International Jewish Conspiracy”. It also alludes to the “Right of Return” which is wilfully misinterpreted by this bunch of hypocrites as giving preference to Jews right to citizenship and not allowing Palestinians a right to return to their pre-1948 homes. You can characterise this as discriminatory, but “racial superiority?”
I don’t propose to go in to the reasons and arguments about the “Right of Return” of Jews and Palestinians because I can refer you to this article.
If you read the final Declaration from Durban I it is not difficult to see that the countries now baying for Israel’s blood would fail to live up to almost every paragraph of the Declaration’s stated aims. Durban II is hypocrisy made manifest, the apotheosis of the inverted moral order spreading its vicious and malicious hatred throughout the world.
In Geneva, the draft resolutions try to reintroduce the Israel- and Jew-bashing rhetoric of the first conference and to press for a resolution against “defamation” of religion which seeks to silence any criticism of Islam. Once again Israel has been singled out among all nations. Despite strenuous efforts to have the draft resolutions amended, which has been successful to a limited extent, as things stand, the draft is so clearly a document not against racism or xenophobia but actually its opposite: a slur against the Jewish people and Israel which is itself a form of the very xenophobia the Conference is supposed to be designed to condemn and an attempt, by seeking to limit freedom of speech, to suppress criticism of the religious intolerance and bigotry of those states drafting the anti-Israel lies.
President Ahmadinejad’s presence itself indicates that he is there to orchestrate his own Nuremberg rally. As Arutz Sheva reports:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor slammed Ahmadinejad as “the representative of a regime which consistently breaches human rights, which assassinates opponents and persecutes minority groups, which exports hatreds and terrorism throughout the Middle East.”
They might also add that he is a Holocaust denier and contemplates the destruction of Israel as a desirable goal.
Canada, Israel, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia and now, at last, the United States have all refused to take part in this obscene parody of a Conference. Some Jewish groups intend to go to have their voices heard and to demonstrate. Notably, the UK is still sending a delegation.
My view now is that the Conference should be boycotted. Boycott the boycotters. Deny them any legitimacy.
See the BBC which is quite balanced for a change (having improved on its earlier wishy-washy attempt).
Meanwhile the UN sits on its hands and watches. So much for its founding principals.
I have to pass on to you the words of Anna Bayevsky. I do not apologise for quoting in full. I do not have a web link. (April 20th is Hitler’s birthday – he’d be so proud of the neo-Nazis who have hijacked this Conference. On that day The March of The Living will once again take place at Auschwitz-Birkenau when the Jewish Youth of the world commemorate the Holocaust. The next day is Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day)
STATEMENT BY ANNE BAYEFSKY AT THE THIRD SUBSTANTIVE PREPARATORY MEETING OF THE DURBAN REVIEW CONFERENCE
April 17, 2009
United Nations, Palais des Nations, GENEVA, Switzerland
The eyes of millions of victims of racism, xenophobia and intolerance are upon YOU, the representatives of states and the United Nations. And instead of hope you have given them despair. Instead of truth you have handed them diplomatic double-talk. Instead of combating antisemitism you have handed them a reason for Jews to fear UN-driven hatemongering on a global scale.
The Durban conference – allegedly dedicated to combating racism, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance – will open April 20th on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler without agreement on even so much as remembering the Holocaust and the war against the Jews. Your draft words on the Holocaust – the very foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – have been narrowed to the barest mention from previous versions. And if the minor reference survives at all – it will be a testament to your interest in Jews that died 60 years ago, while tolerating and encouraging the murder of Jews in the here and now.
Furthermore, the draft before you demonizes the Jewish state of Israel and then has the audacity to pretend to care about antisemitism in a single word buried among 17 pages. Antisemitism means discrimination against the Jewish people. Since it is evident that almost none of you have the courage to say it, the face of modern antisemitism IS the UN – your – discrimination against Israel, the embodiment of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.
Over and over again we have heard a massive misinformation campaign about the content of these proceedings and the draft before you. We have heard the tale that this draft does not single out Israel, that the hate has been removed, that the fault of the antisemitism at Durban I was that of NGOs while states and the UN were blameless.
Perhaps you think that journalists and victims will not bother to read for themselves the Durban Declaration adopted by some governments. There is only one state mentioned in it – Israel. There is only one state associated with racist practices in it – Israel. And yet the very first thing that this draft before you does is to reaffirm that abomination, abomination for Jews and Arabs living in Israel’s free and democratic society, and for all the victims of racism ignored therein. Lawyers call it incorporation by reference when they hope nobody reads the small print. The propaganda stops here. We have read it. We understand the game. And we decry the ugly effort to repeat the Durban agenda to isolate and defeat Israel politically, as every effort to do so militarily for decades has failed.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chair of this Preparatory Committee also told us this week that the Durban Declaration in all its aspects is a consensus text. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the Canadian reservations made in Durban in 2001 which state categorically that the Middle East language was outside the conference’s jurisdiction and not agreed. Perhaps they failed to notice that one of the world’s greatest democracies, the United States, voted with its feet and walked out of the Durban I hatefest? The Durban Declaration has never represented a global consensus among free and democratic nations. When the head of the Islamic conference treats Durban as a bible, in their words, it is more accurately a defamation of religions.
This week you decided which states ought to serve in a leadership role at next week’s conference. Among them are some of the world’s leading practitioners of racism, not those interested in ending it. You have also decided to hand a global megaphone to the President of a state which advocates genocide and denies the Holocaust.
So in a state of shock and dismay we address ourselves not to the human rights abusers that glorify the Durban Declaration or its next incarnation, but to democracies — and we ask: Will Germany sit on Hitler’s birthday and listen to the speech of an advocate of genocide against the Jewish people and grant legitimacy to the forum which tolerates his presence? What about the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Magna Carta? Or France that helped to ship last generation’s Jews to crematoriums?
You could have fought racism. You chose instead to fight Jews. You could have promoted the universal standards against racism already in existence. You chose instead to diminish their importance in the name of alleged cultural preferences. You could have protected freedom of expression. You chose instead to undermine it by twisted concepts of incitement. You could have brought victims of racism together in a common cause. You chose instead to pit victims against each other in an ugly struggle for meagre recognition. For those democracies that remain under these circumstances you are ultimately responsible for what can only be called an appalling disservice to real victims of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance around the world.