Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~Durban II – An Upside Down UN by ronshapiro
April 20, 2009, 7:51 pm
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , ,


In 2001, the United Nations held a conference in Durban, South Africa which was focused on racism and racial discrimination in the world. The conference quickly developed into a forum for singling out Israel, which caused the United States and Israel to withdraw. Many countries and individuals objected the declaration, including United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. The conference ended on September 8th, 3 days before the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.

This week, the UN is holding the Durban Review Conference (termed “Durban II”) to review the declaration and program from the 2001 conference. According to the UN website, the conference “will evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.”

Many European countries are criticizing the convention for focussing on western countries instead of the world as a whole. They also were concerened over the fact that Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is one of the main speakers. Today, during his speech, dozens of diplomats walked out when Ahmadinejad began his address. They said that the Iranian President quickly began a tirade about Israel, which caused them to walk out. Ahmadinejad is probably the most vocal Holocaust denier currently and claims that Israel should be “wiped off the map” on a regular basis.

The facts that the conference began on Adolf Hitler’s (yemach shemo, may his name be forgotten) 120th birthday, or that Yom Hashoah, the day to remember the tragedies of the Holocaust, begins tonight.

In total ten (10) countries are boycotting Durban II: United States, Canada, Israel, Germany, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, New Zealand. This shows the great work of the Israeli Foreign Ministry (even though many were originally scared of the radicalism of Avigdor Lieberman). The United Kingdom considered not attending, but instead is sending a low level official. Reasons include beliefs that Durban II will promote anti-Zionism and anti-semetism. There are objections by many European countries over the draft which singles out Israel, avoiding racism around the world. Denmark is also considering boycotting, and France said their ambassador would walk out if Durban II singled out Israel. Other countries are considering leaveing early should the conference go of track.


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