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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

September 12, 2002

Durban

Updating my post below on the language from the Durban NGO conference, read this article by Anne Bayefsky in jpost today. Excerpts below, but read the whole thing.

Since Durban: An entrenchment of hatred
By ANNE BAYEFSKY


This week marks the anniversary of another hate-filled event with broad international repercussions, the UN World Conference Against Racism...

The intervening year has not been one of exorcizing, lessons-learned reviews. On the contrary, the UN sponsor and the international human rights organizations that failed at the critical hour have engaged in a systematic cover-up and entrenchment of the Durban agenda. The UN calls it "follow-up." The follow-up campaign to Durban has been sweeping...

One official UN Web page on Durban specifically directs the user to www.racism.org.za.
Carrying the official UN logo, the latter site boasts the Durban NGO Forum document and pictures of satisfied Durban participants carrying signs such as "Authentic rabbis have always opposed Zionism," and the old favorite about Bush and Palestinian blood...

The post-Durban concoctions of NGOs and the UN divulge two dangerous characteristics: highly selective compassion and willful amnesia.

They emphasize the sections on education as "a means of imbuing humanistic respect for others" but neglect to mention that the draft provisions on Holocaust education were deleted.

They stress the parts calling for legislation to punish acts of racial discrimination and prohibit racist organizations and their activities, and say nothing about the Conference removal of Holocaust denial from the draft list of prohibited or punishable acts.

...

DURBAN HAS already been used as it was intended, to deny victimhood to Jews and to demonize the Jewish state. References to "anti-Semitism" in prior UN resolutions were immediately attacked when the Durban agenda item came to the General Assembly.

Led by the Group of 77, whose members include most developing nations, anti-Semitism was deleted as a specific concern of the UN's Third Decade to Combat Racism on March 27, 2002.

Government representatives used the General Assembly to repeat the Durban mantra of Israeli racism, or in the words of the Iranian Ambassador in February to object to Israel from its creation as "the most vivid manifestation of institutionalised racism...for half a century."

A UN-accredited NGO circulated a UN document at the 2002 Commission on Human Rights stating: "[t]he Zionist authorities, from the founding of the state of Israel (1948) until the end of 2001 in ideology and their constitution have done all they can with their racist behaviors to force the Palestinians to leave the occupied territories...to fulfill their ideals of the cleansing of the...so-called 'Promised Land,' as it was revealed in the Durban Conference Against Racism..."

In April, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People created on the same day as the UN Zionism is racism resolution and still going strong sponsored a meeting in Nicosia and invited the input of Mercia Andrews, the host of the Durban NGO Forum and President of the South African NGO Coalition. The result yet another UN report recounting the "obvious parallels between Israel and Apartheid South Africa."

The lessons learned from Durban?

Racists use the charge of racism for political gain. The description of Israel as an apartheid state, or Marwan Barghouti as Nelson Mandela, show no understanding of apartheid, or of the participation of Arabs in Israeli society (let alone the intolerance of Jews in Arab societies), or of the violence of Barghouti and his terrorist comrades. But it does show an appreciation of the politics of racism an accusation that Palestinians have used to fuel the violent, rally the na ve, and intimidate the weak.

The Durban phenomenon is one of substituting the voices of alleged victims, and the false consensus of UN mob-rule, for universal standards.