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September 05, 2002

What They Said in Durban

We all remember the media coverage of the Durban World Festival of Jew-Hatred last year. But I only recently read the actual text of the declaration by the "human rights" groups at the non-governmental organization (NGO) forum that was held in conjunction with the government summit.

The NGO forum was where most of the really, really bad stuff happened. In fact it was so bad that even Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a staunch Israel-hater, denounced the NGO declaration. Of course the government declaration was also anti-Israel. But below is the disgusting text from the NGO declaration.

Now, a lot of mainstream human rights groups have since disassociated themselves from this language, but it it is still a telling fact that they did not, at the time, try to prevent its adoption by the NGO forum and only really responded once they were embarrassed by the media coverage. Furthermore, the fact that it was adopted at all is important. Similar language is included in virtually all international documents, both NGO and governmental, no matter what the subject. As we have seen in Jo'Burg at the Earth Summit, Palestinians, with Arab government and Third World support, try and generally succeed in inserting anti-Israel language into everything, including declarations about women's rights, children's rights, and the rights of the elderly. And, as with Durban, the NGO documents are typically much worse than the government documents. Further confirmation of the need for Israel and her supporters to be wary of the "international community."

At Durban, the NGOs called for:

the immediate deployment of an independent, effective international protection force for Palestinian civilians and the dismantlement of the illegal Jewish Israeli colonies (settlements) and a complete withdrawal of the colonial military occupation...the withdrawal of the Israeli colonial military occupation (of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem), the right of return for refugees, and for the protection for refugees of the UN High Commission for Refugees until such time as they may be able to exercise their right to return and in accordance with UN resolution 194...the reinstitution of UN resolution 3379 determining the practices of Zionism as racist practices which propagate the racial domination of one group over another...through colonial expansionism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, including Jerusalem), and through the application of discriminatory laws of return and citizenship, to obliterate their national identity and to maintain the exclusive nature of the State of Israel as a Jewish state to the exclusion of all other groups...the repeal of all discriminatory laws within the state of Israel, including those of return and citizenship, which are part of the institutionalized racism and Apartheid regime in Israel..the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to investigate and bring to justice those who may be guilty of war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing and the crime of Apartheid which amount to crimes against humanity that have been or continue to be perpetrated in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian increased awareness of the root causes of the Israel’s belligerent occupation and systematic human rights violations as a racist, apartheid system, through relevant UN agencies working closely with international civil society networks to widely disseminate information including educational packs for schools and universities, films and publications...the establishment of a UN Special Committee on Apartheid and Other Racist Crimes Against Humanity perpetrated by the Israeli Apartheid regime to monitor and to report Apartheid and other racist crimes, and to recommend the implementation of measures to combat Apartheid and other racist crimes..the establishment of programmes and institutions to combat the racist media distortion, stereotyping and propaganda, including the demonizing and dehumanizing of Palestinians as all being violent and terrorists, and undeserving of human rights protections...the correction of misleading information surrounding their status as indigenous peoples, the history of the violations perpetrated against them, and the on-going distortion of the facts and nature of the peace negotiations...the launch of an international anti Israeli Apartheid movement as implemented against South African Apartheid through a global solidarity campaign network of international civil society, UN bodies and agencies, business communities and to end the conspiracy of silence among states, particularly the European Union and the United States...a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state as in the case of South Africa which means the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel. Call upon the Government of South Africa to take the lead in this policy of isolation, bearing in mind its own historical success in countering the undermining policy of “constructive engagement” with its own past Apartheid regime...Condemnation of those states who are supporting, aiding and abetting the Israeli Apartheid state and its perpetration of racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide.

And, I should add, the "anti-racism" website where I found this document also has a photo of a Hassidic anti-Zionist holding a sign that says, "Authentic Rabbis Have Always Opposed Zionism." It has his name, too, and he lives in Monsey, where I'm going for Rosh HaShana. Maybe I should pay him a visit.