33 countries boycott anti-Israel Durban IV conference – FM

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A total of 33 countries openly boycotted Wednesday’s United Nations conference marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban over anti-Semitism and anti-Israel prejudices during the 2001 event.
More than twice as many countries chose not to participate in the event as the previous Durban Review Conference in 2011, when 14 did. The countries boycotting Durban IV were: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro , Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.

Another country said it would boycott the event without making a public statement, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry thanked the countries for their support.

“The first Durban conference, an event organized by the UN, became the worst international manifestation of anti-Semitism since World War II,” the foreign ministry said. “Incendiary speeches, discriminatory texts, and a pro-Hitler march past theaters were just part of the ugliness displayed in 2001. Displayed caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and fangs dripping with blood , squeezing money.

Protesters protest outside the opening session of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), also known as the Durban Conference (Credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS)

The Foreign Ministry said organizations seeking to demonize and boycott Israel 20 years ago are continuing their campaign, but have failed.

“Israel is a prosperous state which is strengthening its cooperation with the countries of the region and will continue to do so,” he said.

UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan, who worked last year to rally more countries against Durban, pointed out that the only head of state to address the conference was Cyril Ramaphosa, and only a handful – like Iran and the Palestinian Authority – sent foreign ministers to the event, in addition to more countries that boycotted it than ever.

“This is an achievement for Israel that proves that understanding has permeated that the Durban Conference was an event rife with hatred and anti-Semitism, and that the decision taken [at the conference] does not contribute to the fight against racism; rather the opposite is true and therefore countries are avoiding it, ”Erdan said.

The theme of Durban IV was “Reparations, Racial Justice and Equality for People of African Descent”, and included the adoption of the original Durban Declaration, in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only one specifically mentioned.

Participants voted in favor of a statement that noted an increase in “racist violence, threats of violence, discrimination and stigma” against Asians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but did not mention the increase in anti-Semitism and distortion linked to the pandemic. of the Holocaust.

He includes anti-Semitism among his examples of “prejudices against people based on their religions or beliefs”, in a paragraph “acknowledging[ing] with deep concern the rise of discrimination, hate speech “and more.

The 2001 Durban Conference was a hotbed of anti-Semitism, with groups accredited to its NGO forum distributing copies of the anti-Semitic duck The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and caricatures of crooked-nosed Jews, and thousands of people. marching against Israel, calling it an apartheid state. Thousands of people protested against Israel, with placards likening the Star of David to a swastika and praising Hitler.

At the Durban Review Conferences of 2009 and 2011, then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust, calling it a pretext for Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Sunday, under the banner: “Fight Racism, Not Jews: The UN and the Durban Deception”, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan, Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and others spoke at a conference hosted by Touro College, Human Rights Voices and CAMERA in a powerful frontal appeal to countries to qu ‘they withdraw from the Durban IV conference and oppose today’s anti-Semitism.

The virtual counter-event drew thousands of viewers.

“All countries that are truly committed to the fight against racism should refuse to attend Durban IV and the 20th anniversary carnival,” said Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, president of Human Rights Voices and moderator of the conference. . “That’s why we organized a counter-conference called ‘Fight Racism, Not Jews’. The Durban deception, double talk, double standards – and, in particular, discrimination – must be exposed and rejected, period. ”


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