No Western state candidate for speech, leading role in Durban



No Western state applied to have its leader deliver a speech or lead a roundtable at Wednesday’s event marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which was marked by anti-Semitism and anti-Israel prejudices.

In early September, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, called on each group of member states to make an offer for a president or prime minister to address the opening ceremony in Durban. IV, and send a representative to lead a roundtable on the subject. people of African descent.

Andorra’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Joan Josep Lopez, informed Bozkir in a letter a week later: “We have not yet received any candidacy for Head of State or Government and no manifestation of interest in the post of chairman of two round tables.

The group of 28 Western European and Other States (WEOG) at the UN includes countries across Europe, as well as Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Israel. The United States is an observer.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said the lack of interest from anyone in the Western group “means Israel has successfully branded the event anti-Semitic and anti-Israel “.

Pro-Palestinian supporters demonstrate outside the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 (credit: REUTERS)

Romania joined the list of countries boycotting Durban IV due to its anti-Semitism, bringing the number to 20. The countries that skipped the event, which are all members of WEOG, are: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Slovenia, United Kingdom and United States. Belgium has downgraded its participation from ministerial to diplomatic level.

Portugal, a member of WEOG, facilitated intergovernmental negotiations with South Africa on the declaration to be adopted at Durban IV this week.

The co-facilitators wrote in a letter to all representatives at the UN: “The text has been carefully drafted to balance the views of member states expressed throughout the negotiation.

The declaration focuses on the fight against “racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.

It notes an increase in “racist violence, threats of violence, discrimination and stigma” against Asians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but does not mention the increase in anti-Semitism linked to the pandemic and the distortion 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.

However, it reaffirms the Durban Declaration of 2001, in which Israel is the only country targeted for stigma. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only one specifically mentioned, and the declaration calls for a Palestinian state.

In addition, 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 hook-nosed Jews, and thousands of people marching against Israel, calling it an apartheid state.

Erdan said that although the latest draft does not specifically mention Israel, “it doesn’t matter; they say they accept the original Durban declaration, so it is rotten to the core.

The ambassador plans to participate in a virtual counter-conference on Sunday, organized by the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, with the pro-Israel organization Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, or CAMERA.

Other speakers include former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Several speakers are black, including Likud MP Gadi Yevarkan, South African lawmaker Reverend Kenneth Meshoe and American historian Shelby Steele, pushing back the anti-Israel message in Durban, which claims to be an anti-racism conference with a focus especially on people of African descent.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.