Friday, December 19, 2008

Durban Round 2

From THE JERUSALEM POST Dec. 17, 2008, by JENNIFER LASZLO MIZRAHI:

While Jews, including a Chabad rabbi and his pregnant wife, were being slaughtered by terrorists in Mumbai, the United Nations was busy preparing more anti-Israel resolutions and using US tax dollars to plan "Durban 2." Will the world tolerate another internationally sanctioned attack on Jews and Israel? Unless something serious is done immediately, it appears that it will.

Indeed, this past year alone the UN General Assembly adopted 14 resolutions specifically criticizing Israel, and seven more expressing support for the Palestinian people vis-à-vis its relations with Israel. All together, the 21 resolutions addressing alleged Israeli violations and obligations stretched to 61 pages of text, compared with only 20 pages for resolutions critical of other countries - including Sudan, Iran, Syria and other nations with massive human rights abuses.

The 2001 UN Durban Review Conference was an eight-day platform for attacks against the State of Israel. At the conference, driven primarily by nongovernmental organizations in close cooperation with Iran and other Islamic regimes, Israel was repeatedly singled out and internationally isolated as the participants equated Zionism with racism and derided Israel's attempts to defend itself as war crimes.

Anti-Semitic cartoons and books such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hitler's Mein Kampf were circulated. Protesters shouted "Death to the Jews" and accused Israel of committing holocausts. The NGO final declaration accused Israel of apartheid and ethnic cleansings, called for the total isolation of Israel through sanctions and made threats against countries that support Israel.

Durban 1 may have been the largest anti-Semitic and anti-Israel meeting of the 21st century. Now get ready for Round 2.

EIGHT YEARS later, on April 20, the UN will once again convene the Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, this time at its European headquarters in Geneva. So far, the conference promises to be nothing more than a dangerous reprisal of the 2001 debacle - a broad campaign to demonize Israel while ignoring racist and discriminatory acts by UN members such as Sudan, Iran and China. And since America pays for at least 20 percent of the UN's budget, this will be our tax dollars at work.

Regional conferences show the same lopsided tendency as they set the stage for another UN-backed bashing of Israel. That should come as no surprise given that the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) is being led by Libya, one of the 20 committee members. Others include Iran, Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba, all of which have an interest in distracting attention from their own human rights records.

Further: At a PrepCom meeting in May 2008, a UN working group released a document expressing "concern about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation." At the same meeting, the PrepCom accredited the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign for the NGO forum accompanying the conference but rejected the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy.

In late October, the UN Human Rights Council, which facilitates the PrepCom and is hosting the conference - released a draft document containing no fewer than nine paragraphs condemning Israel as guilty of apartheid, accusing it of crimes against humanity and genocide and once again impugning Zionism as racist by referring to a "racially based law of return." The representatives of various Arab and Muslim states already have stated their support for these passages and recommended additional condemnations.

In August, the African Regional Conference issued a declaration mentioning the "plight of the Palestinian people" while ignoring the genocide in Sudan.

Already, a number of Western governments and international organizations including ours are preparing for more of the same. Canada and Israel plan to stay away from the conference altogether; the US vowed not to participate without proof that the conference will not become another internationally sanctioned assault against Jews and Israel. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy said earlier this year that his country will withdraw from the conference unless certain demands are met.

With enough blood spilled, it isn't too late for world powers and leaders of the future to take an affirmative stand - this time in support of Israel's right to live in security and peace.
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