Friday, March 20, 2009

New Durban 2 statement still singles out Israel

From Haartez, 19/3/09, by Barak Ravid:

Israel rejects the latest draft of the "Durban 2" anti-racism conference closing statement, a senior Foreign Ministry source said.

While all direct references to Israel and the Israel-Palestinian conflict have been removed - in an attempt to keep the European Union from boycotting - it still implicitly singles out Israel.

"The first clause in the new document reaffirms the declaration of 'Durban 1,' which calls Israel a racist state, and the change is cosmetic only. The essence remains the same," the official said. "This is a diplomatic ruse intended to blur matters and introduce criticism of Israel by the back door."

...The previous version of the "Durban 2" closing statement led the United States, Canada and Italy to announce they would be boycotting the conference. Other EU countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand, also threatened to boycott.

The edited version was crafted by a committee headed by Russia, with the goal of preventing the boycott.

...The Foreign Ministry yesterday instructed its envoys to continue asking their host countries to boycott the conference.
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