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31 countries to boycott anti-Israel Durban IV Conference – FM

CM 22/09/2021

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The Foreign Ministry expects 31 countries to boycott Wednesday’s United Nations event marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism, which was marred by antisemitism and anti-Israel bias.
The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday 10 countries that have not yet made their plans public plan to boycott the conference, in addition to the 21 that have announced they will not be attending.
Ukraine announced on Tuesday that it will not take part in Durban IV, according to American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris.

The other 20 countries are Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the UK and the US.
This week’s event, known as Durban IV, has the theme of “Reparations, racial justice and equality for people of African descent.” Critics have called on the UN to entirely scrap the Durban Conference on Racism and form a new conference.
No Western country has sent a high-level representative, meaning a government minister, to speak at the conference – though the EU has – nor has any volunteered to lead a roundtable, which Israel views as a success at labeling the event as antisemitic.
At the original Durban Conference in 2001, the parallel NGO Forum adopted a decision labeling Israel an apartheid state, and activists distributed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and flyers praising Hitler.
The 2001 Durban Decision, which the draft resolution for Wednesday’s conference reaffirms, singled out the Israel-Palestinian conflict, not mentioning any other specific conflicts as racist.
During the 2009 and 2011 Durban Review Conferences, then-president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust, calling it a pretext for Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
On Sunday, under the banner “Fight Racism, Not Jews: The UN and the Durban Deceit,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, former US attorney-general Michael Mukasey, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and others spoke at a conference organized by Touro College, Human Rights Voices and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) in a powerful head-on plea to countries to pull out of the Durban IV conference  and to stand up to today’s antisemitism.
The virtual counter-event, which drew thousands of viewers, featured an eye-opening series of speakers from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds talking about what happened in Durban 20 years ago according to individuals who were present and why it’s relevant now more than ever.
“All countries that are genuinely committed to combating racism should refuse to attend Durban IV and the 20th-anniversary carnival,” said Anne Bayefsky, director of Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, president of Human Rights Voices, and moderator of the conference. “That’s why we held a counter-conference entitled ‘Fight Racism, Not Jews.’ The Durban deceit, the double-talk, the double-standards – and in particular, the discrimination – need to be exposed and rejected, period.”
ERDAN OPENED the conference by comparing Durban to Nazi propaganda.
“As the grandchild of Auschwitz survivors, I do not like to make comparisons to the Holocaust,” he said. “I will not say that Durban was like Kristallnacht or later Nazi atrocities. But I am reminded of a lesser-known event in Nazi history. One year before Kristallnacht, in November 1937, Josef Goebbels opened the antisemitic exhibition Der Ewige Jude, The Eternal Jew, at the library of the German Museum in Munich.
“This exhibit conveyed antisemitic messages in the most sophisticated and woke style of the era, blaming Jews for the spread of communism and the corruption of Aryan values,” he said. “This exhibit, viewed by over 400,000 visitors, helped convey the message that Jew-hatred was not just acceptable, but something that every enlightened person should adopt. In some ways, Durban was the Der Ewige Jude exhibit of the new antisemitism.
“Therefore, friends, it matters little what will actually be said on September 22 at Durban IV, or whether or not Israel will explicitly be mentioned,” the ambassador said. “The Durban process is rotten to its core, and any of its follow-up events are the fruits of a poisonous tree.”

ARGUMENTS FLARE outside the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, infamous for equating Zionism with racism. (credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS)ARGUMENTS FLARE outside the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, infamous for equating Zionism with racism. (credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS)

Erdan called on more countries to boycott this week’s conference.
“Our demand that countries refuse to participate in the Durban process does not in any way contradict what must be our equally strong demand to speak up against racism wherever it appears.”
Pompeo said the Durban Declaration is “laced with antisemitism.”
“The Declaration was enthusiastically supported by terrorist leaders like Yasser Arafat, who rightly saw it not as a means to promote racial equality, but as a threat to Israel’s existence. There is no better indication of this truth than the countries which the original Durban Declaration listed as perpetrators of racism. No, not China, not Cuba nor any other bloody authoritarian regime was called out. Only Israel was identified as such,” he said.
“The Durban Conference in 2001 revived the ‘Zionism is racism’ slur, outrageously claimed that Israel was an apartheid state, distorted the Holocaust and made numerous Nazi analogies. It was the birthplace and catalyst of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. These things are not things the US or any nation which values freedom and denounces antisemitism should be celebrating,” Pompeo said.
“Rather, freedom-loving nations should embrace what Israel has always been and remains today. Israel stands now, just as it always has, as the sole truly democratic state in the Middle East. It’s a diverse nation, home to citizens of varied faiths and backgrounds.”
Voight said it was “the duty of all good people of all faiths to express outrage and demand truth be heard.” Regarding the UN conference, he said he was “outraged at those who make excuses for this barbarism, who manufacture the propaganda of Palestinian victimhood, who refuse to recognize that this antisemitism is capable of destroying the Jewish nation.”
Several speakers at the counter-conference were black, including Likud MK Gadi Yevarkan, South African lawmaker Rev. Kenneth Meshoe and American historian Shelby Steele, pushing back against the anti-Israel message at Durban, which is meant to be a conference against racism with a special focus on people of African descent.
Yevarkan said he was speaking “truth to propaganda…. Durban was not and is not a conference for human rights. It is a crucifixion of Jewish human rights. And Durban is a moral embarrassment for the UN itself…. Durban has used and abused the suffering of millions of black South African victims of apartheid by racializing Israel.”


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