Boycott of U.N. racism conference

April 20, 2009


A United Nations conference on racism is being boycotted by the United States and many of its allies.


They fear the meeting in Geneva will single out Israel for criticism. A previous racism conference in 2001 in Durban, South Africa, was marred by anti-Semitic street protests and attempts to pass a resolution equating Zionism with racism, prompting the United States and Israel to walk out.


The final declaration of that conference omitted that language and was hailed by Israel’s foreign ministry as a triumph.


Canada and Israel had long made it clear that they would not attend the follow-up conference in Geneva, known as Durban II.


Now, despite President Barack Obama’s policy of re-engaging with the rest of the world, the United States has decided to stay away too. So have Australia and Germany among others. Britain and France and current EU-president the Czech Republic are represented only by their ambassadors.



                                   The only head of state to attend is Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad,

who has called for Israel to be wiped from the map and cast doubt on the Nazi Holocaust, which is also commemorated by Jewish communities on Monday.


He used similar language again on Monday, denouncing Israel as a racist regime oppressing the Palestinians and founded “on the pretext of Jewish sufferings”, and accusing “Zionism” of penetrating mass media and financial systems in other countries to impose its domination worldwide.




Several advocacy organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, have said the United States and other Western countries should take part, arguing that their boycott constituted a blow against efforts to promote human rights.


Even in Israel, some people say that a boycott leaves the floor open to critics of the country.


Still, those who object to the conference can draw some paradoxical comfort from Ahmadinejad’s words. According to one conspiracy theory making the round of the Palais des Nations – the U.N.’s European headquarters where it is hosting the conference – the boycott, by allowing the spotlight to fall on Ahmadinejad, simply proves the point of the opponents: that the U.N.’s international diplomacy is flawed and its efforts to discuss human rights always end up in an attack on Israel.





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Sure thing, student. Time to point out your errors.Why is Hamas launching rockets?-Because Israel has closed its borders.Why did Israel close the borders?-Because Hamas kept sending suicide bombers during the second intifada. And smuggling weapons into Gaza.Why did Hamas send suicide bombers?-Because they claim Israel took their land.Why did Israel take their land?-Because Palestine lost it as a result of the 1948 Palestinian civil war/ Arab-Israel war.Why did that war start?- Two races were living in British Mandate Palestine. The UN partitioned the two groups. The Arab nations rejected the UN ruling and attacked Israel.So what is the problem here?- The Arab nations do not accept the existance of Israel. Three wars were fought to try and defeat Israel. Each time, Israel gained more territory.What is the solution?- Hamas needs to stop the rocket fire and organise a lasting truce. After a long truce, Hamas should negotiate for opening the border.So why did Cast Lead occur?- Israel wanted to renew the ceasefire. Hamas refused to extend the ceasefire, unless Israel *also* opened the border. Israel refused. Hamas started launching rockets. Israel bombed Gaza until they stopped. Now Hamas is happy to have a ceasefire.

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