Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Revised and amended: What Happened at Durban-2?

It seems as if the walk-out only disguises the fact that Ahmadinejad won. After going back to the meeting, all the participating European (and other) states then accepted the final declaration, made before the meeting, which blames only one country in the world for racism and oppression: Israel.

In effect, they adopted a resolution largely drafted by Ahmadinejad (the Iranian delegation along with such human rights' paragons as Cuba, Syria, and Libya) and which accepts Ahmadinejad's world view.

The day after Ahmadinejad's speech, the delegates elected Iran as one of three vice-chairs of the committee accepting the final declaration. The meeting took 15 minutes. No debate permitted.

Minister of Information and Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki of the Palestinian Authority (the "moderate" regime which supposedly is ready to make peace with Israel), stated according to Ann Bayefsky:

"For over 60 years the Palestinian people has been suffering under…the ugliest face of racism and racial discrimination…." and that Israel's position is characterized by "racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

It should be noted that for many years, before joining the PA, he was the West Bank leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group more radical than Fatah. The PFLP murdered many Israeli civilians--including an Israeli cabinet minister--but its leadership always had safe haven in Arab states. As for "xenophobia" and "intolerance," Israel made agreements with the PLO which gave Malki immunity for the crimes in which he was involved.

Does anyone notice something peculiar about a veteran leader of a terrorist group whose goal was genocide calling others xenophobic and intolerant?

Despite being disgusting, this also has an element of amusement for me. The last time I saw him, we were having dinner in Greece and he told me--he never said it was confidential--that the PLO's policy was a disaster, that Yasir Arafat was a terrible leader, that most of the members in his office were thinking of emigrating to Canada (including his brother who had already gone there), and his sister's children were discriminated against in Jordan because they were Palestinians. He added that the demand that all Palestinians be allowed to live in Israel (the so-called "Right of Return") was a mistake because Israel would never accept it. At the end, he concluded--to my astonishment but these are his exact words, "Maybe we are better off staying under Israeli rule."

Naturally, the next day at the conference he gave a speech saying that all the Palestinians' problems were due to Israel. In response to my complaints about PA incitement to anti-Israel violence, he called for a joint committee to monitor incitement on both sides.

When I approached him and said it was a good idea so let's do it, he practically laughed in my face. We both knew that everything he said was for propaganda purposes and he didn't mean any of it.

But back to Durban-2:

The conference adopted as its final resolution--even before it ended--a resolution drawn up beforehand. Those most shaping the wording of this resolution were Iran, Cuba, Libya, and
Syria mostly and they got into the resolution what they wanted. Democratic states did not fight very hard in the preliminary meetings to frame it.

The key, and controversial, point was to affirm the resolution of the original Durban meeting. In other words, and this is what Iran wanted, the Durban-2 meeting reaffirmed all the attacks on Israel contained in the Durban-1 meeting. I have not heard about any states refusing to accept the resolution but will keep watching.

How can one excuse these states--including the United Kingdom and France--for such dreadful behavior?

1. Countries that are boycotting the UN conference on racism in Geneva this week: Germany, Australia, Canada, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, United States

2. Countries which have left the conference completely: Czech Republic (I would bet they would have boycotted except as chair of the EU felt they had at least to show up)

3. Countries that walked out (temporarily, of course, they are still attending the conference and to some extent the walk-out is a cover for their participation. Will they approve the final declaration which basically repeats the denunciation of only Israel in the whole world from the first conference?": Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. Also: St. Kitts and Nevis.

Norway didn't walk out but just made a speech criticizing Ahmadinejad.

[A reader has reported Croatia walked out which may be so though it was not on the lists reported. One source says Jordan did also which, if true, would be fascinating.

4.The Turkish delegation did not leave but did not applaud either.

5. Does anyone know who applauded? NGOs? I am sure the Iranian, Libyan, Yemeni, Qatari, Sudanese, Cubans, Malaysians, and Syrians did.

But what about others? The PA delegation? And what about the Egyptians and Saudis and Jordanians who may not like Israel but also don't like Iran.


  1. The UN may have formally repealed the notorious Zionism Is Racism resolution under American pressure but the anti-Semites and racists at the UN have been trying to get it reinstated ever since. The UN's welcome of Ahmedinejad shows that legal formalities aside in practice, a vicious hatred of the Jews and Israel is one of the real principles that animates the world organization. It can be said that this is one of the few times when its members find anything like a true consensus. That is the entire reason Durban II is going on for the rest of the week. After all, the most notorious speaker yesterday did provide the keynote address!

  2. According to Ynet Jordan walked out.


  3. It is not entirely clear whether Jamal Zahalka was there or not: What Was Not Said - by Khaled Abu Toameh


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