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July 19, 2011 5:28 pm

End the “Durban syndrome,” Start Fighting Real Racism

avatar by Arik Elman

Anti-Semitic graffiti. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski.

On September 21, 2011,  the United Nations will hold its third World Conference Against Racism, commonly known as “Durban III.”  In a normal world, that would be a glorious occasion. Representatives of all countries that reject the barbarous notion of racial inequality and inbred superiority of certain races over others would come together to celebrate the progress of humanity.

They would recall how, 70 years ago, a racial ideology was implemented in the heart of Europe and taken to its logical genocidal conclusion. They would recall how for many years in many countries the idea that a black man and a white man are both human beings- with equal rights and duties – was considered a dangerous novelty. They would condemn the last vestiges of slavery at the periphery of the Muslim world. They would marvel at the ongoing successful experiment of integration between Jews of all races and colors in the Jewish State. They would celebrate the newly-won independence of the last colony in Africa – South Sudan.

They would condemn any attempt to turn a political conflict into a racial one, to inflame racial passions instead of seeking common ground, and to politicize the fight against real discrimination by inventing false causes and spreading cheap propaganda. But first and foremost, they would proclaim in a loud and clear voice that real racial equality is unthinkable without political freedom, and that under the yoke of dictatorship no race can be truly free.

That agenda would exist in a normal world. In the real world, the UN “Durban Conferences” has become a sick joke.

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Instead of celebrating democracy, the conferences are hijacked by the most oppressive and backward regimes in the world that use real and invented historical grievances to blackmail the democratic West. Instead of speaking the powerful truth, they whitewash racism in the Third world and in the Muslim countries. And instead of celebrating Israel as a symbol of victory on the most entrenched racial prejudice in history, they condone intolerance and anti-Semitism and give aid and comfort to those who seek to eradicate the Jewish State.

The first such conference, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, and its concomitant NGO Forum, had been  nothing but a UN-sponsored festival of hate against the Jews. No one who had witnessed that lynching could retain any illusion that Israel and its policies would be treated in the same way as any other country. Instead of preventing Arab regimes from hijacking the conference that could potentially address real grievances of the post-colonial world, the representatives of the Third World let them turn Durban I into a celebration of racial hatred against the Jews under the thin veil of anti-Zionism. While the official forum was loosely restricted by the rules of diplomatic decorum, the representatives of “civil society” at the NGO Forum refused to acknowledge any form of civility and openly distributed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as eternal proof of Jewish perfidy.

Despite the wrongheaded demands of certain human rights campaigners, who urged the United States to look the other way and to “engage” Jew-haters, the American, Canadian and Israeli delegations were forced to abandon Durban I as the  lost cause it was. Nobody remembers now the resolutions of this conference (which, in the end, were purged of overt anti-Zionism); nobody cares. What could have been a major step to the post-racial future, ended in dismal, acrimonious, shameful and utterly sterile failure.

The second “Durban”, held in 2009 in Geneva, was mainly memorable by a preventive boycott or low-level attendance by the Western democracies, who had anticipated the performance of that dedicated pioneer of freedom, Mahmoud Ahmadinijad. As predicted, the  Iranian president used the UN podium to establish that that Zionism is racism and the existence of the Jewish State is the worst racial crime in modern history. The conference had duly adopted yet another meaningless document, and an emboldened Ahmadinejad went home to steal elections, kill his opponents and persecute women and the religious minorities.

This time, it’s not hard to guess the key theme of the conference. The Palenstinians seemed determined to go on with their intent to achieve statehood through the General Assembly of the UN. Therefore, it is clear that Durban III and the returning circus of NGOs will  be dedicated to assisting this peace-destroying effort by any means necessary, chiefly by painting, again, the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews as a struggle against Zionist racism.

If the conference will go on as planned, days after commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the WTC massacre, New Yorkers will witness a spectacle of anti-Semitic hatred, fueled in  large part,by the same racist ideology that had driven those planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

President Obama and the Government of Canada should be applauded for  the courageous and exemplary decision to boycott this festival of hate. It is time to call upon all those who truly believe in the cause of human freedom and racial equality to abandon “the Durban calamity” altogether and to establish a new forum of nations, truly committed to the struggle against real racism and intolerance and assisting the victims of racism, slavery and colonialism to regain equal footing in the challenging world.

Israel is willing, able and ready to do its part for the ultimate success of such alliance, and it is certain that Jewish people worldwide will be thrilled to assist it in any way possible. The sooner it happens, the faster we can begin some real work combating intolerance of which until now “the Durban process” was one of the main polluted sources.

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