Boycotting Durban II
By Tali Shapiro at Apr 22, 2009
The boot is mighty snug on the feet of the oppressors of the world, this week. What kind of human being opposes, not to mention boycotts an anti-racism conference?! Yes, that would be rhetorical. I actually do know the answer to that: A racist, an oppressor, an occupier and a perpetrator of genocide. (If they all walked into a bar, we'd have ourselves a hell of joke.)
List of Shame
Although seven other states have decided to boycott Durban, Israel didn't really bother reporting too much of that in the media, it was mainly preoccupied with the US' decision. But I'm a tough but fair advocate of free press, so here's the complete list of national entities- apparently- all disinterested in abolishing racism off the face of our planet:
- "my very own" Israel
- European Union
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
To be fair, it's not really about the basic idea of "the right to hate the other". These states stated very clearly why they refuse to join the conference, which is a commendable international effort.
Additional Statements Made by Israel
The mainstream media in Israel has been all over Durban II even before the date and place were set. Here are a few more statements by the government that makes constant and consistent mockery of human rights (Ha'aretz):
"Israel and the U.S. decided a few weeks ago to boycott the Durban II conference scheduled for early 2009 and likely to harshly criticize Israel's human rights record unless they receive firm guarantees that the event will not turn into anti-Israel festival."
Israel also added (bold by me, same article):
"We are concerned this time too there will be criticism and an anti-Semitic attack... What can you expect from a conference whose organizers include Cuba, Iran and North Korea."
But here's where Israel gets really silly (same article):
"The attacks on Israel included accusations of apartheid, that Zionism is racism, and that the Holocaust is not a unique event but similar to other events in history."
How dare they say there were other Holocausts?! Fucken Holocaust deniars!
Ehem... excuse me... back to respectable Tali mode....
The most notable persona in the conference is Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, propelled to stardom by Israel itself, determined to find reasons to bomb the shit out of Iranian civilians. One of the most efficient slurs Israel uses, in order to protect its crimes against humanity, is "Holocaust deniar" (this is akin to anti-Semite and just as dangerous, reducing the word to meaningless, when true anti-Semitism occurs). After short inquiry into the matter (it was short because the information is so easily found on the internet), I've concluded that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a Holocaust deniar, as so many assert. In the case of Durban II Ahmadinejad did not deny the Holocaust, he stated the obvious truth:
"After World War II, under the pretext of Jewish suffering and by taking advantage of the Holocaust, they used aggression and military force to turn an entire nation into refugees. And they transplanted people from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world into their land, establishing a thoroughly racist government in occupied Palestine." [Democracy Now!]
Most obviously, Ahmadinejad is not denying the Holocaust, but acknowledging it quite matter-of-factly, as a stepping-stone to build his theses, that Israel would love to divert your attention from: The fact that it's denying a (dare I say) Holocaust of its own making.
With All Due Respect to Eli Wiesel
Nobel Peace prize laureate, Elie Wiesel, was present at the conference. I'm not familiar with Wiesel's work, but apparently he's devoted his life to fight anti-semitism and that is very noble indeed. My guess is that he took it upon himself to go to the conference to make sure there's no anti-Semitism (or that there is?). It seems, however, that Wiesel hasn't been doing his research and has let his Zionist bias get the best of him.
Wiesel on Durban II (Ha'aretz):
"The anti-Israeli resolutions to be expected at Durban II will harm the UN, not Israel... If these resolutions are not altered and corrected, the UN, and not Israel, will leave the conference damaged and ridiculed... The passing of such resolutions will debase the ideal that the global organization seeks to represent to the very lowest level."
Wiesel on Ahmadinejad (Ha'aretz):
"Ten years ago and less, the ruler of a country that announced its aspiration for Israel to be wiped off the map would not have dared appear and speak on the UN's podium... The era known as 'the period after Auschwitz' is over... If you ask me whether the world has learned something - my answer is 'no."
Apparently Wiesel was at another meeting, but I do agree with him on one point: The world has learned nothing. Wiesel is living proof. (For in-depth inquiry into Ahmadinejad's "wipe off the map" statement, feel free to refer to my last post.)
Lessons from Durban II
Here's my conclusions from the World Conference Against Racism (I reserve the right to have more as the events unfold):
- Boycott all countries that boycott any UN initiative (the fact that all countries should be represented equally in the UN, should cover for political bias).
- Disallow rioting suits (We can't have our official representatives acting like 14 year-olds on a Myspace forum):
- Most important: Make it count for something! All this blablabla and the conference has absolutely no legal stature. Now that's a waste.
Update (23/04/09): I don't know much about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but he seems to me a bit of a joke. The right thing to do- the responsible thing- would have been to condemn Israel for boycotting the conference. Instead he "expressed regret" and "accused Ahmadinejad on Tuesday of misusing a UN conference on racism at which he attacked Israel's policy towards the Palestinians as racist." [Ha'aretz]