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Resources updated between Monday, October 06, 2008 and Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 8, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland.
The Second Substantive Session of the Durban II Preparatory Committee

As preparations for the Durban Review Conference - aka Durban II - enter their final phase, the "demonize Israel" agenda has become undeniable. The Asian regional group - representing 53 states of the United Nations - has now released its list of demands for the final outcome document. Those urging the United States and others to participate in this alleged "anti-racism" forum should be embarrassed by their continued refusal to recognize the Durban II agenda and to continue to urge its legitimization.

Reproduced below is just some of what the Asian states have put front and center for discussion, debate and inclusion at Durban II.

Note - that the claim that Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism was already a part of the Durban I Declaration and since the agreed purpose of Durban II is at least to implement and affirm Durban I, there is no avoiding such an outcome.

Contribution of the Asian Region to the Durban Review Conference(10/8/2008)

Demonization of Israel - Israel is racist - only Israel condemned:

Preambular paragraph 2

Recalling the 2001 Tehran Declaration and Programme of Action by the Asian Preparatory Meeting,

[Editor's Note:The Tehran Declaration includes

21. Recall with deep regret the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence such as to prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, express our deep concern about this situation and call for the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and the other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected;

33. Express deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially based law of return, and recognize the right of return of the Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and call for their return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;

34. Re-emphasize the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation against aggression, acts of racism, intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights, including the right to life, liberty and self-determination;]

Operative paragraphs of the Asian Group Durban II Document:

18. Recognize Jerusalem as a city of reverence and religious sanctity for three major religions of the world and call for an international effort to bring foreign occupation, together with all its racial practices, to an end, especially in holy shrines dear to the three religions;

19. Reaffirm that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security;

26. Express deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially based law of return, and recognize the right of return of the Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and call for their return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;

27. Re-emphasize the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation against aggression, acts of racism, intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights, including the rights to life, liberty and self-determination;

68. Express deep regret the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence such as to prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, express our deep concern about this situation and renew the call for the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and the other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected;

69. Reiterate that the Palestinian people continue to be denied the fundamental right of self determination and urge member States to look at the situation of Palestinian people during the Durban Review Conference and implement the provisions of DDPA with a view to bring lasting peace in the Middle East;

Other plans of the Asian group to use Durban II to undermine rights and freedoms include:

Violating freedom of expression:

15. Express deep concern at the use of new information technologies, such as the Internet, to propagate racial hatred, xenophobia, racial discrimination and related intolerance and that children and youth have access to this material;

40. Note with deep concern the widening use by some groups and organizations of the opportunity provided by print, audio-visual and electronic media as well as scienfific and technological progress, such as the Internet, to promote racist and xenophobic propaganda aimed at inciting societies throughout the world to racial hatred and in this connection urge all Governments to take necessary measures against such incitement;

89. Urge States to take necessary measures to denounce, actively discourage and prohibit the transmission of racist and xenophobic messages through all communications media, including new communications technologies such as the Internet;

91. Call upon the world media to establish and disseminate through their relevant associations and organizations a code of ethical conduct with a view to prohibiting the proliferation of ideas of superiority and the justification of racial or religious hatred and discrimination in any form, and promoting mutual respect and tolerance among all peoples;

Undermining the effort to end terrorism:

87. Call on states to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as on the grounds of culture, religion and language and that non-citizens are not subjected to racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping;

Manufacturing victims of discrimination:

77. Urge States to take serious steps to address the contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and in this context to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols.

Antisemitism at the UN under the guise of "combating racism"

Iran - a Vice-President of the Durban II PrepCom - thinks the antisemitism expressed by the Iranian President is not relevant

October 10, 2008

Geneva, the Durban II "anti-racism" conference Preparatory Committee



Watch video here.
More attempts to silence NGOs

October 6, 2008: Anne Bayefsky (Joint Statement of the Hudson Institute, the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists)

Durban II preparatory process raises prospect of new NGO Forum

October 7, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland.
The Second Substantive Session of the Durban II Preparatory Committee

South Africa and members of the NGO community are now raising the prospects of an NGO Forum alongside the Durban II Conference to be held in Geneva next April. The NGO Forum of the 2001 UN "anti-racism" conference provided a global platform for virulent anti-semitism.

South African representative, October 7, 2008: "I think we are now all in full agreement about the maximum participation of NGOs... And I think there are also other opportunities, as happened at the World Conference Against Racism, that NGOs in fact can gather in their own setting and they can then come up with constructive input that they can then deliver at the point in time that [they are] allowed to make such interventions. That would certainly help the process. But it has to be in some sort of forum setting so that at least they have an opportunity to talk amongst themselves as to how best to take the process forward from their point of view and to assist the intergovernmental process."

On October 8, 2008, a flyer was distributed in Palais Des Nations room XXI, which announced that on Wednesday, October 15th members of the NGO Committee Against Racism and Racial Discrimination (CONGO) and World Against Racism Network (WARN) are organizing a discussion on "Preparing the NGO Forum for the Durban Review Conference 2009".

Friday, October 10, 2008

What the United Nations Does on the Holiest Day
of the Jewish Calendar, Yom Kippur:
Provides a global platform to encourage
hatred and violence against the Jewish State

October 9, 2008
Geneva, the Durban II "anti-racism" conference Preparatory Committee




Watch video here.
Durban II: A Conference to demonize Israel
October 9, 2008: The planning committee of an "anti-racism" conference listens politely to the racism coming from the Syrian Arab Republic, and BADIL, a Palestinian NGO

October 9, 2008

October 8, 2008

October 7, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Anne Bayefsky, Joint Statement of the Hudson Institute, the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

October 6, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland.
The Second Substantive Session of the Durban II Preparatory Committee

Preparations for the UN second Durban racism conference have now moved into a new and alarming phase.

1. This week Jews mark the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. The committee's decision to hold an anti-racism meeting on this day confirms fears that Durban follow-up has become synonymous with antisemitism and the violation of racial and religious equality rather than its reverse.

2. The written contribution and oral statement today of the Organization of Islamic states contains some familiar strategies:
  • Allege Palestinians are the victims of Israeli racism - a throwback to the racist and discredited "Zionism is racism" slander in the General Assembly
  • Promote double-standards: Israel is singled out for condemnation while no mention of racism in any Muslim state is tolerated
  • Profess interest in non-discrimination based on religion, without mentioning endemic violations of freedom of religion which are common place in the very same states with this new found zeal for religious liberty
  • Use claims of Islamophobia to justify curtailing freedom of expression and stifling efforts to combat terrorism.
We strongly condemn any plan to use the OIC's contribution in any consolidated outcome document of the second Durban Conference.

3. The report of the regional preparatory meeting for Africa, the Abuja Declaration, takes its inspiration from "the values and principles of human dignity and equality enshrined in the...African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights." Those values include a vow to "undertak[e] to eliminate...zionism" - a racist statement in its own right. Furthermore, the Abuja Declaration
  • repeats the Israel is racist charge
  • challenges the right to freedom of expression
  • gives Islam special preference, and
  • attempts to restrain efforts to combat terrorism.
These elements are antithetical to the genuine battle against racism.

4. Iran, as a Vice-Chairperson of the Bureau of this Preparatory Committee and a member of the Group of Friends advising the Chairperson of the working group, is playing a leading role in the planning of this conference. And yet the statement of its President at the opening of the General Assembly included reference to "a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists...[that] have been dominating...financial and monetary centers...[and] political decision-making centers...in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner." He describes "the Zionist network" as "a small number of acquisitive and invasive people." These words were met by a round of applause from the assembled states and a hug from the General Assembly President.

This, of course, is classic antisemitism - the very racism and xenophobia that the second Durban conference purports to oppose. By putting and retaining Iran in a position of authority in the planning of this conference, its authenticity as a vehicle for defeating racism is discredited.

5. The report of the intersessional working group is an alarming document. Its reference to all the victims named in the Durban Declaration is a clear call to include the DDPA claim that Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism - again a revision of the 'Zionism is racism' slander. Accompanying this are recent statements in the framework of follow-up to the Durban conference to redefine antisemitism as meaning something other than the hatred of Jews and applying to Arabs and Muslims.

6. The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights begins her tenure by criticizing, not the substance of the Durban Declaration, but the decision of Canada, Israel and the United States not to participate in the Durban process. Contrary to her claims, the antisemitism of the first Durban conference was not merely a result of NGOs on the sidelines - as paragraph 63 of the governmental Declaration attests. Nor was the Declaration as a whole adopted by consensus, since the U.S. and Israel did not participate and substantial reservations were made by numerous states. Furthermore, Durban "has given us a comprehensive plan of action to combat racism in all its manifestations" only if one accepts the demonization of Israel is a legitimate formula for combating racism rather than encouraging it.

The slogan of the Durban Review Conference is more accurately "United Against Racism: Dignity and Justice for All - except Jews" and the High Commissioner would do well to find an alternative venue for a genuine campaign to combat racism.