"The United Nations plans to celebrate this September the twentieth anniversary of its so-called "World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance" held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The Durban Declaration and Program of Action served as the conference's agreed-upon output. The 2001 conference, and the two that followed in 2009 and 2011, turned out to be nothing more than global platforms for the world's most vicious anti-Semites, such as Iran's former President Ahmadinejad, to engage in blood libel against the Jewish State of Israel. Charges of racism and apartheid were leveled at Israel by the Palestinians and their enablers who themselves are guilty of racism and ethnic cleansing.
The three Durban conferences and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action collectively represented a very dark chapter in UN history. They are the evil progenies of the 1975 "Zionism-is-Racism" General Assembly resolution that was revoked by the General Assembly in 1991. Now the UN is planning a Durban IV conference to commemorate what it should be consigning to an ignoble burial.
Sadly, the United States and Canada, which have condemned and boycotted past Durban conferences, appear to be equivocating this time. They co-signed a Joint Statement on Racism dated March 19, which shamefully linked the cause of anti-racism to the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. In fact, the Biden administration's representative to the Israel-bashing UN Human Rights Council, which the administration intends to rejoin, introduced the joint statement on behalf of 155 UN member states.
'Recalling the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action,' the joint statement said, 'we are committed to working within our nations and with the international community to address and combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, while upholding freedom of expression.'
A declaration and program of action borne out of a racist, anti-Semitic conference should not be associated with any genuine international effort to combat racism.
Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and president of Human Rights Voices, hit exactly the right note in her remarks to the UN Human Rights Council on March 19th. She said:
'Antisemites manufacture tools to spread intolerance by manipulating current events, appropriating the history of others, inverting right and wrong. Durban is such a tool. It perversely claims equality for some can be built on the inequality of the Jewish few – and specifically on the lethal lie that Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism...'
Prior to the Biden administration, presidents from both parties shunned any association with the Durban conferences. But now that Biden is so much in love with the United Nations and multilateralism for multilateralism's sake, he appears willing to join the anti-Israel club and throw the U.S.'s most reliable ally in the Middle East under the bus..."