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Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama administration's attendance in Geneva making things worse

Late Sunday night, I reported on the deafening silence of the Obama administration representatives to the Durban II 'preparatory conference' in Geneva in the face of rank anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and vilification of Israel. On Monday morning, the JPost reports that the results of the 'preparatory conference' have actually worsened since the Obama administration's arrival on the scene.
Besides issues relating to Israel, the draft has problematic paragraphs regarding free speech, defamation of religion and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, he said.

"At this stage it is not possible to say what in the text would improve, if at all. In fact I expect the text to get only worse on all issues which are important for western democracy," [Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Roni] Leshno Yaar said in a telephone interview from Geneva.

He spoke as representatives from 190 nations have been meeting in Geneva to debate the language for a document in which Israel is alluded to as a "racist" and "apartheid" power.


In the last week, the Palestinians tried to introduce language into the document regarding the 2004 advisory ruling by the International Court of Justice at The Hague against the security barrier, said Leshno Yaar.

The Americans were present but did not appear to have made improvement in the document, which he said "is getting worse every day."

Irwin Cotler, a Canadian MP and former justice minister, told the Post that the conference had been initially designed to speak about global issues relating to racism without singling out any country or group.

Israel was the only country that was alluded to in this way, he said.

"Any reference to Israel, directly or indirectly, is wrong and illegitimate, not only in the eyes of Israel but also in the eyes of all western countries," said Leshno Yaar.

On Sunday the Jewish Agency's Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism held a meeting at the JA's Board of Directors Conference in Jerusalem.

While a briefing was given on the state of anti-Semitism worldwide, the focus was almost solely on Durban II.

While the task force has been following the plenary meetings currently being held in Geneva closely, a sense of doubt was expressed at the meeting that US efforts to change the conference's direction would be successful, while others doubted that the US delegation would walk away from the conference at all, as was the case at Durban I in 2001.

"As far as we believe, Durban II is going to be the anti-Semitic event of 2009," said Amos Hermon, the head of the task force. "It looks worse than we expected, even though it's not yet clear what the end result will be."

The meeting also broached the possibility of demonstrations, the use of Holocaust imagery to draw comparisons between Israel's recent military strike in Gaza and the systematic murder of millions during World War II and an all-out "hate-fest" on behalf of anti-Israel NGO's present at the conference.

"Operation Cast Lead is going to take center stage at Durban II, and we have to be ready for that." Hermon continued. "It was in everyone's homes, on everyone's television sets, and it's going to be everywhere in Geneva as well."
At least the Israelis are being realistic about what this 'conference' is going to produce. The American delegation is probably realistic about it too - and that's why the anti-Israel Obama administration wants to be there.

By the way, the poster at the top is being handed out in Geneva by Eye on the UN. Unfortunately, it does not seem to have changed many minds.


At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Irwin Cotler had a good writeup on the new anti-Semitism in the Jerusalem Post. He says that essentially, the new anti-Semitism is a multi-pronged attack on the collective Jew - that is - the State Of Israel among the nations. In times past, anti-Semites attacked the right of individual Jews to be equal in the host societies in which they lived. Today, anti-Semites attack the right of Jews to be an equal member of the community of nations. That is entire thrust behind the assault on Israel at Durban II, in the form of genocidal, ideological and legalized anti-Semitism. It is the greatest danger facing Israel and the entire Jewish people in our generation.

Making The World Judenstaatrein

Read it all.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger LB said...

"The American delegation is probably realistic about it too - and that's why the anti-Israel Obama administration wants to be there."

Nice. מלים כדורבנות

And Norman - you're right. The only move in the direction of a "solution" that I can see is aliyah.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

LB, yes in fact there is no better time for Israel to put aliyah back atop the national agenda. As anti-Semitism increases abroad, what is a great danger is also a great opportunity: to liquidate what remains of the Galut. All Israel's enemies will succeed in doing is validating Zionism.


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