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April 4, 2008
Israel, US to Coordinate Boycott of Durban II
According to Ha'aretz, Israel and the United States will work together on seeking a compromise with organizers on whether to boycott the United Nations Conference on Racism known as Durban II to be held next year.
The first Durban conference was a disaster. Instead of discussing racism, the delegates and NGO's in attendance turned the meeting into an anti-Israel and anti-American free for all. It got so bad that the United States delegation walked out of the UN sponsored proceedings.
This time, the US and Israel wish to avoid that kind of nonsense and are working together to see if some kind of accomodation can be reached prior to the meeting:
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. Is there any point in trying to work with the Arabs on modifying the agenda?
According to a senior government official, the joint decision was made after discussions among senior U.S. State Department and local Foreign Ministry officials, and after being raised in talks between Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Jerusalem estimates that conference organizers will try to blur the real agenda until the last minute to draw in as many UN members as possible. "We are concerned this time too there will be criticism and an anti-Semitic attack," a Foreign Ministry official said.
"What can you expect from a conference whose organizers include Cuba, Iran and North Korea."
On Wednesday, many major U.S. newspapers ran an advertisement signed by 25 public figures including former politicians, religious leaders and intellectuals, calling on the government to boycott the conference. Signatories included Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, former CIA chief James Woolsey and law professor Alan Dershowitz.
The signatories called on Rice to announce a boycott of the conference, denouncing it as a platform for anti-Semitism "slated to encourage hatred of Israel and the U.S."
Canada doesn't think so. They have already announced that they will boycott the meeting. Indeed, it seems a lost cause to attempt any change in attitudes of Arab states toward Israel and much of the rest of the world toward America. If that is the case, expect both Israel and the US to refuse attendance