Germany to boycott Israel-bashing Durban conference

Germany is the 10th country to skip the event; no announcement from Paris,  French Jews concerned.

By World Israel News Staff

A German diplomatic source confirmed on Sunday a report that Berlin will boycott a UN event in September marking the 20th anniversary of the controversial World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa.

The upcoming UN-sponsored Durban IV conference, a one-day event, is the fourth follow up on the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance first held in 2001 in the South African city of Durban

That original conference was hijacked by Palestinian supporters and radical non-governmental organizations, becoming a launching pad for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign. The U.S. walked out of the conference when delegates sought to condemn Israel as an apartheid state. Pro-Palestinian non-governmental organizations compared Israel to Nazi Germany

The conference ended with bitter recriminations, which were quickly overshadowed by Al-Qaeda’s Sept. 11 attacks two days later.

Although follow-up conferences in 2009 and 2011 were held in Geneva and New York City respectively, they’re collectively known as the Durban conferences. They were boycotted by nine and 14 countries respectively.

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Libya, then ruled by Col. Muammar Qadaffi, chaired the Durban II planning committee while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier, delivered its opening remarks. A number of delegates walked out on the Iranian president after he branded Israel as “a racist state.”

Germany is the now the 10th country to boycott Durban IV, joining Israel, the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.

The German diplomatic source, who was confirming a report in Welt Am Sonntag, did not offer a reason for Berlin’s decision.

The UN budget for 2021 was fiercely opposed by the U.S. and Israel because of its allocation of money for this year’s conference.

France, which boycotted Durban III, has not yet announced its position, to the worry of French Jews. Francis Kalifat, head of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF called on Paris to boycott Durban IV.

Denouncing the moral equivalence drawn between Israel and Nazi Germany at previous Durban gatherings, Kalifat said, “The perversity of this equation is not only in the obsessive demonization of Israel. It lies in the fact that by this equivalence it in a way absolves the Nazis…The Durban Conference in 2001 was the most glaring example of this anti-Semitic delirium,” Kalifat said in a statement.

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He went on to urge France “not to lose its soul” by “participating in this masquerade.”