UK, France, Germany urged to block resolution affirming antisemitic Durban Declaration

The European countries were among 38 which boycotted Durban IV, but have done nothing to block a resolution welcoming and affirming the Durban Declaration. 

By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News

The executive director of the United Nations Watch NGO has urged a number of UN Human Rights Council member countries, including Britain, France and Germany, to vote down a resolution to implement the Durban Declaration when the council next convenes.

Some 38 states boycotted the fourth Durban Conference in September. While the conference is positioned as an anti-racism conference, the first Durban Conference in 2001 was rife with antisemitism, singling out Israel for criticism among all the world’s nations.

Consequently 38 allies of Israel, including a number of European states, boycotted this year’s conference, up from ten which boycotted the second conference, and 14 which boycotted the third in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

However, despite standing with Israel on the matter, none have called for a vote on a resolution affirming the Durban Declaration due to come before the council in Geneva on Monday. Having been postponed from last Friday, the resolution is expected to pass automatically.

Accordingly, Hillel Neuer, head of United Nations Watch, has joined Israeli diplomats across Europe in calling for one of countries to do so.

“These UNHRC member states just said No to Durban IV and should do the same tomorrow” he tweeted, adding in the flags of eleven countries including Denmark, the Czech Republic and Italy, among others.

In another tweet Neuer linked to the resolution, commenting: “UNHRC members must vote No.”

The resolution, brought by Cameroon, Chile, Turkey and Yemen, welcomes “the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action,” and “Requests the United Nations system to strengthen its awareness-raising campaigns to increase the visibility of the message of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, its follow-up mechanisms and the work of the United Nations in the fight against racism.”

It further “Requests the Secretary-General and the Office of the High Commissioner to implement … a public information campaign for the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and follow-up thereto.”

The original conference was described in the Washington Examiner in September as an “antisemitic hate-fest,” at which people carried signs in the streets reading “For the liberation of Quds [Jerusalem], machine-guns based upon FAITH and ISLAM must be used.”

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“The reasons that brought 38 countries to boycott Durban in New York are the same reasons that are relevant in Geneva today. Nothing has changed in two weeks,” an Israeli diplomatic source told The Jerusalem Post.

Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, who attended the 2001 conference told the Post: “Equality is not promoted by inequality and discrimination directed at Jews and the Jewish state.”

She added: “Sometimes UN diplomats play the game of joining consensus and then giving a statement about how they really didn’t mean it or ‘disassociate’ themselves from this or that paragraph. That is a massive insidious charade. Once the UN adopts a resolution by a consensus, everyone understands that it will be… held up as proof of conformity of global interests and policy.”