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Saturday Sept. 10, 2011 11:48 AM (EST+7)
UN racism conference to be boycotted by Israel supporters

Read more: Durban, racism, Israel, discrimination, boycott, United Nations

RAMALLAH, September 10 (JMCC) - A United Nations racism conference on racism is expected to be boycotted by western allies of Israel, which says the conference unfairly singles it out, reports IPS.

The conference, to be held September 22, is the third review conference of the Durban Declaration adopted in 2009.

Expressing fears that the meeting might turn out to be anti-Israel, several Western states, including Canada, Germany, the United States, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Australia, have indicated they will not participate.

The boycott is the result of an intense campaign by Israel, which has branded the meeting “anti-Semitic” even before it could get off the ground.

Still, an overwhelming majority of the UN’s 193 member states — along with dozens of human rights activists and organizations — are expected to actively participate in the meeting, scheduled to take place on 22 September during the 66th session of the UN’s General Assembly.

The Israeli government has objected to the meeting, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) on racism, primarily on the grounds that it may single out Israel for criticism for its discriminatory practices against Palestinians.

A mass pro-Israel rally against the high-level meeting and efforts by the Palestinian Authority to secure international recognition of a Palestinian state is to take place outside the United Nations on 21 September.

Joseph E. Macmanus, acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the US State Department, has said that the United States will not participate in what he called “the Durban Commemoration” meeting.

Last December, the US voted against the resolution establishing this event because “the Durban process included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we did not want to see that commemorated,” he said.







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