Showing the UN how to say “no” to racism

The Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights will host “the Durban Review Conference”in Switzerland in April 2009. It is designed to create an international momentum against racism.

By chance, at the exact same time on Tuesday 21st April, 10,000 people will be holding a rally at Auschwitz under the banner of “Say No To Hatred Today”.

The Durban conference will not be attended by the USA, Italy, Israel and Canada. Australia and Holland have open doubts. Around 90,000 people voted on Der Spiegel’s website against German participation. At least 45 MPs at Westminster have signed a motion of protest. So why boycott a UN sponsored event?

The answer is simple. The conference will be an extension of a previous debate held in 2001 in Durban, when the thin veil of pretence between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism was blon away. Speaker after speaker attacked Israel’s right to exist, calling for economic, cultural and diplomatic sanctions against the Jewish State, the sole democratic country in the Middle East.

I have written often how my daughter is a volunteer in an ambulance brigade in Jerusalem, where staff and patients are from different religions. The Kenesset is host to Jewish and non-Jewish Communists, who regularly joust with Lieberman’s right wing approach. The churches in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, where my wife works, toll freely every day. And this week, the members of Hapoel Tel Aviv football team offered their respects to a Circassian colleague, who lost his father in heart-breaking circumstances.

When visiting NGOs come to Israel and look for coexistence projects to invest in, there is no shortage of opportunities to consider. And that is the point. Such diversity and pluralism is hard to find in the other vast expanses of this violent region.

This openness is not just laid down in common law in Israel. It is a way of life for the overwhelming majority.

Significantly, the same principles are rarely applied when investigating other countries. Israel is thus judged by a set of standards, which converts spin into deligitimization. The result is often hypocrisy, mistrust, and even hatred. Ironic for a country looking to the outside world to help secure a peace with its neighbours.

The UN’s attempt at anti-racism has become an open route to vent venom at Israel, and thus at Jews.

I offer the remaining UN delegates an alternative. Leave the comfort of Geneva. Join those on the “March of the Living” in Auschwitz. No clearer message could be sent to totalitarian regimes around the world…….such as Libya and Cuba, the prime movers of iniquitous resolutions in Switzerland.

Then let us look toegther towards building coexistence through the multiple projects in the Holyland.

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One Comment on “Showing the UN how to say “no” to racism”

  1. Michael Horesh Says:

    Eurovision: The Answer for Peace in the Middle East?
    See http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1885423,00.html


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