US to boycott UN gathering of bigots


The United States is boycotting a U.N. conference on racism next week over a document that "singles out" Israel in its criticism and conflicts with the nation's "commitment to unfettered free speech," the U.S. State Department said Saturday.

The Obama administration made the decision not to attend the Durban Review Conference in Geneva "with regret," a State Department statement said.

Two months ago, the administration had warned that it would boycott the conference if changes were not made to the document to be adopted by the conference. In recent weeks, discussions over the document have fueled several revisions, but the changes to the language didn't meet U.S. expectations, the statement said.

The current draft is "significantly improved," but "it now seems certain these remaining concerns will not be addressed in the document to be adopted by the conference next week."

State Department officials say the document contains language that reaffirms the Durban Declaration and Programme of Actions from the 2001 conference in Durban, South Africa, which the United States has said it won't support. The 2001 document "prejudges key issues that can only be resolved in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians," the statement said.

Australia also said it would boycott the conference. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the 2001 document unfairly "singled out" Israel.

""Regrettably, we cannot be confident that the Review Conference will not again be used as a platform to air offensive views, including anti-Semitic views," he said.

Disagreements over the Middle East and slavery that year had threatened to derail the conference goal of creating a global blueprint for fighting discrimination. At the time, Israel had said it was disappointed so much of the conference had focused on its relations with Palestinians.


I don't accept the premise that the goals of the conference are to fight discrimination. Many of those pushing for the conference are blatant religious bigots how have demonstrated a ethnic hatred of Jews in Israel. How many Muslim countries have driven Jews and Christians from their midst over the last 60 years? Just about all of them have, and now they want to further alienate the victims of this purge by attacking the state to which many have fled, Israel.

Even the slavery issue is racist. It is an attack on European whites in the slave trade, but not the blacks or Arabs. When you consider that the European whites were mainly responsible for ending the slave trade, that is a perverse result. It is also a distorted picture of the history of slavery the very term of which comes from the ethnic origin of many slaves the Slavs of Eastern Europe.

There should be no regret about missing this bigot fest.


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