Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good on ya Stephen Smith!

Some of the attendees at the 2001 conference showing their true colours

Australia has just announced that it will be boycotting the UN's Durban Review Conference on human rights which is starting this week. If you have been following this story you will know that Jewish groups in Australia have been trying to get the Rudd government to boycott the conference for a while. Fortunately they have been successful and Australia has joined Israel, the US, Canada, Italy and Holland in refusing to attend this conference.

What the fuss is about is that the original conference in 2001 in Durban was, despite ostensibly being against racism, used as a vehicle to bash Israel. Jewish people everywhere expect that this conference will just be more of the same. By boycotting the conference we hope that other countries will look more closely at the skewed agenda of the organisers.

The article in Wikipedia states the issue in 2001:

Entitled "World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance," the conference was discussing unfair treatment of one group against another. Disproportionate amount of time was focused specifically on Israeli treatment of Palestinians, while flagrant violations of human rights and genocide in other parts of the world were ignored.

That 2001 meeting was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery, and particularly marred by attacks on Israel and anti-Israel demonstrations at a parallel conference of non-governmental organizations. The U.S. and Israel walked out midway through the 2001 conference over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism — the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state — to racism. The European Union also refused to accept demands by Arab states to criticize Israel for "racist practices."

There have been a number of news articles about the decision today in The Age, The Australian, Reuters and the Jerusalem Post to name just a few press outlets. Hopefully other countries will wake up and refuse to be bullied by the Arab world into ignoring the many human rights violations in those and other Moslem countries.