Hadassah joins the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in commending the U.S. State Department decision not to participate in the Durban III Conference scheduled for September 2011 in New York City. These statements can be read by clicking the links above. The Conference of Presidents statement can also be found below.
Visit the Hadassah website for additional information about the Durban III Conference and the possible declaration of Palestinian Statehood at the UN General Assembly meeting, also this fall.
CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS LAUDS ADMINISTRATION DECISION NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN "DURBAN III" CONFERENCE
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations lauded the Administration's decision, relayed in a letter to U.S. Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand, that the U.S. will not participate in the scheduled UN conference known as "Durban III," when it is convened in September. The conference is to mark the tenth anniversary of the first World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Offence that was held in South Africa in 2001. "That conference deteriorated into an orgy of hatred, bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism. It was hijacked by extremist groups with anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-American and anti-democratic agendas," said Conference of Presidents Chairman Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.
Senator Gillibrand led a bipartisan effort urging the U.S. not to participate in the conference. She noted that it is "an insult to America that the United Nations has decided to hold the Durban III conference in New York City just days from the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We all witnessed how extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American voices took over Durban I and Durban II and we should expect the same thing to happen with Durban III."
"The global campaign of delegitimization against Israel was launched at Durban I. It has remained a lasting scar on the reputation of the UN and ought not to be commemorated or celebrated. We would fully support a conference that truly addressed bigotry and xenophobia. Because of the obstinacy of some of those involved, the efforts of the US to turn this event into a productive and meaningful conference were frustrated. The US, Canada and Israel, recognize that moral clarity demands they announce their non-participation. This conference is to be held during the opening session of the UN General Assembly, when many world leaders will be in New York. It is imperative that all democratic countries, those that truly value human rights and justice, announce that they too will not be part of this sham," said the Conference of Presidents leaders.
"The Durban Review Conference, known as "Durban II," held in Geneva, Switzerland last year, saw only one world leader ascend the speakers' platform - that was President Ahmadinejad of Iran, perhaps the worst human rights violator in the world. Many countries, including the US, saw the direction that conference was taking and withdrew before the conference began. Dozens of other countries subsequently walked out of the conference itself. It is regrettable that such actions are mandated for a conference with such ostensibly lofty goals but with such corrupted implementation," the leaders said.