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The Planners of Durban II By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Planning for the “Durban II” conference against racism, scheduled for 2009, is proceeding right along.    Following a number of procedural meetings, the first “substantive” session of the Durban Review Preparatory Committee commenced in Geneva on April 21, 2008.  The world’s leading human rights abusing countries are running rough-shod over the agenda.  They are planning to set up Israel in particular for non-stop blood libel.  They also intend to hold the Western democracies publicly accountable for what the planners brand as the twin ‘crimes’ of Islamophobic racism and religious defamation.

So far, the United States, Canada and Israel have announced their intention to boycott the conference, except in the unlikely event that the Durban II planners shift course in a far more positive direction.  The U.S. will also withhold a portion of its funding for the United Nations budget, equivalent to its share of the budget going to pay for the conference planning.

European and other democracies have so far adopted a wait-and-see attitude.   The UN Secretariat, with the tacit acceptance of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, has indicated its intention to work around any new financing constrictions by paying for half of the costs of Durban II planning from “existing resources”.  The United States must demand that its 22 percent share of these “existing resources” continue to be spent as originally intended and not diverted to subsidize the Durban II planners.

There is no doubt what the planners have in mind for the conference.  One need only look at who they are and what they have already said about their priorities.  Acquiescence in what they doing is moral cowardice.   Those who actively facilitate the conference planners are co-conspirators in their plan to build a world stage for promoting hatred and racism of the worst kind.

Libya, the chair of the Durban II preparatory committee and a member of the UN Security Council, gave a taste of what is to come during a Security Council discussion last week about the Middle East.   The Libyan ambassador lashed out at Israel, comparing the situation in Gaza to the Nazi holocaust.  This outrageous bit of propaganda prompted the representatives of the United States and of several other democratic countries to walk out.   

Libya, of course, is an expert in human rights violations since it has one of the worst records in the world in that department.   Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has succeeded to a large degree in ending his country's diplomatic isolation after agreeing to give up his quest for nuclear weapons.  However, that change has meant little in terms of political rights or civil liberties for the Libyan population, according to Freedom House.  Libya still imprisons and tortures its own people who dare to question government authority.  The government also discriminates against and represses tribal groups.  

Even more appalling is Libya’s role as a transit and destination country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia who are trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.   The government has done little to stop its citizens from purchasing Sudanese slaves, mainly southern Sudanese women and children who were captured by Sudanese government troops in the course of its Arab anti-black genocide.  For these poor victims, Libya is an enslavement camp.

Yet Libya dares to use its perch in the UN Security Council and its chairmanship of the UN Durban II preparatory committee to lash out at Israel for its measured responses to Palestinian terrorist attacks.  Predictably, Libya has done everything it can to block any condemnation of Hamas for its incessant rocket attacks against Israeli civilians , not to mention Hamas’ recruitment of its own women and children to ‘martyr’ themselves as suicide bombers.

Iran is the co-chair of the Durban II preparatory committee.   Its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has described the Nazi holocaust as a “myth” and compared Israel’s strikes against Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists to Hitler’s tactics, has publicly declared the goal of eliminating the Jewish state from the face of the earth.   He also said that “Israel, this stain of disgrace, will be purged from the center of the Islamic world—and this is attainable."  If any comparison to the genocidal Hitler is apt, Ahmadinijad fits the bill.

It is no coincidence that at a prominent book fair, held in Frankfurt, Germany no less,  Iran’s booth has prominently displayed the same kind of anti-Semitic propaganda that so enthralled the Nazis.   This included the classic screeds Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem.   The Iranian state also published its own Jewish conspiracy theories in a book entitled Tale of the 'Chosen People' and the Legend of 'Historical Right'.   Its cover bore a red Star of David superimposed on a gray death's head and a yellow map of the world. [1]

In a foretaste of how Iran’s fanatical leadership intends to help drive the focus of the Durban II conference, we need look no further than the questionnaire that Iran filled out and recently submitted to the UN about its record in combating racism in its own country.  Iran shamelessly represented itself as a “successful example of fraternal and friendly cohabitation between different peoples”.  It absolved itself of “any division based on race or ethnicity in any walk of life.”  Instead, it directed its venom outward against Israel and the defamers of Islam.   Such scapegoating is a familiar tactic of repressive regimes covering up their crimes against their own people.

Even the General Assembly, certainly more of a friend to Iran than to Israel, exposed the truth in a resolution that it passed last December condemning Iran for “ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The General Assembly resolution said there were confirmed instances in Iran of “increasing  and other human rights violations against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities recognized or otherwise, including, inter alia, Arabs, Azeris, Baluchis, Kurds, Christians, Jews, Sufis and Sunni Muslims and their defenders, and, in particular, attacks on Baha’is and their faith in State-sponsored media, increasing evidence of efforts by the State to identify and monitor Baha’is and prevention of the Baha’i faith from attending university and from sustaining themselves economically…”

For good measure, the General Assembly also criticized Iran - the co-chair of the Durban II planning committee against racism and candidate for a seat on the UN Security Council next year - for “stoning as a method of execution”, “torture”,” violent repression”, engaging in “a campaign of intimidation against women’s human rights defenders”, and “continuing discrimination against women and girls in law and in practice.”

Like Libya, Iran wants to use Durban II as a means to sanitize its own horrendous record of racism, persecution and discrimination while scapegoating Israel and Western democracies.

Russia and China are aiding and abetting this agenda in their own self-interest.  They are the largest contributors to the conference’s voluntary fund, attempting to purchase a free pass from any serious criticisms of their persecutions of minorities in their own countries.   In Russia, the Orthodox Church has quasi-official status, resulting in discrimination and harassment against adherents of any other faith.  In China, the authorities used excessive force against defenseless Tibetan monks who were expressing long-standing grievances over the Chinese government’s suppression of their religious freedoms.  Both countries have had problems with Muslim minorities as well, but they are making common cause with the planners of Durban II in order to stick a finger in the eye of their common nemesis, the United States.

With help from such allies and the Organization of Islamic Conference, the planners are well along in turning Durban II into a forum for decrying Islamophobia and demonizing Israel.   Egypt’s representative at the Durban Review Preparatory Committee “substantive” session last week, for example, said that Durban II should focus on criminalizing such things as “racism in the media,” “the challenges posed by Islamophobia since the events on 9/11,” and “instrumentalization of democratic processes for racist applications.”    Doudou Diene from Senegal, who is a UN human rights “expert” and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, criticized “groups that have instrumentalized the freedom of expression.”

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is our ‘instrument’ to protect freedom of expression and religion.  The UN’s Special Rapporteur and other spokespersons at the Durban II preparatory session evidently believe that it is racist for our courts to apply the First Amendment in protecting the right to freely criticize the contemporary practice of Islam and its use in the name of jihad to justify terrorism.   This alien ideology strikes at the core of our fundamental values.

The planners of the conference are also clear in their intention to redefine the term “anti-Semitism” in order to turn Islamists into victims of racism and to call into question Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.   The website EyeontheUN, which is reporting on the preparatory session, revealed that the Libyan chairperson, Najat Al-Hajjaji, silenced criticism of efforts to redefine anti-Semitism at Durban II.  The Algerian Ambassador, speaking at the session, picked up the theme and said that “anti-Semitism targets Arabs who are also Semites, and by extension, the whole Muslim community.” 

Anne Bayefsky, senior editor of EyeontheUN, has warned that the planners’ inversion of the original meaning of anti-Semitism into meaning racism against Arabs and other Muslims is “a key component of the Durban II strategy, since once the concept has been Islamicized, Muslim states are happy to shout about taking it very seriously, confident that Western UN-ophiles still won’t catch on to their game.”[2]

This is right out of George Orwell’s classic 1984, famous for coining the slogans used to dupe the masses that it called ‘Newspeak’.   Examples of such slogans were ‘War is peace’; ‘Freedom is slavery’; and ‘Ignorance is strength’.

In the Newspeak lexicon of the Durban II planners, freedom of expression is racism against Islam.  Freedom of religion is the freedom to impose Islamic law on democratic societies.  Repelling Islamic terrorists is anti-Semitism.  And so on.

Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, left no doubt where the United States stands.  We will boycott Durban II, he said, “unless it is proven that the conference will not be used as a platform for anti-Semitic behavior.”   We are also cutting back on funding for the preparations leading up to the conference in an amount equivalent to our share of the costs.   Unfortunately, there is too much money already flowing in the UN pipeline and coming from the likes of China and Russia for the funding spigot to be turned off altogether.  

Durban II will not just target Israel, although that is likely to be a major portion of the planned agenda.  Its planners want to use the conference as an opportunity to challenge the core principles of pluralistic, secular democratic societies.  Democracies that do not directly confront such evil in the making will allow it to flourish.

Notes:

[1] The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Posted by Matthias Küntzel on Transatlantic Intelligencer (October 24, 2005).

[2] Redefining Anti-Semitism by Anne Bayefsky, excerpted From the April 23, 2008 National Review Online.



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