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The Pathology of Durban II By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 06, 2008

The planners of the 2009 United Nations Durban II Review Conference, which is purportedly aimed at combating racism, have been busy crafting their anti-Semitic and anti-Western agenda. Their latest manifesto is an intergovernmental working group report, issued by the Durban Review Conference Preparatory Committee on September 29, 2008.  It includes regional annexes from Latin America, Africa, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The report and annex materials will all become part of the Durban II Conference’s final “outcome document.”

The new UN human rights chief, Navanethem Pillay, cannot understand why the United States, Canada, and Israel have already decided to withdraw their support for this hatefest, and why other Western countries are considering boycotting the conference, as well.  She gives the benefit of the doubt to the conference planners, even though their documents in preparation for Durban II associate racism and xenophobia solely with Western democracies while they give a free pass to regimes who commit crimes against humanity in the planners’ backyard.  

The American historian and author Dr. Richard Landes has coined the term “demopaths” to describe the characteristics we find in those who are responsible for the Durban II agenda.[1]

Dr. Landes points out
the demopaths’ most salient traits:

  • Radical imbalance between their insistence on asserting their own rights, and their lack of interest in defending the rights of others.
  • Moral rhetoric expressing great indignation when appealing for personal rights.
  • Tendency to tell demonizing tales of whom they brand the enemies of “human rights.”
  • Tendency to think in conspiratorial terms (they are conspirators themselves), and to project ill will onto opponents/enemies.
  • Do minimal (required) work protecting the rights of others, especially opponents/enemies.

Dr. Landes goes on to say that “a demopathic organization would protest the media portraying its ethnic/religious affiliates as terrorists’ (inadmissible negative stereotyping), but would not protest the terrorist acts perpetrated by members of their ethnic/religious group (permissible wanton murder of civilians)."

The planning documents coming out of the Durban Review Conference Preparatory Committee so far, including the latest working group report, are the product of such demopathic organizations, including the Organization of the Islamic Conference, authoritarian regimes in Africa and Latin America and radical leftist non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accredited by the United Nations to participate in Durban II.

Thus, it is no surprise that the symptoms of demopathology which Landes describes are manifested so clearly in the demonization of Israel and in the obsession with Islamophobia.   They are the key organizing principles that will animate Durban II.  

It is also no surprise that the Durban II planners talk abstractly about the virtues of cultural diversity but want to legislate against a fulsome diversity of ideas that come from anyone whom they perceive as their enemies. Their latest working group report states, for example, that “freedom of expression may be subject to restrictions provided by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, the promotion of national security or public order, or of public health and morals.” 

The report lashes out in particular against what it calls the “ideologies” of “extremist right-wing groups.” Of course, nothing is said about the hateful “ideologies” of the extreme Left or of the Islamic fanatics since they are the driving force behind Durban II and are incapable of self-criticism or self-restraint. We see in action the radical imbalance between their insistence on asserting their own rights, and their lack of interest in defending the rights of others, which Dr. Landes so astutely observed to be a characteristic typical of demopaths.  

Consequently, writing the truth about how self-described practitioners of Islam are responsible for the vast majority of terrorist killings around the world today is considered hate speech that must be banned, according to the demopaths running Durban II. Yet, these same demopaths believe that Muslim clerics are entitled to incite violence against ‘infidels’ and to make death threats against authors of materials critical of Islam with impunity. Cartoons like those published in the Danish press mocking Islamic fanatics’ exploitation of their prophet’s teachings are an abuse of free expression, which deserves death for their publishers. Yet a book published by members of Iran's Islamist Basij militia featuring dozens of cartoons cruelly mocking Jewish victims of the Holocaust and school books used in Saudi Arabian schools referring to Jews and Christians as apes and pigs are perfectly alright.

In addition to their assault on their enemies’ right of free expression, the planners of Durban II are calling for current and future generations of Westerners to bear the burden of the sins of long ago generations. The planners demand “formal apologies” and “collective compensation” for the “victims of historic injustices.” This continues on a path set during the Durban I Conference in 2001, where the final declaration stated that "Slavery and the slave trade were appalling tragedies...a crime against humanity, and should always have been so."

Now the Durban II planners intend to make sure that we pay reparations to people who may not even be descended from the victims of crimes that were committed by other people who profited from slavery more than 140 years ago -- and who may not be our ancestors. At the same time, the planners gloss over the enslavement of black Sudanese women and children occurring in Africa today. They also ignore the fact that slaves were used by Arabs for more than 1,000 years (far more than in the West) and that there is still slavery in the Arab world today. The demopaths are incapable of introspection, only demonization.

For good measure, the Durban II intergovernmental working group report makes a conspiratorial reference to the “victims of racism who are infected or presumably infected with pandemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS.” No doubt compensation for the victims of an imaginary racist conspiracy to spread these diseases to black Africans will be added to the reparations bill.

Reparations, of course, are nothing more than another crass attempt to bring about massive wealth redistribution from the prosperous democratic societies of the West to corrupt, anti-democratic regimes in the under-developed world, some of which enslave their own people today. Depending on how they would be calculated, the total of reparations due could be over 100 trillion dollars, according to one estimate published in Harpers’ Magazine. 

The next president of the United States may be tempted to make some symbolic gestures of compromise in the United Nations in order to improve our country’s image in the eyes of the world. Deciding to participate in Durban II may turn out to be one of those symbolic gestures, which would be a tragic mistake. 

We should not care about being popular so long as we are doing the right thing and living up to our best ideals. Participating in Durban II in order to curry some favor in the United Nations would symbolize surrender to the demopaths who want to destroy us because of our core beliefs in freedom.


Richard Landes, The Augean Stables.com and The Second Draft.org weblog.

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