are now on the Durban II negotiating table
Intensive negotiations last week in Geneva have resulted in a new version of the "Draft Outcome Document" for Durban II - released yesterday. Iran - a Vice-Chair of the executive committee for Durban II - played a leading role in the drafting process, speaking more often than any other single state. The result? Now on the negotiating table: Jewish self-determination or Zionism is racism. Israel is guilty of apartheid and the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust is questionable.
Anne Bayefsky, Editor of EYEontheUN, commented: "this "anti-racism" manifesto is much worse even than its predecessor. Islamic and other rights-abusing states had a field day preparing for Durban II. European states were totally unable to introduce the modifications necessary to protect human rights standards or change the clear intent of the conference."
Here are some of the features now part of negotiations according to the new draft:
- the "law of return" - the core of the self-determination of the Jewish people or Zionism - is racist
- Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity and "a contemporary form of apartheid"
- Israel's security fence is a "segregation wall"
- a provision condemning Israel's actions in Gaza
- while Israel is repeatedly condemned, not one of the other 191 UN states is mentioned
- a proposal to delete reference to the numbers of Jews murdered in the Holocaust - on the grounds that it is questionable
- a claim that "religions" - as opposed to individuals - can be "defamed"
- provisions curtailing free speech - "abuse of freedom of expression"
- efforts to limit and govern the media by "a code of ethical conduct"
- creation of a hierarchy of victims, with Muslim minorities on top - "most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia"
- efforts to trump universal rights and freedoms by references to cultural diversity, "cultural particularities," religious and cultural "identities"
- undermining counterterrorism activities by alleging they increase racism
- challenges to any responsibility for the trans-Saharan slave trade and the slave trade in the Indian Ocean
- introducing "anti-Arabism" as intolerance against a religious minority
- attempting to introduce laws against "projecting negative, insulting and derogatory images of religions and religious personalities"
- calls for new laws endangering rights and freedoms, such as, laws on "respect for human rights and reputation, public morals, and incitement to racial and religious hatred and freedom of expression".
The continued participation of the European Union and Australia in the Durban II forum is legitimizing a global discussion of the veracity of the Holocaust, the legitimacy of a Jewish state, and broad restrictions on freedom of expression - all in the name of "human rights".
President Obama, it is time to announce the United States will stay away from Durban II, together with Canada and Israel.