First Published: 2008-04-04

 
US boycotts anti-racism conference over Israel
 

US sees 'no reason' to attend Durban conference against racism as it would inevitably criticise Israel.

 

Middle East Online

Trying to excuse Israel’s racist policies?

WASHINGTON - The United States said Thursday it saw "no reason at this point" to attend the 2009 UN conference on racism in South Africa amid fears that it will become a platform for criticising Israeli policies.

The UN's first World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in 2001 in Durban, was condemned by the United States, Canada and Israel for descending into what they claim “anti-Semitism”, a term observes say has been abused to mean any criticism of Israel, while it used to strictly refer to anti-Jewish sentiments in the past.

"Unfortunately, some bad ideas don't ever seem to die," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters. "So there are now plans afoot to hold a Durban II conference that is tentatively scheduled for 2009."

Casey said preparations for the conference were launched in August.

"We haven't participated in those discussions. We have ensured that there will be no funding for those discussions. And we see no reason at this point why the United States should participate in the meeting itself," he said.

Casey said in response to a journalist's question that he did not know what conversations were taking between the United States and its allies.

But he added: "Certainly we would encourage others not to participate in this event, again, because it shows every sign in its second version of being as noxious an event as the first one was."

Last December, the United Nations General Assembly had passed a $4.17 billion budget for 2008-09, voting 142-1 for the two-year budget, which only the US voted against because of provisions for the conference.

US envoy Mark Wallace said Washington opposed the budget because it contained funding for a follow-up to a 2001 racism conference in Durban, South Africa.

The United States and Israel walked out of that conference because they said it was targeting Israel as a racist state.

 

Saudi mosque attack intended to fan sectarian tension

Israeli deputy FM: 'All of it is ours'

Obama offers Tunisia closer security ties

IS fighters attack Iraq forces east of Ramadi

Israel solicits Platini to sway FIFA

Sudan's Islamists protest against el-Sisi

Islamic State claims Saudi mosque bombing

Islamic State reinforces ‘caliphate’ with control of borders

Iraqi forces to launch Ramadi offensive

Tunis asks Rome to extradite terror suspect

Suicide bomb attack on Saudi Shiite mosque

Saudi-led coalition warplanes pound Sanaa outskirts

Shebab gunmen raid Kenya village

Kuwait businessman Khorafi dies at 75

Yemen air strikes continue as Iran calls for talks

Israeli court orders release of Khalida Jarrar

Netanyahu meets with Arab leader Ayman Odeh

U.S. sanctions two companies linked to Iran's plane purchases

Iran supports Yemen talks, denounces foreign interference

IS militants call for attacks on Egypt's judges

11 killed in fresh Libya violence

Assad regime losses in Syria

Obama looks to bolster Tunisia's democratic gains

Turkey opposition unveils plan to build new 'mega-city' in Anatolia

Iraqi prime minister seeks Russian support against Islamic State

Iraq's Sunni tribes feel distrust towards Baghdad after Ramadi fall

Morocco illegal migrant arrest fuels Italy row

Qatar ‘failing to deliver’ on promised labour reforms

US to sell bombs, missiles to Israel, helicopters to Saudis

IS jihadists in full control of Syria's Palmyra

Yemen government wants rebel pullback before joining Geneva talks

Morocco King names four new ministers in second reshuffle

Gaza reconstruction going ‘far more slowly than expected’

France kills two jihadist chiefs in Sahel region

Clashes with ‘Islamic State’ rage on near Libya city of Sirte

Protests in Tunisia phosphate-producing region intensify

Iran aid ship to dock in Djibouti for inspection

Israel to face FIFA suspension bid

Letters of Bin Laden reveal accurate fear of surveillance

Yemen talks to open May 28 in Geneva

‘Islamic State’ fighters take control of Palmyra northern sector

Palestinian driver shot by Israeli police

New Egypt justice minister sworn in after judge's gaffe

IS, Syria regime locked in fierce battles near Palmyra

Rajoub: Conditions not ready for Israel-Palestine "match for peace"