Israel Lobby Induces Boycott of U.N. Conference on Racism
The United States has said it will not attend an United Nations conference on racism because the text of the draft final statement contains language it is “unable to support”, the state department has said.
Negotiators had been trying to find common ground before the meeting in Geneva, but the US said there were still concerns it would limit free speech and single out Israel for criticism.
“Unfortunately, it now seems certain these remaining concerns will not be addressed in the document to be adopted by the conference next week,” Robert Wood, US state department spokesman, said in a statement issued late on Saturday.
“Therefore, with regret, the United States will not join the review conference.”
Washington’s decision followed intense lobbying by Israeli and Jewish groups. >>>
Iran lambastes Zionist Israelis for sowing the seeds of racism, which has led to a leap in heinous hate crimes committed throughout the world.
“Wars, aggression, unfair political and economic relations, terror and occupation are the outcomes of racist theology — the frontrunner of which is Israel,” Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters in Tehran on Sunday ahead of his departure for Geneva where he plans to take part in a UN anti-racism summit.
The president described Zionism as a clear manifestation of racism and said that “Zionists seek to take control of the world’s political and media centers in order to loot and belittle nations.”
The scheduled attendance of Ahmadinejad at the UN-backed “Durban II” conference and his planned talks with Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz has sparked fury in Tel Aviv, which views the Iranian chief executive as “a holocaust denier.”
Israeli officials, in recent weeks, have stepped up efforts to persuade European countries to follow in the footsteps of Canada, Israel, Italy, Australia and the United States, and boycott the meeting.
The US, which had initially announced that it would take part in the conference, revealed it final stance on Saturday. “With regret, the United States will not join the review conference,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood, citing objectionable language in the meeting’s draft declaration.
A growing Western boycott is threatening to undermine a United Nations conference on racism.
Following Saturday’s announcement by the US that it would stay away, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and New Zealand joined the boycott on Sunday, with Italy also expected to not show.
Israel’s allies say the forum, to start on Monday, could become a platform for criticising it, with the US citing “objectionable” language in a text prepared for the Geneva meeting which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, is set to address on its opening day.
Canada and Israel have said for months that they will shun the meeting, which the UN organised to help heal the wounds left by its last race summit in South Africa in 2001. >>>