Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama Administration Opts Out of Durban II Conference...For Now

The Obama Administration has come to its senses and will soon announce that it will not be participating in the World Conference Against Racism in Geneva in April (a.k.a. Durban II).

Of course, only days before 9/11, the U.S. and Israel walked out of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa when it passed a string of resolutions that singled Israel out as the only country practicing racism.

The Obama Administration had participated in the planning of the forthcoming meeting as an opportunity to engage with Iran as it is one of the vice-chairs of the prepartory committee. Longtime UN observer Anne Bayefsky strongly criticized the Obama Administration for looking to engage Iran as a higher priority than speaking out against anti-Semitism. When Iran blocked an effort by the EU to include language on the Holocaust the U.S. delegation sat on its thumbs.

Well, the U.S. has now concluded it won't participate after all. That is, unless, they drop any references to Israel or any other country. It is possible the prepatory committee could meet American demands and lure a delegation in only to start bashing Israel once the conference comes to order. This would make the Obama Administration look incredibly stupid. Even if they walk out given previous history common sense dictates this is not a process the U.S. should legitimize.

Why did the U.S. have to send a 7-member delegation to a planning committee for a conference they knew full well was little more than a UN sanctioned hate Israel fest? Canada wisely extricated itself from participating in this sham months ago in solidarity with Israel. The Obama Administration should have done the same.

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