AJC Praises U.S. Decision on Durban III Conference

Jun 01, 2011, 18:35 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised the Obama Administration for its decision, announced today, not to participate in the United Nation's upcoming Commemoration of the Durban World Conference Against Racism. The conference is scheduled to take place in New York in September.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO)

"The U.S. announcement is the clearest indication that this gathering will be just as bad for Israel -- and for those truly dedicated to the fight against racism -- as were the previous two international conferences in 2001 and 2009," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "To acknowledge the current reality is a sad day for the UN and the struggle against racism."

"Sadly, that struggle, to which AJC has long been committed, has been repeatedly hijacked by countries with little actual regard for human rights and whose primary goal is to advance highly politicized, anti-Israel agendas," said Harris. "We hope that other democratic countries will now follow the laudable example of the U.S. and of Canada, which had earlier announced its decision to skip the Durban commemoration."

The U.S. decision was revealed in a letter to Congress from Joseph E. Macmanus, acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs. The U.S. will not participate because the Durban process "included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism," Macmanus wrote.

Earlier this year, AJC appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to ensure that "the debacles of the 2001 and 2009 Durban conferences are not repeated in 2011." The previous two conferences singled out Israel for condemnation and prompted the United States to walk out of the first and refuse to participate in the second.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee