We wrote earlier about some of the controversy over the upcoming follow-up to the UN conference on racism, otherwise known as Durban II. Canada, the US and Israel have said they will likely boycott the event in Switzerland this Spring.
Earlier today, Canada’s Independent Jewish Voices’ Coordinator Diana Ralph spoke at the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference (Durban II) to advocate for Canadian participation:
“Unfortunately, there has a systematic attempt to portray Durban I was an ‘anti-Semitic hate-fest’,” Ralph pointed out. “This stems from the fact that at Durban some NGO participants and governments challenged Israel’s racist policies. Instead of addressing the substance of these charges, the government of Israel and those who back it unconditionally chose to brand those who levelled criticism of Israel at Durban as ‘anti-Semitic’,” she noted.
“As Jews, we assert that it is entirely legitimate, not anti-Semitic, to criticize Israeli policies that discriminate against Palestinians – not to mention occupying, torturing, assassinating, and collectively punishing them. Those who have been so critical of the Review appear intent upon discrediting criticism of racist Israeli policies and practices – and to prevent the governments of the US, Canada, and EU countries from being pressured to redress historic and ongoing racist practices,” Ralph continued.