“Boycott Durban II”

Pascal Bruckner writes at signandsight about the upcoming UN Conference against Racism and explains why democracies should boycott it:

…good intentions rapidly degenerated into one-upmanship among victims and bloodlust directed at Israeli organisations and anyone else suspected of being Jewish. …

…Durban became an arena where people screamed and hurled insults at each other in a re-enactment of the comedy of damned, in the face of the white exploiter. “The pain and anger are still felt. The dead, through their descendants, cry out for justice”, Kofi Annan said on August 31 of the same year – an astounding choice of words for a UN secretary general and more a call for revenge than reconciliation. …

In a nutshell: Anti-racism in the UN has become the ideology of totalitarian regimes who use it in their own interests. Dictatorships or notorious half-dictatorships (Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Cuba etc.) co-opt democratic language and instrumentalise legal standards, to position themselves against democracies without ever putting turning the questions on themselves.

In the hands of [these] powerful and organised lobbies, the UN is becoming an instrument of retrogression in the world

Europe must take a firm stand against this buffoonery: boycott it, plain and simple. Just as Canada has done. Perhaps we should also think about dissolving the Human Rights Commission or only letting truly democratic countries in…

That is not likely to happen, for it would be called, well, racist, by all the usual suspects and European politicians are pretty sensitive when it comes to that kind of thing. Just for example, Robert Mugabe was invited to the the last big African-European summit despite the European Union’s travel ban, for many African politicians were threatening to boycott the summit if he were not allowed to attend. Few European governments can be expected to show more backbone over a something as, in their eyes, inconsequential as an UN conference. They’ll attend, sign the final declaration, leave and forget the whole thing.

3 thoughts on ““Boycott Durban II””

  1. Some European leaders did not attend the infamous summit, which simply gave Gadhafi and Mugabe, among others, a platform to denounce Western imperialism and racism. Then, of course, we had the UN summit on food in Rome, which Mugabe attended again. Ralf is right: they will attend, mostly, look a little embarrassed and sign whatever needs to be signed. Then some bishops will demand that they live up to their promises and pour more money into the hands of bloodthirsty kleptocrats.

  2. Tel. & Fax: 0049 (06131) 616568

    NasPetition: “Boycott Durban 2!”rin Amirsedghi
    Am Gonsenheimer Spieß 18 – D – 55122 Mainz

    14. August 2008
    Petition: “Boycott Durban 2!”

    Nearly seven years ago, the, UN World Conference against Racism met in Durban South Africa. The official aim of the event was the public recognition of slavery and colonialism as crimes. However, the conference mutated into an upright tribunal against Israel and its right to exist as well as defense for unfree states and dictators. Now, the United Nations plans a Durban Review Conference to take place in April 2009. A group of intellectuals urges European governments to call off their participation in this event/conference.

    Recently, French novelist and essayist, Pascal Bruckner has already called to boycott the Durban Review Conference. “Anti-Semitism has become an ideology of the totalitarian movements in the UN, which they use for their own goals”, Bruckner explains his appeal. “Dictators and notorious semi-dictators abuse democratic language and instrumentalize legal standards, bringing them against democracies, without ever questioning themselves. Bruckner says that a “new inquisition” has emerged, using the term “religious slander to oppress any expression of doubt, especially in Muslim countries.” The Antiracism defended by the despots serves “to justify the very same things against which it was originally devised: oppression, prejudice and inequality”.

    More than 30 journalists, authors, scientists and artists, In Europe, the United States and the Middle East have joined Bruckner’s petition, among them: Lars Gustafsson, Jeffrey Herf, Benny Morris, Peter Schneider, Seyran Ates, Necla Kelek, Matthias Künzel, Sharon Adler and Ralph Giordano. They call the European Union member states, and especially Germany, to boycott the “Durban 2” Conference and to push forward a comprehensive reform of the UN Human Rights Commission.

    For the initiators and supporters of the petition, the aim is democratization, secularization and universal protection of human rights against the pretended cultural-pluralism, which boils down to defending Islamic Shari’a against individual freedom. The Durban follow-up conference is diametrically opposed to this goal. Additionally, there is a fear of a renewed demonization of Israel, which democrats must confront determinedly. Anti-Semitism goes hand and hand with the support for dictatorships, such as in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    Instead of supporting the “Durban 2” conference, it is time to return to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore, we call for a deep reform of the UN Human Rights Commission, which becomes more and more a forum for diffusion of Anti-Semitism, misogyny and unfreedom.

    The initiators and supporters of the appeal hope that it will receive wide support. The petition will be delivered to the German government and to the governments of other EU countries on February 15th, 2009 and needs as many signatures as possible by this date.

    Nasrin Amirsedghi, Author
    Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, Director „Wadi e.V.“
    Alex Feuerherdt, Journalist

    The further signatories

    Please find and sign the petition online, in English and German at http://boycottdurban2.wordpress.com

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