The Jewish Community Relations Council board and UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey’s executive committee passed a resolution March 23 urging the United States “to join Canada and Israel” in refusing to participate in the Durban III World Conference Against Racism in New York City on Sept. 21, 2011.
The resolution also called on President Obama to “[p]rovide the moral clarity, diplomacy and leadership for other countries to also cancel their attendance at the Durban III conference” and to “[m]ake certain that no U.S. government funds are utilized to finance or support the … conference.”
The resolution noted that “[t]he Durban III conference is intended to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the first Durban Conference, which was held in Durban South Africa in 2001, and from which the U.S. delegation withdrew because the conference ‘had become a diplomatic farce,’ according to the late Cong. Tom Lantos, who served as a U.S. conference delegate. Lantos wrote that Durban I ‘provided the world with a glimpse into the abyss of international hate, discrimination, and indeed, racism. The terrorist attacks on September 11 demonstrated the evil such hate can spawn.'”
“It is ironic,” the resolution continued, “that the end of the first Durban conference preceded 9/11 by three days, and that Durban III is timed to take place 10 days after the 10-year commemoration of this horrific day in the very home of the World Trade Center.”
Noting that “[t]he United States was one of 22 countries which voted against the resolution to convene Durban III this September,” the resolution quoted U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice as saying that “the Durban Declaration process has included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we do not want to see that commemorated.'”
It also quoted a statement from the Netherlands, which “noted that both Durban I and Durban II deviated from their mission in several ways, by pursuing agendas other than the fight against racism and discrimination, including ignoring ‘discrimination based on sexual orientation,’ and by ‘implicitly singling out one country.’ That country was Israel.”