(August 4, 2021 / JNS) Ahead of the United Nations commemoration next month of the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) held a webinar on Tuesday to decry the participation of members states at the event, particularly in light of the surge in global Jew-hatred and anti-Zionism.
“Over 30 countries have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, but only 10 countries announced they wouldn’t participate” in the commemoration, said Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan.
“It is time for these countries to put their money where their mouth is and refuse to participate in the appalling commemoration event,” he said.
The meeting, slated for Sept. 22 at the U.N. General Assembly, will mark the anniversary of the 2001 “World Conference Against Racism” in South Africa.
Erdan, along with Irwin Cotler, Canada’s special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism, was a keynote speaker at the webinar, titled “A Festival of Hate: How to Defeat the Durban Strategy—A Primary Vector of 21st Century Anti-Semitism.”
Cotler, Canada’s former justice minister, called the 2001 conference “truly Orwellian.”
“A conference to combat racism turned into a conference of racism against Israel and the Jewish people, only. A conference that was supposed to herald the promotion and protection of human rights in the 21st century singled out one member state, one member people—Israel and the Jewish people for selective opprobrium and indictment. A conference that was supposed to remember the dismantling of South African apartheid became a conference about dismantling Israel as an apartheid state,” he said.
“Twenty years later, the Durban legacy of hate continues—the mainstreaming, the normalization, the legitimization of anti-Semitism in the political culture and the absence of outrage underscored by indifference and inaction,” he added.
CAM executive director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa said, “To all intent and purpose, the Durban conference in 2001 reinstated the libel of UNGA Resolution 3379 [“Zionism is racism”] by perverting international human rights laws and practicing severe historical revisionism.”
Durban, said Roytman-Dratwa, “perpetuates the delegitimization of Israel and foments contemporary forms of anti-Semitism under the guise of human rights while operating under the protective cover of the United Nations.”
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