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« How Will SA Vote on Iran? | Main | Tony Leon Warns against South Africa Hosting UN Racism Conference »

February 11, 2008


Hard Rain

No doubt this will become another venture in global propaganda orchestrated by the most despotic regimes in the world with their lackey developing world cohorts financed, of course, by Western UN contributions et al.


I agree that "We need to ensure that this conference is a success", I think it would be more effective to lobby for rather than against speakers. If this is being attended by the Islamic bloc, lobbying for a session the treatment of minorities within those societies seems a good idea eg. the Kurds. It is a more realistic goal to attempt to widen the discussion rather than bloc any anti-Semitic speaker, and even if you are correct it leaves you open to the attack of stifling free speech. Disclaimer: before I get jumped for promoting anti-Semitic speech, I am making a tactical suggestion.


I am wondering, from a strategic point of view, whether it is in the Jewish Communities interest to try and lobby the SA goverment to withdraw its nomintaion to try host the event and get placed on more neutral ground? Thoughts anyone?


Oops, sorry about the bad grammar there, pressed post when I meant to press preview. Hope the message got across.


To be honest, I think this community would rather it was someone else’s problem. I think the leadership will push for it not to be held here. If it is only then will they attempt to change the nature of the event.

I like the idea of broadening it by adding speakers. Sadly last time Jews were excluded from drafting the Agenda. The planning meeting took place in Iran and no Jewish organizations were grant visas. Anti-Semitism was discussed but as racism against Semite peoples especially Arabs. And the holocaust of the Palestinians. There was major resistance to discussing any other subjects like say workers rights in Saudi.


Perhaps we would prefer it to be in Britain, Oz or the States where there are more organised Jewish/Zionist communities.

But if it were held in a country where there is little or no Jewish representation then perhaps we are worse off - no one to really record events, lobby and protest.

Benjamin, I like your idea. It would be amazing to see racism discussed from the perspective of Black Muslims in Darfur or Christian Copts in Egypt. But as Mike said, it would never happen. The Islamic bloc has a tight control on the agenda.

Africa is a pushover and allows a real issue deserving attention to be hijacked by their OIC friends.


The leit motifs of the above posts are that
a) something positive might actually come of the conference and
b) that there might be attendees who are actually there to discuss racism and who might form or otherwise amend their current perceptions and opinions.

In light of the experience of Durban 1 and the exemplary UN record to date -
the first assumption, in my opinion, is naive. The second is just stupid.

If anything "we" should lobby to have the conference held in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia or similar tolerant society where we don't have to hear about it and nobody's fundamental beliefs will be affected and where nobody trusts the government controlled press, the UN or their neighbours anyway.


Hillel, the problem with the “UmShum” approach is that it does matter. If it was held in Tehran, it would carry just as much international weight. I was at Durban 1, I know more than anyone the problems. But I truly believe that this hate that it spurns can not just be ignored. It’s no co-incidence the close proximity between Durban 1 and 9/11. Hateful rhetoric results in violent actions. We need to do everything in our power to ensure that a UN doesn’t once again spur such hatred. I don’t think that is naïve. I think it’s pragmatic. Pretending that just because it happens in Tehran or North Korea or Cuba it doesn’t count is not the solution.


It's not that if it happens in Teheran it doesn't count. It's simply that if it happens in Teheran it's a non-issue. It's surprising to see the violence and hatred in Durban, ostensibly a city in a free country supportive of democratic rights. On the other hand, if it happens in Teheran, in 5 years time no-one will remember.

It's a case of contrast, remove the contrast, nobody notices.


The UN is best described in the pithy words of Mark Steyn:

"It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former."

Until the multi-culturalists grow a moral spine they'll be eating the mix.



I completely disagree Hillel. No matter where the conference takes place it will have serious consequences for Israel and Jews. UN resolution and conferences do carry wait in international juris prudence.



I;m with Hillel on this. What is your best case scenario? What could you possibly achieve? Don't give me theoretical arguments - what is it that you believe can be done by any Jewish lobby at the conference? Nothing. I've stated before that you can never win an argument when a liar because you are limited to the truth.
And lobbying SA isn't going to help much either. Everyone saw Durban 1 and they know exactly what Durban 2 will be. What essentially has happened is that the greater Islamic world has asked permission from SA to come over and and an anti-semitic hate speech bonanza. And SA said "sure". .

L. King

Best bet is to fight this on multiple levels including pushing support for the alternate conference being proposed by Canadian Senator Jerry Grafstein. If a larger block of countries follows Canada's lead then Durban II is dead. At the very least it gets tarnished and discredited.


An Alternative conference is worth supporting, in particular if the US and a few others are pulling out of Dbn II and will support the alternative.

Dbn II itself just doesn't have a possible best case scenario in which it is worth investing. Moreover, the UN itself needs some serious reform before they start getting that ice-cream flavour back.


I'm sorry but as outsider looking in, I hope for ZA to plunge into the abattoir they've seemed to want to wallow in for so long. It would be more useful for the rest of the world to finally see the ZA government tear off its mask and show us what they really are.


I wonder if it is worthwile making a big noise about getting SA to withdraw from Durban 11, Like the countries like Cananda. If they dont and this hate fest goes ahead it makes them look more like active collabrators rather than unfortunate by-standers.


I think the alternative conference is a great idea. Would be happy to support it.

Bigben, I like your idea as well.

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