In commending recent statements by numerous European leaders who have raised serious concerns about the upcoming Durban II conference on racism, today the European Jewish Congress (EJC) called upon the EU Presidency and European leaders to boycott next month’s Durban II conference “immediately, and without hesitation.”
Calling the upcoming UN-sponsored conference a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and conference planners Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Cuba and their allies as “attempting to pull the wool over the world’s eyes,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor warned European nations today “not to fall prey to false attempts to manipulate the European community into participating in a mockery of human rights.”
“We call upon the EU to categorically and unequivocally announce their boycott of Durban II without delay. By doing so, the EU would prove to the world that it is a moral beacon for human rights and that Europeans are unwilling to participate in this assault on freedom,” Kantor stated.
Kantor also raised the prospect that the chief conference planners, including Iran, Libya, and Cuba “might attempt to avert the growing pressure to boycott the conference by presenting a so-called moderated text that would actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Calling this possibility a “bait and switch tactic to gain Western legitimacy and support,” Kantor urged the European Presidency and European leaders to “take a moral stand and immediately reject the conference.”
Official UN documents and declarations, especially ones that deal with racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, should not arbitrarily choose between conflicts or target specific countries, including one UN-member state (Israel) or one regional conflict (Israeli-Palestinian).
Kantor noted, “We all remember the catastrophe that was Durban I. Ironically, Durban II is scheduled to take place over Hitler’s birthday (April 20) and Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day (April 21). Europe must heed the lessons of our past as we attempt to build a more tolerant future. We must not allow intolerance, bigotry and virulent anti-Semitism to rule on the very days that we commemorate the horrors of the Holocaust. European leaders have an obligation to assert their moral leadership in the eyes of the world by rejecting this cynical attempt to cloak anti-Semitism and racism in the guise of a conference ostensibly dedicated to its eradication.”
Kantor concluded, “European leaders should announce today that they will not participate in Durban II, or risk being complacent in a mockery against human rights, racism and anti-Semitism.”
The European Jewish Congress, the Czech Presidency of the EU, European Parliament and European Commission will convene a ground-breaking symposium on March 30 at the European Parliament on eradicating racism and anti-Semitism and instead fostering tolerance throughout Europe, entitled “Building Together the Future of Europe.”