Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC praises Government's vote against funding for follow-up to antisemitic UN conference

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8 January 2008


The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has praised the Rudd Government and its UN ambassador for voting the last week of December against funding for the so-called UN Durban Review Conference, or "Durban II".

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein noted that the initial Durban conference, held in September 2001, devolved into the worst kinds of antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. There is every reason to believe that the follow-on conference will produce more of the same, he added.

"The 2001 Durban conference was supposed to be about combating racism and xenophobia. Instead, it was hijacked and turned into a caricature of the very forces it was supposed to combat, even reviving the old canard that Zionism equals racism.

The anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric was so bad that the Israeli and US governments quit the conference in protest. Australia, to its great credit, stayed and tried to contain the worst excesses of extremist behaviour.

Unfortunately, there is every reason to expect that Durban II, scheduled for 2009, will be every bit as bad.

The Rudd Government therefore should be commended for its foresight and principled stance in voting against UN funding for such an odious event. In so doing it joined with 39 other countries, including Israel, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Italy and other European countries, in truly trying to combat racism and xenophobia," he added.


For additional information, contact Dr. Colin Rubenstein on (03)-9681-6660

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