Europeans may boycott 'Durban 2' anti-racism conference

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

European officials on Tuesday were uncharacteristically outspoken against Muslim efforts to hijack an upcoming UN Human Rights Council anti-racism conference and turn it into an anti-Israel extravaganza.

Leading the charge, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen suggested in remarks to the council that the wording statements currently slated to be made at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva may force European Union member to stay away from the event.

"I am deeply disturbed by the turn this event is taking," said Verhagen. "The thematic world conference is used by some to try to force their concept of defamation of religions and their focus on one regional conflict on all of us."

Bits of documents prepared for the conference and obtained by the press focus almost solely on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while ignoring the myriad other crises around the world, and viciously attack the Jewish state as a racist entity.

The Muslim nations and their allies also want the conference to adopt resolutions outlawing what they call the defamation of Islam. The catalyst for their effort is the recent republishing in European newspapers of political cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed.

US President Barack Obama has already reportedly pulled out of the conference after his envoys failed to convinced members of the Human Rights Council to moderate their language.

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