34 Countries Boycott Infamous Durban IV Conference

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Durban IV is a bust for two major reasons. The first reason is Israel’s technological prowess that it shares with much of the world. The second reason is Israel’s remarkable diplomatic achievements during the Trump Administration. 20 years after the infamous Durban Conference, Israel is considerably stronger than it was in 2001. More than a match for the anti-Semitic BDS Movement. #BDSFail!

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Just days before the 9/11 terror attacks, the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa (the Durban Conference) took place. The Durban Conference was a conference that was meant to denounce racism. Instead, it was a conference of racism against Israel and the Jewish people. Durban 2001 was horrific display of anti-Semitism. It launched the BDS Movement against Israel. On Wednesday, the United Nations held an event (Durban IV) commemorating the 20th anniversary of the infamous conference. Fortunately, most democracies did not attend this anti-Semitic hate-fest. The number of countries that boycotted the Durban IV Conference is likely higher than 34. The event looks practically empty.

34 countries boycott Durban IV Conference

The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that 11 countries planned to boycott the conference that hadn’t yet made their plans public, in addition to the 20 that had announced they would not be attending

A total of 34 countries openly boycotted Wednesday’s conference at the UN marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban because of the antisemitism and anti-Israel bias at the 2001 event.

More than twice as many countries opted out of the event than the previous Durban Review Conference in 2011, when 14 did so.

The countries boycotting Durban IV were: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, UK, US and Uruguay.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry thanked the countries for their support.

“The original Durban Conference, an UN-hosted event, became the worst international manifestation of antisemitism since WWII,” the Foreign Ministry stated. “Inflammatory speeches, discriminatory texts, and a pro-Hitler march that took place outside the halls were only part of the ugliness displayed in 2001. The ‘World Conference on Racism’ actually ended up encouraging it, including through the parallel NGO forum, which displayed caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and fangs dripping with blood, clutching money.”

The Foreign Ministry said that the organizations seeking to demonize and boycott Israel 20 years ago continue their campaign, but have failed.

“Israel is a thriving state that is increasing its cooperation with countries in the region and will continue to do so,” it said.

Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, who has worked for the past year to bring more countries on board against Durban, pointed out that few heads of state addressed the conference, like those of South Africa and Cuba, and only a handful – like Iran and the Palestinian Authority – sent foreign ministers to the event, in addition to more countries boycotting it than ever before.

“This is an achievement for Israel proving that an understanding has permeated that the Durban Conference was an event plagued with hatred and antisemitism, and that the decision made [at the conference] does not contribute to the fight against racism,” Erdan stated. “Rather, the opposite is true, and therefore, countries are avoiding it.”

The 2001 Durban Conference was a hotbed of antisemitism, with accredited groups at its NGO forum distributing copies of the antisemitic canard The Protocols of the Elders of Zion together with cartoons of hook-nosed Jews, and thousands marching against Israel, calling it an apartheid state. Thousands protested against Israel, with signs equating the Star of David to a swastika and praising Hitler.

During the 2009 and 2011 Durban Review Conferences, then-president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust, calling it a pretext for Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Durban IV’s theme was “Reparations, racial justice and equality for people of African descent,” and included the adoption of the original Durban Declaration, in which the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the only one specifically mentioned.

The attendees voted in favor of a statement that noted an increase in “racist violence, threats to violence, discrimination and stigmatization” against Asians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but does not mention the increase in pandemic-related antisemitism and distortion of the Holocaust.

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