Fears over Is­rael-hate at UN race con­fer­ence

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SI­MON ROCKER

JEWISH REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVES re­main con­cerned that a United Na­tions an­tiracism con­fer­ence next spring may be used to pro­mote an anti-Is­rael agenda.

fol­low-up to the Dur­ban hu­man rights con­fer­ence of 2001 — where Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions were shocked at the level of ag­gres­sive anti-Zion­ism — is due to take place in Geneva next April.

But rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Jewish Hu­man Rights Coali­tion UK, set up to par­tic­i­pate in the event, ex­pressed wor­ries af­ter at­tend­ing a UN pre-con­fer­ence meet­ing to dis­cuss the agenda ear­lier this month.

“We re­mained con­cerned that the con­fer­ence may pro­duce a doc­u­ment that will be un­ac­cept­able to the Jewish com­mu­nity,” said El­iz­a­beth Har­ris, co-or­di­na­tor of JHRC UK and pub­lic af­fairs di­rec­tor at the Board of Deputies, who at­tended the meet­ing with Sam Co­hen of the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil.

Their fears stem, in par­tic­u­lar, from a doc­u­ment pre­sented on be­half of the Asian re­gion.

It refers to the “plight of Pales­tinian refugees and dis­placed per­sons who were forced to leave their homes be­cause of war and racial poli­cies of the oc­cu­py­ing power, and who are pre­vented from re­turn­ing to their homes and prop­er­ties be­cause of a racially­based law of re­turn”.

The doc­u­ment also calls on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to pro­tect the Pales­tini­ans “un­der oc­cu­pa­tion” against ag­gres­sion, acts of racism and a de­nial of their hu­man rights in­clud­ing their right to self-determination.

A dec­la­ra­tion on be­half of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Is­lamic Con­fer­ence (an um­brella body for Mus­lim coun­tries) also calls for action in re­sponse to the “non-recog­ni­tion” of the Pales­tini­ans’ “in­alien­able right to self-determination”.

JHRC UK rep­re­sen­ta­tives are wait­ing to see a draft text com­bin­ing the pre­sen­ta­tions of the re­gional groups, al­though they fear that the anti-Is­rael ref­er­ences are likely to re­main.

But they ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion at the po­si­tion of the Euro­pean Union — and par­tic­u­larly the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment — which stated that it “would find un­ac­cept­able any at­tempt to triv­i­alise or deny the Holo­caust, or to rene­go­ti­ate agree­ments on the fight against an­tisemitism”.

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