La­wofre­tur­nun­der

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

JEWISH GROUPS will face an up­hill bat­tle in their ef­forts to keep an­tiZion­ism off the agenda of the forth­com­ing United Na­tions anti-racism con­fer­ence.

The lat­est draft of the reso­lu­tions, pub­lished this week, con­tains a pro­posed new ref­er­ence to the “racially­based law of re­turn” — the law which grants the right of any Jew to set­tle in the state of Is­rael.

Is­rael and Canada have al­ready pulled out of “Dur­ban II”, the fol­lowup in April in Geneva to the UN con­fer­ence in South Africa eight years ago.

At a pre­lim­i­nary meet­ing in the Swiss city last week to dis­cuss the key con­fer­ence doc­u­ment, Jewish groups had ar­gued for the re­moval of a num­ber of para­graphs about the plight of the Pales­tini­ans.

A state­ment read out on be­half of the Jewish Hu­man Rights Coali­tion UK, the World Jewish Congress and oth­ers said: “Th­ese para­graphs…un­nec­es­sar­ily politi­cise the anti-racist agenda. The politi­ci­sa­tion of the text and the sin­gling-out of one par­tic­u­lar con­flict, gives pref­er­ence and prece­dence to one group over an­other and es­tab­lishes a danger­ous hi­er­ar­chy.”

But the re­vised text, seen by the JC, pro­poses re­plac­ing the para­graphs with one that ex­presses “con­cern at the plight of Pales­tinian refugees and other in­hab­i­tants of the Arab oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries as well as 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”.

It also pro­poses to in­clude a ref­er­ence to the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza.

Ne­go­ta­tions over the reso­lu­tions will con­tinue for some months. The new text also in­cludes a pro­posal to con­demn Holo­caust de­nial, re­flect­ing Euro­pean and Jewish con­cerns that ref­er­ences to the Holo­caust had been di­luted in the pre­vi­ous draft.

Jewish cam­paign­ers are anx­ious to avoid a rep­e­ti­tion of the at­tacks on Is­rael at the orig­i­nal Dur­ban con­fer­ence of 2001.

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