March 01, 2009

Durban poison?

From the BBC website:
The US is likely to boycott a UN racism conference, reports suggest, saying a text drawn up for the event criticises Israel and restricts freedom of speech.

An unnamed state department official said the draft document for April's forum in Geneva was "unsalvageable".

Canada and Israel have also said they plan to boycott the meeting.

In 2001, US and Israeli delegates walked out of a similar conference in Durban, South Africa, when a draft document likened Zionism to racism.

The 2001 draft expressed "deep concern" at the "increase of racist practices of Zionism and anti-Semitism".

It talked of the emergence of "movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas, in particular the Zionist movement, which is based on racial superiority".

Fair enough. The zionist idea is that Jews from anywhere have more right to most of Palestine than natives that are not Jewish. The word racial has been jettisoned of late, we prefer ethnic now, but I'm sure zionists wouldn't stoop to a mere technicality to get Israel off the hook.

But America has a two-fold beef here. Obama's representatives have found something about America to object to. It's the slavery thing. Some people at Durban II want to discuss the slave trade and America's role in it. Well America's first African-American president isn't having any of that.

I suppose the good to come out of that is that it vindicates those of us who suggested that Obama's ethnicity wouldn't make a, what is it they say over there? ah yes, dime's worth of difference.

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