Durban II

Miliband should boycott Durban, says Grunwald

April 20, 2009

The President of the Board of Deputies, Henry Grunwald, has asked Foreign Secretary David Miliband to pull out of the Durban Review Conference after it was announced that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will address the United Nations conference against racism, which began today in Geneva.

Speaking at the end of Sunday’s Yom HaShoah ceremony in Euston, under the auspices of the Board and Yad Vashem UK, he said he had spoken to Mr Miliband on Friday and asked that he refuse to attend:

“As yet I’ve heard no decision,” said Mr Grunwald.

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Clouds gather over Durban II

By Keren David and Dan Goldberg, April 14, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva next week.

The news increased Jewish concerns about the conference, a follow-up to the 2001 conference held in Durban which was dominated by heated rows over the Middle East.

Israel, Italy and Canada are to boycott the Geneva meeting, with Australia expected to follow suit.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said it was “most unlikely” his country would attend.

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Ahmadinejad to attend ‘Durban II’

April 14, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva next week.

The news increased Jewish concerns about the conference, which is a follow up to the 2001 conference held in Durban dominated by heated rows over the Middle East.

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Government under pressure to make decision on Durban

By Leon Symons, March 19, 2009

Britain will wait until the last minute before making a decision about whether or not it will participate in the Durban Review Conference in Geneva (Durban II) next month.

The prediction came from Board of Deputies’ president Henry Grunwald when he briefed deputies on the latest situation at Sunday’s plenary meeting in Oxford.

“I actually think the UK will withdraw but will wait for a while before doing so, so no-one can say they have scuppered this conference,” said Mr Grunwald.

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Italy pulls out of Durban II

March 12, 2009

Italy has pulled out of the United Nations conference on racism to be held in Geneva from April 20 to 24. Canada, Israel and the USA have already pulled out of the event, which is set to become a forum for anti-Israel rhetoric and antisemitism.

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US pulls out of Durban II but UK still going

By Leon Symons, March 5, 2009

America has pulled out of the United Nations Durban review conference on combating racism to be held in Geneva next month — but Britain will still participate.

The US State Department announced its decision last Friday after several days locked in talks about the draft final document, but ultimately admitted defeat, saying it had gone “from bad to worse”.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said: “The current text of the draft outcome document is not salvageable.”

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US attendance at Durban II still in balance

By Nathan Guttman, February 26, 2009

As the Obama administration attempted to engage with organisers of the UN World Conference against Racism this week, a troubling picture emerged of the resolutions expected to be adopted at the conference.

The April event (dubbed Durban II after the first conference, held in South Africa in 2001) has been high on the agenda of Jewish leaders and Israeli diplomats for more than a year, as they worry it will serve once again as a platform for accusations against Israel of racism.

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Britain and Italy threaten to drop out of Durban II

By Leon Symons, February 19, 2009

Britain and Italy could join Canada and Israel in refusing to attend the Durban II Review Conference in April unless they receive cast-iron guarantees that it will not turn into an antisemitic, anti-Israel arena of hate.

The conference, to be held in Geneva, is a follow-up to the UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

The Durban conference became notorious for its unbridled attacks on Israel, led by Iran and a number of other Arab states.

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Law of return under fire at Durban II

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2009

Jewish groups will face an uphill battle in their efforts to keep anti-Zionism 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 “racially-based 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 follow-up in April in Geneva to the UN conference in South Africa eight years ago.

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Lobby to stop 'hate-fest' at Durban II

By Simon Rocker, January 22, 2009

Jewish campaigners this week lobbied internationally to stop a United Nations human rights conference being used as a platform to attack Israel.

Israel and Canada have already pulled out of April’s Geneva follow-up to the 2001 Durban conference, which turned into an anti-Zionist “hate-fest” according to critics.

But the Jewish Human Rights Coalition UK, co-founded by the Board of Deputies, was among Jewish non-governmental organisations that attended a five-day preliminary session in Geneva this week to debate a draft of the conference resolutions.

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