UK to boycott ‘festival of Jew-hate’ Durban IV

The government said it made the decision ‘following historic concerns regarding antisemitism’


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: Thousands of Muslims took to the streets in Cape Town 21 August 2001 to protest against Israel's continuing oppression of Palestinians. The march, organised by the Muslim Judicial Council, comes ahead of the World Conference Against Rascism which begins in Durban at the end of the month. (Photo credit should read ANNA ZIEMINSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The British government has confirmed it will boycott Durban IV, an international conference that has been dubbed “the festival of Jew-hate.”

The UK will join Australia, Canada, Israel and the US in not attending the United Nations conference, which purports to focus on tackling racism across the globe.

When the event first took place in 2001 the US, Israel and Canada walked out, citing a series of antisemitic remarks that had been made at the gathering.

Several of those present also tried to claim that Zionism equated to racism.  

The Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Conservative Friends of Israel all wrote to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab this year, insisting the UK did not attend. 

Last night a government spokesperson confirmed: "Following historic concerns regarding antisemitism, the UK has decided not to attend the UN’s Durban Conference anniversary event later this year." 

CFI Parliamentary Chairmen, Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Eric Pickles, said: “Confirmation that the UK will not attend Durban IV is extremely welcome. It is absolutely right that the UK is joining our close allies Australia, Canada and the US in condemning the infamous gathering.

“We applaud this latest decisive action from the UK government in opposing antisemitism in all its forms and wherever it occurs.”

 Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, Vice President of the JLC and an attendee at the 2001 conference, said: “This is welcome news. Tainted with Jew hatred, poisonous rhetoric about Israel and Holocaust denial and minimisation, the Durban process is no place to tackle racism. It is time for the Durban conferences to be consigned to history.

"The British Government has done the right thing once again by taking a principled stance and refusing to attend.”

Arsen Ostrovsky, Chair and CEO of The International Legal Forum (ILF), said: "The British government should be applauded for withdrawing from the Durban IV event, to be held in September at the United Nations. The Durban 2001 conference was intended to bring the international community together to fight racism and xenophobia, but instead descended into an unhinged display of Jew hatred and virulent antisemitism, setting the foundation for the mainstreaming of the kind of violent assaults against Jews we have witnessed on the streets of London and around the world in recent weeks. All nations which truly care about fighting racism and promoting tolerance, should not give credence to this anti-Jewish anti-Israel hatefest at the UN.”

 Mr Ostrovsky is to speak at a Zionist Federation UK event this evening on the dangers of the Durban IV anniversary.

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