Fifteen Years Since Durban at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Tel.: +33(0)1 47 23 76 37
Fax: +33(0)1 47 20 84 01

Geneva, 27 September 2016

The Wiesenthal Centre represented by its Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels was invited to participate in the NGO Monitor seminar marking "15 Years since Durban: Restoring the Universality of Human Rights". The meeting was held at the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations Human Rights Council in memory of the indefatigable champion for Jewish rights, David Littman.

Photo: Samuels with Ambassador Raz Shechter

Speakers included Israeli Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, NGO President Gerald Steinberg, American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris,UN Watch Director Hillel Neuer, Harvard Law School's Alan Dershowitz, Australian MP Michael Danby and International Humanist and Ethical Union former UN representative Roy Brown.

Professor Steinberg opened the proceedings with a description of the 2001 UN Conference Against Racism in Durban (WCAR) as a "carnival of hate" and outlined both the hypocrisy of its convenor, the Human Rights Council and the policy of those member states which finance anti-Israel non-governmental organisations (NGO's).

Samuels recalled "the late David Littmen's pride in his nickname, 'Batman' - not the cartoon and movie hero, but a mark of his love for his life-partner, Gisele Littman, otherwise known as the writer, Bat-Yeor".

Samuels evoked how in 2000, as a Board member of the ENAR (European Network Against Racism), he was the only Jew elected to the Durban International Steering Committee (ISC) thus participating in the Preparatory Committees in Strasbourg, Warsaw, Santiago de Chile and Geneva, but excluded from the final meeting in Teheran.

On arrival in Durban, he was expelled from the ISC, derisively called 'the World Jew'. Yet, three months later, he was invited to the ISC's final meeting on 6 December 2001 in Geneva.

Photo: Durban R-L: Gerald Steinberg, Shimon Samuels, Michael Danby, Hillel Neuer

Samuels noted that, "on the table was a document: An 8 point 10 year plan for the implementation of Durban, apparently based on the Sullivan programme against Apartheid South Africa
1. An educational inculcation campaign though UN agencies on 'Apartheid' Israel
2. A legal campaign in the International Criminal Court and countries of universal jurisprudence to arrest Israelis for crimes against humanity
3. Cancellation of the Law of Return for Jews to Israel
4. Its replacement by the "Right of Return" for all Palestinians
5. Reactivation of the dormant economic boycott
6. Cultural, scientific, sports, academic etc., embargoes now known as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)
7. Rupture of diplomatic relations rendering Israel a pariah state
8. Penalties for states and NGO's refusing to comply.
Though the document was snatched away and the ISC denied paternity, this has, indeed, been the route-map to harm Israel and its supporters over the past 15 years.

Its principal vectors are the anti-globalisation NGO's World Social Forum, based in Brazil and the UN Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in New York - often attended by the Wiesenthal Centre.

These organisations project the principle of 'intersectionality' - all victims of oppression are ostensibly linked, as are all oppressors. Thus Palestinians are 'colonized, indigenous, refugees, prisoners, poor', sharing a victimology with all these and even Gays and, most recently Black Lives Matter etc.
the United States, capitalism, the North, the West, Israel, Zionism - and by association, 'the Protocols of the Elders of Zion' conspiracy for world domination i.e. the Jews".

"This is the legacy of Durban and draws the battle-lines for our pushback," concluded Samuels, while commending NGO Monitor for its vital role in this engagement.

For further information please contact Shimon Samuels 00 33 609 770 158, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).