|Twenty years ago, the United Nations convened the “World Conference Against Racism,” in Durban, South Africa. The conference evolved into an unprecedented anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and Holocaust-denial hatefest, which led the US delegation, led by US Representative and Holocaust survivor, Tom Lantos, to walk out in protest. Simon Wiesenthal Center officials were both witnesses to and targets of anti-Semitic attacks at a gathering of vanguards of “civil society.”
It was this conference in Durban that birthed the "Big Lie" of Israel being the 21st century’s apartheid state.
It was also Durban where 3,500 plus Non-Governmental Organizations resurrected the charge that Zionism=Racism, and permitted the presentation of lurid cartoons depicting Israeli leaders as animals and devils.
Durban set the stage for the emergence of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other international efforts to isolate the Jewish state economically, educationally, and diplomatically.
In short, it was the worst global display of anti-Semitism since the end of World War II.
Now the UN wants to spawn more anti-Semitism and empower those who denounce the Jewish state as a racist entity.
In 2009, “Durban II” was opened at the UN in Geneva by then Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust- denier, unleashing more Jew-hatred; where his aide screamed “Zion-Nazi” at Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel.
The SWC cannot let this happen again in 2021. Today, as the UN Human Rights Council meets to convene, letters have been sent to the Foreign Ministers of the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, Canada, and to the US Secretary of State asking them to send a powerful signal in combatting the cancer of anti-Semitism worldwide and to further isolate the hate-mongers by opposing any additional UN funds for further “celebrations” of the Durban debacle.
At a time when anti-Semitic hate crimes are surging around the world and are on the rise on social media, a recurrence of the anti-Semitic Durban I program and declaration are the last things the UN should be undertaking.
Support the SWC’s efforts to fight back against anti-Israel hate and anti-Semitism at the UN today.