The Shame of the U.N.
Happy Ending: Israel was not condemned, Zionism was not defamed. So concluded the world conference against racism which convened at Durban, South Africa on August 31 - September 10, 2001. But one should not forget, one should not ignore the following issues:
"We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation. We recognize the inalienable right of Palestinian self-determination..." This is a quote from the final declaration of this conference which also pointed out that refugees in general have the right to return to their place and property! This declaration which singled out Israel also recognized Israel's right to live in peace and security. Of course, the conference recognized the right of Palestinians to return to 'their' land and property and also their right to establish a free state.
The shame of the U.N. is manifested in the fact that the PLO, the Palestinians, the Arab league, and Muslim countries together with other countries such as Jamaica, almost took over and controlled this conference, using exclusively the U.N. as their own stage! (Others complained that their agenda was pushed aside!)
The shame of U.N.: The behavior of the secretary and organizer of this conference, Mary Robinson, an anti-Israeli leader from Ireland. Furthermore, the behavior of Kofi Annan, U.N.'s secretary who spoke at the opening of the conference. First, in his opening address he spoke about the Holocaust and against anti-Semitism and he went on to say that: "...We cannot expect Palestinians to accept this as a reason why the wrongs done to them - displacement, occupation, blockade, and now extra-judicial killings - should be ignored, whatever label one uses to describe them." Annan does not have the right to argue that Israelis link the Holocaust or the Jewish history to the long Israeli-Arab Middle East conflict. Israel was born before the Holocaust. The Balfour Declaration, for example, was declared on Nov. 2, 1917, and was recognized by many countries and by the U.S. as well.
Annan was perhaps influenced by the post-Zionists literature. Israel's establishment should not be linked to the Holocaust. The link between Jews, Zionists, and Palestine has nothing to do with the Holocaust. Arabs and Muslims, for generations and centuries, knew that Israel, Eretz Yisroel, belongs to the Jewish nation! It is only the PLO-Arab propaganda machine's idea to link Israel to the Holocaust. Why? Because these enemies of Israel and the Jews, these anti-Semites such as Amro Mussa, the secretary of the Arab League, argue that the Christians murdered the Jews and they, the poor Arabs, have to pay the price... Speaking about the Holocaust or genocide, Kofi Annan, in his long speech, ignored African countries which commit, today, crimes against humanity. Kofi Annan, therefore, gave the PLO and its many friends the 'green light' to attack Israel and the Zionist idea. He made a mistake which could bring the U.N. to a point of disintegration.
The absence of the U.S. was the beginning of this dangerous process. And Europe resents the slavery section of the final declaration.
The anti-Israel campaign took place at the non-government organization (NGO) events as well as in the convention itself. The PLO's huge 'block' used anti-Israeli propaganda as well as anti-Semitic ones which was recalled by many observers as similar to the Nazi propaganda style. It was not a campaign just to criticize Israel's behavior in the West Bank or Gaza, it was a totally planned and sophisticated effort of psychological warfare by the PLO against Israel. It is part of a long crusade to de-legitimize Israel's right to exist as a free state, and an attack of its existence in the Middle East.
The equating of Zionism with racism means a de-legitimization of Israel. We know by now and we cannot delude ourselves any more: The PLO does not look for peace, the PLO is greedy. It wants the entire land of Israel. Palestine is theirs from Jordan to the sea. Annan recognized their right to establish a state, but he refused to discuss its borders.
Jewish organizations such as Bnai Brith tried to combat the massive attack on Israel. They expressed frustrations as to the fact that the organizers of this conference tolerated expressions of anti-Semitism. This was also an aspect of the U.N.'s shame. The fact that the final declaration asks us not to ignore the memory of the Holocaust and that we must combat any expression of anti-Semitism did not prevent the Jewish caucus at Durban from withdrawing from this conference. Richard D. Heideman (Bnai Brith) announced: "Today Jewish organizations convened in Durban as the Jewish caucus and representing national, regional, and Jewish humanitarian and human rights organizations walked out of the world conference against racism to protest the singling out of Israel and the use of anti-Semitism as a political device." He also said that he felt that the Nazi propaganda had a revival at Durban.
In Israel, a distinguished writer said that the way from Durban to Bergen-Belzen was very short... This was the experience of 100 representatives of 15 Jewish organizations which participated in this conference.
The whole world is not against us! Some countries such as the Ukraine, for example, objected to the PLO's psychological warfare against Israel. Of course, we should praise the United States for its policy!
But the conference also exposed the weakness of the pro-Israeli camp's effectiveness in combating the PLO and its friends. We could have developed better means and planned policy. We still relate to our policy as 'Hasbara' or: explaining the policy of Israel. We need a creative Israeli-Jewish psychological warfare in this 'age of information.' Indeed, many critics here and in Israel concluded that the PLO's diplomatic Intifada in Durban was a victorious one. Indeed, the PLO probably views Durban as a place to perform their general rehearsal for the U.N.'s General Assembly meeting. The PLO is managing a total war against Israel. It only increases its terrorist attacks on Israelis. They take advantage of the fact that we refuse to launch a 'barbaric war' against them.
Return to News ArchivesBack to Top