The mainstream media turned a deaf ear to Canada's conservative government as they withdrew support for a United Nations led anti-racism conference on charges that the conference itself is a "a systematic promotion of hatred and bigotry". One Canadian official called the U.N. Durban II conference a "gong show" as Ottawa withdrew all support in protest of the escalating rhetoric against Israel. This of course comes as no surprise considering that the United Nations, in all its limited wisdom, elected Libya to chair the conference, Cuba as the vice chair and named Iran to the organizing committee. (h/t Girl on the Right)
The so-called Durban II conference “has gone completely off the rails” and Canada wants no part of it, said Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity.
“Canada is interested in combatting racism, not promoting it,” Mr. Kenney told The Canadian Press. “We'll attend any conference that is opposed to racism and intolerance, not those that actually promote racism and intolerance.
“Our considered judgment, having participated in the preparatory meetings, was that we were set for a replay of Durban I. And Canada has no intention of lending its good name and resources to such a systematic promotion of hatred and bigotry.”
Not one mainstream media newspaper outlet bothered to cover Canada's walk out with any in depth analysis despite this being an election year where foreign policy in the Middle East, the politics of race and racism and the war against radical Islam are key issues. Instead most outlets deferred to the brief feeds of the AP, Reuters and the AFP to provide scant mention. The New York Times managed to miss the story altogether; feed or otherwise.
Notable events that escaped the scrutiny of the majority of the selectively scrutinizing members of the news media:
- The next two key preparatory meetings have been scheduled on the Jewish holidays of Passover and Yom Kippur. This is a deliberate move by organizers to prevent Israeli officials from participating.
- Iran has been named to the organizing committee despite statements from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel.
- The U.N. Human Rights Council was created to reform the United Nations Commission on Human Rights yet 14 of it's 15 resolutions charging human-rights violations were against Israel according to statements by Canada.
- The United Nations held its first World Conference Against Racism in Durban way back in 2001. That conference was marred by anti-Semitic bigotry that eventually led the United States Israel to walk out of the conference. Some non-governmental organizations had been reported to have posted pro-Hitler posters yet each of the non-governmental organizations that were invited to the 2001 conference have been invited back to Durban II.
The most complete accounting I could find came from the Canadian Press as found in the Globe and Mail.
The 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban turned into “a circus of intolerance,” Mr. Kenney said.
One government official on Wednesday called the conference “a gong show.”
Arab and Muslim countries ganged up in their criticisms of Israel. Israel and the United States walked out in protest; the Liberal government of the day remained in an effort to decry the attacks.
With Libya elected to chair the next gathering, Cuba appointed vice-chair and rapporteur, and anti-Israel rhetoric and actions building, Mr. Kenney said his government was left with no choice but to abandon the preparatory process for the followup meeting.
B'nai Brith Canada applauded the government, saying Durban I “degenerated into a hate-fest directed at Israel and the Jewish delegates attending the conference.”
The group's executive vice-president, Frank Dimant, said Ottawa has acted “clearly and decisively by refusing to participate in a venue that pays lip service to anti-racism but in fact provides a platform for the promotion of hatred and bigotry.”
Mr. Kenney noted important preparatory meetings have been called on Jewish high holidays, preventing Israeli officials from participating.
The UN gave planning oversight for the conference to its Human Rights Council, which has targeted Israel in 14 of its 15 resolutions charging human-rights violations in its first two years of existence.
“We've tried to influence it so that we would not revisit the overt expressions of hatred which came out of the original conference,” said Mr. Kenney. “But we unfortunately ran into a brick wall.
“The process has been hijacked by those who would seek to replay the terrible experience of the first Durban conference.”
Iran was named to the organizing committee, Mr. Kenney noted.
“This is a country whose government has publicly expressed its desire to eliminate the only Jewish country in the world,” he said.
Furthermore, all of the non-governmental organizations invited to the first conference have been invited back to the second, including those that were at the “forefront of the hatred,” some of which posted pro-Hitler posters at the 2001 gathering.
The statements by the Canadian government are damning indeed. They come at a time when liberal Democrats are calling for U.S. law to be diluted by international standards. These standards would no doubt be influenced by the same world wide bodies that allow human rights abusers and state sponsors of racism and terrorism to prop up their anti-Semitic views with the legitimacy of world governments behind them. That news is as important today as it should have been in the not so distant past when such actions were ignored to the detriment of millions who died to prevent this from ever happening again.
Terry Trippany is the editor and publisher of Webloggin.