Durban Revisited?

The aftermath of September 2001’s UN World Conference Against Racism, held at Durban, South Africa was largely overshadowed in the media by the attack on the Twin Towers only days after the conclusion of the Conference.

Durban was a hate-filled festival of anti-Semitism devoted almost entirely to attacking and delegitimizing Israel and the Jewish people. Durban was the genesis of the contemporary campaign to portray Israel as an “apartheid state” and the promotion of divestment and boycotts – views which have seeped into the mainstream media and public discourse over the past few years.

According to Anne Bayefsky and Rabbis Cooper and Brackman, some of the propositions which found expression at Durban were:

  • Denial of anti-Semitism as a human rights issue of our time.
  • Acceptance of anti-Semitism in the name of fighting racism.
  • “Anti-Semitism is not a manifestation of contemporary racism.”
  • Recognition of the Palestinian people as victims of Israeli racism.
  • Expropriation of the term Holocaust.
  • Approval of terrorism – or “armed struggle” – as a means to combat racism.
  • Exclusion and isolation of the Jewish state in the name of multiculturalism.

Durban did not emerge out of a vacuum. Had the media followed the planning stages of the Conference during the years preceding 2001, questions would certainly have been raised as to the credibility of an anti-racism gathering led by some of the world’s worst human rights abusers. This, particularly after Israel was excluded from the final preparatory meeting held in Iran, where an obscene anti-Israel agenda was drafted for inclusion at Durban.

Now, in a potential repeat performance, the anti-racism panel to oversee preparations for a 2009 Durban II is led by Colonel Gadaffi’s Libya and includes such human rights luminaries as Iran, Cuba and Pakistan. These developments are currently not on the media’s radar. Other organizations are, however, monitoring the progress of Durban II:

A critical eye by the media will be crucial to determining whether the false halo of moral credibility will be removed from Durban II if it is hijacked by those human rights abusers who wish to scapegoat Israel to cover up their own crimes.


As highlighted by HonestReporting UK, British publication, the New Statesman has falsely equated Jewish teens volunteering on IDF programs and Muslim youths taking part in terrorist training camps.

The publication also questions the motivations of Jewish youth movements’ legitimate ties to Israel, including the Federation of Zionist Youth, the British sister movement of the US-based Young Judaea. Many American Jewish teens and other Diaspora youths have taken part in programs designed to foster an understanding of the IDF, its role in Israeli society and to connect with Israelis doing their compulsory army service.

The New Statesman’s feature ends with the shocking question: “If these were British Muslim 19 year-olds firing machine guns and running assault courses in Pakistan or Yemen, would we not have them all arrested at the airport?” The sad reality is that terrorist attacks have already taken place on British soil with the involvement of British Muslims trained abroad. Diaspora Jewish youths are not being trained to become terrorists, nor are they motivated to carry out acts of terror in their own countries or elsewhere. The New Statesman’s ridiculous moral equivalence is contemptuous and irresponsible.

This is not the first time the New Statesman has engaged in similar activities. In January 2002, the magazine printed an infamous front cover (pictured here) entitled “Kosher conspiracy” featuring a Star of David standing on top of a Union Jack, for which the editor was forced to apologize following widespread condemnation. The feature article itself attempted to portray British Jewish supporters of Israel as subscribing to a nefarious agenda incompatible with their British identities.

Please read the full HR UK communique here and send your considered comments to the New Statesman –


We weren’t the only ones highly critical of CNN’s “God’s Warriors”. MSNBC’s Dan Abrams issues a scathing critique of Christiane Amanpour’s six hour marathon documentary. Click on the image below to view the full video.


France2 still refuses to release the unedited video tapes (“rushes”) that its Palestinian cameraman, Talal abu Rahmah, sent them on September 30 and October 1, 2000 from Gaza that became the footage used to allege Israel’s deliberate murder of Mohammed al-Dura. As this issue is played out in the French courts, you are invited to add your signature to a petition calling for the release of the France2 rushes.