Israel has announced that it will boycott a 2011 UN summit commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Durban declaration against racism on the grounds that the Durban conference has been a platform for “anti-Semitism and attacks against Israel”. The follow-up summit is scheduled to take place in the UN’s headquarters in New York in September; Israel walked out of the 2001 Durban conference due to alleged “anti-Semitic undertones and displays of hatred for Israel and the Jewish world”. At the time, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s statement added that this “left scars that will not heal quickly”.
The Foreign Ministry has stressed that as long as the 2011 meeting is defined as part of “the ‘Durban process’, Israel will not participate”. Nevertheless, Israel intends to monitor the preparations for the 2011 event in an attempt to confront what it sees as the “actual racism” prevalent across the world. The UN General Assembly voted in September to hold the 10th anniversary conference. The agenda will cover racism and racist discrimination, including the policies adopted by the Israeli government toward Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel was described as a “racist” state in Durban in 2001 for its discriminatory policies.
Israel also boycotted the second “Durban” conference held last year in Geneva; Canada, the United States and Australia joined the mini-boycott on the grounds that the conference had become a platform for attacking Israel.