Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A debate about the Holocaust by a UN sponsored Conference



In April of 2008, before the 218 General Assembly, I wrote on a paper that had connections to the study of the Belhar Confession by members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In a A Badly Flawed Document For Study I pointed out that a paper recommended for study by the Advocacy Committee on Racial Ethnic Concerns, “Report of the Task Force on Reparations (216th General Assembly (2004), made extensive reference to the United Nations Conference on racism in Durban South Africa. As an aside they mention that the United States had walked out on the conference.

As I pointed out in my posting the truth was that both Israel and the United States walked out because of the horrid Anti-Semitism promoted by the leaders of the conference. The then U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, told the United State’s representatives at the Conference to go home. Among his reasons was this:

“I know that you do not combat racism by conferences that produce declarations containing hateful language, some of which is a throwback to the days of "Zionism equals racism;" or supports the idea that we have made too much of the Holocaust; or suggests that apartheid exists in Israel; or that singles out only one country in the world--Israel--for censure and abuse.”

Another Conference is planned for this coming April and committees have already drawn up a document for debate. President Obama has allowed American representatives to be a part of the planning as a supposed means of guiding the process so that it would not itself include racism. And yet its anti-Semitism and prejudicial outlook is greater so far than the first conference. And this is not surprising since “The preparatory committee is chaired by Libya. Vice chairs include Iran and Cuba, which does double duty as the committee "rapporteur."

As The Wall Street Journal article, Obama's Durban Dalliance Does an anti-Semitic conference deserve U.S. participation of any kind?”, points out it will be debated “whether to include a line that the Holocaust "resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people." Presumably Iran objects.”

And Anne Bayefsky, of Forbes, points out in her article, The Obama Administration Sacrifices Israel: The cover-up on Durban II's anti-Semitic agenda:

“Negotiators from the European Union suggested on Wednesday a new provision to "condemn without reservation any denial of the Holocaust and urges all states to reject denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full, or in part, or any activities to this end." Iran--whose president is a Holocaust-denier--immediately objected and insisted that the proposal be "bracketed" or put in dispute. The move blocked the adoption of the proposal and ensured another battle over the reality of the Holocaust in April--at these supposedly "anti-racism" meetings. After Iran objected, the chair looked around the room, expecting a response. He said: "Is there any delegation wishing to comment on this new proposal by the European Union? It doesn't seem the case. We move on." U.S. delegates said nothing, even after the prompt.”

What Bayefsky is pointing out is that without the Americans objecting to Iran’s objections the provision can be debated during the Durban conference. That means a conference backed and paid for by the United Nations will be debating whether or not the Holocaust actually happened.

Peter Kenny of Ecumenical News International also looks at this horrific problem in the draft document writing:

“U.N. Watch noted in its statement: "Discussing proposed Paragraph 29 which provides that the Holocaust must never be forgotten and mentions that it resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, South Africa for the African Group asked that the paragraph be minimised, conforming to the Durban I declaration, to simply say, 'Recalls that the Holocaust never be forgotten,' without mentioning that it resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people.

"South Africa's proposal was supported by Jamaica and Iran. Syria also supported the proposal, saying, 'I don't think we should get into a kind of statistical debate. As far as I [the Syrian representative] know that there is no agreement on the consensus on the percentage of those who perished in the Holocaust".

Hopefully the Advocacy Committee on Racial Ethnic Concerns will not make use of this second Durban Conference in any paper.

2 comments:

reformedpastor said...

Thanks for bringing this up. I'm planning on watching Durban II to see what kind of participation there might be from Christian NGOs such as the WCC.

Viola Larson said...

Yes, I will be watching also. There were other problems with the document like restrictions on the media.

Viola Larson,
Sacramento, Ca