A crash course in eight years of the Durban process.
BRATISLAVA – It’s rare for me to have covered a single story over many years, but “Durban” is one such story.
In 2001 I traveled to that South African city for the original U.N. event, the ambitiously titled “World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.” Eight years later, I attended the follow-up “Durban Review Conference,” held in Geneva from April 20-24.
That’s why I devoted a special section to Durban. Like any major international issue, this one demands a grasp of the background and context, the origins and evolution. So I’ve posted links here to all the Durban-related articles I’ve written since 2001.
Yes, the pieces were mostly written for JTA, the Jewish news agency (except one I wrote for Salon from Durban). So you’ll detect the how-does-this-affect-Israel perspective. Still, the articles open a window onto what ails the United Nations when pursuing its heal-humanity, peace-and-security mission: time and again, states act in their narrow self-interest, not to serve “the greater good.”
Organizers today vow nothing less than “illuminating the way toward equality for every individual and group in all regions and countries of the world.” Yet skepticism abounds that the event will even come close to that. In fact, politicization and boycotts may once again drown out all other issues on the table.
From the biggest anti-racism forum in years, will readers hear about the Roma of Europe, “untouchables” of India, indigenous tribes of Latin America, or even Darfur? Or will the 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference dictate the agenda: restrict freedom of speech if it criticizes Islam; single out Israel as the only racist country in the world; paint Western anti-terrorism efforts as racist. Moreover, will they further fuel the “Durban strategy”?
As I explored last year, the 2001 forum launched the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) campaign to damage and isolate the Jewish state.
Pro-Israel activists set to do battle at Durban II April 6, 2009
Fears of Another Durban Nov. 3, 2008
Ford Foundation Still Funding Anti-Israel Groups July 23, 2008
Linking Israel to Apartheid South Africa July 23, 2008
Vitriol May Follow Israel to Geneva July 23, 2008
Questions About New Israel Fund Grantees July 23, 2008
Ford Funding to Jewish Groups July 23, 2008
Pro-Divestment Group Gains Access to U.N. Parley May 6, 2008
Arabs Ease Up on Israel at Durban II Prep April 29, 2008
Ford Funded Durban Activists (An investigation by Edwin Black) Oct. 16, 2003
Groups Seek Strategy Against Anti-Semitism July 2, 2002
Pro-Palestinians Mimic Pro-Israel Playbook April 23, 2002
The Semantics of Anti-Semitism April 9, 2002
When Anti-Israel Becomes Anti-Jewish April 8, 2002
At U.N. Forum, Israel Compared to Nazis March 21, 2002
Forum Set to Condemn Israel Nov. 29, 2001
Jews Ponder Durban Fallout Sept. 11, 2001
SALON: Inside the Durban Debacle Sept. 7, 2001
Anti-Israel Sentiment Waning at U.N. Forum Sept. 5, 2001
Jewish Activists Seek to Place Blame for U.N. Forum Sept. 4, 2001
Jewish Delegates to U.N. Forum Decry Anti-Semitism Sept. 3, 2001
Behind the Headlines: Run-Up to Durban Aug. 15, 2001
Durban Conference a Real Threat to Israel Aug. 1, 2001
Palestinians Step Up Anti-Israel Diplomacy April 4, 2001