It always sounds bad, prima facie, when you refuse to go to a conference called “World Conference on Racism” – who doesn’t want to help get rid of racism? – but when it’s Durban II it becomes much more forgiveable if not mandatory. The US pulled out of Durban II (following Canada, the UK and others in Western Europe, as well as, shocker, Israel!) after much objection to the text. From Politico:
White House aides told Jewish leaders on a conference call today that the United States will boycott the United Nations’ World Conference on Racism over hostility to Israel in draft documents prepared for the April conference.
The aides, including an advisor to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Jennifer Simon, and longtime Obama advisor Samantha Power, said the administration will not participate in further negotiations on the current text or participate in a conference based on the text, sources on the call said.
They left open the option of re-engaging on a “much shorter, much different text,” a source said.
The draft outcome document, typically negotiated in advance and available here (.pdf), contains sharp and specific criticism of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, and Western European nations and Canada have also signaled that they may boycott the conference in Geneva.
The conference is known informally as Durban II after a 2001 conference in South Africa that included a heavy focus on Israel and calls to reinstate a U.N. resolution equating Zionism and racism. Libya is chairing the preparatory meetings for this year’s conference, one of several factors prompting boycott calls.
Obama is expected to issue a statement on the subject later this afternoon, and the participants were asked not to discuss the call until a formal statement is released.
Just shows that you can’t always trust the pronouncements of Caroline Glick with as much confidence as she has in them:
Second, through its behavior at the Geneva planning sessions this week, the US has demonstrated that State Department protestations aside, the administration has no interest in changing the agenda in any serious way. The US delegation’s decision not to object to the Palestinian draft, as well its silence in the face of Iran’s rejection of a clause in the conference declaration that mentioned the Holocaust, show the US did not join the planning session to change the tenor of the conference. The US is participating in the planning sessions because it wishes to participate in the conference.