Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said her nation would not participate in a UN forum on racism and urged other nations to boycott the meeting. The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance will be held this spring as a follow up to a 2001 summit in Durban, South Africa on the same issues. Israel and the United States walked out of the first conference on grounds Israel was being singled out for being racist although other examples of racism remain ignored. This writer is committed to the fight against racism and hatred, but signaling out Israel while remaining silent on other abuses makes mockery of the fight to end hatred in the world.
We would support such a conference if among the topics being discussed were: Iranian persecution of the Bahai faith, Russian prejudice against Asians, Egyptian discrimination against Coptics, the persecution of Christians in Iraq, the prejudice against Kurds in Turkey, Chinese persecution against minorities including Tibetans, the killing of over 200,000 people in Darfur by the Sudan government, and so on and so on. Instead, there will be finger waving at Israel and silence on hate and prejudice against people throughout the world.
Fortunately, with the election of Barack Obama the United States will no longer be the object of pious lectures about discrimination from “free nations” like Iran and Egypt.