A possie in Aussie

March 6, 2009

The evils of anti-racism

Filed under: race relations — Nayano @ 7:23 am
Tags: ,

‘Australia boycotts UN anti-racism conference’. How would you react to a headline like that?

No, Australia has not boycotted – yet – and  Minister Stephen Smith is still booked to attend the Durban Review Conference this month, a U N-chaired conference on racism which was established to evaluate the progress made towards the goals set by the first World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa.

‘Anti-racism’ has become one of those motherhood phrases – how could you be against it?

What if you read that Australia had followed other nations in declaring a boycott, including the US? Visions of cartoons of a Rudd poodle on Obama’s knee?

Australia is still on the list of nations attending, but a growing number of nations are refusing the invitation, including Israel and Canada. European countries, including  France, Switzerland, Poland, Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, and the Czech Republic have signalled that they feared the universal right of free speech could be at risk at the conference.

They are concerned about calls for a ban  on “defamation of religion”, and have warned the U.N.’s Human Rights Council that ‘they could not accept any pillorying of Israel as “racist” nor any promotion of anti-Semitism at the Geneva gathering from April 20-24’. West sees free speech at risk in U.N. racism meet

In a recent article (Smith should avoid racist conference) Alan Gold of the Australian, who participated in the first conference, said that Durban I was

‘a notorious hate-filled gathering that devolved into one of the most racist and prejudiced meetings in the UN’s history. Its anti-Semitism and anti-Israel agenda and hysterical crowds of extremists still send shudders of horror through the corridors of human rights organisations. This is why many nations, especially from the West, are considering boycotting Durban II which, like Durban I, is likely to become a platform for anti-Semitism and anti-Western xenophobia and hatred’.

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