This is a guest post by UJS Students in Geneva
You may have thought that on the day before last of a conference at which, strangely, the final document was adopted on day 2 and the debate is merely academic things would start to wind down. Not at the UN!
So far today, two Jewish students from the UK have been subjected to antisemitic abuse: both around themes of Jews controlling the world, being hated by non-Jews and a more serious incident involving accusations of Jewish responsibility for slavery. Racism at this ‘anti-racism’ conference has become too common but the complete lack of interest in fighting it is worse.
Comments and abuse are not the only change in atmosphere today. This afternoon we will see the start of the NGO statements on the conference which will no doubt be littered with more abuse. Alongside those statements we’ve seen a proliferation in side events and dodgy literature.
One side event of particular interest is being hosted by the IHRC with a smattering of the usual UK faces. The speaker list is Chair Mr Mohideen Abdul Kader, Ms Asma Jahangir, Mr Babacar, Mr Doudo Diene , Dr Daud Abdullah, Mr Michel Warschawski, Mr Massoud Shadjareh, Imam Achmad Cassiem – certainly some familiar names. Updates from that when we hear them.
I’ve picked up one piece of literature of particular interest to those of us from the UK; entitled Dignity and Justice for the Palestinian People. It calls for the total eradication of “Israel’s racist regime” and makes clear (even underlining the point) that it refers to the struggle of “the entire Palestinian people in historic Palestine (OPT and Israel) and in exile.” The booklet is supported by PACBI, BRICUP, PSC, Palestine Return Centre and bizarrely the Development Planning Unit of the University of Central London amongst a host of others.
This conference has certainly taken a turn for the worse…again!
David T adds:
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre reports that a demonstration was held, to protest against the walk-out from Ahmadinejad’s speech.
Demonstrators handed out pens inscribed with the Star of David = a Swastika and a CD-Rom produced in Teheran by the “Association of NGOs and Activists for Liberation of Holy-Quds”.