Saturday, October 1, 2011

Durban III Ring Circus - Review and Pictures

          On September 22nd, the U.N. hosted the Durban III conference to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the notorious anti-Semitic Durban I conference.  At Durban I, what was supposed to be a conference against racism quickly turned into a conference for promoting racism – specifically, against Israel, as well as Western countries.  Speakers included Palestinian leader terrorist Yasser Arafat, and a coalition of Arab dictators who are in no position to even discuss racism, when their laws are the most racist in the world.  The event prompted walkout from a few countries, and was quickly followed up by Durban II in 2009, where Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bashed Israel, bashed America, and denied the Holocaust. 
          Impervious to all of this – or perhaps because of this (the U.N. countries all need someone to hate) – the U.N. allowed it to take place again in 2011 – Durban III, in New York City, just days after 9/11, just days after Americans remembered the terrorist attacks which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.  This is a scandal - a complete outrage.
          The U.N. has once again lost more shreds of legitimacy.
Large demonstrations were held against both Durban III and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s arrival to NYC.  A coalition of 25 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) critical of the conference, led by UN Watch, has organized a parallel human rights summit with the stated aim of drawing attention to flaws in the UN system and promoting reform. A similar counter-conference organized by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and human rights scholar Anne Bayefsky will feature scholars and public figures.  Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States have boycotted Durban III. They explain that the Durban process has been used to promote racism, intolerance, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and to erode freedom of speech and Israel's right to exist. The same countries, excluding Austria, Bulgaria, France and the United Kingdom, also previously boycotted the Durban Review Conference in 2009.
Without the major world countries, Durban III was a “flop.”  Former New York mayor Ed Koch, who spoke at the counter-Durban conference “The Perils of Global Intolerance” in New York on Thursday, said, “Durban III has been a flop. There is no media. People on the street aren’t interested. They have failed in their efforts and their PR strategy,” according to a JTA report.
Anne Bayefsky, an authority on the UN and human rights, as well as the main organizer of the anti-Durban conference, has exposed a decade of efforts by anti- Western and radical Islamic countries to use Durban as a mechanism to strip Israel of its legitimacy. This year’s meaningless Durban can be viewed as a kind of crowning achievement of Bayefsky’s tireless work to debunk a racist endeavor dressed up as anti-racism.  In a New York Daily News opinion piece in August titled  “Meet the UN's anti-Israel 'anti-discrimination' czar, Navi Pillay (the UN Human Rights High Commissioner)”, Anne Bayefsky, the expert on the UN, wrote that Pillay has “ been distracted by her anti-Israel and anti-American agenda since taking office in 2008. Pillay is perhaps best known for her unremitting defense of the notorious Goldstone report and for having questioned the legality of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.”
The UN-sponsored Goldstone report accused Israel of war crimes in 2008/2009 during operation cast lead in the Gaza Strip. The report's main author, lawyer Richard Goldstone, has retracted the finding of war crimes against Israel and shifted the blame to Hamas, the terror entity that controls Gaza, as the responsible party for transgressions of human rights and interna  tional law
The Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, “great friend of human rights”, was a key supporter of the Durban process. Authoritarian regimes such as Castro’s Cuba and the Islamic Republic of Iran have championed Durban. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, whose anti-Israel views carry great currency in Iran, is a fan of Durban. Predictably, last week, Lebanon, Cuba and Iran launched tirades against Israel at the Durban III event.
But the mere fact that such a conference was allowed to take place to commemorate Durban I and Durban II is a scandal that should never have happened.  Just like with Durban II, counter-conferences and rallies took place.  At Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, different groups protested against Durban III and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s arrival to NYC. 
Standwithus hosted a circus-themed rally, to show that the U.N. is led by clowns.  Protestors were told to wear clown costumes, and the best costume won an iPad.  Israel Awareness Commission Members Tomer Kornfeld and Tzvi Vilinsky both won iPod Nanos for being runner-ups.  Banners and Ahmadinejad masks were handed out at the event, and the protestors yelled “Booooooooooo” whenever Ahmadinejad’s name was spoken.
          The rally turned out to be a huge success, and Durban III was a flop.  But everyone should be well aware about the dangers facing society today.  Do the words “Never again” mean nothing to the U.N.?Because they mean a lot to us.        

Here are some pictures from the event:

Another demonstration against Ahmadinejad and in support of a free and democratic Iran was set up next to us.  At the end of the day, we both had the same goals and wishes in mind, and our cause was the same.

Simon Deng, who escaped from slavery, explained why he especially appreciates freedom and why he stands with Israel.  Simon Aban Deng is a Sudanese human rights activist living in the United States. He is a victim of child slavery. He explains that thousands of Sudanese refugees - among them Muslims - have flocked to Israel, out of all the Arab countries of the Middle East, as refuge. And people have the nerve to say that Israel is Apartheid?  Simon Deng was truly inspirational.

Roz Rothstein, CEO of Standwithus, speaks.

A nearby protest against the Assad regime in Syria.  Why didn't Durban III condemn Assad?

At the forefront were three people dressed up as Ahmadinejad, Assad, and Gaddafi, and pretending to get married.  They were quite comical.

Ah, missiles next to a wedding, a perfect choice for these dictators!

See Standwithus' press release to learn more about the event, and to see a few photos that they took.

Special thanks to commission co-head Raquel Lifshutz for the pictures.

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