Ahmadinejad, Durban and another fine mess

This is hardly the time for levity, but watching delegates at the Durban anti-racism review conference walk out while President Ahmadinejad served up his version of Zionist history, I couldn’t help thinking of that immortal phrase from Laurel and Hardy: “Well, that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.” The Geneva UN gathering is an event of high seriousness. It coincides with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and Hitler’s birthday. It has been heading for disaster for months while western states and Jewish groups have been at loggerheads over strategy. It appears to have been completely derailed by a publicity-seeking, not especially powerful politician, desperately campaigning for re-election as president. And meanwhile, the millions whose lives are utterly blighted by racial discrimination, violence and hatred are relegated to a footnote. Part farce, part tragedy? Seeking refuge in humour doesn’t seem an entirely inappropriate way of responding when none of it seems to make any sense.

Some who stayed in their seats clapped and cheered. In whose interests? Did the anti-Israel rhetoric at the 2001 Durban anti-racism conference help alleviate the plight of the Palestinians one iota? No. The last eight years have seen a gross deterioration in their position. Did the attempt to brand Zionism a form of racism help bring closer an end to the aggressive settlement policy on the West Bank? No. It continued apace. And with the new rightwing dominated government now in power in Israel, that policy looks likely to intensify. The Palestinians, who deserve no less than a complete and immediate end to occupation and all the repressive policies and human rights abuses that go with it, lost out then and will lose out again.

Jewish groups have long been agonising over what stance to take. Bitter accusations of appeasement and betrayal have been flying around between self-styled individual champions of Jewish and Israeli honour, and Jewish defence organisations unable to make up their minds about fighting expected antisemitism from inside the tent or avoiding the taint of appearing powerless to prevent it by remaining outside. The pugnacious American lawyer Alan Dershowitz epitomises the latter position by demonstrating outside Ahmadinejad’s hotel. The UK Jewish Human Rights Coalition epitomises the former by deciding to attend, but shows the confusion at the heart of their strategy by calling on the UK delegation to withdraw because of Ahmadinejad’s attendance.

A mess, and doomed, it may well be. But the boycotts by the US, Canada, Israel, Italy and others only hand a kind of victory on a plate to those who want to hijack the conference for their own, narrow political purposes. Since when has the UN been a children’s tea party? It can’t help for powerful countries to give the impression that they cannot make the arguments that need to be made against Ahmadinejad and his ilk. And these arguments need to be addressed to a wider world audience. And in whose interests is it for Israel to be playing the victim? Israel too is perfectly capable of making its arguments. What on earth will withdrawing its ambassador from Switzerland achieve? When the dust settles, it will be easy for other states to ask: “Why should we entertain the likes of a far right racist like your foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman?”

Laurel and Hardy’s famous signature tune was The Cuckoo Song. A pompous and dramatic melody and an out-of-key harmony, with just two notes. Sounds like this benighted conference.

REf: Guardian

3 Responses

  1. Take a fresh stand for Israel. The state of Israel has its flaws, but is deserves to be supported by the free and democratic World. If you keep on supporting the views of those who wants to destroy Israel, you have only achieved to defame the only free and democratic nation in the Middle East. You cant make peace with people who do not recognize your basic right to exist. Give Israel peace partners, and there will be peace. Since 1948, she has been attacked and fought for her survival. http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com

    • Flaws?

      Israel and the ideology that support it DOES NOT DESERVE any support!
      Israel is not a free and democratic nation.
      It is a stat that is depended on aid and charity while it colonialises and explotates
      another nation and people. It´s democratic only in its description which differs in
      the reality. It´s more a teocratic society (check that up!). And isn´t funny that Israel
      regularly keep bombing Lebanon, the other democratic nation in Middle East.

      Israel is here to stay.
      The arabs have long recognized that in words and deeds.
      The israeli/proZionist victimhood identification needs a threat to justify its shoah
      practices it conducts on another people while screaming for their own suffering.
      This has been the practice well before 1948.
      An identification that has become the character of a nation and an ideology.

      Israel have had and have a lot of peace partners. But Israel do not want peace. Peace
      is a verb, not another zionistic word stalling rights in order to enable more settling
      on occupied territory and creating jewish facts.

      You are a part of that horror which you inflict on other peoples everyday life by supporting
      a hateful, RACIST and colonial state. Just like the tide turned on the last “white mans post”
      in South Africa, the “last white mans post” in the Middle East will fall.
      Evil, hatred and murder will not prevail.
      Resistance can not be fought.

      One day you will have to stand up and defend your positioning in supporting an ideology that
      is racist. That day will come soon as all empires do not last.
      The new multipolar world order is here.
      And you have just positioned yourself opposite human rights and international law.
      Enjoy it while you.
      Welcome to ISRAHELL!

  2. You wrote:

    Israel regularly keep bombing Lebanon, the other democratic nation in Middle East.

    My comment:

    Lebanon has been crippled by Radical Islam. Before 1974, Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East. That was the days Lebanon was governed by a Christian minority, and Arabs (both secular and followers of Islam) that wanted to live in peace and co-existence with Israel. Thats the truth. Please tell others. When Lebanon became the base of PLO, and stared to attack Israel from Lebanese soil, hell broke out in Lebanon. Israel tried to root out this evil from Lebanese soil, but failed. Under the rule of Hizb Allah, there will never be an end to the misery of Lebanon.

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