UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

USA Rejects Durban Conference Commemoration

UK Lawyers for Israel  welcomes the clear decision made by the US government in rejecting the UN’s call to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the antisemitic Durban conference.

The World Conference against Racism held in Durban in 2001 was notorious for the efforts made to treat Zionism as racism. The UN General Assembly has decided to hold a 20th anniversary commemoration of the Durban conference in New York in September. World leaders will be asked to call for the “full and effective implementation” of the 2001 Durban Declaration.

A spokesman from the US State Department has now said to the Jerusalem Post:

“The Biden Administration has put racial justice at the top of its priorities, both in multilateral fora and at home. The United States also remains deeply committed to combatting antisemitism at home and abroad. Furthermore, the United States stands with Israel and has always shared its concerns over the Durban process’s anti-Israel sentiment, use as a forum for antisemitism, and freedom of expression issues. The joint statement on racism includes a brief reference to the fact that the Durban conference happened 20 years ago and in no way reflects a change in our position regarding the problematic portions of the document or the process that led to its creation.

The United States will not attend or participate in any events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action or the World Conference on Racism, which preceded it.”

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI, commented:  “We hope that the UK government will now also refuse to attend or participate in any events commemorating this conference.”

On 10 May, UKLFI Charitable Trust is holding a webinar on “The UN’s Durban Programme: what is it and how should the UK respond?” with Prof. Anne Bayefsky (who attended the 2001 Durban conference) and Baroness Ruth Deech. To register press HERE.