Thursday, November 01, 2007

The United Nations and Anti-Semitism
2004-2007 Report Card


* Regrettably, some UN officials have failed to answer the call. For example, after examining the public actions of High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, we were unable to find any noteworthy action on her part against Holocaust denial or any other form of anti-Semitism. Because Ms. Arbour is charged with overseeing the UN effort to protect human rights and fight racism, this lapse is disappointing and cause for concern.

* ... racism expert Doudou Diène has on more than one occasion confronted the government of Iran for its anti-Semitic statements, forcing the regime to answer for its actions. However, a seminar on racism and anti-Semitism organized by Mr. Diène in 2004, which served as the basis for one of his reports on anti-Semitism, raised serious questions for relying heavily on a French author known best for opposing the fight against anti-Semitism. Citing such marginal figures contributed to occasional incoherence in Mr. Diène’s analyses, with some of his reports condemning the denial of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and others defending it as legitimate anti-Zionism.

* The Islamic bloc of fifty-six states has waged a steady campaign in key UN bodies to gut anti-Semitism of its meaning, by making the absurd argument that the term also refers to hatred against Arabs and Muslims. This is a pernicious distortion of language and meaning designed to prevent the UN from coherently expressing sympathy for Jews as victims, and to create a form of immunity for Arab and Islamic states accused of fostering anti-Semitism.



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