The Durban Front Crumbles: Italy Pulls Out

Some good news from the Durban front. And there may be more to follow.

Update on Italy from Fiamma Nirenstein, who, as a member of Parliament, played a role.

Update from France: French PM [at the annual meeting of the CRIF]: France would not hesitate to withdraw from Geneva meet if Israel stigmatized

Italy pulls out of UN racism conference
By AP AND TOVAH LAZAROFF
Jerusalem Post
Mar 5, 2009 18:43 | Updated Mar 5, 2009 22:32

Italy has pulled out of a UN conference on racism seen by many Western governments as being hijacked by Muslim attempts to attack Israel and shield Islam from criticism.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Thursday that Italy had withdrawn its delegation from the negotiations ahead of the so-called Durban II conference due to “aggressive and anti-Semitic statements” in the draft of the event’s final document.

Frattini made the comments in Brussels, where he attended a NATO meeting. Ministry Spokesman Maurizio Massari said Rome would not participate in the conference unless the document is changed.

A similar condition has been impose by the United States, while Israel and Canada have already announced a boycott.

Frattini also said that he planned to cancel his controversial upcoming visit to Iran, a move which had created tension between Israel and Italy.

He told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the decision during a meeting between the two in Brussels.

Italy is the first EU country to officially withdraw from the conference, though other nations have threatened not to attend.

Islamic countries, still angry over cartoons and films attacking Muslims, have been campaigning for wording that would equate criticism of a religious faith with a violation of human rights.

The informal negotiations have proven difficult, with many issues that marked the first UN conference on racism in 2001 re-emerging – such as criticism of Israel.

The April 20-25 meeting in Geneva is designed to review progress in fighting racism since the previous summit in South Africa. That meeting was marred by attacks on Israel and anti-Israel demonstrations at a parallel conference of non-governmental organizations.

The US and Israel walked out midway through the conference over a draft resolution that singled Israel out for criticism and likened Zionism to racism.

Last week, the Obama administration said the United States will stay away from this year’s meeting unless its final document is changed to drop all references to Israel and the defamation of religion.

European nations have expressed hope the summit can go ahead with a final text that is acceptable to all sides.

But they, too, have red lines they say cannot be crossed.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said in December that his country would walk out unless anti-Israel statements were scrapped. French diplomat Daniel Vosgien said then that his country opposed the idea of banning criticism of religion.

33 Responses to The Durban Front Crumbles: Italy Pulls Out

  1. Stu says:

    I’d like to chalk this one up to my influential presence in Naples! ;)

  2. E.G. says:

    Stu,

    Absolutely. Here’s to your influence!
    Excuse me for being unable to clap my hands and raise a glass simultaneously. ;-)

  3. E.G. says:

    Would someone agree with me that some leaders came to realise that being part of that show will bring them at best ridicule?

  4. Stu says:

    E.G.,

    Just clap the glass. Don’t mind the splatter.

  5. E.G. says:

    Stu,

    I had a better idea: sequentially alternating clap-glass-clap-glass…

  6. oao says:

    Some good news from the Durban front. And there may be more to follow.

    i am not that impressed with bailouts from durban 2. they should have never considered it to begin with and they should have done more to put a stop to it.

    but more importantly: they should stop financing the terror of the pals. when they stop doing that, I’ll consider it good news. the rest is commentary.

  7. oao says:

    Would someone agree with me that some leaders came to realise that being part of that show will bring them at best ridicule?

    if they did, it took them too long. but they may have done it because of anti-westernism, not anti-semitism.

  8. I think a lot (some) of the anti-Israel venom expressed diplomatically by many European nations has been indirectly directed at Bush and what they saw as his cowboy neocon policy.

    That era (anti-American, anti-Israel diplomacy) may be coming to an end – or at least may be moderating. I think we are in a period of signals being sent at this time. We will see how good the new team is at this game.

  9. oao says:

    and here’s some other signals:

    Another Massive Windfall for Palestinians
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/32989_Another_Massive_Windfall_for_Palestinians

    Time to Engage with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood?
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTQ2OTEyYmNjZGQwYjMyNjI3YTVhNmVjN2JkNjcwMTc=

    now, can somebody reconcile these two, let alone both with the “good news” from duban 2?

    ray?

  10. oao says:

    more signals:

    Reaching Out to Hezbollah: UK Takes Page From Failed Bush Playbook, Obama Future
    http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2009/03/reaching_out_to.html

    Soldiers of Peace
    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2009/03/soldiers_of_peace.asp

  11. E.G. says:

    I find myself agreeing with both oao and Ray in Seattle.
    But it’s entirely Stu’s fault! After the 3rd glass, you know… ;-)
    (It was San Pellegrino, of course)

  12. andrew says:

    I am not too optimistic about the era of anti-Americanism, anti-Israelism coming to an end in Europe:
    however, there are a few points which I believe I understand (partly) about French diplomacy. The French (they are not alone in this respect, only possibly worse than many) have always wanted to feel important about world’s affairs. How many times have we heard the utterance ”La paix ne se fera pas au Proche-Orient sans la France”. Indeed, in the strict sense, the French have certainly been very helpful in making peace impossible: as an example, in the way they shunned away the importance of the Israeli-Egyptian treaty, the most pressing point at that time, in their opinion, being that Egypt should rejoin the rest of the Arab world. It is not impossible that the French may see the (temporary, I hope) declining importance of the U.S. as giving them an opportunity for action, even at the price of being really helpful, for a change.

  13. oao says:

    between the EU and the islamists, there’ll be nothing left of Europe as we know it.

  14. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Of course. It’ll evolve. One direction is Eurabia, but it ain’t necessarily so.

  15. Lorenz Gude says:

    all in all a good sign that this sort of liberal internationalism is finding fewer takers. The noose tightens.

  16. LG: all in all a good sign that this sort of liberal internationalism is finding fewer takers. The noose tightens.

    It’s one thing to curry favor with oil producing states by wringing one’s hands over neocon nastiness toward Muslims. This has been a popular theme (meme) among voters in Eurabia.

    It’s another thing to hand Europe over to immigrant Islamists when the cruel Bush administration is no longer there to provide political cover.

  17. oao says:

    Of course. It’ll evolve. One direction is Eurabia, but it ain’t necessarily so.

    it HAS eveolved and we see in what direction. i see NOTHING that will take it off that path.

  18. oao says:

    It’s another thing to hand Europe over to immigrant Islamists when the cruel Bush administration is no longer there to provide political cover.

    exactly. europe has brought itself to a situation from which it can escape via means that it’s neither willing nor capable to employ.

  19. oao says:

    one part of the problem is EU.

    it is a useless and costly counter-democratic layer of bureaucracy which feeds from the trough without any responsibility to the public. that in itself is dismantling europe and i don’t see how it can be dislodged. it is completely disconnected from reality.

  20. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Andrew, I agree completely with your analysis. There has been a degree of obamamania in France, which did somewhat reduce antiamericanism in society, but only because Obama’s policies (or expected policies) might resemble french policies. Nevertheless, governmental policy is definitely to take advantage of the somewhat lesser importance of the US in this time of economical crisis.

  21. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Indeed, EUROcratia is a thorny problem. “Disconnected from reality” is mild, and the absence of accountability is incredible.
    There’s one (tiny) hope: they’re in Brussels, and many have to take the train to travel. The rail stations are in/near Sharia-abiding neighbourhoods.

  22. oao says:

    here’s europe at its best:

    Brits to “Recognize” Hezbollah
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/03/023001.php

    once they start doing that they are essentially doing what Daniel Gordis says they’re doing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNS1Bk8n11I

    Must watch.

  23. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    There has been a degree of obamamania in France, which did somewhat reduce antiamericanism in society, but only because Obama’s policies (or expected policies) might resemble french policies.

    He was going to use a Blue, White & Red Teleprompter to disclose his policies? :-)

  24. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Cynic, no, a red, white and blue teleprompter ;-D

  25. oao says:

    but only because Obama’s policies (or expected policies) might resemble french policies.

    clive crook, a liberal brit leaving and writing in the US, has just written a piece saying exactly this and deploring the consequences, which will be the same.

    There’s one (tiny) hope: they’re in Brussels, and many have to take the train to travel. The rail stations are in/near Sharia-abiding neighbourhoods.

    let’s see what their new overlord will think of and do to their fine superstructure and its breath-wasting memebers. it’ll be “fun” to watch.

  26. oao says:

    He was going to use a Blue, White & Red Teleprompter to disclose his policies? :-)

    this would be funny if it weren’t so damn scary. we have a destructive crisis with barbarians at the gates and lazy incompetent idiots in charge.

  27. Cynic says:

    Michelle,
    Sacre bleu! You expect him to read LTR?
    As it is the poor boy is “overwhelmed”.

  28. Cynic says:

    we have a destructive crisis with barbarians at the gates and lazy incompetent idiots in charge.

    They’re tired out and overwhelmed by the crisis. Just as well that the phones haven’t started ringing at 3AM.
    And Palin was mocked as “inexperienced”, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Barack Obama ‘too tired’ to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown

    Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

    Hoo boy, and you want him to worry about the Huns, Goths what have you rattling the bars for jizyia?

  29. oao says:

    Just as well that the phones haven’t started ringing at 3AM.

    but there are some testing of the waters — NK, china, iran — to get an idea if he’ll really wake up if the phone rings.

  30. Cynic says:

    oao,

    China is already starting another spying accusation against the US, this time regarding ships instead of planes.

  31. oao says:

    what about NK’s satellite? and iran’s missiles and nukes?

  32. RfaelMoshe says:

    This is how it starts. After a thousand years in Europe, Jews were considered to be foreigners. First, Jews declared unwelcome by words, later by deeds. At present, they single out Israel as a Jewish nation, by words. When should we expect that they choose to make Israel, as a Jewish nation, unwelcome among the other nations, but with deeds?

  33. Eliyahu says:

    RM, let’s put what you say in more elevated, post-modernist lingo, if we may.
    The Jews are Europe’s permanent Other; the Ultimate Other. Now, you have to be suspicious when official Euros, let’s say, EU officials, start saying that the Jews are really just another member of US Euros. Such a statement may mean no more than; “Israel is a Euro implant –or Western implant– in the authentically Muslim/Arab Middle East.”

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