ADL Welcomes U.S. Decision To Avoid 'Durban III'

New York, NY, June 2, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the announcement by the United States that it will not participate in the so-called "Durban III" conference, saying it is "appropriate for the U.S. to refuse to be a party to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel extremism at the United Nations."

The League said it is now urgent that the U.S. follow up this important decision by urging other responsible nations in the international community to follow this example and refuse to participate in an event which celebrates and commemorates the start of a new chapter in the vilification and delegitimization of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said:

We welcome the United States' announcement that it will not participate in "Durban III." It is appropriate for the U.S. to refuse to be a party to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel extremism at the United Nations.

It is appropriate and important for the United Nations to examine racism and intolerance. However, doing so through the tainted Durban process only serves to perpetuate the very bias it purports to work against. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the U.S. and other governments to advance the fight against racism through other constructive forums.

The "Durban III" conference commemorates the 10th anniversary of the infamous 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, which was marred by anti-Semitism and extreme anti-Israel sentiment. It is scheduled to take place September 21 at United Nations headquarters in New York City.

ADL wrote to U.N. member states in December, urging them to refuse to participate in the conference.Canada announced in November that it would not participate.

The Durban Declaration and Program of Action adopted by the 2001 Durban Conference singled out the "plight of the Palestinian people under occupation," thereby focusing on one regional conflict for discussion in a biased way and wrongly branded Israel's treatment of Palestinians as "racism." The April 2009 U.N. DurbanReview Conference Against Racism ("Durban II") embraced and affirmed the controversial declaration. It is clear that Durban III will follow the same course.