*The United States and the Obama administration just gave the UN a major snub as it will boycott a world conference against racism being held at UN headquarters in September because of concerns about anti-Semitism.
The United States will not participate in the upcoming conference because the Durban process “included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism”, Joseph E. Macmanus, acting US assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, wrote in a letter to Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today.
Sen Gillibrand welcomed the administration’s decision.
“It is an insult to America that the United Nations has decided to hold the Durban III conference in New York just days from the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks,” the New York senator said. “We all witnessed how extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American voices took over” the original gathering in South Africa and a follow up conference, the senator wrote.
The move by the United States was happily applauded also by Jewish organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella of 52 groups including B’nai B’rith International, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
The United States boycotted a similar conference held in 2009 that the UN held in Geneva, citing concerns that Islamic countries would demand a denunciation of Israel and insist that all criticism of Islam be banned.
The UN summit in September marks the 10-year commemoration of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism that was held in the South African city of Durban.