|Israel’s reaction to the conclusion of the UN Conference against Racism in Durban|
(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson) Israel regrets that a world conference, whose declared purpose was to discuss ways of dealing with a universal phenomenon that causes suffering to millions throughout the world, focused instead on a specific political conflict that has nothing to do with racism.
At the same time, Israel expresses its satisfaction that the draft clauses containing accusations and incitement against Israel and against the Jewish people were removed from the concluding statements of the conference. In doing so, the world rejected the attempts made by extremist Arab states to control the content of the conference and to pervert its ends, by turning it into a platform for denigrating Israel. The draft adopted at Durban in our absence, following our walk-out together with the United States, is not ideal, and we objected to it. However, it is substantially different from the venomous resolutions that the extremist states wished to pass. At the conference, the non-democratic states failed in their attempt to dictate chapter and verse on the subject of human rights to the enlightened world, and were unable to thereby turn the conference into a theater of the absurd.
The well-timed walk-out by the United States and Israel constituted the turning point that encouraged many other states to protest the Arab and Muslim attempts to take over the conference and helped get the conference back on a constructive track. Israel succeeded in its efforts to convince countries from every continent to join together in defeating this intention of putting Israel on trial.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres stated Saturday night that, for the first time, the automatic majority against Israel was broken. This can be attributed to Israel’s striving for peace as well as to its firm stand on the most basic principles. Minister Peres expressed gratitude to the United States for its unequivocal backing of Israel and noted the cooperation of the European Union states and the support of a large bloc of countries in Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, North and Central America and the Pacific.
Deputy Foreign Minister, Rabbi Michael Melchior, stated that the entire world rejected with disdain the spirit of hatred that stood behind the Arab attempt to win international support for hatred of Jews and the delegitimization of Israel.