Pressure works, in an update onÂ this story. There will still be an expression of concern about “negative stereotyping of religions,” but of course, there has been no word on how Qur’an 98:6, which calls unbelievers the “vilest of creatures,” factors into this. Or Qur’an 9:30, which claims that Jews call Ezra the son of God. Or 2:62-65, 5:59-60, and 7:166, which call unbelievers apes and pigs. So the double standard is clearly still alive and well.
“Draft for racism meeting drops Israel criticism,” by Frank Jordans for theÂ Associated Press, via JW
GENEVA (AP) â€” Muslim-backed references to Israel and the “defamation of religion” have been dropped from a draft declaration being prepared for next month’s world racism meeting, United Nations officials said Tuesday.
The United States and the 27-nation European Union have threatened to boycott the April 20-25 meeting in Geneva unless Muslim countries back down from demands to limit free speech that criticizes Islam or other faiths. They also objected to passages that singled out Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.
The draft declaration now speaks only of concern about the “negative stereotyping of religions” while omitting direct references to Israel.
“We believe this shortened text represents a solid and meaningful basis for negotiations by member states toward a positive outcome for the conference,” said Doune Porter, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office in Geneva.
Western diplomats declined to comment immediately on the new draft, except to indicate that it appeared to go in the right direction.
The meeting is designed to review progress in fighting racism since the global body’s first such conference eight years ago in Durban, South Africa. The 2001 event was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery, and U.N. officials have expressed alarm that the follow-up conference could collapse over the same issues.
Israel and Canada had already said they would boycott the meeting.
U.N. Watch, a lobby group affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, said the changes were welcome, but cautioned that some of the language in the draft was still problematic.
“Numerous red lines are breached,” said the group’s executive director Hillel Neuer, noting that a Dutch demand for references to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation had been removed.
The draft also promotes the idea that religions themselves â€” not just their believers â€” deserve to be protected under human rights law, he said.
Update from Carl in J’lem:
American Jewish Committee was irresponsible on Durban II
At his JPost blog, Isi Leibler rips David Harris and the American Jewish Committee for burying its head in the sand andbehaving irresponsiblyÂ on Durban II.
The AJC adopted a flawed approach to this issue from the outset, insisting that that the American government and others should participate in the conference. Their attitude undermined efforts by bodies like “Eye on the UN” which invested massive efforts in creating a public awareness of the need for a boycott.
The AJC decision to accept the invitation to participate as a member of the US delegation in the Durban II preparatory committee to ascertain whether this obnoxious body would change its approach was an even greater blunder.Â They were irresponsible in encouraging the perception that a body totally controlled by the Islamic Conference and rogue states, and even chaired by Libya, with Iran and Cuba serving as deputy chairs, could possibly be anything other than an instrument for promoting evil.
To make matters worse the US delegation, including the AJC representative, actually sat on its hands during the proceedings of the preparatory committee while vicious demonizations of Israel took place.Â They even remained silent when Iran objected to a resolution condemning Holocaust denial.
For many of us, the jury is still out regarding the Obama administration’s approach to Israel.Â But it would require burying one’s head in the sand not to be disconcerted by the new policy of “engaging” tyrants and jihadists, not to mention some of the candidates recommended for government positions in recent weeks.
In this context we look to the American Jewish community, which overwhelmingly supported Obama, to endeavor to ensure that Israel is not sacrificed to enable the US to placate Arab extremists.
One would have expected American Jewish leaders at the least to have also expressed concern when simultaneously with its announcement it would not partake in Durban, the US government proclaimed that it would in future participate in meetings of the Human Rights Council, and would even seek to be elected to the leadership of that despicable body. The US action will only legitimize an organization which represents the antithesis of its title, defends the worst regimes practicing the denial of human rights and now seeks to limit all criticism of Islamic behavior or practice.
Read it all. With ‘friends’ like the AJC…. Their behavior is simply inexcusable.