Turns out Israel is here in full force at Durban II. Earlier today I told you about the range of Israeli-government-narrative-only events being held in UN buildings, while Palestinian NGOs have been banned from holding side-events. (The transparent excuse is that the side-events can not be region specific, only issue specific. The real story is the UN simply folded to pressure.)
As one respondent told me, the UN Human Rights Commissioner is still reeling because she folded on all of the US demands to essentially cleanse the Palestinian narrative from the conference, and still the US and others pulled out. Of course, the UN can’t say no to any leader of state who wants to speak. I’ll post more later about the disaster that was Ahmadinejad’s speech, which, it can be said with certainty, put the issue of Israel and the US back into the center of the conference. In fact, his speech made the scarily well-run Israeli government/pro-occupation NGO propaganda campaign almost unnecessary.
Ahmadinejad has as expected lived up to his gallery playing reputation and the um broohaha shall we call it will of course be used to obscure the very real racist elements of zionism. But why the walk out? Surely a debate and right to reply would be constructive, the walk outs all seem to be desperate not to appear in the same room as someone the Israel lobby use as their bogeyman. As if they have the monopoly on declaring who is racist. Ahmadinejad’s hardly above criticism, so why run away from him? But as Abe Foxman’s attack on Desmond Tutu shows, they are in fact all about defending their racism against exposure and comparison with others bigotry. A rather entitled and exceptionist approach. Which makes you wonder at the countries who ally with them and walked out. No nation can truthfully claim it is without biases and prejudices, institutional and otherwise. Enforcing a no discussion approach will only allow injustices to fester, in all nations.