It's not the first piece of decision-making that Barack Obama will have to make. But, even just on the basis of calendar, it's way up there. The real question is whether the United States will participate in what Claudia Rosett, the savviest correspondent at the United Nations, calls "The U.N.'s Racist Conference on Racism." The piece appears in Forbes.com and you should read it.
This is the second such confab. And it is already fixed to bring ignominy on Israel...and also shame and dishonor to the United Nations. Americans are truly disgusted with the U.N., and not only because of its treatment of Israel. It's treatment of Darfur is another horrific record of indifference to cruelty and to its belief in its own empty words. I hope that president-elect Obama doesn't mistake this for an opportunity to engage with our opponents. This is a show trial, an ugly show trial.
Anyway, here is Ms. Rossett's dispatch:
When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism. --The Rev. Martin Luther King, 1968
The remarks above, which the Rev. King reportedly made at a Harvard University dinner, shortly before his assassination, are quoted in a U.S. State Department report released this past March in response to "rising anti-Semitism worldwide." I came across them while seeking background on a notoriously anti-Semitic United Nations conference held in 2001 in Durban, South Africa. Billed as an effort to fight racism, that Durban conclave focused instead on vilifying Israel--whipping up hatred to such an extreme that then- Secretary of State Colin Powell ordered the U.S. delegation to walk out.
I wonder what the Rev. King would make of the U.N.'s current drive to reprise that festival of prejudice, in the form of a "Durban Review Conference," scheduled for April 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. Even more to the point, because Durban II looms as an early foreign-policy test of the next U.S. administration, what will President-elect Obama do about it?
As in 2001, the U.N. pretext is to end racism. Or, in U.N. lingo--take a deep breath -- the aim is "the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
Sounds great, right? Except the U.N.'s Orwellian twist, once again, is that this conference is configured not to end racism, but to stir up hatred. In a series of preparatory meetings over the past 16 months, the organizers have already taken aim at Israel as their prime target. Increasingly, the organizers are also priming the conference for a broader attack on other democratic nations, especially the U.S. Some are pushing for a U.N.-backed gag order that would enlist Islamic anti-blasphemy laws to stifle free speech worldwide.
Read the rest here. If you are not disgusted, please write and tell me why.