To read this article, click here.
"The venerable liberal Jewish American publication The Forward reported that the NGO Forum (the meeting at Durban of non-governmental human rights groups) featured “posters displaying Nazi icons and Jewish caricatures, anti-Israeli protest marches, organized jeering, incendiary leaflets and anti-Jewish cartoons, in addition to anti-American agitation.” A leader of the U.S. delegation, Rep. Tom Lantos (D., Calif.), declared: “For me, having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust first hand, this was the most sickening … hate for Jews I had seen since the Nazi period.” The late Congressman Lantos was a well-respected liberal, a Holocaust survivor, and the founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He was appalled by the activities of American human rights activists at Durban. In a retrospective essay, “The Durban Debacle,” Lantos wrote: “What is perhaps most disturbing about the NGO community’s actions [at Durban] is that many of America’s top human rights leaders ─ Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch, Michael Posner of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Gay [McDougall] of the International Human Rights Law group ─ participated.” Congressman Lantos found it “surprising how reluctant they [American NGOs] were to attack the anti-Semitic atmosphere.” He stated: “Shockingly, they did almost nothing to denounce the activities of the radicals in their midst.” Further, Reed Brody, a representative of Human Rights Watch, insisted that delegates from Jewish organizations could not participate in the decision of the caucus of international human rights groups on how to vote on the NGO declaration, because they would not be objective. None of the other human rights organizations (including Amnesty International and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights) objected to the exclusion of Jewish groups. Major American foundations (including Ford, MacArthur, Rockefeller, and Mott) provided strong financial support to the activists at Durban."