(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem based watchdog, NGO Monitor praised the Israeli government’s decision not to participate of the Durban Review Conference, as announced today by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. 

The Review Conference is scheduled to begin on April 20 2009 in Geneva, and all signs point to a repeat of the highly destructive 2001 World Conference Against Racism that took place in Durban. This UN sponsored event, and particularly the NGO Forum, was itself guilty of racism and antisemitism, falsely accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’, ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’, while erasing terrorism. As reported by NGO Monitor, October’s preparatory meeting (PrepCom) in advance of ‘Durban II’ was characterized by the same language and narrow focus, reinforcing concerns that ‘Durban II’ will again exploit human rights, while ignoring the real concerns of marginalized and oppressed people across the world.     

Throughout the ‘Durban II’ process, NGO Monitor has played a unique role as the only organization examining and publicizing the destructive activities of organizations that claim to promote human rights, many of which were behind the worst excesses of the 2001 conference.  NGO Monitor’s reports on these issues have been widely quoted, and Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg has briefed policy makers in Canada (which was the first to declare that it will not attend the review conference), Israel, Australia, Europe, the US (including the Congress), and others on these developments.

Reacting to Minister Livni’s announcement, Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, ‘The Israeli government’s formal declaration that it will not participate in the Durban Review Conference sets an important benchmark. It is now clear that any government or NGO that provides greater legitimacy to this destructive farce also contributes to the destruction of universal human rights and to rising antisemitism through the singling out of Israel. NGO Monitor calls on the leaders of human rights organizations and the leaders of other democracies, particularly in Europe, to re-examine their policies, and follow Israel and Canada’s example in order to prevent a repetition of the 2001 catastrophe."

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Editors Notes:

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at:


Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:

Durban Review Conference Alert: EAFORD – Three decades of Promoting "Zionism equals racism" – Nov 11, 2008.

Durban Review PrepCom: Will NGOs Lead a Repeat of the 2001 Catastrophe?

Congress Joins Fight on ‘Durban II’. – Oct 2, 2008.

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg. 

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey

For further information, comment or interviews contact Paul Gross.

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