Durban Review Conference Alert: EAFORD - Three decades of Promoting "Zionism equals racism"
The International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
- EAFORD was founded in Libya in 1976, received ECOSOC status in the UN, and uses this to promote campaigns declaring that “Zionism equals racism” and demonization based on “apartheid.” They have accused Israel of a “Holocaust” against the Palestinian people and characterized terrorism as “resistance.”
- At the October PrepCom for the Durban Review Conference, EAFORD was represented by Diana Ralph under the banner of “Independent Jewish Voices (Canada),” an anti-Israel Jewish group. Ralph denied the virulent antisemitism of the first Durban conference and condemned Israel for “occupying, torturing, assassinating and collectively punishing” Palestinians.
- EAFORD was very active in the framework of the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, and publications included claims that Zionism is based on “purity of the race, and distinctiveness from other people” which “seems to bear close resemblance to …Fascism and Nazism,” and reflects “evil schemes which generate chaos all over the world, with its dangerous plans to dominate” through “wars, massacres, assassinations and terrorism….” “The violation of the conditions for the establishment of a State nullifies its very existence.”
- EAFORD is seeking to promote another UN-sponsored NGO Forum at the 2009 Durban Review Conference.
- EAFORD’s website contains a link to a “documentary” entitled “The Israel lobby – The influence of AIPAC on US Foreign Policy,” which is based on the Mearsheimer – Walt allegation that Jewish “lobby” organizations control American foreign policy against American interests. It ends with classic antisemetic allegations. “Have you ever investigated which minority group owns Hollywood, nearly all major television networks, the major newspapers and the book publishing industry?“
EAFORD was founded in Libya during a 1976 “international symposium, convened in response to controversy surrounding U.N. Resolution 3379, which determined that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” This NGO claims to address “apartheid, Zionism and the rights and conditions of indigenous peoples,” and uses the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as a platform to condemn Israel.
Information on EAFORD’s funding is not available on the internet. The NGO claims to “depend upon unconditional donations from individuals and groups which wish to assist the Organization in response to the United Nations call to support efforts in the struggle against racism and racial discrimination.” EAFORD also claims that “[a]s a publicity-supported corporation registered in the District of Columbia, EAFORD (USA) has been granted tax-exempt status.” However, in 1991, the D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs revoked the “domestic non-profit corporation” status of EAFORD (USA) for failure to file annual reports in two consecutive years1.
With ECOSOC accreditation, EAFORD is able to participate in the Durban Review Conference and the Preparatory meetings in advance of the April 2009 event. As demonstrated by the rhetoric on its website and in its statements to the UNHRC — including decades of promoting the “Zionism equals racism” canard, manipulating Holocaust terminology to attack Israel and Jews, characterizing terrorism as “resistance,” and its association with an anti-Israel Jewish group at the October 2008 PrepCom — EAFORD is a vocal NGO preparing to use the Durban II conference to attack Israel.
EAFORD and Durban
EAFORD and the Durban Review Conference
In May 2008, EAFORD signed a letter addressed to the members of the Durban Review Conference Preparatory Committee, urging them to allow for greater NGO involvement in the Durban Review process and the allocation of funds and UN facilities for a parallel NGO Forum. These NGOs seek to deny the rampant antisemitism in the NGO Forum at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, instead describing it as “an important catalyst for many victim groups to come together, network, interact and build support for the work against racism and discrimination.”
- “Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action” (Written statement to Human Rights Council, February 21, 2008):
In the case of anti-Semitism, Israeli racist actions and policies against the Palestinians had the effect of attributing them to Jews in general […] The [IDF] soldiers are instruments of the policies of their government and deemed to act in accordance with the values behind those policies. Israel and the supporters of legitimizing the illegitimate do not seem to care about the effect of such actions and policies on Jews in general, inside and outside of Israel, or their effect on the victims and the consequences arising from them.
If they [Muslims] resist [the occupation of their countries], as is expected from any people in similar situations, their resistance is called terrorism, and is taken as a justification for acts of racism and victimization by governments professing to uphold human rights.
- Durban Review PrepCom: Partnering with Jewish groups against Israel
“Not in Our Name!” (EAFORD’s Statement to the Durban Review Conference Preparatory Committee Second Substantive Session, October 15, 2008)
EAFORD allocated its speaking slot at the October PrepCom to Diana Ralph of Independent Jewish Voices (Canada). The relationship between the two organizations is unclear and may be in violation of UN procedures, but EAFORD, Independent Jewish Voices, and the official UN Website list this as a “statement by” EAFORD.
[The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action that was issued after Durban I] devoted less than 250 words out of 180 pages to concerns of Jews and Palestinians, all of which we believe, carefully balanced recognition of the rights of Jews and Israel with those of Palestinians. There was no antisemitic content in it.
As Jews, we assert that it is entirely legitimate and not anti-Semitic, to object to Israeli policies that discriminate against Palestinians, not to mention occupying, torturing, assassinating, and collectively punishing them. Those critical of the Review hope to discredit legitimate criticism of racist Israeli policies and practices and to protect Israel, the US, Canada, and some EU countries from being pressured to redress historic and ongoing racist practices.
We hereby reclaim the tradition of Jewish support for universal freedoms, human rights and social justice and we unconditionally support the Durban Review Conference.
Statements by EAFORD related to the first Durban Conference
“World Conference Against Racism” (August 2001)
The whole world knows that Israel flagrantly violated each and every condition altogether. It did not respect the borders and viciously occupied by force the other part of the partition resolution…
The violation of the conditions for the establishment of a State nullifies its very existence. This is the international legitimacy which human society must cherish, and warn Israel’s leaders, on the basis of these principles, that the political path they have chosen for this critical region is a misguided path. A path which will certainly lead to tragic consequences of pain and suffering in the short or long-run for everyone including Israelis themselves. As Toynbee, the distinguished British historian said, any foreign body that does not adapt to the environment in which it is planted will surely be rejected and uprooted.
“World Conference Against Racism” (August 2001)
This [South African] victory can be repeated in Palestine if the international community stands against the rampant racism which has manifested itself throughout this land in the most despicable form. In fact, it has reached more alarming degrees of cruelty and more extensive massacring and subjugation of human beings than apartheid in South Africa. It is enough to point out the criminal “law of return” which is an affront to humanity that is being carried out by Israel in the Holy Land…. The entire world knows what is happening in this land whereat the helicopters and tanks reap the souls of hundreds of children without mercy only for desperately throwing stones to rebel against this unbearable situation that dehumanizes their very being and strips them of every ounce of their dignity.
Isn’t time to help those in Israel by preventing them from proceeding any further in their oppression and subjugation of Palestinians as we had done to apartheid in South Africa??!!
“Upcoming World Conference Against Racism (WCR), To Mary Robinson, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights” (August 7, 2001)
We, in our organization, draw a definite and decisive distinction between Judaism and political Zionism. […] Zionism, on the other hand, is a racist political movement which lives on the complexes and memories of the past and the reactions to those sufferings and tragedies.
There is no doubt that Zionism does not differ as to its aims, means and justifications from the well-known settler-colonialist ideologies. Zionism aims at gathering all the Jews in a ghetto which it calls the Promised Land and at establishing its hegemony over neighbouring lands, states and peoples. The means to achieve this are wars, massacres, assassinations and terrorism.
[…] an ideology whose basis and consequences, for example as to the purity of the race, and distinctiveness from other people, seems to bear close resemblance to other dangerous purist ideologies as Fascism and Nazism.
“World Conference Against Racism” (August 2001)
Zionism, with its inhumane ethnic, racist principles, with its evil schemes which generate chaos all over the world, with its dangerous plans to dominate, with its disregard for the appeals and resolutions of international organizations, and with its beastly octopus which has almost a decisive role in directing the policies of the greatest countries in the world, cannot be viewed as a threat to this region alone, but to the whole world. We need to appreciate fully this situation before it is too late, for now is the age of nuclear power.
since racism is unjust and evil, and since we consider Zionism is a form of racism as evident by Israel’s law of return…it is the duty of all of us to come to the aid of the followers of the religion of Moses by eliminating the injustices which they commit.
“To the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Mary Robinson” (December 9th, 2000)
We strongly urge your office to continue the necessary and urgent work to ensure the establishment of an international monitoring body for the protection of Palestinians. In the twenty-first century, colonization must be declared as a form of slavery, and just as apartheid was eliminated in South Africa, colonization must end in the Palestinian occupied territories.
EAFORD’s website contains a prominently featured link to a “documentary” entitled “The Israel lobby – The influence of AIPAC on US Foreign Policy.” The film contains politicized, biased content, based on John Mearsheimer’s and Stephen Walt’s theory that Jewish “lobby” organizations control American foreign policy against American interests. It ends with repetitions of classic antisemitic claims about Jewish control of the media:
Have you ever investigated which minority group owns Hollywood, nearly all major television networks, the major newspapers and the book publishing industry?
Another video (“Speak Out Against this Holocaust”) uses Holocaust imagery, such as skeletal children and barbed wire, to represent the war in Iraq, drawing a moral equivalence between the American army and the Nazis.
Statements from Three Decades of Anti-Israel campaigning
“The Price between Knowing and Not Knowing” (Written Statement Submitted to 9th Session of the Human Rights Council, September 8 – 26, 2008)
Have Jews everywhere forgotten the terrors of the Holocaust to such an extent, as to allow Israel to pursue, and inflict one on the Palestinian people?
It is simply just: an old and abused attempt at utilizing the feeling of guilt amongst some to inflict another holocaust on innocent Palestinians and to deny access to the present truths.
Protect the human rights of the millions of Palestinian people from the mass prisons such as the so called self-determining and self-rule prison that is Gaza, refugee camps, checkpoints, occupied territories, imposed settlements, apartheid roads, and walls, like those of the old Berlin
“Not Again! No More!” (Statement Delivered During the 9th Session of the Human Rights Council, September 8-26, 2008)
Have people everywhere forgotten the terrors of the Holocaust to such an extent, as to allow Israel to pursue and inflict one on the Palestinian people? Or has the world forgotten the horrors of apartheid South Africa, to condone what is happening in Palestine today, everyday!
The present day Holocaust of the Palestinian people, their dignity, and their struggle for freedom will not be cancelled, as the Jewish Holocaust was not, from history.
Statement of Karen Francis to the Human Rights Council (September 18, 2008)
…they had no choice but to condemn those who imposed their will on others. Were they really willing to allow history to condemn them for yet another inaction, another failure, to stand up and say, “no more”? The present day Holocaust of the Palestinian people, their dignity and their struggle would not be cancelled, as the Jewish Holocaust was not, from history. The Council had to fulfil its universal humanitarian obligation.
Elias Khouri — Union of Arab Jurists — on behalf of EAFORD: Statement to Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Situation in Occupied Palestinian Territories (June 16, 2008)
Systematic killings, destruction of homes and displacements were war crimes being committed before the eyes of the international community.
The Council was called on to force Israel to stop the building of settlements and to release all Palestinian prisoners.
Human Rights Situation In Palestine And Other Occupied Arab Territories (Written submission to Human Rights Council 7th Session, February 25, 2008)
…Israeli racist actions and policies amount to the negation of all the rights of the Palestinian people in their homeland, and this has been the cause of the failure of all negotiations to settle the conflict.
The failure and source of the painful and dreadful disappointments are caused by the inherent racism rooted in the ideology upon which Israel has been founded, namely Zionism, which treats Palestine as a land without a people, according to the Zionist slogan “Give the land without a people to the people without a land”.
“A Test Case: General Assembly Resolution & the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice” (Interactive Dialogue with Mr. J. Dugard on his Report concerning Occupied Palestinian Territories, March 23, 2007)
They should direct their pressure, sanctions, and boycott on Israel, the guilty party that still refuses to abide by the ruling of the Court. In this way, they will restore people’s confidence in the rule of law and the world organization, and contribute to the solution of the problem.
“Terrorism Versus Resistance” (3rd Session of the Human Rights Council November 27 –December 8, 2006)
(EAFORD accuses Israel of “state terrorism” and repeatedly refers to terrorists as “freedom fighters” and “resisters”)
The signatories to this Statement declare that the terrorist is the occupier, and the freedom fighter is the one who resists the occupation. The first is to be condemned and forced to retreat, while the second should be supported for its defence of the rule of law in international relations.
Human Rights Council follow-up session on situation in Palestinian territories (September 29, 2006)
It was high time to respond to Israel’s apartheid the way the international community responded to apartheid in South Africa.
“The Only Solution for the Future of Israel is the One Reached by Ending Apartheid in South Africa” (Submission to Commission on Human Rights, March 13 – April 21, 2006; 2nd Session of the Human Rights Council, September 18 – October 6, 2006)
Nowadays, Israel has come to experience the horror and pain of rockets of resistance falling over its people. In the future, these rockets will be longer in range and more destructive and painful in effect. Is that what the Israeli and Zionist leadership want for the Jewish people in this region of the world??!! The dream to finish off the resistance they unjustly call terrorism is no more than an illusion that will never come true. Yes, the Palestinian and Arab resistance are also suffering and their blood is running and shed every day. But at the end of the day, who will last longer; the owner or the transgressing occupier??!!
Statement to the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (July 27, 2004)
The most recent of these was the stance of the Israeli and American leaderships when the International Court of Justice condemned the security wall in Israel and called for its removal. It was time that the extremist Zionists realized that the wall would only bring more suffering and hardship to all in the region, including the Jews. The entity that had been implanted in the region was a racist and arrogant entity, and the Experts of the Sub-Commission should remain alert to the dangers posed by the entity, not only to the region, but to the world as a whole.
“THE APARTHEID WALL IN PALESTINE” (Commission on Human Rights, Sixtieth session, March 15 – April 23, 2004)
Especially after the provocative ‘grandstand’ of Ariel Sharon on the steps of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the eruption of another Intifada (29 September 2000), the Palestinians experienced one shock after another. The occupying power laid sieges to public buildings and residential quarters, carried out indiscriminate assaults from tanks, helicopters and military watchtowers on traumatized civilians and bystanders, killed or wounded them, targeted children, assassinated individuals, occasionally used poisonous gases, prevented medical teams to function effectively, carried out collective punishment, demolished edifices, shelled even academic institutions, damaged mosques and churches, devastated live stocks and agricultural complexes, raised industrial enterprises to ground, bulldozered water wells, destroyed crops, uprooted trees, pursued arrest campaigns, prolongated detentions with no charge or trial, applied torture under detention, transferred them illegally, set strict criteria for release of prisoners, helped the illegal extension of Jewish settlements, closed commercial stores, tightened curfews, denied the Palestinians access to their work places, and harassed, arrested, wounded and even killed local and foreign journalists who documented these crimes.
Statement on Violation of Human Rights around the World (Commission on Human Rights, March 29, 2004)
…the apartheid wall under construction by the fanatic Zionist forces in Palestine was clear evidence of the fascist and racist policies that had been fought by the international community all over the world. The wall would harm not only Palestinians, but also would harm Israelis and isolate them.
Israel remained above the law and ignored the rest of the world because of the blind and unconditional support given the country by the American Administration. NGOs and members of the Commission would undoubtedly stand firm against this racist apartheid wall, and against double standards when dealing with Israel, since the approach violated all of the principles humanity had worked so hard to uphold.
Sub-Commission Debate on Prevention of Discrimination (August 12, 2003)
The false claim [of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass-destruction] had been initiated and fabricated by international Zionism and arms traders.
Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (54th session, August 15, 2002)
A media campaign had been carried out to brainwash many people into incriminating legitimate resistance to appear as terrorism, while presenting serious destructive terrorism as so called self-defence. The Palestinians, whose land and homes had been occupied, had nothing to defend themselves with other than the throwing of stones. Now, their only weapon was to blow themselves up. The media campaign today was not reflecting the reality in the region, and was convincing people that the people who were fighting for their rights were mere criminals.
“United Nations International Ngo Meeting/ European Ngo Symposium On The Question Of Palestine” (August 25-28, 1997)
Toynbee, the distinguished British historian said, that the Israeli state is a foreign body planted through force, violence, and conspiracy in an ancient area that has its own history and triumphs, which is the area of the Middle East. He further commented that the nature of things ascertains that a foreign body either adapts itself to the new environment, or it will find itself being uprooted and rejected.
the fanatic party, which aspires for a Great Israel from the river to the river, seems to stumble as they dwell in ethnic and racist superior ideologies that do not foster national and international harmony and tranquility. This fanatic trend made Israel finds itself more than once taking on one extreme side, and the whole world community standing on an opposite side. Such indisputable reality is evident in several resolutions issued by the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations. In the short or long-run, such trend will lead to fulfilling Toynbee’s theory.
“Israel and Nuremberg: Are Israel’s Leaders Guilty of War Crimes?” John Reddaway, EAFORD, January 1983.
It is important that the question whether Israel’s leaders were or were not guilty of waging a war of aggression and of committing crimes against peace and against humanity in their invasion of Lebanon should be debated in the context of the relevant international law. (p. 1)
During the proceedings the point was made that the standard which had been applied to the Nazi leaders of Germany would also be the standards to be applied in the future to other national leaders. It follows that the Tribunal’s criteria are applicable to the actions of the Government of Israel in Southern Lebanon. (p. 3)
Judaism or Zionism: What Difference for the Middle East. EAFORD & American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (AJAZ), 1986.
- Product of 1983 conference co-sponsored by EAFORD and AJAZ
- Accuses Israel of apartheid
- Contains an article by a member of Neturei Karta, a Jewish anti-Zionist organization
- Includes messages from Yasir Arafat and Habib Chatty (Secretary General of the Islamic Conference Organization)
Zionism and Racism, EAFORD, July 1977
- Compilation of papers from the International Symposium on Zionism and Racism, the forum that established EAFORD and its anti-Israel agenda
- Includes a section entitled “Manifestations of Zionist Racism” and an article “Racism: A Basic Principle of Zionism”
- Includes articles by Edward Said (“Intellectual Origins of Imperialism and Zionism”) and G. Neuberger, a member of Neturei Karta