The “Palestinian Civil Society Strategic Position Paper Towards the UN Durban Review Conference” was published on November 28, 2008.  It accuses Israel of “apartheid, colonization and occupation” and identifies the Durban Review Conference (DRC) as the successor to the 2001 Conference, to promote the coordinated demonization of Israel.   The paper also calls on NGOs to “explore new legal strategies whereby Zionist organizations, foreign companies, and governments that collaborate with the Israel´s regime can be held accountable in court, including the European Human Rights Court.”

In contrast, several NGOs issued statements arguing that the European Union, Australia and the United States should not attend the Durban Review Conference, while other NGOs have expressed the opposite view, encouraging these same countries to remain engaged in the Durban Review Process. Likewise, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published an article, accusing writers for the Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Forbes and New York Sun of “factual distortions,” in order to erode the DRC´s legitimacy.

On December 16, 2008, the Dutch Foreign Minister announced that the Netherlands would boycott the DRC if it becomes a “propaganda circus,” is “misused for attacks on Israel,” and “degenerates, as the last one did, into an anti-Semitic witch-hunt.” The Italian Parliament passed a resolution on December 4, acknowledging that Durban 2001 “used racism as a pretext for reviving a campaign of moral, political and religious lynching against the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” and pledging to “exert the greatest vigilance and to concretely act so that the Conference will effectively aim at promoting the fight against racism and against every kind of discrimination, rather than being a fictitious stage for incitement to hatred towards specific people, states or ethnic and religious minorities.”

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