On September 22, the UN marked the 20th anniversary of its infamous Durban Conference and the virulent NGO Forum. The anniversary event added to the much-needed discussion about antisemitic attacks on the State of Israel by politicized NGOs that claim to promote human rights and universal values.
On September 22, the UN General Assembly will mark twenty years since the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, hosting the fourth such event (“Durban IV”). Durban was a major catalyst for ongoing delegitimization campaigns against Israel, such as BDS, lawfare, and other forms of political warfare.
On September 10, the Belgium government announced it would send “non-political representation, possibly a diplomat,” to the UN's event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the infamous World Conference on Racism (also known as “the Durban Conference”).
Founded by Edward Said, Hanan Ashrawi, Azmi Bishara and others, Miftah, claims to promote "global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities" . However, some of its claims were exposed as fabrications in a December 2004 CAMERA report, and it routinely describes Israel as an apartheid state and characterizes Palestinian terrorists as "activists." MIFTAH also promotes a number of political campaigns including a petition to "End the Israeli Occupation" and the "National Initiative to Resist the Wall."
It is time for the UN to shed its image as a bastion of anti-Jewish hatred. Secretary General Guterres has taken important steps in this direction. UN adoption of the IHRA antisemitism definition and funding guidelines mirroring those of the EU would mark profound positive change.
Anne Herzberg argues that UN Secretary General Guterres has taken steps to begin repairing the relationship between Israel and the UN but more forceful steps still need to be taken.