UN officials are trying to prevent the type of virulent NGO activity that defined the 2001 NGO Forum at the first Durban conference. The UN sent security personnel to confront hateful posters and speech, and reportedly denied anti-Israel NGOs request for an official side-event. In contrast, Iranian president Ahmadinejad used offensive and racist language against Israel. Human Rights Watch condemned Western democracies for "undermining" the conference, not the racism and corruption of human rights by Iran and radical NGOs.
Using subterfuge, a number of radical NGOs have announced a civil society forum. The objective is to emulate the infamous 2001 Durban NGO Forum, which was characterized by antisemitic violence, and the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. A large public demonstration with activists is planned for Saturday afternoon. The Civil Society Forum is closely linked to the Israel Review Conference, to promote anti-Israel boycotts. In contrast to the Durban event, the 2009 civil society forum in Geneva does not have official UN support.
In a February 23, 2009 publication, Amnesty International calls on the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Israel. This continues Amnestys leading role in the Durban Strategy designed to isolate Israel and prevent self-defense. Amnesty exploits the faade of a "research report" to make baseless accusations, misrepresent international humanitarian law, and promote an immoral and indefensible equivalence between Hamas and Israel. Amnesty's attempt to equate the transfer weapons to Israel for legitimate defense, with clandestinely smuggled arms to a terrorist organization, is defamatory, immoral, and absurd.
Womens International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has lobbied for an NGO Forum at the Durban Review Conference, erasing the antisemitism and virulent anti-Israel rhetoric of the NGO Forum at the first Durban conference in 2001. In statements to the UN, WILPF falsely accuses Israel of "relentless destruction of Palestinian infrastructure" and maintaining "more than 650 checkpoints where Palestinians are brutalized and die." WILPF is a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), a highly politicized Israeli NGO umbrella group funded by NIF and the EU.