I am glad that Daithí Ó Ceallaigh, Ireland’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva was among those who walked out during Ahmadinehad speech yesterday. And frankly I think the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic were right to boycott it in the first place. The 2001 conference of the same name that was held in Durban South Africa turned out to be a complete joke as the worlds worst dictators accused Israel of being the most racist country in the world as well as a prime human rights violator. It is a perverse manipulation of reality for an African dictator, most of whom promote horrific sectarian and tribal violence in their own countries to accused Israel, a country whose fiercely independent judiciary ensures that all persons, political and military obey the law of being a racist country.
The reason the US and others decided not to attend the conference at all was was an introductory line in its draft declaration that "reaffirms" the text adopted eight years ago. While the Geneva document excludes references to Israel and the Middle East, the 2001 text includes six paragraphs on those subjects (Reuters). In other words it was feared that Geneva would be a repeat of Durban. Ahmadinejad's words were certainly in line with Durban.
"Following World War Two they resorted to military aggressions to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering."
"And they sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine."
"And in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine."
Is Zionism racist ?
The reason the Durban conference caused such an uproar was the attempts by the delegates to equate Zionism with racism in a repeat of the infamous UN general assembly resolution in 1975. Once it appeared that it might be on the agenda again in Geneva the US, Israel and others said no thank you. I take Zionism to mean the concept of a Jewish state in Palestine. I do not believe that this is a racist concept. I believe that the Jews, just like the Kurds and the Palestinians and the Tibetans are entitled to a homeland. However I do accept that the idea that any Jew from anywhere in the world is entitled to migrate to the holy land and live in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank simply because of a biblical connection where as a Palestinian that lived there for generations has to give up the right to return is a bizarre concept with racial connotations. However I have enough moral clarity to recognise when a regime is using Israel bashing or equating Zionism with racism to distract the world from their own short comings. So should all right thinking people.