Labor minister calls on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to team with Israel, form united front against anti-Semitism by announcing US will not attend Geneva meeting; says will push for a decision during Clinton's upcoming Mideast visit
Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog urged US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to shun the UN's World Conference against Racism, scheduled to he held in Switzerland in April.
Clinton is scheduled to arrive in the Middle East next week and Herzog, who was tasked by the government to head its counter anti-Semitism efforts, wants to use Clinton's visit in order to create a united front against the conference.
Durban 2 to slam 'racist Israel' / Yitzhak Benhorin
US delegation making little progress in changing tone of upcoming anti-racism conference, where Israel again expected to face harsh criticism; meanwhile, any mention of Holocaust during event still in doubt
The first World Conference against Racism was held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 – just days before the attack on New York's World Trade Center. Both the Israeli and the American delegates stormed out of it at the time, claiming it was a hotbed for anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli slurs.
Herzog told Ynet Tuesday that from the conference briefs sent to prospective participants, the Geneva conference stands to harshly censure Israel.
"We have no hopes of changes in the essence of the coming Durban Conference. We're waiting on the US to take its stand, since it will inevitably affect European and other countries, and may result in them banning the meet as well.
"With the Obama administration undeceive about participating in the conference it is imperative that Israel amp its international efforts to have this meeting – whose standing is known in advanced – shunned… It is the only way we can avoid the same spectacle of anti-Semitism we witnessed in Durban in 2001."
The social affairs minister went on to warn that the nearing conference "can set the world dozens of years back. It stands to focus on hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people. I urge the US to announce it will not take part in it and I call on it to lead the sane nation's bloc in that move, as it has before," he said.
The US has yet to announce whether or not it will take part in Geneva's World Conference against Racism, although it did vote against holding it.