Anti-Israel sentiments expected
WASHINGTON – The United States is facing difficulties in prompting significant changes in the draft decision being formulated ahead of an anti-racism conference dubbed "Durban 2" to be held April 20th in Geneva, UN sources told Ynet Saturday.
As a result, the American delegation at the talks may advise President Barack Obama to boycott the conference, where Israel is expected to be the main target for criticism by the Muslim majority, which with the backing of the Third World will largely present Jewish State as the globe's only racist country.
The draft decision characterizers Israel as a racist occupier, yet this is not the lone issue bothering the US, whose delegation wishes to see the removal of the proposal for American compensation for slavery. The Americans are aiming to change the wording of the decision so it notes that slavery had been annulled and African-Americans now enjoy full equality.
As opposed to the Bush Administration, which boycotted the previous Durban Conference, the Obama Administration is objecting to an automatic boycott and is attempting to change the event's tone via negotiations. However, sources at UN headquarters in New York told Ynet that the wording of the previous Durban conference decision is already in the UN's lexicon, and therefore it would be difficult to achieve more than minor changes in the harsh anti-Israel text.
Attacks on Islam a criminal offense?Israel and Canada already announced that they will not participate in the controversial conference, while some European countries are also considering doing the same. Israeli officials expressed certain displeasure over America's decision to take part in preparatory meetings head of the conference, yet no explicit Israeli request was submitted to the US over the matter.
The Americans are hoping that dialogue would prompt the conference to address what the US views as genuine problems of racism worldwide. However, the efforts encountered difficulties as Libya's representative has been leading the advanced meetings, with Cuba and Iran representatives among his deputies.
The roughly 100 clauses that various states are attempting to include in the draft decision extensively refer to Israel, yet any mention of the Holocaust is still in doubt. The draft also includes a clause that aims to make any attack on Islam a criminal offense.