(JNS) A pro-Israel group in Ireland is calling on the government to boycott the upcoming 20-year commemoration of the Durban 2001 Conference at the United Nations on Sept. 22. “Only a few months ago, Ireland solidified its reputation and status as the most anti-Israel of Western Nations—as Sinn Féin’s legislative extremism towards Israel was unanimously and resoundingly endorsed. Now in only a few days, the Durban IV conference will take place in New York and our country must make a clear choice: Will we be a party to the antisemitic legacy of Durban and continue our descent into extremism, or will we follow the example of other leading democracies in boycotting this conference of hate?” Jackie Goodall, executive director of the Ireland Israel Alliance, posed in a statement. “The legacy of Durban, first held in 2001, is one of antisemitism and incitement to violence,” she said.The international conference has been dubbed “the festival of Jew-hate” for its history of promoting antisemitism. (See cover story p.12).
More than a dozen countries, including Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States have announced that they will boycott Durban IV, slated to take place this week in New York City.
The Irish government has not made any official statement on whether or not it plans to attend the event. The Ireland Israel Alliance has launched a campaign urging supporters to write to Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney to boycott the upcoming commemoration. “I do not hold out much hope that Ireland will boycott Durban IV. The foreign policy of successive Irish governments spearheaded by Simon Coveney has been one of cuddling up to the Iranians, whilst targeting Israel for condemnation and sanction at every opportunity,” wrote Goodall. “Perhaps, Durban IV fits nicely with Ireland’s foreign policy: singling out one state (Israel) for vitriol and applying standards of conduct to Israel’s self-defense which have no root in law or logic.”
Main Photo: United Nations headquarters in New York City. Credit: blurAZ/Shutterstock.