Posted tagged ‘anti-Semitism’

Mahmoud’s Traveling Circus…

April 13, 2009

… comes to Geneva. Iranian President Ahmadinejad will attend the Durban Review Conference.

Suprising, in a way. After all, Geneva is a central hub for multinational corporations and international finance, and, as the president has previously reminded us, “Although they are a minuscule minority, Zionists have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries ….”

On a serious note, this does not bode well for the overall level of calm, seriousness, or focus on the actual subject of racism next week.

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“Europe Won’t Compromise” … ??

March 31, 2009

A nice event at the European Parliament results in some good promises from EU officials that Europe “won’t compromise” on Durban II. (See report.) The promise that Europe will withdraw if red lines are crossed is not new. But: (1) When? and (2) Is the reaffirmation of the 2001 Durban Declaration one of those red lines?

In Washington, there’s not much surprise that Europe remains fully engaged with the process. The Russian re-draft seems to have been cleverly designed to eliminate the most noxious language and allowing Europe to stay in the game.

France: New Text Doesn’t Cross Red Lines

March 17, 2009

So says Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, as reported by Reuters. “It would seem that precise improvements have been made.” Kouchner says there will be a common EU position — which, as of the moment, there is not. To be continued …

More on Germany

March 17, 2009

Adding to Foreign Minister Steinmeier’s strong language from yesterday, JTA reports chancellery sources confirming that Germany is “on the verge” of walking. (No daylight between the chancellery and foreign ministry positions — you know something’s up.)

Germany, of course, is critical to EU decision-making. So the question becomes: if Germany joins Italy in taking the lead, how many follow?

Germany Update

March 15, 2009

Here’s a good summary from the Deutsche Presse- Agentur of where things stand in Germany. Jewish and civic groups, as well as members of the Bundestag, are becoming more vocal in their calls for withdrawal. This piece cites a Berliner Zeitung report that it may, indeed, be in the offing.

Netherlands Said to Seek EU Withdrawal

March 12, 2009

AJC’s UN Watch has a scoop: Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen affirmed to his parliament’s foreign affairs committee today that he seeks EU withdrawal from Durban II. This comes in advance of Monday’s EU ministerial meeting in Brussels. Verhagen reportedly said:

The document is unacceptable. … My red lines are: religion is misused to stand above individual rights. There should be no excuse in the text to condone violence against homosexuals, anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing. … I am actively involved in the matter. There will be no compromises regarding principles. I am aiming for a joint withdrawal of all EU ministers, unless the document is not changed. If this does not succeed, then I am not afraid to unilaterally withdraw from Durban. Principles come first.

Frattini to EU: Get with the Program

March 10, 2009

The Italian news service ANSA reports that Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has criticized fellow EU members for not being prepared to walk out: “Unfortunately once again Europe is not together on Durban. …  I am not prepared to remain silent when it concerns fundamental principles of the EU Charter (on Fundamental Rights), and the total rejection of anti-Semitism is one of those principles.”