Antisemitism and anti-Israel bias: The Durban Conference
In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly initiated the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which met in Durban, South Africa from August 31 to September 8, 2001. While the conference - also known as the Durban conference or Durban I - aimed to become “a landmark in the struggle to eradicate all forms of racism,” it degenerated into a hallmark of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Despite its troubled past, the Durban process is still alive at the UN today, consisting of its main anti-racism strategy, with follow-up high-level sessions, yearly committee meetings and regular discussions as part of a permanent agenda Item at the UN Human Rights Council. The Durban process has become very politicized and does not deal with all forms of racism as it should. The bias against Israel and the antisemitic declarations marked a lost opportunity to create a strong international mechanism against racism.
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