Dear Foreign Secretary,
I am writing to ask that the UK Government does not attend the September United Nations Durban IV conference in New York, which will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the World Conference against Racism.
Sadly, while the headline objective of the “Durban” series of conferences has been noble, they have been marred by becoming what the Jewish community internationally have described as a “hostile showcase for open antisemitism.”
The NGO Forum of the original Durban conference described Israel as a “racist, apartheid state” that was guilty of “racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing”.
The conference secretary-general, Mary Robinson, said of the whole conference that “there was horrible antisemitism present, particularly in some of the NGO discussions. A number of people said they’ve never been so hurt or so harassed or been so blatantly faced with antisemitism.”
The USA, Australia and Canada have already announced that they will not participate in the conference.
Given the antisemitism and extreme anti-Israel discourse associated with the original conference it is commemorating, which is almost certain to reoccur at the commemoration, I don’t believe that the UK should give credibility to this event.
The Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have already asked the Government not to participate in the conference.
I look forward to receiving confirmation that the UK will not participate.
I am copying this letter to my local constituency MP.