The UN’s anti-racism conference continues in Geneva but it’s hard to see how this event will achieve anything other than an even greater split between the West and the rest.
The Australian media has covered the event in a fairly predictable way (and only the public, through letter writing, has allowed the debate to flourish).
For mainstream Jewish groups, their suffering is all that matters, their pain, their issues, their oppression. The Palestinians may be under Israeli occupation, largely supported by the Jewish Diaspora, but Arabs should really just stop whinging about it.
Here’s the latest.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who allegedly excised the worst form of Holocaust denial from his speech, has been barred from speaking at a Swiss University due to Zionist pressure. Frankly, the man should be allowed to speak, so he can be challenged strongly, not least encouraged to read some history books about World War II. Let’s not forget, though, that Iran is far more pragmatic than her critics ever want to admit.
A number of pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers praised his speech, however:
Madreseh Ma (”Our School”) says [fa] that the Durban conference became Ahmadinejad’s conference. “What Ahmadinejad did can not be wiped off history’s memory. Now the West is afraid of Iran participating in any conference on racism.”
Paberhnegan (”Bare Foot People”) writes [fa] that Ahmadinejad’s performance in Geneva mad the Iranian people rejoiced. “He does not need to do any publicity for his electoral campaign. What he does is the best publicity.”
Israeli bloggers were less supportive.
The Israeli press is reporting that the Foreign Ministry is pleased with the shambles of Durban (thanks in no small part to Ahmadinejad).
A progressive pro-Israel lobbyist in the US, MJ Rosenberg, seems to have missed the point of the Iranian leader’s speech. The fact that many Western diplomats walked out of his speech didn’t mean the world regarded him as a “boob”. In fact, the vast majority of the delegates sat in their seats and didn’t move an inch. Ahmadinejad is seen as a hero to many precisely because so many in the West refuse to even hear him speak. Short-term grabs for TV are not a substitute for robust policy towards the Islamic Republic.
It’s also interesting to note that the Orthodox anti-Zionists Neturei Karta protested in Jerusalem yesterday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and claimed “Zionists cynically abuse the Holocaust for their own purposes”. It’s hard to disagree with this assessment. Although Darfur has become the issue du jour for many Zionist fanatics (not because they care about the people there but because it takes the spotlight away from Palestine), too many Jews continue to rant and rave about the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust while at the same denying or ignoring the crimes being committed by Israel in Palestine. Witness a piece in today’s Melbourne Age on this very point. This shows a very selective concern for human rights.
The purpose of Durban remains essential, namely finding ways to address genuine human rights issues across the globe. Israel should not be protected from criticism or abuse. It’s a normal country, like any other. This is not 1939 Berlin. We are constantly told by Zionists that Israel is a strong and robust democracy…yet the world’s leading body, the UN, is apparently not allowed to even talk about abuses in Palestine.
Nobody in their right mind would suggest that Libya, Iran or Cuba should lecture the world on human rights, but neither should the US, Britain or Israel. Everybody’s hands are dirty.
At least most of the world can understand the reasons the West is in the dock; its ongoing support for dictatorships and occupations everywhere.
Israel’s brutal military occupation of Palestine – with no end in sight – is a legitimate subject of mature discussion. Who’s afraid of that?