Obama Backing out of Durban II?

CBC News claims that Obama Administration officials have declared an intention to Boycott the Durban II Converence unless language deligitimiszing Israel and criminalizing criticism of Islam is removed. CBC’s sources remain anonymous, not that I’d believe any member of Obama’s crew of cronies.

This article is distinguished from the mill run by inclusion of a link to the draft document: Draft of UN document. That text is one month old, probably not reflecting recent changes, of which it seems there were few.

CBC makes reference to an article on Politico, which supposedly expresses tolerance for “shorter, much different text”. Ben Smith’s Blog at Politico has this headline:

U.S. pulling out of racism conference

Here are the weasel words:

They left open the option of re-engaging on a “much shorter, much different text,” a source said.

That loop hole is broad enough to sail anything through. According to Smith, President Obama was expected to issue a statement. A search of Whitehouse.gov proved fruitless. Why should we be ‘engaging’ with the representatives of tyrranical regimes which form the majority of the UNHRC? We can not possibly have enough positive effect on the outcome to make it acceptable.

For the time being, we can only hope that The U.S.A. will not participate in the hate fest. Here are a few examples of the tripe we should avoid legitimizing.

[Notes that other obstacles hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism and racial discrimination include [first and foremost the absence of political will, the denial of the existence of contemporary racist tendencies,] weak [national] legislation and policies, lack of effective strategies, [lack of political will,] lack of implementation of international legal framework and commitments, impunity on different grounds [ – including [[negative] abuse of] freedom of expression, [counter-terrorism, and national security] [stereotypical association of religion with terrorism and violence by the media and national security forces]– as well as an increase in extreme right wing xenophobic political platforms. Hence the need [arises] to deal with this menace in all its forms and manifestations with all available tools at our disposal];]

[Notes with] [Expresses] deep concern [at] the widening use by some groups and organizations of the opportunities provided by print, audio-visual and electronic media as well as scientific and technological progress, such as the Internet, to promote racist and xenophobic propaganda aimed at inciting societies throughout the world to racial [and religious] hatred;

[Draws attention to the impact of] [Strongly deplores the [overt and covert] discriminatory] counter-terrorism measures [on] [that have led to] the rise of racism,

racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance [including the practice of racial, ethnic, national and religious profiling;]

NEW PARA: Also condemns all acts of ethnic, racial or religious profiling and segregation in any society, wherever it may occur, and its concomitant negative impact on the human rights of affected segments of population [and urges States to take resolute action against those responsible both in the public and private sectors]; [proposal to move to section 5].

NEW PARA: Reaffirms that counter-terrorism strategies should not undermine the protection of human rights and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

Recognizes with deep concern the global rise in the number of incidents of intolerance and violence against members of religious minorities in various parts of the world [in particular] motivated by [different forms of religious intolerance] [Islamophobia, anti-Arabism, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia];

ALT: Recognizes with deep concern the global rise in the number of incidents of intolerance and violence against members of religious minorities in various parts of the world;

25. Condemns any advocacy of racial or religious hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and recognizes that only a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law may determine, case by case, in a fair and public hearing, whether the facts presented qualify as incitement to racial or religious hatred [prohibited by law]; ALT: Condemns any advocacy of racial or religious hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and [should be prohibited by law;]

26. [[Notes with concern] [Seriously concerned at the] instances of defamation of religions, which manifests itself in [projecting negative, insulting and derogatory images of religions and religious personalities,] generalized and stereotypical association of religions, in particular Islam, with violence and terrorism, thus impacting negatively on the rights of individuals belonging to these religions, including Muslim minorities, and exposing them to hatred and discrimination. Such situations are further aggravated by the imposition of restrictions on the profession of religions, including [the surveillance of places of worship and restrictions on their construction] [the construction of places of worship and their surveillance];]

Reaffirms a holistic approach to human rights guaranteeing the indivisibility of all human rights, and stresses that [fundamental freedoms of expression and association should continue to contribute and promote the positive and desirable phenomenon of multiculturalism, respect for cultural diversity and tolerance among all religions, peoples and societies.] [the fight against racial and religious hatred should not serve as a pretext to legitimize impermissible limitations to freedom of expression] [as the right to freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society as it ensures individual self-fulfillment and a pluralistic, tolerant society with access to multitudes of ideas and philosophies]; ALT/NEW PARA: Reiterates that freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression and non-discrimination are interdependent and stresses the need to strengthen the process of effectively adjudicating cases associated with incitement to national racial and religious hatred in accordance with the permissible limitations under article 20 of the ICCPR and analogous instruments; NEW PARA: Recognizes the importance of the positive role that can be played by the media in this context in particular through a responsible media that abstains from diffusing hate or defamatory information and that engages to fight against such practices;

[Expresses deep concern at the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people as well as [Syrian nationals of the occupied Syrian Golan] [other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories] which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence and prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, and renews the call for the cessation of all such practices;]

31. [Reiterates that the Palestinian people have the inalienable right to self determination and that, in order to consolidate the [Israeli] occupation, they have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture, economic blockade, severe restriction of movement and arbitrary closure of their territories. Also notes [with concern] that illegal settlements continue to be built in the occupied [Arab] territories [since 1967];]

32. [Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory[y][ies], as well as the practice of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, villages and cities from one another, [totally] contradicts the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations [and constitutes a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a crime against humanity, a contemporary form of apartheid and serious threat to international peace and security] [and violates the basic principles of international human rights law];]

[NEW PARA: Expresses deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories as well as displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially-based law of return. It recognizes the right of return of Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 of 11 December 1948, and calls for the return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;]

33. [Reiterates deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian people [as well as inhabitants of the other occupied territories] under foreign occupation, [including the obstruction of the return of refugees and displaced persons, and the construction of the segregation wall,] and urges respect for international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, and calls for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;]

34. [Re-emphasizes the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection, in particular from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, for [Palestinian] civilian populations under occupation in conformity with international human rights law and international humanitarian law;] [Proposal to include reference to Gaza situation – language to be provided]

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