The Republic of Ireland should pull out of UN Durban hatefest against Israel

A letter from Jackie Goodall of the Ireland Israel Alliance:

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 9:35 pm
The policy of Irish governments spearheaded by Simon Coveney has been one of cuddling up to the Iranians and targeting Israel for condemnation

Only a few months ago, the Republic of Ireland solidified its reputation and status as the most anti-Israel of western nations — as Sinn Féin’s legislative extremism towards Israel was unanimously and resoundingly endorsed.

Now in only a few days, the Durban IV conference will take place in New York and our country must make a clear choice — will we be a party to the antisemitic legacy of Durban and continue our descent into extremism, or will we follow the example of other leading democracies in boycotting this conference of hate?

The conference is set to commemorate 20 years since the infamous Durban 2001 Conference held in South Africa under the auspices of the United Nations, and which was supposed to bring the international community together to fight racism but became instead a festival of hate.

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Letter to the editor

Palestinian marches chanted “Hitler should have finished the job”, whilst the antisemitic text (‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’) was distributed to attendees.

The conference secretary-general, our very own Mary Robinson, reportedly said of the 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.”

Nothing has changed since that first conference.

For example, at Durban II, the President of Iran – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – denied the Holocaust before being asked back to speak at Durban III.

From Durban I to the present day, the beating heart of the conference’s ethos has been one of hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish State.

I call on the Irish government not to be a party to the antisemitism and bigotry at the very heart of Durban IV.

More than 14 western nations including the US, France, Germany and the UK have now withdrawn from the conference, due to take place next week in New York.

I do not hold out much hope that Ireland will boycott Durban IV.

The foreign policy of successive Irish governments spearheaded by Simon Coveney has been one of cuddling up to the Iranians, whilst targeting Israel for condemnation and sanction at every opportunity.

Perhaps, Durban IV fits nicely with Ireland’s foreign policy: singling out one state (Israel) for vitriol and applying standards of conduct to Israel’s self-defence which have no root in law or logic.

Jackie Goodall, Executive director, Ireland Israel Alliance

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