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Durban III: The Monaco Factor

On Sept. 22, the United Nations will strike a blow for bigotry, by hosting Durban III -- the third in what has become a series of UN gatherings dedicated in name to fighting racism, but devoted in practise to whipping up and institutionalizing anti-Semitism. The UN's so-called "Durban process" singles out Israel for opprobrium. The UN's first Durban conference, held in South Africa, in 2001, turned into such a mob attack on Israel that the U.S. delegation walked out. The UN's second Durban "review" conference, held in Geneva, in 2009, had its preparatory committee chaired by Libya, and featured as a star speaker Iran's Holocaust-denier-in-chief, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The U.S. boycotted that conference, and when Ahmadinejad began to speak, a parade of Western delegates walked out.

Undeterred, the UN General Assembly is now planning to hold Durban III at the UN's headquarters in New York, timed to coincide with the annual pileup of heads of state who come every September to tie up midtown Manhattan traffic and speak at the UN General Assembly's annual opening. Preparations are already well-advanced for providing the assembled worthies with a full day of opportunities to "commemorate" the bigotry of the original Durban conference, as Anne Bayefsky of EyeontheUN reports in her latest article on "U.N. Busy Deciding How to Slam Israel."

The good news -- such as there is -- is that six countries have now announced they will not attend Durban III: Canada, the U.S., Israel, the Netherlands, Italy, and the Czech Republic all want no part of this Durban grotesquerie. The bad news is that with only half a dozen countries pulling out to date, that leaves 187 of the UN's 193 member states (South Sudan was just enrolled by the UN as the 193rd member) either unwilling to take a stand for decency, or eager to go ahead with yet another UN festival of anti-Semitism.

What is to be done? Well, sometimes leverage can be found in strange places. So here's something to ponder. Preparations for Durban III are being "co-facilitated" by two countries, and an odd coupling it is: Cameroon and Monaco.