Nudging Obama

Formerly "Obama Watch" Keeping the promise of change

US Appears Set to Boycott UN Session on Racism

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Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 by the Washington Post

Conference Stance on Israel Is at Issue; Advocacy Groups Criticize White House

by Michael A. Fletcher

The week-long conference is expected to bring together delegations from countries around the globe and representatives of hundreds of nongovernmental organizations to take stock of the progress made in fighting bias since the last World Conference Against Racism was held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. At that gathering, much of the discussion focused on Israeli treatment of Palestinians. The United States walked out of that meeting to protest an effort to compare Zionism to racism.

The United Nations has been working on next week’s conference for the past three years, mostly without input from the United States. After Obama took office, he sent a delegation to Geneva, raising hopes that his administration would become a full partner in the effort. Hopes were lifted further when Obama had the United States rejoin the U.N. Human Rights Council.

But after sending the delegation to a preliminary meeting in Geneva, the administration declared the meeting’s document unfocused, hostile to Israel and essentially not salvageable. After that, the document was heavily edited. Its original length was cut by half and specific mentions of Israel and the need to pay reparations for slavery were deleted.

The new draft created a sense among advocacy groups that the administration would reverse its decision. But the changes have apparently not been sufficient to win Obama’s support.

“This is a big blow,” Countess said. “Given the high priority the administration places on international engagement and multilateralism, this is just a little bit baffling.”

[The U.S. working class and the poor are like the “Palestinians”. They dismiss us as if we did not exist.They, along with the GOP, treat us as the problem.]


Written by bearmarketnews

April 14, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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