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Wiesenthal Center praises Polish delegation for withdrawing from conference

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center praised Bronislaw Geremek, a Polish member of the European Parliament, for withdrawing his country’s delegation from the United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

The conference, to be to be held Aug. 30-31 at the European Parliament in Brussels has no representation from Israel or Jewish non-governmental organizations.

The UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People describes itself as “the main U.N. forum where all NGOs interested in the Palestine issue can meet.”

Sccording to a recent report by Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, the comittee is anti-Israeli and was active in “implementing the Durban agenda of demonization,” referring to the 2001 U.N. Durban conference on racism, where anti-Zionist rhetoric and calls for Israel’s destruction were a central theme. NGO Monitor warned that the European Union is lending the anti-Israel conference legitimacy by having it at the European Parliament.

Shimon Samuels, director of international relations for the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center, praised the Polish move to boycott the conference in his letter to Gorembek, former president of the Polish parliament. Samuels said the conference organizers were seeking the European Parliament’s endorsement for “a campaign of vilification and the ultimate elimination of the State of Israel.”

“The hate mongers and antisemites behind this conference deserve the total contempt of the European community,” Samuels said.

“Other European Parliamentarians should follow the lead of the Polish delegation and refuse to be a part of this one-sided travesty that serves the forces of hate, not peace,” Samuels concluded.

Responding to such criticism, Wolfgang Grieger, Secretary of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, denied that the conference would be anti Israel. He has told reporters that the committee supports a two-state solution and the internationally-backed “road map” plan to achieve one.

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