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ADL calls for Durban II boycott

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League called on "responsible nations" to withdraw from a United Nations-sponsored conference on racism.

Jewish groups have been concerned for some time that the follow-up to the 2001 conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, would be a repeat of the earlier parley’s rampant anti-Semitism. With its statement Monday, the ADL concluded that those concerns about the conference commonly referred to as Durban II have been realized.

"It is unmistakably clear that we are headed for a repeat of the overheated anti-Israel hate fest of the original 2001 Durban conference," said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. "The Syrian delegation’s attempt to question whether a third of the Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust — and to delete language referring to that fact — is another sign that the follow-up conference will be as tainted as the first.

"If that is the kind of debate occurring at a so-called ‘anti-racism’ conference, no self-respecting country should participate."

Durban II is slated to be held in Geneva in April. Canada and Israel have already signaled they will not attend the Swiss conference.

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