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Durban II counter-conference opens in N.Y.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Durban II counter-conference is being held in New York.

The conference, sponsored by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, and co-sponsored by more than 20 organizations, is being held through Friday — the same dates as the United Nations-sponsored anti-racism conference taking place in Geneva.

The counter-conference "will address the real issues of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance which the Durban I and Durban II were officially convened to address; but as happened at Durban I, the Durban II proceedings in Geneva will likely ignore, distort, or misrepresent these issues," according to a statement from the association.

Speakers are scheduled to include Richard Schifter, former U.S. representative in the U.N. Human Rights Commission; Irwin Cotler, former justice minister of Canada who will address the issues of the counter-conference upon returning from the conference in Geneva; Canadian Sen. Jerry Grafstein of Toronto; and Daniel Carmon, deputy permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations.   

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