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News Brief


The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on a United Nations racism conference and one recognizing Middle East peace groups.

Both non-binding resolutions passed last week in a voice vote. The resolution addressing the Durban II conference called for a U.S.-led push to “ensure that the Durban Review Conference serves as a forum to review implementation of commitments made at the 2001 Durban Conference to combat all forms of racism by defeating the campaign by some members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to divert the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference from a review of problems in their own and other countries by attacking Israel, promoting anti-Semitism, and undermining the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The first Durban conference devolved into an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish free-for-all, and some lawmakers oppose any U.S. participation. The resolution’s convoluted language reflects efforts to accommodate black Democrats who feel it is worth attempting to salvage the conference by heading off those who again would turn it against Israel. The other resolution recognized “nongovernmental organizations working to bring just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” The resolution was strongly backed by Americans for Peace Now and Churches for Middle East Peace. Its language helps create the basis for future U.S. funding of such dialogue groups.

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