Breaking: US delegation pulls out of Durban II conference
It appears that President Barry has had a change of heart, and is opting out of the US being present at the conference:
White House aides told Jewish leaders on a conference call today that the United States will boycott the United Nations' World Conference on Racism over hostility to Israel in draft documents prepared for the April conference.
The aides, including an advisor to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Jennifer Simon, and longtime Obama advisor Samantha Power, said the administration will not participate in further negotiations on the current text or participate in a conference based on the text, sources on the call said.
They left open the option of re-engaging on a "much shorter, much different text," a source said.
The draft outcome document, typically negotiated in advance and available here (.pdf), contains sharp and specific criticism of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, and Western European nations and Canada have also signaled that they may boycott the conference in Geneva.
The conference is known informally as Durban II after a 2001 conference in South Africa that included a heavy focus on Israel and calls to reinstate a U.N. resolution equating Zionism and racism. Libya is chairing the preparatory meetings for this year's conference, one of several factors prompting boycott calls.
Obama is expected to issue a statement on the subject later this afternoon, and the participants were asked not to discuss the call until a formal statement is released.
OK, mark this down in the record books because President Barry has done something we agree with. Now if he would just pull us out of the UN, and cease all these foreign payments to nations that dislike us, things might be a little better for us. But this is a start, and hopefully it remains a "tradition" for the US to boycott these sorts of conferences. It's clear from the initial conference in 2001 that the world bodies participating in it could really care less about Israel, and like to busy themselves coming up with reasons to continue hating Israel.
The pressure seemed to mount on both America and Western Europe to boycott the conference when Stephen Harper discovered that Durban II appeared to be more of the same from Durban. We can probably attribute his pressure on President Barry to reconsider our participation in the conference on racism that tends to engage in, well, racism. Kudos to the president for making the right decision.