Ynetnews reports that Iran, whose President has repeatedly and forcefully called for the annihilation of Israel, proclaimed that the Holocaust was probably a joke invented by the international Zionist conspiracy and hosted an anti-holocaust cartoon festival (mind you, the Israelis produced quite funny ones of their own), has been selected to take part in the committee that will plan the 2009 UN World Conference against Racism.
Remembering the 2001 Conference in Durban, with its screams of anti-Israeli, often anti-Semitic, hatred and the attacks on then Secretary of State Colin Powell by well-fed, well-off white middle class campaigners who had flown in from all over the world, I cannot quite see why Iran should be out of place in the organization of the next jamboree. Why 2009, incidentally? Do they have them every 8 years?
The committee is headed by Libya, another well-known bastion of freedom and tolerance.
Anne Bayefsky of the Eye on the UN, an extremely useful website though it does make one wonder about the infinite patience and hopefulness of some people, makes things quite clear:
“Iran is now poised to wrap itself in a UN flag as a lead agent of the nextglobal conference against racism, Durban II,” she added, referring to the 2001 UN conference on racism held in Durban, South Africa, which saw unprecedented levels of anti-Zionist rhetoric and calls for Israel's destruction.According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Iran does not occupy a lead position on the committee. It is merely one of twenty members, all of whom are chosen by other countries as it is an inter-governmental organization. Which proves the point we have made all too often: how can you hope for anything from the UN when a large proportion of its members do not even begin to understand the supposed basic principles of that organization?
Speaking to Ynetnews, Bayefsky said that "the leading exponents of anti-Semitism, whether directed at Jews individually or the Jewish people and its state generally, continue to be provided a global platform at the UN. This is but one example of a broader phenomenon."
"Eye on the UN has found that in 2006 the UN system as a whole directed the most condemnations for human rights abuses against specific states - first towards Israel and fourth towards the United States. Iran was lower down on the list of UN human rights concerns," Bayefsky said, adding: "And yet the US taxpayer continues to pay a quarter of the bill for activities which demonize Americans and Israelis on a global scale."
Anne Bayefsky and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch do not altogether accept the official explanation
The states were selected by the UN Human Rights Council and the Council is controlled by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The majority of seats on the Council are held by the African and Asian regional groups and the OIC has a majority of seats on each of these groups. Western states do not have the votes to block this outrage and it is another example of the hijacking that has occurred of the UN's lead human rights agency.Here is the full list of committee members from the different regions:
Eastern European Group: Armenia, Estonia, Russian Federation and Croatia
Western European and Others Group: Greece, Turkey, Norway, and Belgium
African Group: Libya, Cameroon, Senegal and South Africa
Asian Group: Iran, India, Pakistan and Indonesia
Latin American Group: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Cuba
Well, it could be worse, I suppose. At least they do not have Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia on it. Then again, maybe I should not speak too soon.