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So what was the result after the UN boycott and walkout?

So what was the result after the UN boycott and walkout?
by Elizabeth White

We’ve all been there. You’re having a blue with your partner; your opportunity to retort opens so you throw in a ‘home truth’ and… your partner walks out.

Us – 1; Them – 0. Cue: Your Smug Smirk.

In retrospect though, you both ‘lose’. The ‘home truth’ was a de-constructive criticism only used to incite the predictable response, which inadvertently hands a point to the opponent.

And this was exactly what happened on the 20th April this year at ‘Durban 2’, the UN Review Conference of ‘Durban 1’, which was a UN conference about racism and xenophobia held in 2001. However, now the players were the international community of UN delegates and the president of the most influential Islamic country in the Middle East.

Durban 1 was widely regarded as a disaster and a hate-fest that was ‘hijacked’ by Iran and other anti-Israel countries. Many Western countries like the US, and their shadow, Australia, chose to boycott Durban 2, for fear of a repeat. However, when asked about the efficacy of the boycott, Antony Lowenstein said it was a “grave error” and a “fundamental mistake” as it “endorsed the view that the conference was all about Israel”, thus detracting from the issues being addressed.

As for the remaining countries that chose to go, an exit plan was obviously deemed necessary in order to save face if the predicted occurred; all they needed was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to say the code word. And then he did. A mere eight minutes into Ahmadinejad’s half hour long speech, the planned spontaneity that was the staged walkout by 23 European states occurred. A clear error of judgment though, as it only served to, “put Ahmadinejad on a far higher platform than he deserved” and “played directly into [Iran’s] hands”, Lowenstein explained.

Us – 0; Them – 1. Cue: Smug Ahmadinejad Smirk.

The walkout was prompted when Ahmadinejad referred to Israel as being a racist government and that a nation was created for one displaced group, by displacing another. The idea that Israel could be racist is legitimate, but, as Lowenstein points out, something, “the West is fundamentally opposed to talking about”, clinging to the notion that, “Israel should be insulated from all criticism [after all they have been through]”.

The counter argument that hate speech must not be given a platform is obvious, but what Ahmadinejad said should not be classed as hate speech, it was just the sting of a ‘home truth’. As Richard Broinowski explained, “The Israeli government has policies that actively discriminate against Israeli Arabs. And this indeed is racist.” Ouch.

As a group of nations trying desperately to promote freedom around the world - ergo the right to free speech - the West certainly didn’t do a very good job of practising what it preaches. Surely the West must be open to the expression of all ideas, not just the ones they agree with? Wouldn’t it have been better to show they were willing to listen to all views, instead of cherry picking? It was Barack Obama who said to the Muslim community: “We will listen carefully… We will be respectful, even when we do not agree” (except on this occasion hey?).

In the end, Iran scored a moral point against the West, only to achieve continued demonisation by them. While the West mimicked a child throwing a tantrum, stomping around with their hands covering their ears, thus effectively making a mockery of the UN conference and ignoring other groups represented.

So what was the end result after the boycott and walkout? A zero sum.


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The free speech that very few have

As a group of nations trying desperately to promote freedom around the world - ergo the right to free speech - the West certainly didn’t do a very good job of practising what it preaches.

No western nation excepting the United States has anything approaching free speech. So these nations are hardly going to be pushing something they don't really have themselves. Iran has nothing approaching free speech.

A part of free speech is accepting people have the right to voice opinions. Another (equally important) part is accepting people have the right to ignore opinions, in fact, not even listen if they choose. Some nations decided to express that freedom. As is their right.

An interesting case, if not a little off subject, is Gutnick v Dow Jones Company. Personally, I believe for political reasons, Dow settled the case. Dow for unexplained reasons didn't use the American court system, which would've made for a very different outcome - effectively overruling the Australian High Court. Thus, the politics.

The case could, and should, have opened a Pandora's box. Eventually in my humble opinion, most western countries will have little option but to bring their liable laws more in line with American law (a win for free speech). The Internet has made that certainty. In law the guy with the biggest wallet generally gets his way in the end.

After sexy singles another uplifting link

Thanks for the link to TIMESONLINE by the way.

With just one click it gave me the opportunity to sit back and again savour what is without question the most uplifting, inspiring, and sheer exhilarating moment of the otherwise almost unrelentingly bleak  first half of the last century. Even if even more blood was yet be spilt defending the people, even in their own national homeland, against those still intent on genocide. In fact this is one of the great moments of the century.

No matter what happens this never fails to restore my faith and confidence in the human spirit. Brutal racism and genocidal maniacs like Ahmadinejad have been defeated before. This proves they can be put down again.

Iran as a hate object

Iran is as Aryan as Israel as most of the so-called descendants of Is Ra El are Khazars who adopted Judaism in the 10th Century.

Iran is happy to appear to be a whipping boy for USA et al as they gain credibility with others. They may have a nuclear weapon eventually, but it is unlikely.One is pointless! They are not cheap, unlike bio weapons.....

Hysteria from people who get all their "news" from Murdoch is never going to impress, but it might get more people willing to join up full of hatred and then put themselves into a situation engineered by Iran and the USA. Remember the Guns for Drugs trade between Iran and the USA? Aimed at Nicaragua? Admiral Poindexter and Ollie North? And the delaying of the release of the USA embassy hostages until after Ronnie got into power? Please guys, read a bit more widely or take your blood pressure tablets and think about who actually makes war on smaller countries.

As for boycott I recall Russia, sorry USSR, doing that and we got that great fight for democracy: the 58th Parallel and many commonwealth dead. Who says "enemies" do not do deals?

Say what happened to all the old style communists, who were mainly "Jewish", from Russia? Oh yes, they went to the USA, not staying in Israel for very long. Zionism is like Al Qaida: made up like the the Brits with the Mau Mau. It is very sad that they treat the people of the area of Palestine or wherever so badly, because mostly they are the old Jews who decided to convert to Islam. The two "sides" are genetically very similar, which is significant as Judaism, in moden definition, depends mainly upon the female line and is not open to many converts. I wonder why not?

The comments of the unwitting or perhaps conniving puppets in this grotesque dance no longer amuses the rest of the world. There are many racist administrations in the world. Singling out Israel is provocative. And that is the point. The UN must remain toothless. It is a waste of time and money and is being kept on life support until the New World Order arrives. If.

Spot on

Marilyn Shepherd, one day you are going to be glad that Israel exists when that lunatic Ahmedinijad finally announces that he has a nuclear weapon. He will only have it for a few hours because whilst the rest of the world will sit and discuss what to do, the Israelis will go in and blast the crap out of Ahmedinijad and his troops.

Google's advice

Or, Alan, we could all follow Google's response to this thread:

Sexy Singles From Iran

Meet Single Iranians Today! Search photos, chat and more

Save the world. Toss the bastards into the street.

I agree. The situation calls for a more direct and active approach. When you have the key UN conference on racism used as a platform for perhaps the ugliest and most dangerous racist around then simply walking out doesn't cut the mustard.

It's time to pull the pin on the UN. It has outlasted its usefulness. It has become a threat to world peace and is beyond reform. Yep. Cut them off withour a dime and throw them out. Many important cities could make good use of the real estate. Not the least of them is New York. 

But of course

You didn't bother to read the speech and note that Ahmedinijad was telling the truth, did you?  It was the Europeans who murdered the Jews and it was the west who inflicted the survivors on Palestine against their will.

It was the US who slaughtered the Indians, enslaved the Africans, ignored the plight of everyone in two world wars until they were forced into them, have bombed, blasted and blitzed over 60 nations since WW11 and so on.

It is not the UN that is the problem; it is the bloody nation "states" who create the problems.

And, Alan and Geoff, Shimon Peres has been whining about Iran since 1996, yet it was that old criminal in charge of building Israel's nuclear weapons arsenal and having Vanunu kidnapped, tortured and jailed for 18 years and keeping him under house arrest since.

It is Peres who was in charge of the biggest expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank and so on.

Iran has not attacked anyone for hundreds of years so you need to read the speech yourselves and get over this nonsense.

Democracy gives a voice to all

Elizabeth, the West likes to be known as the champion of democracy, but it is hard to understand how democracy can succeed if we close our minds everytime a different opinion is expressed.

Earlier, as Ahmadinejad walked into the chamber accompanied by aides, he received enthusiastic and sustained applause, and waved in acknowledgement. He was again applauded as he was escorted to the podium to deliver his speech.

Pakistan’s ambassador Zamir Akram – who also speaks for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Geneva – noted afterwards that the majority of delegations had remained in the chamber during Ahmadinejad’s speech.

Speaking to BBC World Service radio, Akram said that the Iranian president “has his own way of expressing things.”

But, he added, “in terms of the substance, there is a resonance in the Muslim world – and I dare say around most of the countries in the world – about concern over the situation in Palestine, and in Iraq or in Afghanistan. And I think he was highlighting that.

The widening gap between the West and the Muslim world needs to be bridged. It is only be listening and accepting fault on both sides that we will close the gap. The West's behaviour is arrogant and most of the world is sick to death of the arrogance that has in fact caused many of the global problems we are currently facing.

And Durban was not a hate fest anyway

It made precisely two remarks about Israel and Palestine doing nothing more that re-asserting resolutions made since 1948 and it was in the middle of the much more substantial talks about decreasing religious intolerance across the board.

I was disgusted and ashamed that Australia decided to stay away when we were in trouble already with the committee on civil and political rights for our racist treatment of refugees and aborigines.

Mark Arbib was a thug last night and I have no idea why he thought he had to spout out about Israel's bogus right to exist.

The human beings on the land have a right to exist, the bit of dirt does exist.

Claiming some bogus right is just insane.

And Ahmedinijad's speech was spot on.

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