UK withdraws from Durban IV conference over antisemitism fears

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The United Kingdom has joined its allies Australia, Canada, and the United States in boycotting a United Nations event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Racism in Durban, whose original iteration descended into a hotbed of antisemitism and Israel-bashing.

“Following historic concerns regarding antisemitism, the UK has decided not to attend the UN’s Durban Conference anniversary event later this year,” the government spokesperson said, according to British media reports and cited in The Jerusalem Post.

The UK did not attend the so-called Durban III conference in 2011 over similar fears.
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main communal representative body in the UK, welcomed the government's announcement. "We will always support the fight against racism," she said, "but this must include opposing antisemitism in all its forms."

Several Jewish organizations wrote to the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to urge him to boycott the event, labeling it a “hostile showcase for open antisemitism.”

The US, which did not attend the previous two Durban conferences in 2009 and 2011 at the prompting of then-President Barack Obama who was concerned that Israel seemed to be singled out, already announced in May that it would not attend this year's conference due to "anti-Israel sentiment" and the likelihood that the platform would be used for antisemitism.

Source: i24news