Today I begin with the most recent column of Caroline Glick.
In part she reviews material covered the other day by Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN (whom I cited last week).
Ostensibly, the US delegation sent by Obama to participate in the preparatory committee -- along with the likes of Libya, Cuba, Iran and Pakistan -- is only there to try to make things better. The US says it still holds out the option of refusing to attend the actual sessions in Geneva in April if improvements aren't made in the document that will set the agenda of the conference.
But, says Bayefsky, this is exceedingly disingenuous for several reasons:
-- The decision to participate at all represents a major shift in US policy, as the US government, since 2001, has boycotted all Durban proceedings.
-- The stated purpose of Durban 2 is "to foster the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. This is non-negotiable and cannot be changed by U.S. participation, period."
"...all U.N. states attending these preparatory sessions have already agreed to 'reaffirm the Durban Declaration.'...joining negotiations now means agreeing to its provisions for the first time."
As Glick puts it, as the original Durban Declaration "include[s] the anti-Israel assertion that Israel is a racist state, it is clear that the Durban II conference is inherently, and necessarily, anti-Israel."
But Glick now carries this further:
"The second reason that both the State Department and the White House must realize that they are powerless to affect the conference's agenda is because that agenda was already set in previous planning sessions... and that agenda includes multiple assertions of the basic illegitimacy of the Jewish people's right to self-determination.
"Beyond all that, assuming that the Obama administration truly wishes to change the agenda, the fact is that the US is powerless to do so. As was the case in 2001, so too, today, the Islamic bloc, supported by the Third World bloc, has an automatic voting majority."
"SINCE IT came into office a month ago, every single Middle East policy the Obama administration has announced has been antithetical to Israel's national security interests. From President Barack Obama's intense desire to appease Iran's mullahs in open discussions; to his stated commitment to establish a Palestinian state as quickly as possible...; to his expressed support for the so-called Saudi peace plan...; to his decision to end US sanctions against Syria and return the US ambassador to Damascus; to his plan to withdraw US forces from Iraq and so give Iran an arc of uninterrupted control extending from Iran to Lebanon, every single concrete policy Obama has enunciated harms Israel.
"At the same time, none of the policies that Obama has adopted can be construed as directed against Israel. In and of themselves, none can be viewed as expressing specific hostility toward Israel. Rather, they are expressions of naivetÃ©, or ignorance, or - at worst - deliberate denial of the nature of the problems of the Arab and Islamic world on the part of Obama and his advisers.
"The same cannot be said of the administration's decision to send its delegation to the Durban II planning session this past week in Geneva. Unlike every other Obama policy, this is a hostile act against Israel. This is true first of all because the decision was announced in the face of repeated Israeli requests that the US join Israel and Canada in boycotting the Durban II conference. (emphasis added)
"...what lies behind Israel's requests for a US boycott is not a partisan agenda, but a clearheaded acknowledgement that the Durban II conference is inherently devoted to the delegitimization and destruction of the Jewish state. And by joining in the planning sessions, the US has become a full participant in legitimizing and so advancing this overtly anti-Jewish agenda. (emphasis added)
Glick goes on to describe what happened at a committee session last Thursday, when the Palestinian delegation proposed that a paragraph be added to the conference's agenda, which "calls for implementation of... the advisory opinion of the ICJ [International Court of Justice] on the wall, [i.e., Israel's security fence], and the international protection of Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory."
"The American delegation raised no objection to the Palestinian draft. (emphasis added)
"Issued in 2004, the ICJ's advisory opinion on the security fence claimed that Israel has no right to self-defense against Palestinian terrorism. At the time, both the US and Israel rejected the ICJ's authority to issue an opinion on the subject.
"On Thursday, by not objecting to this Palestinian draft, not only did the US effectively accept the ICJ's authority, for practical purposes it granted the anti-Israel claim that Jews may be murdered with impunity."
Glick's conclusion: "...through its behavior at the Geneva planning sessions this week, the US has demonstrated that State Department protestations aside, the administration has no interest in changing the agenda in any serious way. The US delegation's decision not to object to the Palestinian draft, as well its silence in the face of Iran's rejection of a clause in the conference declaration that mentioned the Holocaust, show the US did not join the planning session to change the tenor of the conference. The US is participating in the planning sessions because it wishes to participate in the conference. (emphasis added)
"The Durban II conference, like its predecessor, is part and parcel of a campaign to coordinate the diplomatic and legal war against the Jewish state...
"By participating in the conference, the US today is effectively giving American support to the war against the Jewish state.
"The open hostility toward Israel expressed by the Obama administration's decision to participate in the Durban process should be a red flag for both the Israeli government and for Israel's supporters in the US. Both Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters must openly condemn the administration's move and demand that it reverse its decision immediately. (emphasis added)
http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304831938&pagename=JPArticle%2FS howFull
Now, as the alarm gets louder, I add information from one more very recent article by Anne Bayefsky. This is what she says:
"The Feb. 20 State Department press release says the U.S. delegation in Geneva 'outline[d] our concerns with the current outcome document' and in particular 'our strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism.' One member of the delegation told The Washington Post: 'The administration is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference.' In fact, tucked away in a Geneva hall with few observers, the U.S. had done just the opposite. The U.S. delegates had made no objection to a new proposal to nail Israel in an anti-racism manifesto that makes no other country-specific claims. (emphasis added)
It's an Obama administration "cover-up," says Bayefsky. Which means we cannot depend on what is reported on this issue by government sources or journalists tending to support the administration.
The silence of the U.S. delegation is all the more disturbing because Bayefsky reports that it had no trouble raising objections on other issues at the meeting.
Contact the White House, the State Department, and your elected Senators and Congresspersons on this issue. Be strong and clear in your demand that the US pull out of Durban planning sessions. Use the information provided above to make your case succinctly: The US cannot change the anti-Israel direction of the proceedings and is instead legitimizing the process of undermining Israel.
Phone calls and faxes are most effective. Use e-mail if that is what is possible for you.
An important hint when contacting Senators and Congresspersons: Call their respective offices and ask for the staffer who is responsible for foreign affairs or Middle East affairs. Either speak to that individual directly, fax in care of that individual, or secure an e-mail address for him or her for sending a direct message. Members of Congress do not have the time or energy to read all messages, or consider all facts. They depend upon key staffers to advise them. You reach the members of Congress most effectively by reaching the appropriate high level staffer.
President Barack Obama:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ (for email contact form)
White House Comment line: 202-456-1111
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Public Communication Division
To locate your representatives in Congress, see:
To locate your senator:
You can often secure best contact info. by logging on to the website of the representative or senator.