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Jewish World Review August 6, 2001 / 17 Menachem-Av 5761

Don Feder

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U.N. races to indict West -- BAR the doors. Hide the silver. Another United Nations conference is about to be inflicted on us.

These forums are regularly hijacked by the U.N. bureaucracy and its non-governmental cohorts for their own loathsome purposes. The 1995 Beijing Women's Conference lobbied for abortion and gender-leveling. Other gatherings have become sounding boards for international welfarism, radical environmentalism and sexual license.

So it is with trepidation that we await the pretentiously titled World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, scheduled to convene in Durban, South Africa, on Aug. 31.

Given the tenor of these assemblies, we can expect the conference not to oppose all forms of racism, but only the unfashionable variety.

Although slavery may be discussed (a number of African states want an apology from the West and reparations for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which ended in 1808) nothing will be said about the human commerce currently thriving in the Sudan.

As many as 12,000 black, Christian tribesmen have been sold into slavery by Khartoum's Islamic government. But since the West isn't involved, the international community is indifferent.

Nor will Rwanda be cited as an example of murderous animus. In 1994, the Hutus then in power slaughtered 800,000 rival Tutsi tribesmen, mostly with machetes. When Africans kill Africans, the U.N. yawns.

African states want to talk about a slave trade that ended almost 200 years ago. Arabs seek to resurrect the U.N.'s infamous Zionism-is-racism resolution. The Bush administration, for once showing some backbone on an issue involving race, says that if either is on the program, it will boycott the proceedings.

But the fact that both were included in the conference's draft agenda exposes the driving force behind the Durban gathering.

The African slave trade existed for 1,000 years before whites arrived on the continent in numbers in the 16th century. It wouldn't have been possible without the involvement of African chiefs and Arab middlemen.

As sociologist and JWR columnist Thomas Sowell notes in his 1994 book, "Race and Culture,'' while 11 million Africans were shipped to the Americas, 14 million were sent East, mostly to the Arab world. This notwithstanding, if the matter comes up for discussion, it won't be Nigeria demanding compensation from Iran.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian, addressed this Third World obsession with the West in a 1998 speech, where he told Africans to stop blaming colonialism for their plight and start holding their own leaders accountable for the wars and misery that plague the continent.

Besides bashing the West, the crackpots who run these conferences often have Israel in their sights.

From 1975 to 1991, the U.N. officially condemned Zionism as "a movement based on racial superiority.'' This was the supreme triumph of Moslem anti-Semites -- equating the founding doctrine of a nation that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust to Nazism.

All but forgotten are the 700,000 Jews driven from the Arab world after Israel's independence. The Israelis blown up by Palestinian bombers and cut down by Palestinian snipers, because Moslems can't bear the thought of sharing the land with Jews, will not be cited as victims of related intolerance.

If Zionism is a doctrine of racial superiority, how to explain Israel's rescue of more than 51,000 Ethiopian Jews? When did racists ever come to the aid of a group so dramatically different from themselves?

Once, racism meant hating someone because of their skin color, regardless of who was doing the hating and who was hated. Today, it's a political weapon. Discussions of racism at U.N. forums are an excuse for plunder and an opportunity to further vilify international outcasts.

Whether or not the agenda is changed, America should boycott Durban.

A cure for racism won't be found in the halls of hatred. Reparations is a racist doctrine (holding whites -- and whites alone -- should be penalized for the historic sins of others of their race). The indictment of Zionism is a cover for anti-Semitism. By pushing this poison, organizers have destroyed their credibility.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate