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Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2001 / 16 Elul, 5761

Robert W. Tracinski

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The UN Conference of Racists -- THE UN World Conference Against Racism has met and taken up its primary agenda: the praise and protection of racists.

The tone was set on the first day of the conference, when that paragon of progressive politics, Yasser Arafat, took the podium to condemn Israel as a "racist" state that "practices racism and racial discrimination, that adopts ethnic cleansing." He called upon the meeting to issue a condemnation of Israel, a cause backed by many in attendance -- not only the Arab states, but also Jesse Jackson and other Western leftists.

Remember that it is Arafat himself who instigated the very violence he is condemning. He sent Palestinian rioters into the streets after Israel made extraordinary concessions to secure peace. And in case anyone has forgotten, Arafat's rioters initially targeted the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall, Joseph's Tomb, and other Jewish religious sites. This choice of targets was motivated by the religious bigotry of Islamic fundamentalism, which seeks to drive all non-Muslims out of the Middle East.

And while he accuses Israel of racism, Arafat-controlled Palestinian television has broadcast repeated slurs against Jews, who, according to an oft-repeated phrase, "the Koran refers to as monkeys and pigs." This is usually followed by some expression of benediction upon any Palestinian who kills a Jew. In a shocking example of press collusion, the content of these broadcasts is rarely reported in the mainstream American media.

But the most damning evidence of Arafat's racist agenda is his tolerance of terrorism. The avowed goal of groups like the Islamic Jihad is not to get a better deal at peace negotiations, but to derail any peace talks with Israel. The goal of Palestinian terrorism is not to achieve a military or even a political end. The goal is simply to kill Jews, indiscriminately, as an end in itself. This is what Arafat has tolerated, encouraged and practiced for his entire career.

It is a fine achievement for a dyed-in-the-wool racist to self-righteously mouth condemnations of racism -- and be applauded by the world. But this merely set the tone for the rest of the UN conference, which has scared off every respectable nation -- not just the U.S., but most of Europe -- leaving, as its most prominent attendees, Arafat and Fidel Castro.

At one of the sessions, South African President Thabo Mbeki railed against the alleged wrongs done by European colonialism and demanded reparations to African nations. Yet meanwhile, in Zimbabwe -- formerly the British colony of Rhodesia -- a very different story is being played out. Gangs of thugs backed by dictator Robert Mugabe are conducting a campaign of terror against the nation's white farmers and seizing their land. The farmers' crime is that their ancestors settled in a sparsely populated, undeveloped territory and turned it into productive farms, which employ many black workers -- who happen to form the backbone of the opposition to Mugabe's regime. There has been no discussion, at the UN conference, of Mugabe's racist atrocities.

Many at the conference also back reparations for slavery in the U.S. This is the perverse theory that whites today -- who bear no responsibility for slavery -- should be made to pay for what other whites did 135 years ago. It is an attempt to codify the assignment of collective, racial guilt. Yet this is promoted, self-righteously, as a battle against racism.

Such hypocrisy should be no surprise, because it is typical of the United Nations. These are the same folks who recently refused to allow the United States onto the UN Human Rights Commission -- while installing a representative from Sudan, an Islamic theocracy that tolerates the practice of slavery. The UN is an organization that claims to be devoted to world peace and opposed to aggression while it gives veto power to the world's worst aggressors and largest dictatorships; while it refuses to recognize a relatively free nation, Taiwan, in order to please the Communist dictators of China; while it gives equal votes in the General Assembly to every cheap little dictatorship on the planet; and while it holds conferences allegedly dedicated to fighting oppression, whose most prominent participants are murderers.

Ayn Rand once compared the UN to an anti-crime commission that includes the community's leading gangsters. The UN's various commissions and conferences are beginning to look more like anti-crime commissions run by the gangsters.

The U.S. has wisely chosen not to send a high-level delegation to the conference of racists. But we should go further: We should withdraw any cooperation with the vicious fraud that is the United Nations.

Comment on JWR contributor Robert W. Tracinski's column by clicking here.

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