Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Negotiating for Durban II

The dynamics of the current negotiations over the text to be adopted at the April 20 Durban II conference, as described by Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN, make for unsettling reading.

-- The United States keeps quiet, so as not to tip anyone off about whether it will attend.

-- The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) pushes its longstanding goal of delegitimizing Israel, adding new accusations against the West, including a new charge of 'anti-Arabism,' to create additional negotiating room for itself.

-- The EU does its best to go along with the OIC, squashing any protests by individual EU member states.

-- Any interests that Israel or Jews have are ground up in the process.

As Bayefsky puts it: "Watching the U.N. conduct the business of human rights is revealing. It teaches us how negotiations between fascists and democrats proceed. Democrats “show restraint,” while fascists don’t care who they offend or what they say. And more often than not, Jews and the Jewish state are the political football. The farthest thing from this playing field is true concern over the protection of human rights."

My bet is that the Obama administration will indeed announce at the last minute tht it will attend. It will choose the deadest point of the news cycle to do so, and will cite some breakthrough in the negotiated text. The EU will be delighted, since U.S. attendance gives it all the cover it needs. The OIC will say nothing - just push for further concessions during the conference itself. Just please don't ask me what this charade has to do with human rights.

No comments: