The first WCAR in 2001 had an anti-Israeli agenda, driven by Iran, with a final draft of a declaration labeling Zionism as racist. The 2009 final draft of the declaration has removed all anti-Israeli references and all references to the Middle East.The Vatican has sent a personal representative to the conference (to which Benedict XVI lent his personal support). At the same time, the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Israel have declined to attend.
Point / Counterpoint
- Damien Thompson (Holy Smoke) wonders: Why is Pope Benedict supporting the UN's 'anti-racist' hatefest against Israel? (UK Telegraph April 19, 2009)
- Shimon Samuels, director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and head of the Jewish caucus at Durban I, pens a provocative editorial: Why we should be at Durban II (Jerusalem Post April 16, 2009).