Stephen Harper and the Conservatives led Canada to be the first country to pull out of the Durban II conference, a UN-sponsored event combating racism. The first conference in 2001 turned into a spectacle of anti-Semitism and West-bashing. Seeing that Durban II was shaping up to be more of the same, the Canadian government announced that no delegation would be attending.
Until now, Canada stood alone. But now the United States has announced that no American delegation would participate.
I expect more countries to follow soon.
Meanwhile, the NDP is waffling on the issue. After initially criticizing the government, the NDP came out in support of this decision. Then that support was withdrawn, and the NDP seems to want Canada back in.
On any other site, it would just be a technical problem. But on the site maintained by a political party, the disappearance of a page makes you wonder.
In this case, the folks at rabble have noticed that the page just put up by the NDP two days ago in which the NDP agreed with the Conservative government decision to withdraw from the Durban II conference in 2009 has disappeared.
Is the NDP reconsidering its position? There are plenty of folks at rabble who certainly hope so.
In the wake of the announcement by Jason Kenney that Canada would withdraw from participation in the UN-sponsored Durban II anti-racism conference coming up in 2009, the opposition Liberal Party and NDP have come on board to say that the government made the right choice.
Frankly, it was the only possible choice. The first Durban anti-racism conference turned into a West-bashing anti-Semitic nightmare hijacked by Middle Eastern dictatorships and neo-Nazi NGOs pretending to be "progressive".
Durban II will likely be worse. The United Nations assigned the job of organizing the conference to Libya. Iran is an executive member of the planning committee. All the NGOs that distributed Hitler pamphlets during the first conference in 2001 are automatically invited back.
Durban II will likely be worse than Durban I.
When the announcement was made that Canada would not participate in Durban II, Jason Kenney promised that Canada would find other venues to fight racism. One such had been identified back in June, when Canada applied to be an observer on the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research.
Now Canada has announced its intention to become a full member.
An important membership criteria? Totalitarian, authoritarian, and dictatorial regimes need not apply.
Sounds like a good idea for the UN itself.
At the risk of offending the Canadian Arab Federation, Stephen Dion and the Liberals have issued an official statement in which the party endorses the Conservative decision to withdraw from all activities related to the upcoming Durban II conference.
The Canadian Arab Federation has come out strongly against the Canadian government's decision, supported by the NDP, to not participate in any way with the upcoming UN-sponsored Durban II conference on racism. The position of the Conservative government, supported by the NDP, is that Durban II is shaping up to be an exercise in the most vile and repellent anti-Semitism, as was experienced by the Canadian delegation that attended the Durban I conference in 2001.
The CAF has every right to take a different position. But to call Jason Kenney an Islamophobe who is contemptuous of Arabs and of Islam?
But then CAF president Khaled Mouammar, who has all sorts of links with the Liberal Party, declares anyone who sympathizes with Israel to be guilty of complicity in war crimes.
I wonder if Khaled Mouammar is planning a trip to the Durban II conference.
Canada has been winning praise for taking the decision to withdraw participation in the Durban II conference in 2009, a UN-sponsored event ostensibly to fight racism, but almost certainly to degenerate into an anti-Semitic spectacle like Durban I in 2001.
Now even the NDP agrees with the government.
When I wrote about the government's decision to remove Canada from the preparatory work being done in advance of the Durban II conference, I really expected this to be a non-issue.
I really expected that the Liberals would applaud. I really expected that the Liberals, who as a government sent a delegation to Durban I in 2001 and reported the most shocking examples of widespread anti-Semitism, would consider the words of John Manley and Irwin Cotler who advised against repeating that mistake.
Indeed, the Liberals could even take some credit, publishing those quotes and pointing out that they had concluded some time ago that the Durban II conference was not the sort of thing Canada could engage in.
I was wrong. I really don't believe I'm saying this, but the Liberal Party position is that as awful as Durban I was when the Liberals attended, and as strongly as senior Liberals have said the entire experience was grotesque, Canadian diplomats ought have meetings with anti-Semites to discuss how to best to word the demand for the destruction of Israel as a measure of respect to the United Nations.
The 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, was a utter fiasco. The conference was hijacked by anti-Semites and West-hating NGOs. The atmosphere become so toxic that the United States and Israel withdrew their delegations. Canada joined other major nations in condemning the conference, though Jean Chretien stopped short of actually pulling Canada's delegation.
Stephen Harper, Maxime Bernier (foreign affairs), and Jason Kenney (multiculturalism and Canadian identity) are being proactive this time around. The follow-up conference scheduled for 2009 is showing every sign of being as bad as Durban I, perhaps worse. Major nations have voted against funding it, but the resolution to fund the conference out of the UN general budget passed the UN General Assembly anyway.
Canada might not be able to control the UN budget, but the Canadian government can still enjoy the sovereign right not to legitimize another UN pet project that demonizes the West.
And so it's great to hear that Canada is the first country to stand up and say that it will not participate in this upcoming conference.
Hopefully, countries like the United States will follow Canada's lead. In the end, who wants to be at a conference facility where participants hand out pamphlets that mourn the fact that Hitler was not able to complete the job of exterminating the Jews?