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UN set to commemorate controversial Durban conference, with 31 states boycotting

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The United Nations General Assembly was set Wednesday to hold a commemoration event for the 20th anniversary of the controversial UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which was accused of veering into open antisemitism.

The first Durban conference — held from August 31 to September 8, 2001, just days before the terror attacks of September 11 — was marked by deep divisions on the issues of antisemitism, colonialism and slavery. The US and Israel walked out of the conference in protest at the tone of the meeting, including over plans to include in the final text condemnations of Zionism as a form of racism — a provision that was eventually dropped.

At the 2009 conference, a speech by Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacking Israel sparked a temporary walkout by many European delegates.

A record 31 nations will boycott the commemorations over concerns that it will feature scenes similar to those seen in 2001, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said Friday — over double the number of countries that have done so in the past.

“In recent months I have worked for the world to understand that the Durban Conference was fundamentally........

© The Times of Israel

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