Scholars for Peace in the Middle East congratulates the Obama Administration for its decision to withdraw from the second World Conference Against Racism in Geneva, known as “Durban II.” The move, which was preceded by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to remove Canada from the conference now means there is no North American representation at this conference. This constitutes a very significant statement of rejection of the emerging outcomes from these meetings. SPME urges all 27, 000 faculty members of its Network many of whom are in countries preparing for this conference to follow the lead of the United States and Canada to not dignify these meetings with their participation. We urge all citizens of good will to encourage their governments not to participate.
The conference, originally held in 2001 held that “Zionism is Racism” which fueled unparalleled anti-Israelism, including delegitimization of Israel as a sovereign state. From all reports from officials preparing for this forthcoming conference, anti-Israelism is only getting worse.
With anti-Semitism on campus reaching record proportions this spring, SPME sees this important action as a rebuking of such doctrines and hope that his action will bring sanity and civility to the discourse of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict on campus and in the region.
The Board of Directors, SPME, Februrary 27, 2009
For Further Information Contact:
Edward S. Beck, SPME President Emeritus; Walden University, 717-576-5038 or [email protected]
Peter Haas, SPME Vice President for External Relations; Case Western Reserve University, [email protected]