Posted by Atilla89 on May 20, 2009
First post in months, yay. As usual I’ve had other priorities and things to attend to. This does not mean I have ignored what been going on (kind of hard to do while studying for an International Relations major). The aftermarth of Operation Cast Lead and of course Durban 2. Its kind of funny in a sick way how that turned out. Fredrick Toben a Holocaust denier in Adelaide has been sentenced to 3 months in jail due to a refusal to take down Holocaust denial and Antisemitic material from his website. He was prosecuted by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry in 1998 due to the offensive nature of the content on his site.
I was given this article to read recently and told to respond to it. This is what I wrote; I hope it gets through the editor and published on the site, but if not here it is.
This piece by Clementine Force completely glosses over the fact that 1) being ‘wrong’ and ‘misguided’ was not Toben’s crime and 2) freedom of speech was never the issue in this case. The Racial Discrimination Act makes it very clear that it is unlawful to act in a way that is reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate another person especially if it is done because of a person’s, among other characteristics, race or creed. The judge ruled against Toben not specifically because he was wrong about a certain fact, but because he asserted that some Jewish people had exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II in order to profit from the perpetuation of what is described as ‘a Holocaust myth’. The laws of free speech have never covered the right to insult and humiliate other people based on a person’s religion or race. Force also asserts that Toben’s views are not dangerous in a world where Holocaust denial is dismissed. She is right. However, we don’t live in that world; in 2006 Toben went to the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Iran, a conference sponsored by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad another Holocaust denier who is the President of Iran. Toben was never sent to jail based on whether he was right or wrong, he sentenced because he refused to comply with a court order after giving his word that he would.
Tell me what you think of it and what I can improve.
Posted in Antisemitism, Australian Politics, Racism | 1 Comment »
Posted by Atilla89 on February 21, 2008
7 days ago I started talking about a counter conference against Durban II because I, like a lot of other people believe that Durban II will just by another bitch-fest about Israel and Zionism, dominated by Antisemitic Arab powers and their allies. Well, we’ve had an follow up session and guess what, there are no surprises as to what has happened at this conference. Read the whole thing here.
In what may be a portent of things to come, Islamic accusations against the West dominated a UN session today dedicated to follow-up of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa.
This week in Geneva saw the first meeting of the “Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards,” which was created by a UN Human Rights Council Resolution on follow-up to the 2001 Durban conference. Initiated by Algeria on behalf of Africa, it was adopted in December 2006 over the opposition of the EU, Canada and other democratic states on the Council. The resolution sought to “heed the decision and instruction of the 2001 World Conference against Racism.”
So basically those that turned Durban I into a fiasco have launched this new meeting. Now we start to see the reasons why Israel, Canada and many political pundits and commentators don’t want another conference.
Algerian Deputy Permanent Representative Mohammed Bessedik drew thinly veiled comparisons of today’s treatment of Muslims to the Nazi atrocities against Jews. “The policy of targeting Muslims would actually aim at dehumanizing them by assaulting their identity to legitimize an attitude of racial discrimination similar to the one that targeted another Semitic people in the 20th century.” He described the threat of “reawakening the hydra of the anti-Semitic campaigns of the 20th century, which we now call Islamophobia.”
In thinly veiled jibes against Israel, “foreign occupation” was raised repeatedly by Islamic states. Syria and Algeria called it one of the worst forms of human rights violations. Egypt referred to countries that occupy other countries for a lengthy period as “a form of racism by itself” and “a racist regime of occupation.”
I think both those paragraph are pretty self-explantory. As well as this, the Arab and African countries aren’t troubling to cover their lobby for another of these conferences;
Senegal stressed the need for finding new language for contemporary manifestations of racism — another way of calling for a reopening of the Durban 2001 declaration.
Hopefully enough countries will boycott the Durban II conference enough to make it look like a farce and instead attend a counter conference proposed by Canadian Senator Jerry Graftstein. Otherwise there is not much else that can be done.
Posted in Islam, Israel, Jews, Middle-East, Racism, UN | 2 Comments »