Tuesday, November 23, 2004

UN includes anti-Semitism in resolution on tolerance

The UN Third Commission on Human Rights has approved for the first time a resolution on religious tolerance that incudes condemnation of anti-Semitism and concern about its spread.

The article that references anti-Semitism notes that the commission recognizes 'with deep concern' the growth in the number of incidents of lack of tolerance and violence directed at people who belong to religious communities in various parts of the world, including attacks motivated by hatred of Muslims, anti-Semitism, and hatred of Christians.'

The resolution is adopted annually by consensus, and the original formulation focused on condemning all forms of religious intolerance and xenophobia.

Attempts made in the past by Israel and Jewish groups in the U.S. to include explicit references to anti-Semitism were foiled by the Arab and Islamic states. This year, too, the Arab states were active behind the scenes, trying to prevent the mention of anti-Semitism in the draft.

But Holland - holding the current presidency of the European Union - and Germany made clear to Arab diplomats last week that Europe was determined to include the reference to anti-Semitism.

Anyone want to bet that the Arab nations will spin this by saying that "anti-semitism" means hatred of Arabs and that Jews are not Semites? -EoZ