EU Possibly to Join Durban Boycott

Reuters and the Associated Press report. The conditions for EU participation appear to be the same as those that prompted the United States’ withdrawal from the anti-racism conference, scheduled to occur next month in Geneva: either the draft document is changed to eliminate anti-Semitism and free speech restrictions designed as “anti-defamation of religion” statutes, or we won’t be there.

Obviously, the best option is for all parties, including the United States and the EU, to participate and work toward a document acceptable to all sides. The only way to have an effective anti-racism conference is for everyone to be involved. In Durban in 2001, the EU banded together — during the conference itself, after the United States and Israel had already departed — to keep all offensive passages out of the final document. If EU countries are not confident that they could do so this time, then I suppose solidarity is best, but solidarity at the conference would be better.

(image from flickr user Vovchychko under a Creative Commons license)