J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement on the United States’ decision to boycott this week’s Durban Review Conference (Durban II):
J Street reiterates its strong support of President Obama and his Administration’s decision not to participate in this week’s Durban II Conference. While we commend the progress made by the planning commission in removing some anti-Israel language from the conference’s draft resolution, its failure to wholly remove the document’s endorsement of Durban I – which so blatantly singled out Israel for criticism – precludes a real conversation on the best way to combat discrimination and advance human rights worldwide. In particular, we are outraged by Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s role at the conference. His inflammatory threats against Israel and the United States not only undermine the conference’s stated mission, but also seek to inhibit the international efforts that are so critical to the process of reconciliation and peace-making in the Middle East. The United States’ leadership in standing up to such incitement underscores the importance of the President’s strong commitment to Israel. We hope that the Obama Administration will continue to work with the international community to create an objective, viable forum to address all forms of racism and injustice worldwide.