There is at least one major Israeli nongovernmental organization (NGO) network active in Geneva, Switzerland this week promoting the Durban II racism conference’s anti-Israel agenda.
It is doing so despite efforts by the Israeli government and leading Jewish organizations to tone down the rhetoric.
Ittijah, the Israeli Arab umbrella group for Israeli Arab NGOs working with Adalah, issued a press release during the conference that proclaimed, “Arab organizations will not let Israel whitewash this conference.” The group announced that it had sent 10 Israeli Arab leaders to lobby participants at the conference against the “racist character of the state of Israel.”
Adalah is an Israeli Arab organization funded by the predominately Jewish Washington, D.C.-based New Israel Fund.
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The Ittijah statement, reminiscent of the “Zionism is racism resolution” adopted by the U.N. in 1975 and repealed in 1991, claims that the “Jewish character of the state of Israel contradicts international law.”
It bases this claim on Israel’s refusal to allow those Palestinians, and their descendants, who were forced to leave their villages during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence “the right of return.”
These refugees have wallowed in U.N.-run refugee camps since 1949.
The Ittijah press release also accuses the American government and the European Union of crimes against the Palestinian people by succumbing to the “Israeli blackmail… to deny the Durban II conference any real power.”
A senior Israeli security official said Israeli security will question the 10 Israeli Arab citizens from the Ittijah delegation when they return from Geneva to determine if any of them met with Iranian officials and if they might be a security risk to the State of Israel.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org