Peace and quiet outside the UN at the controversial Durban conference – .

Peace and quiet outside the UN at the controversial Durban conference – .

A total of 34 countries openly boycotted Wednesday’s United Nations conference marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban over anti-Semitism and anti-Israel prejudices manifested at the 2001 event.

But outside the UN headquarters in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday morning, passers-by would have no idea that such a controversial event was unfolding inside, without the road closures and security personnel from the FBI and NYPD as dozens of world leaders gathered in the city.

The busy streets of Turtle Bay were no noisier than a typical weekday, and there were no major or violent protests.

“I expected so much more chaos and constant protests,” said Julia Arber, 22, a dancer who lives one block from the UN.

WALK IN Cape Town, South Africa, August 21, 2001, prior to the Durban conference. Thousands of members of the city’s Muslim community joined them. (Credit: MH / FMS / Reuters)“I know Durban and would expect him to cause anti-Semitic protests. Some people gave me flyers but nothing really caught my attention, ”she continued. “I have to show my ID all week to access my OR, which has been weird. ”

This week is the first United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) since Arber moved to the neighborhood. “It’s pretty cool to see everyone,” she said, adding that the anti-Israel protests could escalate later in the week, as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is due to speak at the conference. ‘meeting on September 27.

Ali, a doorman at a 22-year-old Second Avenue skyscraper a short walk from the UN headquarters, told the Jerusalem Post that the week had started full of protests, but on Wednesday the area was quiet.

He was not aware of the Durban IV conference.

“The protests that I saw, I couldn’t even understand what they were shouting,” he said. “I’m just doing my job. It doesn’t really affect me.

Several diplomats approached at the exit of the conference refused to speak with the Poster.

Before Durban IV, under the banner: “Fight Racism, Not Jews: The UN and the Durban Deception”, Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and others spoke at a conference hosted by Touro College, Human Rights Voices and CAMERA on Sunday, in a powerful frontal appeal to countries to qu ‘they withdraw from the Durban IV conference and stand up to today’s anti-Semitism.

The virtual counter-event drew thousands of viewers. “All countries that are truly committed to the fight against racism should refuse to attend Durban IV and the 20th anniversary carnival,” said Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, president of Human Rights Voices and moderator of the conference. . “That’s why we organized a counter-conference called ‘Fight Racism, Not Jews’. The Durban deception, double talk, double standards – and, in particular, discrimination – must be exposed and rejected, period. “

More than twice as many countries chose not to participate in the event than at the previous Durban Review Conference in 2011, where 14 had done so.

The countries boycotting Durban IV were: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.

A series of protests in New York against some world leaders took place on Monday and Tuesday, such as new Peruvian President Pedro Castillo and Somali Abdullahi Mohamed.

“Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for crimes against humanity” and “a government of designated terrorists” were some of the bold banner messages seen around Manhattan in a video posted to Twitter by Iranian Americans for Freedom.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.


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