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Palestine in South Africa

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  • nativelit@earthlink.net
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2001

      Thousands rally in Durban against Israel and U.S.

      DURBAN, South Africa, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Thousands of
      demonstrators chanting
      anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans marched through the
      centre of Durban
      on Friday as a world conference against racism got under

      "Israel is an apartheid state" and "Free, Free Palestine"
      were among banners
      waved by the protesters, estimated to number 10,000, as they
      headed for a
      meeting to be addressed by U.S. civil rights leader Jesse

      Another banner read: "George Bush: Palestinian blood is on
      your hands."

      Both the United States and Israel have sent only low-level
      delegations to the
      United Nations-organised World Conference Against Racism in
      protest at what
      they say is an anti-Israel bias in draft texts drawn up for
      the meeting.

      Arab states have dropped clauses equating Zionism with
      Racism but want
      "foreign occupation" -- a veiled reference to Israeli
      actions in Palestinian
      territories -- to be branded as a new kind of apartheid.

      Armed police looked on as marchers filed through central
      city streets but
      there were no immediate reports of any violence.

      07:33 08-31-01

      U.N. Chief: Racism Summit Can't Afford Failure

      By Richard Waddington

      DURBAN, South Africa (Aug. 31) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
      Annan on Friday
      urged delegates to an acrimonious global conference against
      racism to set
      aside their differences, saying the meeting could not afford
      to fail.

      ''If we leave here without agreement we shall give comfort
      to the worst
      elements in every society,'' he told the opening session of
      the eight-day
      World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
      Xenophobia and
      Related Intolerance.

      Acknowledging rows that dogged preparations for the United
      meeting in the South African port of Durban -- Washington
      has sent only a
      low-level delegation because of what it says is an
      anti-Israeli bias -- was a
      test of the international community's ability to unite on a
      vital issue.

      ''Let us not fail that test,'' he said.

      Annan sought to sound a conciliatory note on the two most
      contentious issues
      -- how to deal with, if at all, conflict in the Middle East
      and how to
      address the historic ill of slavery.

      Arab states have been insisting that the conference text
      contain a specific
      reference to what it says is racist treatment by Israel of
      Palestinians in
      the occupied territories.

      Describing the Holocaust, in which some six million Jews
      were killed by the
      Nazis in World War Two, as ''the ultimate abomination,''
      Annan said Israel
      could not use the tragedy as an excuse never to examine its
      own behavior.

      ''We cannot expect Palestinians to accept this (the
      Holocaust) as a reason
      why the wrongs done to them -- displacement, occupation,
      blockage, and now
      extra-judicial killings -- should be ignored, whatever label
      one uses to
      describe them,'' he said.

      But Annan said the conference was not the place for mutual
      recriminations and
      that its aim was to look to the future.

      He sent the same message on slavery, for which some African
      states want an
      explicit apology and possibly financial reparations from
      former slave-trading

      ''Our aim must be to banish from this new century the hatred
      and prejudice
      that have disfigured previous centuries,'' he said.

      The emphasis of the conference was on practical measures to
      combat racism and
      discrimination against ethnic minorities from which few
      countries were immune.

      ''We must not leave this city without agreeing on practical
      measures which
      all states should take to fill that pledge,'' he said.

      European countries and the United States, the main players
      in the traffic of
      slaves from Africa to north and south America for some 400
      years up to the
      19th century, reject any talk of reparations and are wary of
      any wording in
      the conference texts that could leave them open to legal

      REUTERS  Reut09:05 08-31-01

      Jackson: Zionism Criticism to Come Out
      .c The Associated Press

      DURBAN, South Africa (AP) - The Palestinian delegation has
      agreed to drop
      criticism of Israel and Zionism in a final declaration for
      the U.N.
      conference against racism, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said

      Following a three-hour meeting with Yasser Arafat, Jackson
      said the
      Palestinian leader had agreed to oppose efforts to criticize
      Israel and
      Zionism, and to recognize the Holocaust as the worst crime
      of the 20th

      The Palestinians were not immediately available for comment.

      Jackson presented reporters with a handwritten draft of the
      document signed
      by Arafat in which he said he did not want the U.N.
      conference to derail over
      criticism of Israel.

      The racism gathering has been overshadowed in part by
      anti-Israel language in
      a draft of the conference document. The United States
      decided not to send a
      high-level delegation to the conference because of negative
      references to
      Israel and the Zionist movement.

      Shortly after making the announcement, Jackson spoke to
      Secretary of State
      Colin Powell by telephone to explain the statement Arafat
      had signed.

      Jackson criticized the Bush administration for not sending
      Powell, noting
      that he was able to resolve the controversy simply by
      talking to the
      Palestinian leader.

      From: "benjamin ramos" <uriyoan@...>
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