Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has a pressing assignment. He is intent on derailing the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Apparently, the conference, which will be held in Durban, South Africa, is a bit too much for the American and Israeli governments. And Kofi Annan is always eager to please the Israel Firsters, if only to get a favorable mention in the New York Times.
The man who was largely responsible for the slaughter in Rwanda, has an excuse for why it would be inconvenient to bring up certain issues. Annan's message to the conference is to forget about past racial atrocities and concentrate on setting "a new course against racism in the future."
What about racism today, Kofi? Annan studiously avoids such problematic issues. He especially wants to avoid any talk of equating Zionism with racism. Why? For one thing, because the American government is threatening to boycott the Durban conference if the issue is so much as mentioned.
Is Kofi aware of the extent of official institutional Israeli racism? In Israel, we have a country that confiscates land from native Palestinians to build exclusive Jewish settlements with exclusive Jewish access roads. Immigration laws favor Jews over Arabs. Owning land is subject to a test of faith. Israeli police would never confront Jewish demonstrators with lethal force, yet have seen fit to execute hundreds of Palestinian protesters, including Arab citizens of Israel. Collective punishment against Arab Muslims and Christians is routinely applied. Family homes are destroyed to punish the relatives of those who dare to resist the Israeli occupation army. In the Gaza Strip, one of the highest density urban areas in the world, over a million Palestinians are under siege to allow seven thousand illegal Jewish settlers to romp on confiscated Arab property that amounts to a third of the strip. A whole city, Hebron, has been under virtual curfew for nearly ten months. A city of 120,000 inhabitants is held hostage while a few hundred messianic zealots are given the liberty to assault the natives at will.
Israeli politicians think nothing of using the most derogatory racial language in discussing the native people of the Holy Land. Aside from Chechnya, there is no place on the planet where virulent Euro-centric chauvinism is currently practiced with such murderous results. No organization in the world has documented the systematic racist brutality of the Israeli government like the United Nations. And Kofi and his advisers are well aware of the criminal racist laws that the Israelis have instituted to humiliate and dispossess the Palestinians.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not just about racism. It is about institutional racist repression. Kofi knows the history of Israeli bigots and their war criminal leaders who have tormented and abused the native Palestinians for over five decades. Any sane college student who is even remotely familiar with Zionist political thought, would have no trouble recognizing the racism inherent in willfully destroying another people's country to make room for a land as 'Jewish as England is English'. Yet Kofi insists on keeping this particular group of Jewish supremacists and their dogma off the Durban agenda
It is no secret that the State Department has been twisting Kofi's arm to get him to pre-empt any discussion of Zionist political thought and practice. As most Americans know, this particular federal department has long been a rubber stamp for even the most outrageous Israeli policies. There is now a great American tradition of financing political campaigns by leasing out the State Department to the highest bidder; even to American-Jewish supremacists who publicly identify themselves as Zionist bigots. Want a quick lesson about racism and political power in modern America, take one look at the faces in the American Senate, where the only non-European representatives hail from Hawaii, a state largely populated by Asian and Pacific-Islanders.
The Durban conference will most likely end up as yet another stale gathering of government officials on inflated expense accounts. Just a bunch of gray suits, who see no evil, rap about ebony and ivory living in perfect harmony, believe tolerance is about indulging in Chinese food or enjoying Arabic music and, of course, denounce Apartheid, now that it is a thing of the past. If an American delegation bothers to show up, it will probably include a number of career state department officials who climbed the ranks by advocating a policy of constructive engagement with the former minority governors of South Africa. During the Reagan and Bush administration, Colin Powell had no problem going along with the 'constructive engagement' ruse that allowed American business to ignore sanctions against South Africa,
For the pre-determined failure of this historic conference, blame Kofi Annan. This intellectual midget cares more about the local press in his home town, New York, than about the effects of racist political thought on yet another bitter generation of human beings who will continue to endure the trials and tribulations of the "struggle against a global enemy". Count on this secretary general, who is just another corrupt international civil servant, to ban a free discourse on contemporary racist political movements, like Zionism. This is a man that cares more about his individual piece of the pie than world peace. He might not be a racist himself, but he certainly has a high tolerance for doing business with racists and allowing them to have their way with their victims.
If the American government doesn't want to discuss certain issues about race, let them stay away from Durban. They have a plate full of domestic race-related problems to keep them busy for another generation. An international conference on race that bans any discussion of Zionism is like a conference on global warming that prohibits discussion of deforestation in the Amazon. The United States government can't handle the subject matter, largely because they want to project their own anti-Arab racist dogma onto the rest of the world. Let no one forget that America stayed home in the fight against Apartheid and paid little attention to the genocide in Rwanda. Neither, should we forget that the Clinton Administration and Kofi Annan intervened in the Balkans only under duress, long after hundreds of thousands of innocents had already been ethnically cleansed.
Today, the Bush administration showers praise on Sharon for his 'restraint', while pretending not to notice the wholesale Israeli assault against the most basic rights of the Palestinians. Putin's KGB regime conducts vicious daily crimes against the Chechens, accompanied by a full-scale racist public relations campaign. Yet, the West is silent. The Kurds are forgotten by everyone except their Turkish and Iraqi tormentors. Xenophobia is all the rage in European capitals. Africa disintegrates economically, ravaged by debt, Aids, tribalism, a miserly transfer of technology from the West and the 'who cares' attitude of a very racist planet. The United States and Europe do not even pretend to support transparent democratic governance in the Middle East and are perfectly content with absolute monarchies that cooperate on keeping down the price of oil. A United Nations embargo inflicts the death penalty on hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, ten years after the Gulf war ended. Religious intolerance is harnessed for political power that feeds ethnic conflicts, which in turn are allowed to feed the fancies of religious bigots. The caste system in India thrives without criticism, while millions suffer the indignity of being labeled inferiors from cradle to grave. Incredibly, in the twenty-first century, ethnic, racial and religious identity are still determinants of individual destiny.
The Durban conference was once a grand notion by one Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland. It was to be an opportunity for all the nations and people of the world to face up to the darker side of their history. But the Zionist lobby insists on yanking out the Yanks if Zionism is discussed. So, the Russians will insist that silence be enforced on Chechnya. Needless to say, the Turks will not want to discuss Armenians or Kurds. Sudan will refuse to discuss its civil war. The Algerians will protest any mention of a Berber problem. The Spaniards, naturally, have no Basque independence movement. Japan will refuse to discuss the status of its Koreans and Germany will not talk of German-born non-citizens of Turkish ancestry. India will demand that the untouchables be cast out of the conference. If Kashmir is put on the agenda, the Indian delegation won't even show. As for the Taliban, they will be spared the trouble of explaining themselves, because they were not invited in the first place. The Chinese will insist that Tibetans are Chinese. The Brazilians will refuse any talk of racism in Rio. African-Americans, intent on discussing reparations for slavery, will be ignored. Indigenous people, including Native-Americans, will be muzzled, just like the Palestinians. The list of taboo subjects will expand until Mary Robinson's grand notion is totally sabotaged by Kofi Annan and his American handlers.
The shame of it all, is that a more enlightened American administration and a less opportunistic Kofi Annan, could have made this conference a major leap forward in relations between the people of our planet, no matter their race or creed. The domestic legal code of the United States is technically one of the most race neutral in the world. The vast majority of Americans, on an individual level, have made incredible personal strides in overcoming a legacy of bigotry and racial intolerance. Much work remains to be done, but the efforts of the last four decades cannot be denied. Our laws are fair; even if we do not apply them fairly, especially to racial minorities. America is no longer a constitutionally racist state. In principal, few people in the world are as sincerely committed to the notion that all men are created equal. It is just that our governors are a much lower breed of men than our average citizen.
America's anti-Arab racists, led by the formidable American-Jewish media barons and the Yiddish supremacists of the Israel First lobby, insist on having it their way. They have the keys to the store at the State Department, a gift from the groveling money-grubbing political class that makes a home in Washington. As a result, American policy on the Middle East is the product of a process that deliberately formulates policy based on a racist agenda. It is a policy that is virtually dictated from Tel Aviv to fit like a glove on Israel's Iron fist drive to eradicate the Palestinian people.
Kofi Annan has deliberately sabotaged the Durban conference. He has bowed to his masters in Washington who have, in turn, bowed to their masters in Tel Aviv. Yet, despite of the damage done, the Durban conference must go on. Regardless of whether the Americans show, The question of the racist nature of Zionism should certainly be on the agenda.