The US is boycotting a UN conference on racism that’s supposed to be held in Geneva in April. The reasons given are: “text drawn up for the event criticises Israel and restricts freedom of speech.” The first reason is just blatant racist/imperialistic policies by the US regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict that’s not surprising. I mean US senators thought the murder of over 1000 Palestinian civilians was a justified response to Hamas. Why shouldn’t the rest of the world criticize that? This is not about criticizing Judaism but criticizing Zionism, or the policies of the Israeli government. How is the Israeli government any different from Muslim terrorists, whom the US condemns, in their beliefs and actions? The second reason, “restricts freedom of speech” sounds concerning until you read that “US officials say they are also concerned that some sections of the draft – which call for restrictions on the defamation of religions – could threaten free speech.” So the “free speech” the US is concerned about is the defamation of religions. Apparently criticism of Zionism, which I think is separate from Judaism, does not fall under free speech. Which religion was the US looking to defame? I think it’s totally understandable that rules be drawn about defamation, to allow focus about the actual policies of some governments. The US seems to have it all backwards. As Eric Holder said, Americans are cowards when it comes to discussing race. Here’s hoping that Obama rethink boycotting this conference before April.

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