Saturday, September 25, 2021

Thanks to Biden Administration, Iran Mullahs and Taliban Empowered - Majid Rafizadeh


​ by Majid Rafizadeh

It is mind-boggling that the Biden administration announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan without any plans either to secure billions of dollars of US military equipment, but made not the slightest effort to recover or destroy it.

  • Not only did the Biden administration – whose sole purpose in Afghanistan was to prevent another "9/11 attack" – hand the Taliban and the mullahs of Iran a major political and strategic victory, it also rewarded them with sophisticated, state-of-the-art US weapons worth $85 billion – courtesy of American taxpayers -- which these terrorists will undoubtedly use to launch an even more deadly "9/11 attack" to kill American taxpayers.

  • The US withdrawal to the Taliban was so poorly planned that the Biden administration actually delivered seven brand new helicopters to Afghanistan just a month before announcing that it would be withdrawing from the country.

  • It is mind-boggling that the Biden administration announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan without any plans either to secure billions of dollars of US military equipment, but made not the slightest effort to recover or destroy it.

  • The Taliban and the Iranian regime now are not only able to unleash US-made weapons against the US and its allies, but Iran, Russia and China can also utilize this military equipment for research, reverse engineering, reproducing and selling it.

The Biden administration's poorly planned surrender in Afghanistan has been causing tragedy and disaster one after another, all while empowering the Taliban and the mullahs of Iran. The Iranian leaders have close ties to Taliban; both share a deep hatred towards the United States and Israel. Iran, as well as Pakistan, has also long provided shelter to Taliban leaders. Pictured: Iran's then Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (right) hosts Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (center-left) in Tehran, Iran on January 31, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim News/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration's poorly planned surrender in Afghanistan has been causing tragedy and disaster one after another, all while empowering the Taliban and the mullahs of Iran.

The Iranian leaders have close ties to Taliban; both share a deep hatred towards the United States and Israel. Iran, as well as Pakistan, has also long provided shelter to Taliban leaders.

Iranian leaders have therefore applauded Biden administration's decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan. Former Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif characterized the US withdrawal as a positive action, while President Ebrahim Raisi described it as a defeat for Washington's Middle East policy that "must become an opportunity to restore security in Afghanistan." The Iranian regime had evidently been preparing for a Taliban takeover and meeting with Taliban leaders. In January 2021, a delegation from the Taliban had already been publicly consulting with senior Iranian officials, including then Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. According to him, both parties held productive talks, and discussed their ties and the future of Afghanistan.

The Iranian regime also sees the Taliban's takeover as an opportunity to shelter terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda who also hold a deep hatred towards the United States and Israel. While the Taliban was in power, the mullahs of Iran had close connections to Al Qaeda. A trove of 470,000 documents released by the CIA in late 2017 point to warm ties between the Iranian regime and Al-Qaeda. Its former leader, Osama bin Laden, advised his followers to respect the Iranian regime and wrote that Iran was the organization's "main artery for funds, personnel and communication."

Iran was implicated in the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

"In Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al., Judge Daniels held that the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Iran's agencies and instrumentalities, including, among others, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ('IRGC'), the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security ('MOIS'), and Iran's terrorist proxy Hezbollah, all materially aided and supported al Qaeda before and after 9/11."

Iran had allowed Al-Qaeda operatives to travel throughout the country without visas or passports. Robust evidence, along with a US federal court ruling, suggests that "Iran furnished material and direct support for the 9/11 terrorists." Eight of the hijackers passed through Iran before coming to the US. Tehran provided funding, logistical support and ammunition to Al-Qaeda leaders, and sheltered several of them, in exchange for attacks on US interests.

Not only did the Biden administration – whose sole purpose in Afghanistan was to prevent another "9/11 attack" – hand the Taliban and the mullahs of Iran a major political and strategic victory, it also rewarded them with sophisticated, state-of-the-art US weapons worth $85 billion – courtesy of American taxpayers – which these terrorists will undoubtedly use to launch an even more deadly "9/11 attack" to kill American taxpayers.

"Planes, guns, night-vision goggles: The Taliban's new U.S.-made war chest", Reuters wrote. The Taliban is now armed with more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft, possibly including UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones.

The US withdrawal to the Taliban was so poorly planned that the Biden administration actually delivered seven brand new helicopters to Afghanistan just a month before announcing that it would be withdrawing from the country. "They'll continue to see a steady drumbeat of that kind of support, going forward," U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said to reporters a few days later, after the delivery of the helicopters. A few weeks later, Taliban took control of the US military equipment.

It is mind-boggling that the Biden administration announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan without any plans either to secure billions of dollars of US military equipment, but made not the slightest effort to recover or destroy it.

This military equipment -- paid for with taxes that we pay and amounting to "85 per cent of all the military aid Washington has given Israel since 1948" -- has now fallen into the hands of Taliban, and at least some has been transported to Iran.

Kian Sharifi, a BBC journalist, posted in a tweet:

"An Iranian Telegram channel that covers military stories has released these 'exclusive' images that purportedly show humvees and other military vehicles spotted on the Semnan-Garmsar road in #Iran. What I am certain of is that those are humvees and that is an Iranian road".

As noted by GOP lawmakers in a letter spearheaded by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.):

"It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by U.S. taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban and their terrorist allies. Securing U.S. assets should have been among the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense prior to announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan."

Former President Donald Trump accurately pointed out:

"Never in history has a withdrawal from war been handled so badly or incompetently as the Biden Administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan. In addition to the obvious, ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost. If it is not handed back, we should either go in with unequivocal Military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it. Nobody ever thought such stupidity, as this feeble-brained withdrawal, was possible!"

The Taliban and the Iranian regime now are not only able to unleash US-made weapons against the US and its allies, but Iran, Russia and China can also utilize this military equipment for research, reverse engineering, reproducing and selling it.

Representative Michael McCaul, the ranking Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, emailed Reuters, writing:

"We have already seen Taliban fighters armed with U.S.-made weapons they seized from the Afghan forces. This poses a significant threat to the United States and our allies."

Lawmakers and Americans need to pressure the Biden administration and demand that they recover or destroy as much of the abandoned equipment as soon as possible. Last week, James Comer (Ky.) and Rep. Glenn Grothman (Wis.) — both members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee — sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stating

"We are left wondering if the Biden Administration has a plan to prevent the Taliban from using our weapons against the U.S. or its allies, or selling them to foreign adversaries, like China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea."

Apparently not.


Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu


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A look at the terrible plight of one of Biden's political prisoners - Andrea Widburg


​ by Andrea Widburg

Before 2021, outside of the Marxist professors' lounge on a college campus, most people didn't associate political prisoners with America. That's changed.

It's become clear since the January 6 protest that there's not a scintilla of truth to the leftist narrative that an insurrection occurred.  Nevertheless, the Democrats have used this hoax narrative to criminalize conservative protests.  In Biden's America, conservatives will always be too paranoid — and rightly so — to exercise their First Amendment rights because they know that the crowd will be infiltrated by FBI agents acting as agents provocateurs.  They know that if they're illegally entrapped this way, they will become Public Enemy No. 1 and end up as political prisoners.  And Julie Kelly has a heartbreaking article to prove that.

We know that the January 6 "insurrection" narrative is another Democrat hoax.  It was clear immediately after the event that very few people were violent or physically broke into Congress.  Instead, most people entered through doors that Capitol Police Officers opened for them and then wandered around.  No one was armed.

The only person who died from violence was an unarmed woman whom a Capitol Police officer shot, although he admittedly had no idea whether she was an actual threat.  Notably, the other police who dealt with the crowds never drew a gun.

We might have known more in the past few months if the DOJ had released the 14,000 hours of footage from the event.  The DOJ insisted, though, that doing so would be a major security breach because people might learn the ins and outs of a building that...people routinely visit with tickets from their congresscritters.

However, the other day, a federal judge — an Obama judge! — finally said enough and ordered prosecutors to start producing footage.  I like Tucker Carlson's rundown of that footage:

If there was an insurrection, it was the Deep State against ordinary Americans.  And that's where we get to Julie Kelly's heartbreaking article about the horrifying experience one Navy vet (with 20 years of service) had with our government because he dared to communicate with the Oath Keepers about potentially providing security (a plan that fell through).  Notably, he never entered the Capitol, nor did he commit any serious crime.

It began with a nighttime raid fit for a drug kingpin surrounded by Dobermans and armed guards:

Thomas Caldwell's wife awakened him in a panic at 5:30 a.m. on January 19.

"The FBI is at the door and I'm not kidding," Sharon Caldwell told her husband.


Caldwell, 66, clad only in his underwear, went to see what was happening outside his Virginia farm. "There was a full SWAT team, armored vehicles with a battering ram, and people screaming at me," Caldwell told me during a lengthy phone interview on September 21. "People who looked like stormtroopers were pointing M4 weapons at me, covering me with red [laser] dots."

Caldwell was dragged to the hood of a car, thrown upon it, and cuffed.  His wife, 61, trying to put on her socks before being forced into the freezing cold, had the red dot on her the whole time.

Like many other January 6ers, Caldwell foolishly agreed to answer FBI questions without a lawyer because "I didn't have anything to hide."  He'd done nothing wrong.  They took every piece of electronics from his home, including stealing his family photos.

The Feds then charged Caldwell with six federal crimes, claiming he had plotted an attack on the Capitol.  So, into jail he went:

Caldwell spent 53 days in jail, 49 of them in solitary confinement. He could not access his medication to relieve excruciating back pain caused by spinal injuries Caldwell suffered while serving in the Navy. When prison guards asked why he was incarcerated, he said, "I'm a political prisoner because of January 6."

In prison, Caldwell said he suffered "sadistic brutality by some correctional officers and there was warmth and compassion, the latter by other employees and every single inmate." His faith, he said, and the love of his wife sustained him. "I thought I would die in jail."

Just as the First Amendment is gone in Biden's America, so is the Sixth.

Caldwell was lucky enough to get a good, new attorney.  He's now under detention at home while still being accused as a central figure in a nothing of a case.  And Kelly notes, as others have, that the FBI doesn't seem to be charging people who were very active in making things happen, leading to the reasonable conclusion that those people are informants and agents.

For those wondering why so many still languish in prison, it's because they don't have the money or the contacts to get a good criminal defense attorney.  They're getting either whomever the government gives them or the recent grad from "Do It by Mail School of Law."

Welcome to Biden's America: call it Oceania in 1984 or the Soviet Union in 1965.  It doesn't matter.  The one thing it isn't anymore is America 1776.

Image: Granny selfies in the Capitol.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Andrea Widburg


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What Does Gen. Milley's Conduct Say about Our System? - Deborah Weiss


​ by Deborah Weiss

The chairman's secret phone call to his Chinese counterpart reveals something scary about America's Intelligence Community.

Bob Woodward's new book, Peril, reportedly makes allegations about the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Milley, which if true, make Milley a traitor to our country.

The book indicates that Milley went outside the chain of command and called his counterpart in the Chinese military, Gen. Li Zuocheng, after the 2020 elections.  He gave assurances that then-president Trump would not attack China and that if an attack was ordered by the president, Milley he would warn him so it wouldn't be a surprise.

This is extremely problematic on a number of levels.

First, the United States has a civilian-military command.  That is why the president, an elected official is the commander in chief.  He can be voted in or voted out.  The role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is to advise the secretary of defense.  It is not to make military decisions on his own.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff is not in the line of command; therefore, its chairman has no authority to issue orders or to command anyone in the military based on his own opinion.  Going outside the chain of command is a violation of both federal law delineating the chairman's scope of authority, as well as the limits on that authority (see U.S. Code Section 163).  It is also a violation of the Constitution itself.

Such conduct is, in effect, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  Despite Biden's cozy relationship with China and his depiction of China as nothing more than a "competitor," the fact is that China is an enemy of the United States.  Of course, Biden can't say this because his family is profiting from its relationship with China.

Sun Tzu, the great military strategist, explained that the element of surprise is critical in achieving one's mission in war.  Had President Trump decided to order an attack on China, Milley's warning to our enemy would have given China the opportunity to strike us first, undoubtedly resulting in numerous American deaths.  In essence, General Milley vowed to intentionally undermine the element of surprise had a wartime situation arisen with China.

Woodward's book further asserts that Milley demanded each person in the military chain of command to pledge an oath to him personally and promise to consult with him first before carrying out any orders from the president.  This demand comes dangerously close to taking over the military by a coup...or at least an attempted coup.  It was not the "Trump-supporters" who committed an "insurrection" by taking over government control, as they didn't have the means to do that, even if they had wanted to.  Rather, Milley's taking over the military and requiring personal loyalty in opposition to a sitting president's potential orders constitutes a coup attempt.

Initially, many politicians on both sides of the aisle were alarmed upon learning about Milley's phone call.  Early on, it was anticipated that he would be asked to step down.  But it didn't take long before the left was twisting things around, making this turncoat into a hero, with some in the media saying he "saved the country" from a rogue president.  In reality, it was the other way around: a rogue chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endangering democracy and national security simply because he was more of a political hack for the Democrats than he was a military general.

Less mentioned is the alleged role that Nancy Pelosi played in this.  Purportedly, she called Milley, frantically pleading with him to do something to ensure that Trump would not launch nukes against China in the aftermath of the election.  Considering Pelosi's role, no wonder all the Democrats want to rationalize, minimize, and justify Milley's shameful actions.  Also, keep in mind that Milley believed that Biden was soon to be president, and he wanted to keep his job in the new administration.  Luckily for the lying Democrats, they have the media to do their bidding.

America just endured impeachment proceedings with Trump's legitimate phone call to the president of Ukraine, yet now Jen Psaki refuses to "get into the details" of the phone conversation with General Milley.  Biden should release the phone transcripts, as Trump did.

Despite Milley's stepping out of bounds and putting our country at risk, Biden had the temerity to proclaim he is proud of Milley and has every confidence in him. 

Milley insists that he heard from U.S. intelligence that the Chinese were nervous about an attack.

If this was true and Milley leaked U.S. intelligence, this would tip China off that there's a weak link in the intelligence apparatus and that the people involved there can't keep a secret.  

However, it is more likely that Milley's claim is concocted out of whole cloth.  There is simply no evidence for this.  Trump believes that the whole thing is made up.  He argued that the Intelligence Community never thought Trump would start a nuclear war against China and that Milley fabricated the story to deflect from his role in the Afghanistan debacle.

Ric Grenell, former director of National Intelligence under Trump, asserted that Trump had a decent relationship with China, never threatened the Chinese and that China knows this.  He too believes that Milley's claims are a deflection from the mess that is Afghanistan.

In the meantime, the speaker of the House made a call to Milley that appears from the transcript to be hysterical, making things up in her head about Trump launching a coup, pushing the nuclear red button, and refusing the leave the White House...all 100 percent without evidence.

Regardless of whether Milley got his cue from the Intelligence Community or not, assuming that Woodward has the facts straight regarding the call from Milley and its content, Milley is a traitor to this country and arguably guilty of treason.  This accusation is not made lightly.  It is no small matter to be guilty of treason, and certainly not something to be proud of or rationalize.  What he is accused of, if true, is outrageous, yet his silence is deafening.  Surely a denial would be in order to defend his honor if innocent.  And yet, none seems to be forthcoming.

Some think Milley should be fired for treason.  Others believe he should be fired for his incompetence regarding his role in Afghanistan, which resulted in untold numbers of deaths, rape, and tyrannical oppression.

Either way, Milley must go.

Image: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Deborah Weiss


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Biden, 'Conman-in-Chief,' Foists Absurdities on Americans - Michael Cutler


​ by Michael Cutler

Meanwhile the threats to America and Americans increase.


Voltaire was the nom de plume of famed French philosopher Fran├žois-Marie Arouet. We will begin today by considering the sage advice encapsulated in his quote, “Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Purveyors of absurdities unmask themselves when their statements are laced with contradictions and demonstrate hypocrisy. Seeking out those examples of hypocrisy and contradictions can serve as an effective BS detector!”

There is certainly no shortage of absurdities that are spewed by the mainstream media and politicians, but the Biden administration appears hell-bent on foisting record numbers of absurdities on Americans today even as his statements, policies and executive orders undermine national security, public safety, and public health, thereby proving that in reality, Biden’s 'Build Back Better' is bunk!

While Biden lambastes Americans who refuse to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and imposes draconian measures to punish them, he continues to encourage a human tsunami of illegal aliens to head for the U.S. borders. Among these hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are citizens from countries around the world. Many of these aliens are permitted to enter the United States each month and among them are those who have not been vaccinated to protect them (and us) against COVID-19 and, indeed, are stricken with that virus and other dangerous viruses.

It must be noted that this is a clear violation of  8 U.S. Code § 1182 which enumerates the categories of aliens who are inadmissible. This section of law begins with the following:

(a) Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:

(1) Health-related grounds

        (A) In general

        Any alien

(i) who is determined (in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) to have a communicable disease of public health significance

On September 17, 2021 BBC reported, US immigration: Thousands gather under bridge at US-Mexico border in growing crisis.

While some news organizations may cover the huge numbers of aliens who have turned themselves into Border Patrol agents to apply for political asylum, little if any attention is being paid to the so-called "getaways” -- the aliens who evade the Border Patrol and surreptitiously enter the United States.

This is a huge problem and the actual numbers of these aliens who escaped detection and apprehension is unknown as are their identities and potential affiliations with criminal or terrorist organizations. 

While the Border Patrol is overwhelmed by the largest increase of illegal aliens ever what is seldom, if ever reported, is how many aliens are evading detection by the beleaguered Border Patrol to easily enter the United States and perhaps bring narcotics and even weapons into the country without detection.

The disastrous situation Biden created in Afghanistan resulted in the release of thousands of terrorists, restored Afghanistan as a safe haven for radical Islamic terrorists, and provided them with incredible quantities of heavy weaponry and even with night-vision devices which could be used to help these terrorists more easily infiltrate our borders and the borders of our allies and then be used in conjunction with the commission of terror attacks.

I addressed this exceedingly dangerous situation in two recent articles:

Biden’s Afghanistan Catastrophe Increases Terror Threat in US:  Biden administration, meanwhile, focuses solely on "domestic extremists".

Biden’s Catastrophic Policies: Immigration and Afghanistan:  Shocking and dangerous parallels.

However, even before the Afghanistan debacle, the nexus between border security and national security was well-established.

The preface of the official report 9/11 and Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States begins with the following paragraph:

It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.

Page 61 of that report contained this passage:

Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists

In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.  Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.  With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.

Nearly two years ago I wrote about the dangers to national security and public safety created by “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States” in my article, Iranian Terror Threat Exacerbated by Sanctuary Policies. Now Biden has turned all of America into what can only be described as a “Sanctuary Country!”

My earlier article published in 2019, Jihad At The Border focused on how the border crisis facilitates the entry of terrorists included this worrying excerpt that is being blatantly ignored by the Biden administration:

On April 17, 2018 the House Committee on Homeland Security, Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, conducted a hearing on the topic, "State Sponsors Of Terrorism: An Examination Of Irans Global Terrorism Network.”

The prepared testimony of one of the witnesses, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, included this alarming excerpt:

In recent years, Hezbollahs Latin American networks have also increasingly cooperated with violent drug cartels and criminal syndicates, often with the assistance of local corrupt political elites….

This toxic crime-terror nexus is fueling both the rising threat of global jihadism and the collapse of law and order across Latin America that is helping drive drugs and people northward into the United States. It is sustaining Hezbollahs growing financial needs. It is helping Iran and Hezbollah consolidate a local constituency in multiple countries across Latin America. It is thus facilitating their efforts to build safe havens for terrorists and a continent-wide terror infrastructure that they could use to strike U.S. targets.

I began my commentary today by quoting Voltaire and will wrap up with another of his famous quotes:

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

My dad taught me that the only "dumb question” is the question you don't ask!

We The People must ask a simple question: Why in the world would the President of the United States act as he has, in so many ways, to endanger America and Americans? Indeed, we should ask all politicians how their actions and policies are in the best interests of America and Americans.

For far too long the citizens of our country have failed to ask the hard questions to hold our politicians accountable. Today, as a consequence of our failures as citizens of our republic, we are now paying one hell of a price.


Michael Cutler


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Biden’s Handlers Run Interference With the Press - Joseph Klein


​ by Joseph Klein

A crack in the establishment media’s Biden honeymoon.


The chickens have finally come home to roost for the establishment media. They have given President Joe Biden an extended honeymoon until very recently, when Biden’s missteps in Afghanistan and at the southern border with Mexico finally reached a tipping point that the media could no longer ignore. The White House is now circling the wagons. 

White House correspondents were furious after President Biden’s puppet masters shouted down reporters who tried to ask Biden questions during British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to the White House on September 21st. Prime Minister Johnson took two questions from the British press. President Biden sat quietly with his mask on while his staff ran interference for him.

Editorial members of the media pool promptly complained to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

“The entire editorial component of the US pool went immediately into Jen Psaki’s office to register a formal complaint that no American reporters were recognized for questions in the president’s Oval Office, and that wranglers loudly shouted over the president as he seemed to give an answer to Ed O’Keefe’s question about the situation at the Southern Border,” a White House Correspondents Association statement said.

Psaki brushed the press’s complaint aside. In fact, Biden’s flack had the gall to blame Prime Minister Johnson for the chaotic scene. That’s because, in Psaki’s words, Johnson “called on individuals from his press corps without alerting us to that intention in advance.”

So what? Biden’s handlers could have called an “audible” and allowed U.S. reporters to ask Biden two questions, which is the customary number of questions reporters get to ask the U.S. president and another world leader when they appear jointly before the press. But Biden’s handlers were too afraid of what Biden might say during an unscripted moment.

The mainstream media gave Joe Biden cover during last year’s presidential campaign while Biden spent much of his time hiding in his basement.  Indeed, the mainstream media and high-tech social media platforms helped in the cover-up of embarrassing disclosures from Hunter Biden’s laptop. They tried to kill the messenger, the New York Post, which had first broken the story less than a month before Election Day.

During the first few months of Biden’s presidency, the mainstream media gave Biden the benefit of the doubt on virtually every issue. Former President Donald Trump, by contrast, was hounded by the press from day one of his term in office.

Now Biden’s honeymoon seems to be ending - at least temporarily - at some mainstream media outlets. Recently, there has been enough critical reporting in the mainstream media concerning Biden’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, and other glaring policy failures to set the Biden administration back on its heels.

Biden is still getting far too much slack from left-wing cable networks and other friendly outlets such as the Washington Post. However, when even NBC’s ultraliberal anchor of “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd, says that Biden has “a pretty big credibility crisis on his hands," the White House knows that it is in deep trouble. Biden’s plummeting approval ratings are providing more bad news for the Biden administration.

The Biden administration’s answer is to further limit the press’s ability to ask Biden questions that he must answer without a script. The administration is also doubling down on its lies and evasions, further deepening Biden’s credibility hole.

Many in the mainstream media hated Donald Trump, but he provided them with substantial opportunities for questions, nevertheless. Biden’s access for questioning is so restricted that he has remarked he would “get in trouble with staff” if he strayed too much from their directions. As a result, Biden leaves it up to his press secretary, Jen Psaki, and senior members of his administration to regularly engage in back-and-forths with the press.

Psaki spews out a steady stream of lies and distortions during her near-daily press briefings.

At Psaki’s September 20th press briefing, for example, she claimed with a straight face that the thousands of migrants from Haiti and other countries who have recently crossed the Rio Grande River and arrived in Del Rio, Texas are “not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time.” Therefore, she argued in response to a reporter’s question, they don’t have to be treated the same way as people flying legally into the country, such as requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Only those showing symptoms of COVID-19 are supposedly quarantined. 

Of course, it doesn’t make any difference how long the illegal immigrants intend to stay in the United States. They could become super spreaders of the coronavirus the day they arrive in the United States, infecting other illegal immigrants with whom they come into contact in close quarters. They could also spread the virus to Americans living in the border towns.

Moreover, the Biden administration is releasing illegal immigrant families and pregnant women to go wherever they want in the United States. Administration officials, including Psaki, have been evading questions as to exactly how many illegal immigrants from Del Rio have been released and sent on their way versus the number of illegal immigrants who have been deported.

The illegal immigrants who are released with little expectation that they will return for a scheduled hearing date are surely intending to stay in the United States for as long as they can. Those illegal immigrants who have COVID-19, and either don’t know it or choose to ignore it, will needlessly expose millions of Americans across the country to the virus.

Psaki repeatedly lied or sidestepped reporters’ questions regarding Biden’s Afghanistan debacle. For instance, she mischaracterized what Biden said to then-President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani during a July 23 phone call. According to a leaked recording of the call, Biden said, “The perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

According to excerpts from the call published by Reuters, Ghani told Biden just how dire the situation really was: “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.”

Ghani added a request for “close air support,” which he asked to be “front-loaded.” Biden promised such close air support during the call. About three weeks earlier, however, the U.S. had already abandoned its crucial Bagram Airfield base in Afghanistan during the night without even the courtesy of first notifying the huge base’s new Afghan commander. Biden was making an empty promise to Ghani. At the same time Biden was asking his Afghan counterpart to publicly project a false picture of the military situation in Afghanistan, much as Biden had been doing himself. 

When asked about this call during her September 1st press briefing, Psaki went into full spin mode. First, she sought to deflect any further questions about the call by saying that “I’m not going to get into private, diplomatic conversations or leaked transcripts of phone calls.” Then Psaki claimed that the recorded conversation was “consistent” with the administration’s talking point that “no one anticipated . . . the Taliban would be able to take over the country as quickly as they did or that the Afghan national security forces would fold as quickly as they did.”

If past is prologue, many in the mainstream media who have recently taken issue with some of Biden’s policies will be back in Biden’s corner before too long. They will in all likelihood swallow the administration’s lies and lob easy questions Biden’s way in order to obtain more preferential access to him.


Joseph Klein


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20 years since Durban: Most sickening display of Jew-hate since Nazis - Lahav Harkov


​ by Lahav Harkov

Antisemitism that shocked even a Holocaust survivor marked the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, which the UN honored with a 20th-anniversary event this week.


MARCHING IN Cape Town, South Africa, August 21, 2001, ahead of the Durban conference. Thousands from the city’s Muslim community joined in. (photo credit: MH/FMS/Reuters)
MARCHING IN Cape Town, South Africa, August 21, 2001, ahead of the Durban conference. Thousands from the city’s Muslim community joined in.
(photo credit: MH/FMS/Reuters)


“They sought to make Israel the focus of hate”

When the UN announced in 1997 that it would be holding a World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa in 2001, there was great enthusiasm, including in Jewish and pro-Israel circles.
Irwin Cotler, founder and chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, was at the time a lawmaker and human rights lawyer who had defended dissidents like Nelson Mandela and Natan Sharansky and would go on to become Canada’s justice minister. Cotler “greeted the news with anticipation, if not excitement,” he recounted. “It was the first World Conference Against Racism in the 21st century, the first international human rights conference in the 21st century… in Durban, South Africa, the birthplace of apartheid. As someone involved in the anti-apartheid movement, I had a particular anticipation to participate in such a conference.”

IRWIN COTLER was at the time a lawmaker and human rights lawyer who had defended dissidents like Nelson Mandela.  (credit: CHRISTIE WILLIAMS) IRWIN COTLER was at the time a lawmaker and human rights lawyer who had defended dissidents like Nelson Mandela. (credit: CHRISTIE WILLIAMS)

Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who had been involved in UNESCO and other international conferences against antisemitism and the memory of the Holocaust, also said he “thought Durban was an opportunity to meet with people around the world, especially from the Muslim world, which was my portfolio… Having a major conference in Africa, shortly after apartheid ended, with an African UN secretary-general [Kofi Annan] – these were powerful symbols converging.”
But Cooper was also circumspect ahead of the event. After all, the UN had held world conferences against racism in 1978 and 1983, ostensibly focused on ending apartheid in South Africa, in which declarations that Zionism is racism were a major focus of the proceedings.
And those concerns only increased as regional preparatory meetings for the Durban conference took place around the world.
US THEN-SENATOR Tom Lantos (pictured with UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, 2007) was an official American delegate of the conference. (credit: LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS) US THEN-SENATOR Tom Lantos (pictured with UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, 2007) was an official American delegate of the conference. (credit: LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS)
US Democratic then-senator Tom Lantos, who died in 2008, was an official American delegate of the conference. He wrote in a lengthy, peer-reviewed article in The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs in 2002 that meetings in Strasbourg, Santiago de Chile and Dakar were productive and focused on contemporary racism; the first two even explicitly condemned antisemitism, and none called Zionism racism.
The fourth regional conference was in Tehran. The events surrounding this conference belie claims that the anti-Israel and antisemitic attitudes at the later Durban conference are related to the Second Intifada, which began in September 2000, because Iran hosted UN delegates a month before the intifada broke out.
Cooper and Simon Wiesenthal Center International Relations Director Shimon Samuels – who are American and French, respectively – wished to attend the Tehran conference, but the Iranian hosts said they would not allow Israelis or Jewish NGOs, nor Kurd or Baha’i representatives, to attend. Former Irish president Mary Robinson, who was UN high commissioner for human rights and presided over the Durban conference, despite Iran’s blatant bias, insisted that Iran let everyone in.
“Iran promised again and again to let us in,” Cooper recounted. “We got our invitations right after the last flight for Tehran had already left from Paris,” which meant they could not actually attend.
The events at Durban were foreshadowed by the results of the Tehran conference. There was no mention of racism in the Arab and Muslim world, such as intolerance for non-Muslims, the recent destruction of ancient Buddha statues by the Taliban or mistreatment of women in society. Israel, however, was accused of “ethnic cleansing of the Arab population in historic Palestine,” “a new kind of apartheid,” an “increase of racist practices of Zionism.” The declaration warned of “the emergence of racist and violent movements based on racist and discriminatory ideas, in particular, the Zionist movement, which is based on race superiority.” And Robinson congratulated the delegates, saying the meeting was productive.
When the four regions came together in May and June 2001 to form a unified draft, Palestinian suicide bombers were regularly murdering Israeli citizens, but the World Conference Against Racism was drafting a declaration that would paint Israel as the new South Africa and even Nazi Germany, setting the stage to shun it. Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries insisted that the anti-Israel text remain.
Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the US Congress, took particular umbrage with an attempt to change “the Holocaust” to “holocausts” and insert a line about “holocausts and the ethnic cleansing of the Arab population in historic Palestine.”
On June 18, 2001, then-US secretary of state Colin Powell told Robinson it was inappropriate to only single out one country – Israel – and one regional conflict, and that the US would pull out if the language was not removed. In addition, the US would not apologize for slavery, though it would express regret.
Robinson told Lantos she was working to convince Arab states to remove the parts calling Zionism racism, but that they felt settlements must be addressed.
“I urged Robinson to consider the implications of appeasing the radical and fundamentalist forces that wanted to turn the entire aim of the conference on its head,” Lantos later wrote. “In fact, the OIC language on Israeli settlement policy and other wording, twisting the meaning of antisemitism went far beyond the concept that Zionism equals racism. They sought to make Israel itself the focus of hate. The forces promoting the inclusion of this language understood... [that they] could turn the Middle East conflict from a regional territorial dispute (which could be resolved by compromise) into an ideological and existential one that could only be resolved by driving Israel into the sea.”
At the final draft meeting in Geneva, Robinson “refused to reject the twisted notion that the wrong done to the Jews in the Holocaust was equivalent to the pain suffered by the Palestinians in the Middle East,” Lantos, the Holocaust survivor, recalled, saying she legitimized that link. Robinson’s remarks compared “the historical wounds of antisemitism and the Holocaust on the one hand and... the accumulated wounds of displacement and military occupation on the other.”
On August 24, 2001, days before the Durban conference, then-US president George W. Bush said: “We will not have a representative there as long as they pick on Israel. We will not participate in a conference that tries to isolate Israel and denigrates Israel.”

HARD LESSON: Anne Bayefsky, director, Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.  (credit: FACEBOOK) HARD LESSON: Anne Bayefsky, director, Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. (credit: FACEBOOK)
The Betrayal

Anne Bayefsky, who directs the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, had represented Canada at the UN Human Rights Commission and in human rights groups at the Fourth World Conference on Women. She arrived in Durban for the August 31 conference’s NGO forum, still hoping to have productive interactions with her colleagues in the world of human rights.
But Bayefsky learned “a hard lesson” about “the ultimate betrayal of Jewish activists and genuine fighters for human rights by international human rights organizations.”
This was Bayefsky’s first UN conference as a representative of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, and she walked around with her mandatory lanyard on, which labeled her as Jewish wherever she went. She could feel the chill that came after many read her name tag.
The NGO forum was a hotbed of antisemitism.
“For me, having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand, this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I had seen since the Nazi period,” Lantos recounted.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was distributed, along with a flyer with a photo of Adolf Hitler and the message “What if I had won? There would be no Israel.” The Arab Lawyers Union distributed a book of antisemitic caricatures “frighteningly like those seen in the Nazi hate literature in the 1930s,” Lantos wrote.
Cotler said that “20 years later, I can still hear the chants and see the images. Durban indelibly imprinted itself on my memory, on my being... For those of us there, it was a transformative event.”
RABBI ABRAHAM COOPER, pictured in his office at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS) RABBI ABRAHAM COOPER, pictured in his office at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)
Cooper said it was the worst antisemitism he had seen since the Simon Wiesenthal Center was founded in 1977, “basically an ambush of Israel, Zionists, Jews and Judaism.”
Jewish representatives would gather at Durban’s Jewish community center for kosher dinner most days and would swap war stories. Cooper said he saw grown men cry.
Durban’s police chief told Cooper that the Jewish delegates should not try to walk to the community center on Shabbat. When Cooper asked why, the officer brought the rabbi to the top tier of the stadium in which the conference took place, where he saw 20,000 anti-Israel protesters. Some were holding a banner that said “Hitler was right,” he recalled.
Their message was that the struggle against apartheid in the 20th century was to dismantle South Africa, and in the 21st it was to dismantle Israel, Cotler said.
Bayefsky felt betrayed by her encounters with colleagues in the human rights world and their responses to the antisemitism.
“Jewish people deeply involved in the international human rights movement and who care about and understood the value in multilateral engagement in the world of human rights… [learned] how little the world’s major international human rights organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch… cared about what happened to Jews,” she recounted.
For example, when there was to be a vote on the draft of the NGO’s declaration, which included a statement that Zionism is racism, and Israel is an apartheid state, implying that Israel must be eliminated, Bayefsky approached the tent for the meeting. She recalled that a representative from Human Rights Watch who she had known for 20 years told her she could not enter, being “a member of a Jewish organization [who] can’t be trusted to be objective.” She turned to someone else from Human Rights First who she’d known for many years, and he refused to stand up for her. Yet a Palestinian NGO representative was allowed in.
“People that I had worked with, broken bread with and had been friends with for a long, long time, sometimes as long as decades, really were prepared at the turn of a dime, when it was hard to stand against the tide, to throw us overboard. That’s exactly what they did,” Bayefsky said.
Lantos said international NGOs claimed that the Bush administration was using Israel to dodge negotiations on slavery reparations.
Cotler, a leading human rights figure, said: “For human rights NGOs to be witness and remain silent while demonological antisemitism was manifesting itself, for them to have participated in that, either by their silence or their complicity, is something those of us who were there were not able to forget. They couldn’t say they didn’t know it was happening. This was a festival of hate.”
Bayefsky does not buy later claims by NGO representatives that they didn’t know about the antisemitism, because they were “in an environment [in which] all around you are posters and signs and people handing out flyers that are overtly antisemitic, all around... It was everywhere, in your face.”
And international human rights NGO representatives were present when the Jewish caucus was banned from speaking before the final draft vote.
“All victims groups were supposed to speak in their own voices, but the Jewish caucus were the only ones that were excluded on the issue of what constituted antisemitism,” Bayefsky said.
In fact, an Israeli-Arab woman from Nazareth representing the World Council of Churches brought up a motion to remove language condemning attacks on synagogues in Paris earlier that year, saying it had nothing to do with racism. The motion was approved by a voice vote, Cooper said.
That was the point at which Jewish delegates decided to walk out, “to the whistles and catcalls of the gatekeepers of civil society,” Cooper recounted.
When Cooper, Bayefsky, Samuels and others tried to hold a press conference about their concerns, “a phalanx of black-clad Iranian women pushed in to stop it,” Cooper said.
The final NGO Forum Declaration called Israel a “racist apartheid state” guilty of “genocide” and was so rife with antisemitic, anti-Israel content that Robinson refused to accept it.
“The official NGO document they produced debases terms like genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity by using them to describe Israeli settlement policies,” Lantos wrote. “The leaders of great Western human rights NGOs like Human Rights Watch, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Amnesty International... offered no support to the principled position that the Bush administration took against the singling out of Israel and Jews for attack and criticism at the conference.”
Cooper said he encountered minority groups from India and indigenous people from South America who “spent their last penny to get to Durban with the false hope that their cause would be heard, and they were treated like roadkill.” Lantos said delegations from African states were disappointed that Israel was overshadowing anti-black racism because of the OIC countries’ stance.
Meanwhile, negotiations on the governmental declaration continued. Cotler had contacts from Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority from time he had spent working in the Middle East, and tried to discuss the matter with some of them, but encountered anti-Israel “groupthink.”
Lantos found American politician and activist Jesse Jackson in Durban. Jackson said he was negotiating with PA president Yasser Arafat to drop the Zionism is racism language from the declaration, but those talks ended after Arafat gave a speech in which he said Israel’s government wanted to “continue her occupation, settlements and racist practices so as to liquidate our people.”
The US and Israel pulled out of the conference soon after that, realizing the OIC would not compromise. The EU remained, in hopes it could moderate the document. Cotler said he had been in touch with Israel’s deputy foreign minister at the time, Rabbi Michael Melchior, who encouraged the Canadian delegation to remain and speak for the record to condemn the proceedings, which it did.
The end result recognized the “plight of the Palestinian people under occupation.”
“Not only does the final document single out one regional conflict for discussion, it does so in a biased way: the suffering of the Palestinian people is highlighted, but there is no discussion of the Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens,” Lantos wrote months later.

A legacy of hate

The 9/11 attacks took place three days after the Durban conference ended.
“One of my colleagues who had been at the Durban conference said something I never forgot,” Cotler said. “If 9/11 was the Kristallnacht of terror, Durban was the Mein Kampf. Twenty years later, that legacy of Durban is regrettably still with us.”
Similarly, Lantos wrote: “The terrorist attacks on Sept.11 demonstrated the evil such hate can spawn. If we are to prevail in our war against terrorism, we must take to hear the lessons of Durban.”
Durban combined old and new antisemitism, Cotler said, bringing “demonological antisemitism” to the fore, by which “the Jewish people and their state are the enemy of all that is good and the embodiment of all that is evil.
“What we hear today, the indictment of Israel as an imperialist, racist, colonialist, settler, ethnic cleansing, child-murdering, Nazi state was already there in Durban. It’s metastasized since then. What was at the time seen to be horrific and exceptional was now mainstreamed, normalized and legitimated,” he said.
The Durban NGO Forum is considered the inception point of the “Israel apartheid” campaign, which eventually inspired the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, modeled after the one targeting apartheid South Africa.
Dan Diker, Director of the Program to Counter Political Warfare and BDS at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told the Jerusalem Post podcast that the Durban NGO forum “provided the seed and the poisonous root of what would become known as the BDS movement, which is an overtly antisemitic movement.”
Durban was also the start of the racialization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is so common in anti-Israel activism today, Diker noted.
“In other words,” he said, “what Durban did was to regularize Israel as an incorrigible evil that was based on systemic racism modeled after the apartheid regime in South Africa... essentially denying Israel any sort of sovereign rights.”
The Durban declaration called Israel “a new kind of apartheid,” meaning they twisted its definition to represent all evil, Diker posited.
“That slander stuck to Israel and became mainstreamed in the international discussion about Israel, and we see today, 20 years later, you go onto any university campus in North America and Israel apartheid is as basic as the core curriculum.”
A racist state is morally repugnant and doesn’t have the right to exist, Diker explained, and as such, the Durban NGO forum wanted to eliminate Israel, not call for a solution – two states or other – between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Durban conference was “a black eye to what the UN stood for,” Cooper said. “Civil society as a bulwark, a redline against antisemitism and that kind of hatred – those things were over. They were not part of the solution; they were another front. And we continue to see that grow on campuses.”
One of the lessons Lantos learned is “NGOs can’t always be counted on to promote liberal values. The official NGO forum... was stacked with anti-American, antisemitic and anti-Israel activists. These activists sought to use an important UN human rights mechanism to advance their radical agenda.”
But Bayefsky said Durban had “both an NGO problem and a governmental problem. One led into the other and created an environment that was obvious before we started.”
Cotler also sees the new permanent UN Human Rights Council inquiry into supposed Israeli war crimes – the only panel of its kind – as part of the aftermath of Durban.
“The legacy of hate has become institutionalized in a way that must be combated,” he said. “The unprecedented resolution not only singles out Israel as others have done, but establishes a permanent investigative inquiry not only into Israeli actions in the occupied territories but into Israel itself, and has appointed three people to head up the commission who have themselves been on record with regard to participating in singling out Israel for selective opprobrium and indictment... It was adopted in the wake of the [May 2021] war between Hamas and Israel, but has no mention of Hamas.”

“We have no intention of lying down”

In 2009 and 2011, the UN held Durban review conferences. In 2009, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the opportunity to deny the Holocaust, calling it an “ambiguous and dubious question” and a “pretext” for Israeli racism against Palestinians. Then, he was invited back to speak two years later. The conferences reaffirmed the 2001 Durban Declaration.
This week, after press time, the UN was set to hold its third Durban review conference, known as Durban IV, marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in the South African city.
Israeli officials and Jewish groups began working to bring allies to speak out against and boycott the conference since it was announced.
In March, US diplomats in Geneva mentioned the Durban Declaration in a positive light, as part of its commitment to fighting racism, which raised alarm bells.
GILAD ERDAN, ambassador to the UN and the US, is the grandson of Auschwitz survivors. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) GILAD ERDAN, ambassador to the UN and the US, is the grandson of Auschwitz survivors. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Ambassador to the UN and the US Gilad Erdan said he raised his concerns to the Biden administration.
“At first, the State Department said it’s not a precedent, but we showed them that it is, so they decided to go back to their previous position,” Erdan said, adding that it was important that the Biden administration, which has emphasized fighting racism, show the Durban format is not the way to do it.
Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, CAMERA and Human Rights Voices held a virtual counter-event on Sunday, at which Erdan, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and others spoke.
Erdan, the grandson of survivors of Auschwitz, compared Durban to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ exhibit “The Eternal Jew,” which legitimized and spread antisemitism in Germany.
“Too many [countries] continued to play along with the farce of Durban, even as its follow-up events featured Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial,” he said. “In failing to stand up and speak out, these countries and organizations not only encouraged the delegitimization of Israel, but legitimized violence against Jewish communities everywhere, under the banner of the crusade against Israel’s so-called ‘racist regime.’ A direct line connects Durban and the wave of antisemitic incidents we have seen over the past several years.”
At the same time, Erdan said Israel “must continue to work tirelessly to eliminate all manifestations of racism in its society and be a clear moral voice in the international arena against all forms of racial hate.” He also commended the US Jewish community for its part in the civil rights movement.
A diplomatic source in Jerusalem also emphasized that Israel and the Jewish people’s commitment to fighting racism should not be in question, pointing to MASHAV, Israel’s development agency, projects in Africa.
Several speakers at the counter-conference were black, including Likud MK Gadi Yevarkan, South African lawmaker Rev. Kenneth Meshoe and American historian Shelby Steele, pushing back against the anti-Israel message at Durban, which is meant to be a conference against racism with a special focus on people of African descent.
Yevarkan said he was speaking “truth to propaganda... Durban was not and is not a conference for human rights. It is a crucifixion of Jewish human rights. And Durban is a moral embarrassment for the UN itself... Durban has used and abused the suffering of millions of black South African victims of apartheid by racializing Israel.”
The Durban IV draft circulating days before the conference focused on combating “racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
It notes an increase in “racist violence, threats to violence, discrimination and stigmatization” against Asians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but does not mention the increase in pandemic-related antisemitism and distortion of the Holocaust.
It includes antisemitism among its examples of “prejudices against persons based on their religions or beliefs,” in a paragraph “acknowledg[ing] with deep concern the rise in discrimination, hate speech” and more.
However, it reaffirms the 2001 Durban Declaration, with its singling out of Israel.
At press time, a diplomatic source estimated 25 countries would boycott Durban IV. Twenty of them had already gone public: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the UK and the US.
In 2011, 14 countries boycotted, and in 2009 there were 10, as opposed to in 2001, when only Israel and the US walked out.
Erdan considered the growing number of countries boycotting Durban, as well as the fact that not one Western country sent a high-level representative to Durban IV or volunteered to lead a roundtable, as a success for Israel “in labeling it antisemitic and anti-Israel.”
Cooper, however, said Israel should have reached out to Abraham Accords countries, as well as states in Africa, South America and elsewhere, “to gently, politely say, look, great things are happening bilaterally,” but they need to speak up against antisemitism as well.
Diker saw these announcements as a “silver lining” in Durban IV, together with an even larger number of countries accepting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, by which the Durban Declaration arguably and the NGO declaration certainly would be considered antisemitic.
It is up to the countries that adopted IHRA “to enforce that moral mandate and not allow international organizations such as the UN to upend and uproot and dismantle their own founding charter, which calls for righting against racism of any kind,” Diker added.
Bayefsky sees the boycotts by major democratic countries as an important milestone: “All the democratic members of the UN Security Council are with Israel on this. They have said no to Durban. That’s a big deal. They don’t agree on everything... Israel’s other solid friends and allies stood shoulder to shoulder with Israel on this abomination... saying this demonization of Israel is antisemitism. That message is getting through whether the other side likes it or not. They cannot make the case that calling for the dismantlement of the Jewish state is somehow unrelated to antisemitism.”
Bayefsky also said that the Jewish delegates who pushed back against antisemitism in 2001 are still involved today.
“We have been able to get the team back together, with some of us who were there and others of a younger generation who were not there and understand the danger to the State of Israel and the Jewish people and aren’t prepared to let it go,” she stated. 
“We have no intention of lying down and letting the so-called human rights world walk all over us.”

Lahav Harkov


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