Israel had made a final decision not to participate in a U.N. forum on racism and urged other countries to boycott what she termed an “anti-Israel tribunal.”said on Wednesday that
The United Nations said it regretted the decision.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni speaks to the media after her meeting with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, October 26, 2008.(Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to be held in Geneva in April, is a follow-up to a 2001 summit in Durban, South Africa on the same issues.
Israel and the United States walked out of the first conference in protest over draft texts branding Israel as a racist and apartheid state — language that was later dropped.
In a speech to visiting U.S. Jewish leaders, Livni said she announced last February that Israel would not participate in the 2009 meeting unless it was clear it would not be used “as a platform for further anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic” activity.
She said documents prepared for next year’s forum showed it was “turning once again into an anti-Israeli tribunal, singling out and delegitimizing the State of Israel.”