The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, applauded the statement by President George W. Bush denouncing the anti-Israel bias of the upcoming UN World Conference Against Racism and the announcement that Secretary of State Colin Powell will not participate in the Conference. This declaration of support for Israel, America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East, underscores the strong alliance and shared values held by America and Israel.
Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs, said, “We commend the Administration’s determination not to participate in nor to promote a conference which, instead of truly being dedicated to the fight against global terrorism, is politicized by a blatant anti-Israel agenda. It is tragic that there are many countries that would undermine the fight against racism with a cynical attempt to make this Conference an instrument of racism by promoting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic canards. We applaud the Bush Administration for its refusal to lend legitimacy to this politicized forum. We also applaud the decision by many other foreign ministers who refused as well to participate in the Durban Conference. We commend the decision of Deputy Foreign Minister Melchior of Israel and Salai Meridor, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of Great Britain, who have also announced that they will not attend the Conference. It is our fervent hope that the nations of the world will one day be able to unite in a true effort to finally defeat racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination in a body genuinely dedicated to that purpose.”