For many members of our community, the word “Durban” is indelibly associated with antisemitism. The primary reason for this is not so much the September 2001 World Conference against Racism as the associated NGO Forum, which was unquestionably marred by virulent antisemitic behaviour by a number of Non-Government Organisations.
Unfortunately, the bitter taste left by the NGO Forum has led to the stigmatisation of the whole UN anti-racism conference by overzealous critics who have not mentioned the positive aspects of the event. Of course not all the NGOs behaved appallingly, but the blatant antisemitism of some tarred the official gathering of government representatives as well. This is why, by conflating the NGO Forum with the main conference, many members of our community believe that the whole meeting was antisemitic.