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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/SR.19
12 September 2003

Original: ENGLISH


COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

SUB-COMMISSION ON THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-fifth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 19th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,

on Tuesday, 12 August 2003, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson: Ms. WARZAZI

later: Mr. SATTAR
(Vice-Chairperson)

CONTENTS


PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION

(a) RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND XENOPHOBIA

(b) PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

(c) PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES (continued )



The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION

(a) RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND XENOPHOBIA

(b) PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

(c) PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES

(agenda item 5) (continued ) (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/19-21, 23 and Add.1-4, 24 and 42; E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/4, 7, 20, 24, 28, 29, 33, 35 and 42; E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2003/2; E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2003/WP.1-3 and 14; E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/34 and Add.4)

/...

15. Mr. LITTMAN (Association for World Education) said that the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights had admitted recently that the United Nations relationship to anti-Semitism had been, at times, uneasy. In 1997, the then Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance had been forced to delete a reference to the Koran from his annual report, as a result of accusations of blasphemy. In all his subsequent reports, he had omitted any references to anti-Semitism in the Arab world. Censorship of that kind was symptomatic of the denial of anti-Semitism that continued to haunt the United Nations.

16. On Human Rights Day, 10 December 2002, his organization had made an urgent appeal to the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the rising tide of Islamist and Arab religious anti-Semitism and, subsequently, had warned the Sub-Commission of the same phenomenon in its written statement (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/42). He appealed to the Acting High Commissioner and to all relevant United Nations bodies, including the Sub-Commission, to take immediate action to prevent the spread of a genocidal culture of hatred, endowed with a jihadist vanguard.

/...

58. Mr. LITTMAN (World Union for Progressive Judaism) said that when Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, the Bali bomber, had entered the courtroom for sentencing the week before, he had been shouting “Jews, remember Khaibar. The army of Muhammad is coming back to defeat you”. Khaibar had been populated by Arab Jews before it was conquered in 628 by the newly converted Arab Muslims, who allowed the Jews to retain their faith. From that defeat, there developed a whole system of Islamic laws under which millions of non-Muslims had lived since the Islamic conquests. In many parts of the Islamic world, discrimination against non-Muslims continued: against the remnant Jewish community in Iran, the Copts in Egypt, Christians in Pakistan, and so forth. For Muslims, Khaibar represented the defeat of infidel enemies and their humiliation and subjugation ; for non-Muslims, it represented centuries of oppressive discrimination of indigenous populations. His organization called on the Acting High Commissioner, the Sub-Commission and all United Nations bodies, as well as church leaders and Muslim leaders, to respond to the plight of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries.

59. The modern Jewish exodus from Middle Eastern countries since the 1940s currently had a progeny of 3 million, 2.5 million of whom made up almost half of Israel’s Jewish population. Only 5,000 Jews remained in the entire Arab world from the forgotten millions. The dire hardships suffered by those ancient Jewish communities had never been examined by the United Nations, nor had the loss of their inestimable historical heritage and private property. The issue of the restitution of their property should be considered by the Sub-Commission.

60. When jihadist suicide bombers killed innocent civilians indiscriminately in Israel, Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and their descendants, were inevitably among the victims. The number of victims, over 800 since October 2000, was constantly increasing, a fact that should be acknowledged by the United Nations.

/...


The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.



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