England - Union Jack
England - Union Jack iStock

The British government will be boycotting Durban IV, an international conference marking the anniversary of the widely criticized 2001 Durban Conference which was called an “anti-Jewish hatefest” by B’nai Brith.

The UK is joining other nations who have declared they will not attend the UN conference, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Israel.

UK Jewish groups and peers have long urged the government to boycott Durban IV.

The United States, Canada and other countries boycotted Durban II and III in 2009 and 2011.

The Chronicle reported that on Sunday night a spokesperson for the UK government stated, "Following historic concerns regarding anti-Semitism, the UK has decided not to attend the UN’s Durban Conference anniversary event later this year."

In May, Jewish Leadership Council co-CEO Claudia Mendoza and Board of Deputies interim-CEO Michael Wegier urged the UK government not to attend.

"The reasons for the UK staying away from Durban III remain true 10 years on and we are seeking confirmation that the UK will not dignify this year’s commemoration with its attendance. This will be a signal that the government takes a firm stand against anti-Jewish racism,” they wrote.

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust, who was present at the 2001 conference, said on Twitter, “Tainted with Jew hatred, poisonous rhetoric about Israel and Holocaust denial and minimisation, the Durban process is no place to tackle racism. The Gov has done the right thing.”

Conservative Friends of Israel Parliamentary Chairmen, Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Eric Pickles welcomed the government’s confirmation.

“We applaud this latest decisive action from the UK government in opposing anti-Semitism in all its forms sand wherever it occurs,” they said in a statement.

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