By Michael J. Jordan ·
GENEVA (JTA) – Three groups were expelled from the Durban II conference for disruptive behavior, and Malcom X’s daughter complained of “Zionist agitators” at the conference.
The United Nations in Geneva announced late Thursday that it had expelled three organizations for disruptive behavior at the Durban Review Conference: the Union of Jewish Students of France, the London-based interfaith group Coexist and an Iranian group called the Neda Institute for Political and Scientific Research.
On Friday, Malcolm X’s daughter, Malaak Shabazz, sent a letter of protest to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay complaining of how young “Zionist agitators” had treated her at one event.
“They were juvenile, nasty and aggressive,” Shabazz told JTA.
Shabazz, who was in Geneva advocating for slave reparations, expressed concern that the students who filmed the incident might post it online.
“They’re putting my likeness out there for any psycho Zionist to do something,” she said.
Large contingents of Jewish students frequently made noise during the conference. One rainbow-wigged French student rushed the podium during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech, tossing a rubber nose at him. Others shouted “Racist!” during the speech.
Pillay’s office said it also intercepted efforts by French students trying to mount disturbances in the hallways, where students chanted slogans, blocked entrances and tried to confront critics of Israel.
“After examining the types of conduct and patterns of conduct, as well as the risk of possible disruptive behavior during the remainder of the conference,” Pillay said, she revoked the accreditation of the three groups.
The United Nations said two women from the Iranian delegation distributed “inciting materials” and that Coexist had shared entrance badges with some French students after theirs had been confiscated.
Another student group, the European Union of Jewish Students, had learned April 21 that its accreditation was pulled after some members had yelled insults at Ahmadinejad from the gallery.
But the EUJS, which also has formal, permanent accreditation to the United Nations, protested that the entire group shouldn’t be punished for the actions of a few. EUJS Chairman Jonas Karpantschof said he told U.N. officials he would issue a news release if the accreditation weren’t reinstated, and it soon was.
“It would have looked really bad,” he said, “for the U.N. to take away badges from Jewish students on Yom Hashoah at an anti-racism conference.”