US won't participate in racism conference

The United States has decided not to participate in a U.N. conference on racism in April unless the final document is changed to drop all references to Israel and its criticism of religion, a senior U.S. official said Friday.
The conference is a follow-up to the contentious 2001 conference in the South African city of Durban which was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery. The U.S. and Israel walked out midway through that eight-day meeting over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism — the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state — to racism.