10,000 protesters march through the streets of Durban, South Africa Friday Aug. 31, 2001, during the World Conference Against Racism. Some protesters carried signs that read; "Amandla Intifada" (amandla is South African for "power" - intifada is Arabic for "uprising"). Others carried signs that read "Zionism IS Racism." At the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat blasted Israel as a racist state. "Condemnation of the Israeli occupation and its racist practices and laws, which are based on racism and superiority, is considered today an urgent demand by our people,'' Arafat said at a panel meeting of leaders assembled for the conference. "This brutality and arrogance are moved by a mentality of superiority that practices racism and racial discrimination, that adopts ethnic cleansing,'' he said. Arafat spoke in Arabic and the remarks were an official Palestinian translation."
Opening the Durban conference, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said anti-Semitism -and its expression in the Holocaust where six million Jews were killed under the Nazis - "must never be forgotten or diminished." Annan said Israel could not use "the ultimate abomination" of the Holocaust as an excuse to never examine its own behavior. "We cannot expect Palestinians to accept this (the Holocaust) as a reason why the wrongs done to them -- displacement, occupation, blockade, and now extra-judicial killings -- should be ignored, whatever label one uses to describe them," he said.