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Liberal MP Anthony Housefather says the federal government will not be taking part in 20th-anniversary events for an international conference where Israel was singled out for condemnation.

In a Twitter post today, the lawmaker says Ottawa confirmed it will avoid the gathering in South Africa known as Durban IV, which he says “continues to be used to push anti-Israel sentiment and as a forum for anti-Semitism.”

The United States and Australia have also stated they will steer clear of events commemorating the 2001 Durban Declaration.

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The coming event, slated for Sept. 22 and authorized by the United Nations, will mark 20 years since the World Conference on Racism in Durban.

The initial conference was consumed by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery, prompting the U.S. and Israel to walk out during a meeting over a draft resolution that censured Israel and likened Zionism to racism.

B’nai Brith Canada chief executive Michael Mostyn says he is “very encouraged” that Ottawa continues to boycott what his group calls a “profoundly flawed” process tinged with anti-Semitism.

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