Late Friday afternoon the US State Department announced that it was pulling out of the Durban II conference.
What happened to bring about this change?
3 significant things.
President Obama heard loud and clear this week during his visit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had been left to twist in the wind as the only Western Democracy besides Israel to pull out, that they considered a sacrifice of them that the US, despite all statements by the prior administration, was planning to attend.
The next impetus, was that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband President Bill Clinton, had been a vocal critic of the first Durban conference, is on her way to Israel today.
She expressed her continued angst not just at the attendance, but the continued direction taken by the administration to this point regarding the Middle East.
In the days before the announcements, there were several frightening incidents that the US refused to object to. Notably, when a section on genocide was slated to include mention of the Holocaust, Iran and Libya objected to this which meant it would be excluded unless someone objected. The US failed to do so.
Finally, and most critically, in the last days before Fridays announcement, a section of the Durban official statement, which was clearly in violation of the First Amendment, was made even more so, specifically prohibiting speech against religion and asking for the UN to enforce this provision.
Undoubtedly, what was transmitted to all involved was that the US and specifically President Obama could not sign such a document without violating the constitution.
So, to the founding fathers, and Stephen Harper, thank you.
I just wish it was a larger lesson learned.