- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2001

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) The Palestinian delegation has agreed to drop criticism of Israel and Zionism in a final declaration for the U.N. conference against racism, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said today.
Following a three-hour meeting with Yasser Arafat, Mr. Jackson said the Palestinian leader had agreed to oppose efforts to criticize Israel and Zionism, and to recognize the Holocaust as the worst crime of the 20th century.
The Palestinians were not immediately available for comment.
Mr. Jackson presented reporters with a handwritten draft of the document signed by Mr. Arafat in which he said he did not want the U.N. conference to derail over criticism of Israel.
The racism gathering has been overshadowed in part by anti-Israel language in a draft of the conference document. The United States decided not to send a high-level delegation to the conference because of negative references to Israel and the Zionist movement.
Shortly after making the announcement, Mr. Jackson spoke to Secretary of State Colin Powell by telephone to explain the statement Mr. Arafat had signed.
Mr. Jackson criticized the Bush administration for not sending Mr. Powell, noting that he was able to resolve the controversy simply by talking to the Palestinian leader.


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