From Huffington Post (h/t to Jack):
The decision follows weeks of furious internal debate and will likely please Israel and Jewish groups that lobbied against U.S. participation. ...
The administration had wanted to attend the April 20-25 meeting in Geneva, although it warned in late February it would not go unless significant changes were made to the draft text.
Some revisions _ including the removal of specific critical references to Israel and problematic passages about the defamation of religion _ were negotiated for which State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the administration was "deeply grateful."
But he said the text retains troubling elements that suggest support for restrictions on free speech and an affirmation of the findings of the first World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 that the U.S cannot endorse.
"Unfortunately, it now seems certain these remaining concerns will not be addressed in the document to be adopted by the conference next week," Wood said in a statement. ...
Concern is high that the meeting may descend into heated debate over Israel that marred the last such gathering eight years ago, especially since Iran's hardline president _ who has called for Israel's destruction _ will attend.
When there are so many countries leading this committee who, themselves, tolerate and/or promote such flagrant human rights atrocities, I never could imagine that the US could have any impact on the outcome of Durban II. At first, it distressed me that the Obama regime did not see this. But maybe this late-date pull-out may have some desired it impact. It says, "We gave it a fresh attempt, and we're still upset with the conference," and that might have some impact in the rest of the world. Might.
Update #1: I have the headlines from the NYTimes and the Washington Post both sent to me via e-mail each day. Both newspapers covered this story, but I am puzzled and disappointed that this development was not among the top features in an otherwise comparatively slow news day for either of these major US news sources.
Update #2: And now Australia and The Netherlands have also announced they will not attend Durban II. For more, see this from CNN (h/t to Clive). Whether it was planned or not, it looks as if Obama's apparently naive strategy is having a very desirable impact. Let's hope others follow the lead of Canada, who announced long ago that it would not participate in this travesty.