Several U.S. groups are criticizing the United States and other nations for boycotting a controversial United Nations conference on racism, as the start of the meeting Monday was marked by inflammatory, anti-Israel remarks.

The anti-Israel rhetoric was the kind of talk the United States feared would overshadow the conference and a key reason cited in boycotting the affair. The U.S. also left the Durban I conference in 2001 after Israel was singled out as a human rights violator.

But groups like the Congressional Black Caucus, Human Rights Watch and the U.S. African Chamber of Commerce said the United States and other nations that opted not to attend made the wrong move. They said they regard the summit as a legitimate avenue for addressing racism globally and Israel in particular. For more on this story, click here.

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