Israel Sharply Criticizes South Africa’s ‘apartheid’ on Moral Grounds
Menu JTA Search

Israel Sharply Criticizes South Africa’s ‘apartheid’ on Moral Grounds

Download PDF for this date

Israel sharply criticized South Africa’s apartheid policy here today, asserting that “the basic tenet of our faith and our ethics, proclaimed thousands of years ago, sees in man the image of God–and thus we are all free, equal and brothers.” Any deviation from this concept, declared Ambassador Darom, the Israel delegation’s representative in the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee, “would be a negation of our own selves.”

Israel’s participation in the debate on apartheid, which has been raging in the committee for more than two weeks, with 65 diplomats having already intervened on the issue and at least 10 more listed to speak, was an outright condemnation as to how Israel would vote when it came to balloting on a stiff anti-South African resolution drafted by 32 members of the Afro-Asian bloc. Last year, when Israel joined the vast majority here that hit hard at South Africa’s apartheid policy, the Israeli Government was criticized both by leaders of the South African Government and by some leaders of the South African Jewish community.

Telling the United Nations that South Africa’s apartheid policy was “irremediably doomed,” Mr. Darom warned, however, that “fanaticism and the absurd ideas of racial superiority cannot be eradicated easily and in a short time.” He said that this did not “exonerate us from our obligation to go on fighting persistently and tirelessly for the defense of the dignity of man and his rights.”

“The history of my people through the centuries is marked in an indelible way by the martyrdom and sacrifice of millions of its sons whose only crime was being Jews,” the Israeli delegate declared. “The list of synagogues vanished in smoke and flames because in them we practiced the rituals of our faith is endless. We have known all the forms of intolerance, originating in religious fanaticism, or anti-scientific and mad racial theories or antagonism to our cultural and national characteristics. And it is painful to state that even today, anti-Semitism raises here and there its criminal head.”

The Israeli diplomat voiced disappointment at the failure of South Africa to abandon its apartheid policy, and said this failure compelled Israel “to voice our position against racial discrimination and share the feelings of frustration expressed in this committee, in view of the lack of results of the repeated admonitions of the United Nations.” He condemned apartheid as the transformation of discrimination into a system of government

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund