UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 5)
An amendment to a resolution before the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) which would include Zionism as one of the ideologies to be condemned in a resolution opposing racism has been denounced by Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog as a “malicious effort” to divert the committee from “the true purpose of the resolution.” He termed the amendment “part of a dangerous anti-Semitic idiom which is being insinuated into every public debate by those who have sworn to block the current move towards accommodation and ultimately towards peace in the Middle East.”
At the same time, the United States and the European Economic Community (EEC) served notice that they would oppose the amendment and would vote against the resolution if it contained the amendment. U.S. representative Leonard Garment and Italian representative Piero Vinci, speaking on behalf of the nine-member EEC, objected to the amendment sponsored by 11 Arab states, Cuba and Guinea to include Zionism in a draft resolution condemning apartheid and racial discrimination.
The resolution, under discussion in the Third Committee, Concerns a UN-sponsored decade-for-action to combat racism. It is expected to be voted on this week. (The Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem expressed “shock and disgust” at the amendment. See separate story.)
Herzog told the committee last Friday that the proposed amendment, “together with similar moves, is designed to sabotage the efforts of the Geneva conference for peace in the Middle East, co-sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union, and to deflect those who are moving along the road to peace from their purpose,” But, he added, “they will not succeed.
TERMS IT A CONTEMPTUOUS MANEUVER
He said the resolution before the committee to condemn apartheid and colonialism could achieve a consensus “of great importance to our African colleagues.” But instead of this being permitted to happen, the envoy said, “a group of countries, drunk with the feeling of power inherent in the automatic majority and without regard to the importance of achieving a consensus on this issue, have decided to railroad this committee in a contemptuous maneuver by the use of the automatic majority into bracketing Zionism with the subject under discussion.”
Herzog, referring to Zionism, said it was “sad” to see a group of nations, many who had recently freed themselves of colonial rule, “deriding one of the most noble liberation movements of this century, a movement which not only gave an example of encouragement and determination to the peoples struggling for independence, but also actively aided many of them during the period of preparation for their independence or immediately after.”
He commented that his audience included “many of the representatives of countries we aided and who are prepared to this day to receive our aid in the various fields of technology and agriculture who are being swept up unwillingly by the automatic majority which evinces little concern for their national interests.”
Garment told the committee that the amendment was incompatible with the decade-for-action program and said that equating Zionism with racism “is to distort completely the history of that movement (Zionism)” which was designed “to liberate an oppressed people by returning them to the land of their fathers.” Vinci stated that the amendment was “totally irrelevant,” contrary to the objectives of the anti-racism decade which was proclaimed by the General Assembly in December, 1973, and would also introduce an unacceptable element into efforts to find a just solution to the Mideast problem.