Vote Postponed Again on Resolution Equating Zionism with Racism

The General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) yesterday postponed for the third time in 10 days a vote on a controversial Arab-backed resolution that would equate Zionism with racial discrimination, specifically, the South African practice of apartheid.

The sponsors–Cuba and nine Arab states, not including Egypt–have been trying to push the resolution through the committee in various forms since the beginning of the month, But they have run into unexpected resistance from a number of Black African states they have usually been able to count on to support anti-Israel resolutions.

The United States and the nine member states of the European Economic Market have gone on record opposing the inclusion of Zionism in a resolution aimed primarily against racism as practiced in South Africa and Rhodesia. Some diplomatic sources suggested that the African states feared the European states would withhold financial support from the campaign against the two white-ruled countries if the text denouncing Zionism was added to the resolution.

But Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog said, “The time of the Arab steamroller tactics against the Africans is over,” He noted that the behind-the-scenes force pressing for the anti-Zionist text was the Palestine Liberation Organization which the General Assembly accorded observer status here last year. The PLO can’t vote but it has “threatened” several African delegations that their countries and representatives might face physical violence if they failed to support the anti-Zionist clause, Herzog claimed.

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