NEW YORK (Oct. 22)
Daniel P. Moynihan, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said here last night that last week’s vote equating Zionism with racism and racial discrimination was less an assault on Israel than on the principle of democracy wherever they survive today. He also declared that the draft resolution adopted by the General Assembly’s Cultural, Social and Humanitarian Committee (Third Committee) “must not pass the General Assembly” plenary. A date has not been set for the Assembly vote.
In a speech at the annual awards dinner of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Moynihan warned that “If it passes the General Assembly it would be another blow to the UN. It must not receive the final sanction as the judgement of the world community. There can be no community on such a judgement.”
The American envoy said the Arab-inspired resolution, adopted in the Third Committee by a vote of 70-29 with 27 abstentions, was aimed at Israel “and not the state of Israel nearly so much as the significance of Israel as one of the very few places outside of Western Europe and North America and a few offshore islands where Western democratic principles survive, and of all such places, currently the most exposed.”
SYMPTOM OF SELF-DESTRUCTION
Moynihan charged that “The UN has become a locus of a general assault by the majority of the nations in the world on the principles of liberal democracy which are now found only in a minority of nations and for that matter, a dwindling minority.” The anti-Zionist resolution, he said, was a symptom of the bent toward self-destruction on the part of the world organization.
However, he added, “It was in no sense an unrelieved disaster” because what had been considered an automatic alliance of Third World and Communist countries had “just possibly been broken” in the vote which saw many African nations either abstaining or voting against the text.
Moynihan indicated that he viewed Zionism as more than just the movement for the return of the Jewish people to their historic homeland. “What after all is Zionism if not the product of Western man and Western events?” he asked. “To deny that is to deny the most elemental fact, and yet this merely describes most of the dominant intellectual and political ideas of this age.”
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation is an inter-faith human rights group headed by Rabbi Arthur Schneier and supported by Roman Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox and Jewish community leaders. Awards were presented to Nicholas T. Camica, president of the Pittston Co., and to Mary Lasker, the philanthropist.