UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 3)
Sixty-two representatives and observers of Non-Governmental Organizations accredited to UNESCO have approved a statement denouncing the vote in the UN Third Committee for a draft resolution equating Zionism and racism. The statement was submitted to Gaston Thorn, president of the UN General Assembly, by the Committee on Human Rights of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations.
The signators declared they deplored the vote “as a perversion of historical and contemporary fact, as unrepresentative of the decent opinion of mankind, and as harmful to the effectiveness of the important world struggle against racial discrimination, including apartheid.”
The statement said that “the modern Zionist idea” was part of “a wider historical movement of many peoples seeking national liberation and self-determination” which was “translated into reality with the establishment of the State of Israel, following the holocaust inflicted upon the Jews during the second World War.”
The statement said that the draft was an effort “to enlist the entire UN system in a global campaign against Zionism” and that this not only was “to distort the truth” but that it was “a means likely to incite racist hatred–anti-Semitism–against Jews and Jewish communities whose sympathies He with the State of Israel.”
The signers said that as members of NGOs, they intended “to participate with dedication and vigor as previously in the UN struggle against discrimination, including apartheid,” but, they warned, “this important UN effort can only be confused, diluted and undermined by linking it to Zionism” and “such a struggle would revive an old form of racism.” They issued an urgent call to the General Assembly plenary to reject the draft resolution. The signers included persons active in Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, religious and secular groups, and youth, women’s, peace, and Black organizations.