In an emotionally charged session, the 3000 Reform delegates to the 53rd biennial assembly to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations uttered a prayer for the dead (Kaddish), pronouncing the “moral collapse of the United Nations” as a result of the international body’s approval of the resolution equating Zionism with racism.
Led by youth delegates, the representatives of 715 Reform congregations signed their names to a 100 foot-long petition to be sent to UN Secretary General Waldheim. The petition said. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with our brethren in Israel. We are Americans, we are Jews, we are Zionists.”
Upon receiving the UAHC’s award as an out standing American and Jew, Philip M. Klutznick, former UN Ambassador to the Economic Committee, and chairman of the governing council of the World Jewish Congress, called the action “a plain lie, clumsy, and a stupid act.” He asserted that this doctrine adopted by the UN “could only harm the welfare and movement of International peace.”
He indicated that this step represents “a very tough question for the American people and Congress regarding our relationship to the United Nations.” He added: “This may be one of the saddest days for the entire world. I hope it does not precipitate the kind of chain reaction that may bring us back to the days of what occurred to the League of Nations, If that were to happen, then we are on the brink of something much bigger than what a General Assembly resolution could mean.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.