GENEVA (Aug. 14)
Israel’s policies in the West Bank and South Africa’s policy of apartheid came under severe criticism at the United Nations World Conference to Combat Racism. The conference, which ended yesterday, voted 104-0 for measures to combat apartheid, ranging from economic sanctions to a complete cutoff of all scientific, cultural and sports contacts.
The conference also approved a final declaration that included a paragraph condemning Israel for what was termed intensified cooperation with South Africa and another paragraph describing Israel’s “racial discrimination against inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories.”
The United States and Israel boycotted the two-week conference attended by 124 nations because of the 1975 UN General Assembly resolutions equating Zionism with racism.
During the last hours of the conference, the Soviet Union was the most vociferous in denouncing Israel for its “cooperation” with South Africa and for “racism” in the occupied territories. It was apparent that the USSR, which antagonized the Western delegates by its bellicose manner, was seeking a Western walkout from the conference so that it could appear as the only friend of the African nations.
The Egyptian delegation actively supported the anti-Israel declaration and one of the Egyptian delegates bitterly attacked the “Israeli racist practices” in the West Bank. A group calling itself “The Council of International Indian Treaty” denounced Israel for aiding the government of Guatemala. The African delegates refrained from attacking Israel.