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Liberian Leader Assails View Equating Zionism with Racism

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Liberian head of state Samuel Doe declared that to equate Zionism with racism — as the United Nations did in 1975 — is to “desecrate” Israel’s struggle to achieve independence and nationhood.

The Liberian Commander-in-Chief made the assertion at a reception in his honor given last week at the headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith opposite United Nations headquarters.

Doe, whose nation resumed diplomatic relations with Israel in August, said that despite the severance of ties 10 years ago, “we never lost sight of those ideals which unite the Liberian and the Jewish peoples.” Consequently in 1975, he said, “Liberia opposed the resolution in the United Nations which attempted to equate Zionism with racism.”

To attack Zionism in this fashion, he went on to say, would be to “desecrate” it and associate Israel’s struggle for nationhood with a “criminal and inhumane system of oppression.”

Doe said that his decision to restore diplomatic relations with Israel was based on Liberia’s “commitment to the promotion of international peace and security, based on justice, equality and human dignity.”

LIBERIAN’S DECISION PRAISED

In welcoming the Liberian leader, ADL national chairman Kenneth Bialkin praised his decision to restore diplomatic relations with Israel. He called it a “courageous and statesmanlike decision, “adding: “We hope there will be an ever growing and fruitful relationship involving the United States, Liberia and Israel.”

In a toast to Doe and his aides, ADL associate national director Abraham Foxman called for “peace and friendship between the Liberian people and the Jewish people” and expressed the hope for “better relations between the continent of Africa and the State of Israel.” Doe met with Jewish business leaders in New York prior to the ADL reception.

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