UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 11)
President Reagan pledged his support for removal from the record of the United Nations the “blot” of the Zionism-is-racism resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 10, 1975.
Reagan made his pledge in a message yesterday to the Conference on Israel, Zionism and the UN attended by more than 1,000 Jewish, Christian and civic leaders at UN headquarters.
The conference was co-chaired by two former U.S. Ambassadors to the UN, Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D. NY) and Jeane Kirkpatrick, and by Kenneth Bialkin, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. Moynihan was Ambassador at the time the resolution was passed.
MESSAGE FROM REAGAN
Reagan, in his message, read to the conference by Netanyahu, declared: “Few events have so offended the American people as the ‘Zionism-is-racism’ resolution of November 10, 1975. It was as if all America stood to affirm the response of our chief delegate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan: ‘The United States rises to declare before the General Assembly of the United Nations and before the world that it does not acknowledge, it will never abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act’.”
Reagan added: “The U.S., under the leadership of three different Presidents, has remained true to that pledge. Today, I am proud to reaffirm that promise and further, to pledge my support for the removal of this blot from the UN record.”
MESSAGE FROM HERZOG
President Chaim Herzog of Israel, who in 1975 was Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, also sent a message to the conference. Herzog said: “My thoughts go back today to the historic debate in the UN on the infamous resolution on Zionism by the General Assembly. The issue before the Assembly was neither Israel nor Zionism. It was the continued existence of the UN which had been dragged to its lowest point of discredit by a coalition of despots and racists.”
Herzog’s message continued: “A great evil was done to the Jewish people at that time but, as in the past, so now, too, the oppressors of our people pass into oblivion while we, the Jewish people which has survived them all, will survive the shameful exhibition in the UN and the proponents of the resolution.”
The resolution equating Zionism with racism was supported by 72 countries, most of them Arab, Third World or Soviet bloc countries. It was opposed by 35, mainly Western democracies. There were 32 abstentions.
Moynihan recalled that before the resolution was adopted, the governments of Israel and the U.S. were not fully aware of the danger of the resolution and its consequences. He charged that since the resolution was passed there has not been a serious study or scholarly learning on the subject and the motives behind the thinking of the Soviets, the Arab and non-aligned countries which supported the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish resolution. Moynihan said however that with “patience and tenacity” the resolution can eventually be expunged.
Vernon Walters, the current U.S. Ambassador to the UN, told the conference: “The U.S. government vigorously condemns UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 which declared that Zionism is a form of racism. President Ronald Reagan referred to Resolution 3379 as ‘the total inversion of morality’ in his speech at the UN 40th anniversary commemoration on October 24, 1985.”
Walters noted that “The U.S. Mission speaks out forcefully against this statement and the evil it embodies and will continue to do so as long as necessary.”
Kirkpatrick declared: “It is a short step from the proposition that Zionism-is-racism to the proposition that the State of Israel is based on aggression.” She added, “In UN language, the Zionism-is-racism resolution declared open season on the State of Israel. Henceforth, Israel would be fair game for armed ‘liberation’.”
Bayard Rustin, the Black civil rights leader who is chairman of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, said that the resolution equating Zionism with racism “obscures the true nature of racism and thus has impeded the fight against it.” He observed that “Those nations, including many African states which supported that obscene resolution, dealt a monstrous blow to themselves and to everyone oppressed by racist ideology, particularly to Blacks who are brutalized by apartheid in South Africa.”
Bialkin charged that the attack on Zionism derives from a fundamental hostility to a Jewish presence in its ancient homeland that is fueled by anti-Jewish prejudices. “The Zionism-is-racism slogan is itself a manifestation of racism,” he said.
‘TOO PREPOSTEROUS TO TOLERATE’
Netanyahu noted that after the rescue by Israel of the Jews of Ethiopia, “the Zionism-is-racism slander becomes too preposterous to tolerate” by responsible states. “This is what explains the blocking of the Zionism-is-racism clause in the recent UN conference in Nairobi. This is what explains the refusal to invite (Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir) Arafat to the UN commemorative session. This is what explains the growing support of Israel in certain key resolutions in recent days.”
He concluded: “We must encourage this trend. Against the big lie, we must pit the big truth. If we do not succeed, Zionism will live but this body (the UN) will be doomed to moral and political irrelevance. And if we do succeed, we might yet begin the moral and political reconstruction of the UN.”
Avital Shcharansky, wife of Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Shcharansky, led a march of almost 1,000 Jewish students from the United Nations site to the Soviet Mission to the UN. Mrs. Shcharansky, who flew in from Jerusalem for the event, called, as other speakers did in front of the Soviet Mission, on President Reagan to raise the issue of Soviet Jewry when he meets with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva November 19 and 20. The march and rally, sponsored by the Student Zionist Council of the U.S., included students from a number of states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, according to Steven Feuerstein. The march and demonstration in front of the Soviet Mission, initiated all national and international student demonstrations that are to occur between now and the summit conference, he said.
Avital Shcharansky began a three-day vigil outside the Mission at the conclusion of the demonstration. Upon the conclusion of the vigil Wednesday, she will fly to Washington to join students and other members of the community to protest outside the Soviet Embassy.