UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 11)
More than 1,400 students from around the country gathered at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza by the United Nations to mark and protest the 15th anniversary of Resolution 3379, which denigrates Zionism as a form of racism.
The rally also launched a student-led campaign nationwide to repeal the resolution, initiated by the Arab states and passed by the U.N. General Assembly on Nov. 10, 1975.
Cries of “Shame on you, United Nations!” echoed through the crowd as Uriel Savir, Israel’s consul general in New York, addressed the outdoor rally.
“Where was the U.N. when Israelis were murdered in Jerusalem?” Savir asked, referring to recent stabbing attacks against Jews in Israel’s capital.
He called on the students to show their support “not only in the streets of New York, but in the streets of Jerusalem.”
Students greeted the invitation with chants of “This year in Jerusalem.”
As the enthusiastic crowd roared its approval, student activists tore apart a large U.N. flag to dramatize what demonstrators called the world body’s “moral bankruptcy regarding Israel.”
“It is not the Jewish community, it is not Israel, it is the U.N.–if it wants to survive–that requires the repeal of 3379,” said Rep. Bill Green (R-N.Y.).
“Zionism is equal to Judaism, and anti-Zionist is anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Avraham Weiss, religious leader of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, an Orthodox synagogue in the Bronx.
“If Hitler walked into the U.N. today,” said Weiss, “he would receive a standing ovation.”
STANDING UP FOR MORALITY AT U.N.
One student demonstrator, Joseph Bensmihen of Montreal, noted that “it is no coincidence that this perverted resolution was passed when former Nazi Austrian President Kurt Waldheim was secretary (general) of the United Nations.”
The students also unofficially rededicated United Nations Plaza as “Zionism Freedom Plaza” with a new street sign, as hundreds cheered and sang “Am Yisrael Chai” (The People of Israel Live).
Steven Felsenthal, president of the Yeshiva College Student Council, said, “It is essential for Jews to stand up and let the world know that we will not stand for a U.N. double standard.”
The Yeshiva Student College Council was one of a number of sponsors of the rally. Others included the North American Jewish Students Network and Bnei Akiva of North America.
Elie Wurtman, vice president of the Students Network, said, “We’re here to raise the voice of moral consciousness and stand up for morality in the U.N.”
“If the U.N. is to assume the role of peacekeeper for which it was created, then this immoral lie of ‘Zionism is racism’ must first be stricken from the public record,” he said.
Students from as far as the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Georgetown University in Washington and Northwestern University in Evanston, III., traveled to New York to take part in the rally, which was followed by a march of solidarity to Israel’s U.N. Mission.