The Soviet Union called formally upon the United Nations today to condemn Zionism along with anti-Semitism, Nazism and neo-Nazism as a policy of “colonialism and race hatred.” The step was taken in the General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee where a draft convention was being debated calling for the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
The U.S.S.R. introduced a sub-amendment to an amendment for that draft previously introduced by the United States and co-sponsored by Brazil, which would declare that all states that are parties to the convention “condemn anti-Semitism and shall take action as appropriate for its speedy eradication in territories subject to their jurisdiction.”
Instead of that wording, the Soviet Union’s sub-amendment would read: “States parties condemn anti-Semitism, Zionism, Nazism, neo-Nazism and all other forms of the policy and ideology of colonialism, national and race hatred and exclusiveness and shall take action as appropriate for the speedy eradication of those misanthropic ideas and practices in the territories subject to their jurisdiction.”
The Committee has been discussing all of this week the anti-racist draft convention which had already been approved as a U.N. declaration by the General Assembly of 1963 and later approved by the Economic and Social Council. However, in 1963, the United States introduced the amendment, never acted upon finally, calling for the condemnation of anti-Semitism. In October 1964, President Johnson publicly pledged the United States Government in support of that amendment and the clause condemning anti-Semitism is being pushed vigorously now by Washington’s current representative on the Committee, Mrs. Gladys Avery Tillett.
U.S. OPPOSES SOVIET STAND; ISRAEL TERMS IT ‘BENEATH CONTEMPT’
A spokesman for the United States delegation told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “We are opposed to the Russian amendment. We consider it an outrage to equate Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is a maneuver that will not succeed.”
In the last two days, Arab representatives in the Committee, led by Jordan, have been threatening to alter the U. S. -Brazil amendment so as to include Zionism among the ideologies to be condemned. Meanwhile, Poland introduced another amendment through which the preamble to the draft convention would condemn “Nazist practices” along with other forms of racial discrimination. The Polish move was supported by a number of delegations, including the U.S.S.R. and Israel which is represented in the Committee by Judge Hadassah Ben-Ito.
Yesterday, Arab delegates summoned representatives of 20 other delegations to a behind-the-scenes meeting where they warned that, unless both the U.S.-Brazil and Polish amendments were withdrawn, a clause condemning Zionism would be introduced. The threat was made good today but, instead of being sponsored by an Arab state, it was sponsored by the Soviet Union.
Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative, said of the Soviet sub-amendment: “I regard the bracketing of Zionism with Nazism as beneath contempt. Obviously, it was introduced as a tactical move against the United States-Brazil amendment on anti-Semitism. It is ironic to recall that, in 1947, the Soviet Union supported the establishment of the Jewish State which was born of the Zionist movement and emerged as a result of the Nazi slaughter of the Jews.”
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.