Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) said Friday that “world peace cannot tolerate the denial of the legitimacy of Israel or any other nation-state.” He added the “charge that Zionism is racism is an abomination.”
Speaking before the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament, Bronfman lauded the growing “clamor” for peace which he said was “all to the good.” He declared that “the louder the voice of the people, the more urgent become the priorities of their leaders” and that “new, force is thus given to negotiations already underway and those not yet started.”
The address by Bronfman marked the only Jewish representative organization to speak before the UN disarmament session. The WJC has standing at the UN as an accredited international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and, as the senior Jewish NGO, has consultative status under the UN charter. The status applies to the UN Economic and Social Council. But an exception was made in the case of the Special Session thus making the WJC one of a limited number of NGOs invited to address the session.
According to Bronfman, “partial disarmament — and possibly more peace — can only come about when the forces of mutual destruction are sufficiently appalling. That time is now,” he said. But he warned that “calls for unilateral disarmament have never created peace” asserting that nations arm “to protect their security or to realize aggressive ambitions.”
The WJC president said it was not likely that “in our lifetime we will ever totally eliminate the threat of nuclear destruction. But we Jews who experienced technological Holocaust,” Bronfman continued, “insist that nuclear holocaust whether it be launched by superpowers, or by smaller nations which have nuclear capacity — can, should and must be curtailed.”
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.