Governors of 49 States have issued official proclamations condemning the 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned that Governor John Sununu of New Hampshire was the only governor who declined to issue a proclamation condemning the resolution. He reportedly refused on the grounds that he vowed during his election campaign not to issue proclamations of any kind as long as he is governor.
Bernice Tannenbaum, chairperson of the World Zionist Organization-American Section, announced the action of the 49 governors, at a gala celebration, sponsored by the WZO-American Section, marking Israel’s 39th Independence Day at Town Hall here Monday night. “These unique and unprecedented proclamations by our governors from Maine to Alaska are a memorable accomplishment in Zionist and American Jewish history,” Tannenbaum declared.
“This means, ” she added, “that the American people throughout the length and breadth of this nation, by exceptional declarations of their elected chief state executive add their voices to those of the U.S. Congress and the White House.”
Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey addressed the gathering on behalf of the 49 governors. He said that the resolution equating Zionism with racism “came about because of pure political intimidation coupled with a lack of courage on the part of some who should have resisted it. This was an unprincipled resolution purchased with petro-dollars at the height of the energy crisis.” Declaring that “Zionism is a freedom movement” that established a democratic and progressive state in the Mideast, Kean said that efforts must continue to remove the “shameful” resolution from the records. Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, said that by passing the Zionism-equals-racism resolution, the UN committed the sin of “victimizing the victims.” Noting that in the aftermath of the Holocaust the term “racist” was the worst of all, the Ambassador said that the anti-Zionism resolution was chosen by the Jewish people’s enemies in order to legalize their wishes to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
“The sponsors of that resolution were students of the Nazis,” Netanyahu said. The Israeli envoy added, however, that it is clear that many countries who voted for the anti-Zionism resolution on November 10, 1975, would have voted against it today.
He predicted that soon there will be a majority at the UN to repeal the resolution. “We will continue the fight to wipe out the slander. We will wipe it off the book, ” Netanyahu declared.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, who was presented during the evening with the 1987 Israel Achievement Award, said that 42 years ago, on the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, he was liberated from the concentration camp of Buchenwald. “Tonight, I am celebrating both Israel’s 39th independence day and my liberation from Buchenwald, ” Wiesel said.
He pointed out that on the day that Israel’s anniversary is celebrated, the U.S. Justice Department announced its decision to bar Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the U.S. as a private citizen because of his Nazi past.
Wiesel called for Waldheim’s resignation as Austria’s President. “A man who lies about his past and who has not confessed to his sins should not serve as the moral arbiter of his nation,” Wiesel said.
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.