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Cleaver Defends Zionism. Israel; Charges Arabs with Being Most Racist People; Says Moynihan is Too S

January 22, 1976
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Eldridge Cleaver, the former Black Panther leader now in a California prison, has written an impassioned defense of Zionism against the UN General Assembly’s resolutions defining it as racist and declared that “having lived intimately for several years among the Arabs, I know them to be among the most racist people on earth.”

Cleaver’s article, written from his jail cell, was published in the Boston Herald-American. He said that many wealthy Arab families owned one or two Black slaves. “Sometimes they own an entire family. I have seen such slaves with my own eyes,” he wrote describing his experience in Algeria where he lived after fleeing the United States.

He bitterly condemned the most anti-Semitic, anti-Israel African leader, President Idi Amin of Uganda, as one of the “hired killers” and “the hatchet man of Uganda.” He also declared that the “so-called hard line” taken by the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Daniel P. Moynihan against Amin “seems too soft to me.”


Cleaver wrote that two aspects of the UN’s anti-Zionist resolution shocked and surprised him. “Shocked because, of all the people in the world, the Jews have not only suffered particularly from racist persecution, they have done more than any other people to expose and condemn racism. Generations of Jewish social scientists and scholars have labored long and hard in every field of knowledge, from anthropology to psychology, to lay bare and refute all claims of racial inferiority and superiority. To condemn the Jewish survival doctrine of Zionism as racism is a travesty upon the truth.

“Secondly. “Cleaver wrote. “I am surprised that the Arabs would choose to establish a precedent condemning racism because it can so easily and righteously be turned against them. Having lived intimately for several years among the Arabs, I know them to be among the most racist people on earth. No one knows this better than the Black Africans living along the edges of the Sahara.”

Cleaver said that he had “the deepest sympathy for the Palestinian people in their search for justice, but I see no net gain for freedom and human dignity in the world if power blocs, because of their ability to underwrite sagging economies for a season, are able to ram through the UN resolutions repugnant to human reason and historical fact.”

The writer charged that “The combination of Communist dictatorships, theocratic Arab dictatorships, and economically dependent Black African dictatorships are basically united in their opposition to the democratic forces inside their own borders. It is not a combination deserving of respect by people from countries enjoying democratic liberties and traditions of freedom.”

Cleaves suggested that “the time has come to re-examine the credentials of all the members of the General Assembly. Why should all these little so-called countries with miniscule populations have a vote equal in weight to that of the United States? When such votes are cast in the reckless manner of the anti-Zionist resolution, it is time to sit up and take notice.” Cleaver observed that “The General Assembly is no longer filled with Mahatma Gandhis pleading the case of the downtrodden, colonized masses. It is now a forum for crude, hired killers like Idi Amin Dada, the hatchet man of Uganda.”

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