Removing the Stain of the United Nations' "Zionism Is Racism" Resolution

Report Global Politics

Removing the Stain of the United Nations' "Zionism Is Racism" Resolution

September 12, 1991 24 min read Download Report
Christopher Gacek
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs

(Archived document, may contain errors)


85 1 September 12,1991 REMOVING THE STAIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS ZIONISM IS RACISM RESOL UTION INTRODUCTION One of the worst stains on the reputation of the United Nations is the General Qssemblys 1975 vote to adopt Resolution 3379 condemning Zionism as a form of rac sm. While championing so-call4 national liberation movements throughout the Third World, the U.N. not only singled out the Jewish nationalist movement for criticism ut in a pemenion of history, falsely accused Israel of inflicting on others the same dnd of injustice-racism-fmm which Jews have suffered for centuries.

Since its pass age over fifteen years ago, the Zionism is Racism resolution has 3een an obstacle to every argument that attempts to portray the U.N. in a favmble ight. And since its passage, no attempt has been made to repeal the resolution. It is low time to do so.

Wit h the Cold War over and the U.N. supposedly moving into an era of greater global cooperation, the time has come for the U.N. to demonstrate its commitment to pmoting better understanding among all its members, including Israel. Resolution 3379, therefore, should be repealed when the General Assembly convenes its 46th ses- rion next week in Manhattan There axe thxee Teasons why the U.N. should want to repeal Resolution 3379 Reason #1: Repeal would make the U.N. more effective. Resolution 3379 die qualifies t he U.N., for example, as a mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Is rael is well aware of the pervasive, anti-Israeli bias at the U.N. There is no chance that Israel will trust the U.N. as an active participant in the peace pro cess unless Resolution 337 9 is repealed.

Reason #2: Jewish nationalism, as expressed in Zionism, is as legitimate as any other nationalism. The U.N. long has championed so-called national libera tion movements throughout the world In fact, the U.N. in 1947 supported the birth of Is rael, Why, therefore, should the Zionist brand of nationalism be sin gled out for criticism?

Reason 3: The U.N.s slandering of Israel has not only hampered the prospects for a Middle East settlement, it has harmed Israels Arab and Third World critics. The U.N.3 isolation of Israel has made the U.N. largely ≤ vant for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Arab countries moreover, have not profited fkom abusing Israel at the U.N The United States should take the lead in repealing the Zionism is Racism reso l u tion because repeal is in the U.S. interest. Repealing Resolution 3379 would remove an obstacle to Middle East peace and would strengthen Israel, an important U.S. ally U.S. Permanent Representative at the U.N. Thomas R. Pickenng and U.S. Assistant Secr etary of State for International Organization Affairs John R. Bolton should devise a strategy and launch a campaign to repeal Resolution 33

79. They should Inform the Israeli government that America will seek the repeal of Resolu tion 3379 in this falls U. N. General Assembly session. Notification of the impend ing U.S. decision will give the Israeli government time to plan for the repeal debate Announce that America is prepared to push for repeal in this and every suc cessive General Assembly session until repeal succeeds. This is critical if the resolu tion is to be repealed. The reason: it puts nations on notice that voting against the U.S on this matter will expose them to political pressure, and possibly reduction of eco nomic assistance in some cases. The announcement should be given a high profile. An appropriate forum might be George Bushs September 24 address to the General As sembly for Javier Perez de Cuellar as Secretary General of the U.N. unless the candidate supports repeal of Resolution 33

79. This would impose an enormous penalty on de fenders of Resolution 3379 and, conversely, would reward enormously those who op pose the resolution Announce that repeal of Resolution 3379 is a condition for U.S. support for a U.N. role in a Middle East peac e process. Whatever the outcome of Secretary of State James Bakers Middle East peace efforts, the U.N. will not be able to play a key role so long as it brands Israel a racist state that a General Assembly vote on repeal of Resolution 3379 would be very cl o se. Still a vote to repeal this fall may. not carry. But even if repeal cannot be achieved this fall Resolution 3379 could be nullified de facto by a resolution that rejects the conclusions of Resolution 3379 without explicitly rescinding it. This would g i ve some nations the face-saving ability to remove the stain of Resolution 3379 without having to admit that they made a mistake in 1975 Announce that the U.S. will veto the candidacy of any eventual replacement A First Step: De Facto Repeal. A head count c onducted last year by the U.S. found 2 Such a de facto repeal may appeal to Moscow. Thus the Soviet Union might cooper ate with the U.S. at the U.N. on this issue, as it did before and during the Persian Gulf war. Soviet Fmign Ministry officials told The H eritage Foundation in Moscow in Oc tober 1990 that the Soviet Union would consider moves overturning Resolution 3379 through indirect methods that would avoid humiliating Moscows Arab allies. One indirect method would be for the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to s p onsor a joint resolution in the General Assembly stating The General Assembly, recalling and recognizing the continuing validity of its Resolution 1904 (Xvm) of November 1963, proclaiming the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of R a cial Discrimination, which justifiably condemned all forms of racial discrimination, recalling further its resolution 3379 of 10 November 1975, states categorically that Zionism is not a threat to world peace and security, and recognizes that Zionism is n o t a form of racism or racial discrimination A resolution constructed along these lines effectively would overturn the anti-Zion ist passages of Resolution 3379 without actually repealing the resolution. Several years later, Resolution 3379 actually could b e repealed. There is no doubt, of course, that re peal is the ultimate goal. Intermediate steps, however, may be needed to get there. The U.S. must declare that it will oppose any substitute measure that indirectly or directly criticizes Israel or Zionism .

Given the upheaval in the Soviet Union following the failed August 19 coup, a So viet foreign policy influenced by Boris Yeltsin and other Democrats may be amenable to support effarts for direct appeal. If that is the case an attempt to obtain the de fac to will not be needed THE ORIGINS OF ANTI-ZIONISM IN THE U.N The Zionism is Racism resolution was approved by a U.N. that differed greatly from the body that first met in 19

45. When the U.N. Charter came into force on Ocm ber 24,1945, there were only 51 countries in the U.N. On November 10,1975, when Resolution 3379 was passed, the U.N. was made up of 142 nations. With this increase in membership came pater influence from the Third World. Of the 5 1 original U.N members, 39 were from Europe and the Weste r n Hemisphere; only ten were from Asia and the Pacific and four from Africa Today, there am 52 African and 41 Asian coun tries in the u.N. scores of new nations transformed the U.N. from awestem institu tion with European mts into one in which Third World n ations dominated General As sembly proceedings by sheer numbers of votes and aggressively pressed grievances and claims against the very founders of the U.N the Western states 1 Notes for Speakers, United Nations Departmemt of Public Infannation, Septembe r 1990, p. 45 3 Changed Character. These new Third World countries, growing in number and vot ing strength, typically were =presented at the U.N. by radical intellectuals who flirted with Marxism and above all, hated the West. Their growing numbers changed the char acter of the U.N. Increasingly in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the U.N. stridently de nounced the capitalist exploitation of the colonial world by the West, and proposed so cialist policies for the economic development of the Third World.

By the mid- 1970s the hostility of the U.N. General Assembly toward Western politi cal thought, economic institutions and culture reached new heights as counmes from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East joined farces with the Soviet Union to obtain a vot ing majority in the General Assembly? Many Third World countries were highly criti cal of America. Among the most anti-American were Cuba, India, and Uganda. They accused the U.S. of being imperialistic. American-based multinational corporations were called e xploitive. The American political system was denounced as racist.

Historian Paul Johnson, the author of ModernTimes, observed in 1983 in 1974 the U.N. adopted a Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States which con demned the workings of Western econom ies. The 1974 U.N. World Population Confer ence was a prolonged attack on U.S. selfishness. The 1974 U.N: World Food Confer ence denounced America and other states, the only ones to actually produce food sur p~uses It was such attitudes that prompted Dani e l Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. Ambassador at the U.N. from July 1975 to March 1976, to say that now: Most of the world be lieves in philosophies that do not accept the individual as distinct from and prior to the State, in philosophies that, therefore, do n o t provide any justification for the idea of human rights Taking on Israel. Anti-American attitudes in the U.N. soon focused on Americas ally, Israel. There were three masons for this: 1) Israel could be attacked as an Ameri can ally to vent rage at Americ a ; 2) as anti-Israeli Arab states gained more prominence in the U.N. as allies of the Soviet Union. and Third World nations, and because of their mounting oil wealth, they stirred up the General Assembly against Israel; and 3) anti Semitism in Arab nations , Third World countries like Uganda, and in the Soviet Union partly motivated U.N. hostility toward Israel.

The U.N. has not always been hostile to Israel. In fact, it was U.N. General Assem bly Resolution 181 passed on November 29,1947, with pressure from Harry Truman that recognized a new plan for the partition of Palestine. Soon thereafter Israels exis tence as a state was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion on May 14,1948.5 2 Pad Johnson. Modem Times: The Worldfrom the Twenties to the Eighties (New Yark: Ha rper Row, 1983 p. 536 3 Ibid, p. 691 4 Daniel Patrick Moynihan with SmnaWeaver, A Dangerous Place (Boston: Atlantic Monthly FmsLittle, Brown and Co 1975 p. 1

99. Fnrm his statement after the United Nations General Assembly vote on Resolution 3379 on Novemb er 10,1975 5 Pad Johnson, A History of the Jews (New Ye Harper and Row, 1987 pp. 525-6 4 This benign attitude toward Israel began to change in the late 1960s. At that time the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Syria and other Arab states began to gai n Third World support for a campaign to isolate Israel in the U.N. The U.N. General Assembly adopted on December 10,1969, Resolution 2535B, which charged that the Palestine Arab Refugees in Israel were being denied the inalienable rights aranteed them by t he U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Soviet Involvement. The Soviet Union played an important role in forming the anti Zionist bloc in the U.N. The first official Soviet anti-Israel move at the U.N. was in No vember 19

65. In a m ove designed to curry favor with the Arab states, the Soviets at tempted to amend the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimi nation, which had been passed in November 1963 and which observed that any doc trine of racial differentia t ion or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemna ble, socially unjust and dangerous The Soviet-sponsored amendment stated B States Parties condemn anti-Semitism, Zionism, Nazism, neo-Nazism and all other forms of the policy and ideology of col o nialism, national and race hatred and exclusiveness and shall take action as appropriate for the speedy eradication of those nhuman ideas and practices in the territories subject to their jurisdiction. i While the U.S.S.R. condemned anti-Semitism in this amendment, it also equated Zi onism with race hatred. An important point had been made: tionism was linked with Nazism and other forms of fascist and racist ideologies condemned by communist and other left-wing governments in the Third World.

The political atmosphere in the General Assembly during the early and mid-1970s reflected the hostility toward the U.S. and the West. The twenty-ninth General Assem bly, in 1974, was chaired by an Algerian radical, Abdelaziz Bouteflika whom Moyni han characterized as a master of symbolic defiance and protracted insult. Even though he was no longer in charge of the General Assembly when Resolution 3379 passed in 1975, Boutern personified the politics of the General Assembly in which underdeveloped nations angrily blamed their poverty on the U.S. and the developed na tions of the West. Bouteflika and his Third World allies were publicly deferential to ward totalitarian states like the Soviet Union, which seemed to them to represent the wave of the future as Soviet expansi onism appeared unchecked.

Increasingly Anti-Western. The U.N. bias against the Western principles of free markets and economic and political freedom deepened in 19

74. The General Assembly approved on May 1,1974, the Declaration and Program of Action on t he Establish ment of a New International Economic Order. It proclaimed the establishment of a new international economic order based on equity, sovereignty, interdependence, com mon interest and co-option among states. The New International Economic order 6 Jeane J. Kidcpalrick, How the PLO Was Legitimized? Comnzenrary, July 1989, p. 25 7 Moynihan and Weam, op. cir. p. 174 8 Ibid.,p. 134 5 (NIEO) embodied the Third World claims that the rich nations of the North domi nated the impoverished nations of the S o uth. The NE0 was an attempt to redirect the wealth of the world toward the South through international political bodies like the U.N. Later that year, in December, the General Assembly adopted the Charter of Eco nomic Rights and Duties of state According t o Basic Facts about the United Na tions this charter stipulates that every state has the right to exercise full permanent sovereignty over its wealth and natural resources, to regulate foreign investments within its national jurisdiction, and to nationali z e, expropriate or transfer the owner ship of foreign prope rty Thus the U.N. was endorsing the idea that the rights of the state were mm important than those of property and the individual. Finally, also in 1974, the Centre for Transnational Corporations w as established as part of the move ment by radicalized developing nations to exert pressure on international markets and the business practices of multinational corporations. Essential to the Cenms agenda was the imposition of state-enforced regulations o n commerce and the flow of capi tal.O The U.S. exhibited little energy in combating these anti-Western actions. It was reel ing from the Vietnam War, Watergate, the first OPEC oil increases, heightened ten sions in the Middle East, and Soviet expansionism i n the Third World John Scali, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. from 1973 to 1975, perfmed with great distinction, but he was not as verbally combative as his successors, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick MOSCOWS Embarrassment. After the 1967 Wa r , when Israel trounced Arab coun tries whose military had been trained and sup lied by the U.S.S.R Moscow began. to describe Zionism as anti-Soviet and racist by a combination of domestic and foreign policy considerations. The U.S.S.R.3 Jew ish population wished to escape religious repression in the Soviet Union and immigr ate to Israel and the West.This was an enormous embarrassment for a country that claimed to be a workers paradise and a multinational state in which racism and reps sion had been elimina t ed. Further, the Soviet Union hoped to gain a strategic foothold in the Middle East by courting the Arab states. Since the time of the Czars, Moscow had wanted to expand its influence in the Middle East to gain access for its Navy to the warm waters of th e Meditemean Sea and to consolidate its hold on its own Islamic peoples.

This anti-Western and anti-Israeli atmosphere at the U.N. was in full blossom when the General Assembly, on November 13,1974, exuberantly welcomed to its podium Pu) leader Yasser Mat. With a gun-holster at his side, he told an enthusiastically re ceptive audience R This turn against Israel was motivated 9 Basic Facts about the United Notions (New Yark, June 1987 p. 71 10 Economic and Social Council resolution 1913 (Lvn) of 19

74. See E/55oo/Rev. 1, ST/ESA/6,1974 11 Moynihan and Weaver, op. cir p. 170 6 Zionism is an ideology that is imperialist, colonialist, racist; it is united with anti-Semitism in its retrograde tenet done, another side of the same base coin d is, when all is said a nd fP It was .not long before other Third World leaders jumped into the fray to denounce Zionism and the U.S. In an October 1,1975, speech before the General Assembly Ugandan dictator Idi Amin claimed that the United States of America had been colo nized b y Zionists, that American Zionists own virtually all the banking institutions the major manufacturing and processing industries and the major means of communica tion, and that the Central Intelligence Agency had become a danger to the world be cause of Zi o nist infiltrati~n He ended his speech by demanding the expulsion of Is rael from the United Nations and the extinction of Israel as a State, so that the tenito rial integrity of Palestine may be ensured and upheld I and the President of the General Assemb l y gave a public dinner in Amins honor.14 Historian Paul Johnson records that, The following day the U.N. Secretary-General THE PASSAGE OF THE ZIONISM IS RACISM RESOLUTION The road to Resolution 3379 began in December 1973 when the African nation of Burund i amended a resolution condemning South Africa. One Burundi-sponsored amendment denounced in particular, the unholy alliance between Portuguesecolonial ism, South African racism, Zionism and Israeli im~erialism The resolution passed by 88 for, 7 against, a n d 28 abstaining.16 Two years later, in summer 1975 in Mexico City, the first U.N. conference on womens rights linked Zionism with colonialism and declared that the achievement of international cooperation and peace required the elim ination of hostile ide o logies like apartheid and Zi0nisrn.l That summer, too, the Orga nization of African Unity met in Kampala, Uganda, and condemned Israel as the rac ist regime in occupied Palestine which shad a common imperialist origin and rac ist structure with Rhodesia a nd South Africa.

The criticism of Israel continued as the Non-Aligned Movement-more than 100 na tions, ostensibly committed to neither East nor West, which typically take anti-U.S and pro-Soviet positions-met in Lima, Peru, in August 19

75. It condemned Z ionism as a danger to world peace. Two months later, Cuba, Libya, and Somalia introduced a draft resolution condemning Zionism as racism to the U.N. General Assemblys Third Committee, which oversees matters and resolutions related to social, cultural and h umanitarian issues. Despite vigorous opposition by Leonard Garment, the U.S 12 Provisional verbatim mead of the hvo thousand two hundred and eighty-second meeting, UN. Gend Assembly November 13,1974, p 21. U.N. call numk PV. 2282 13 Harris Oh Schoenberg, A Mandate for Terror: The United Nations and the Pu New Yok Sapolsky Publishers 1989 p. 313 14 Pad Johnson, Modern Times, p. 536 16 Schoenbexg. op. cit p. 312 17 Ibid 15 Moynihan and Waver, OP. Ut., Pp. 92-93 7 Representative to the U.N. Commission on Huma n Rights, the resolution passed the U.N.sThird Committee on October 17, 1975.18 The vote was 70 in favor, 29 against 27 abstaining, and 16 not voting Outcome Determined. The draft resolution then moved to the General Assembly on November 10,19

75. Resolution 3379 was considered along with several other is sues that day in a session that lasted seven hours. Because the outcome had already been detennined by the vote in theThird Committee, there was little debate before the vote. Resolution 3379 was endorsed by Fayez al-Sayegh, a P.L.O. member who repre sented Kuwait, and Jamil Baroody spoke for Saudi Arabia in support of the resolution.

After these speeches Belgium attempted to adjoum the debate when Resolution 3379 was raised, but the motion was defeated.

At 8:30 p.m. on November 10,1975, the Zionism is Racism resolution was ap proved by the General Assembly The vote: 72 in favar, 35 against; 32 abstentions; and 3 not v~hg.19 With respect to the strength of the coalition supporting Resolution 33 79, Paul Hofmann of the New York Times observed, Moderate Arab countries and other third world nations that had opposed extremist demands for ;he expulsion of Israel went along with the anti-Zionism campaign.*m After the vote Chaim Herzog, Israels ambassa d or to the United Nations, rose and spoke. He tore the resolution in two, while concluding his address with a reference to the fact that November 10 was the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night 37 years be fore on which Hitlers storm troopers launched a coordinated attack on the Jewish com munity in Germany. Henog also claimed the resolution would have a poisonous effect on the spirit of the U.N. He said: For the issue is not Israel or Zionism..The issue is 18 Ibid p. 316 19 The countries voted as follow s on Resolution 3379 For (72 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Byelorussian S.S.R Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dahomey, Democratic Yemen, Egypt Equatorial Guinea, Gambi a , Gennan Democratic Republic, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana. Hungary India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria , Oman, Pakistan, Poland, partugal, Qatar Rwanda, SaoTome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria,Tunisia,Turkey, Uganda ulwinian S.S.R., U.S.SR United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Camerwn, United Republic of Tanzania Yem en, and Yugoslavia.

Against (35 Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Cenual African Republic, Costa Ria Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Federal Republic of Germany, Fiji Finland, France, Haiti, Honduras Iceland, Ireland, Israel , Italy, Ivary Coast, LiW, Luxembo\\lrg, Malawi, Netherlands, New bland, Nicaragua Norway, Panama, Swaziland, Sweden, U.K U.S.A and Uruguay.

Abstaiig (32 Argentina, Bhutan, Bolivia. Botswana, Burma, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gabon Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nepal, Papw New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru.

Philippines, Si- Leone, Singapore,Ihailand,Togo,Trinidad and Tobago, Upper Volta,Venezuela, Zaire, and Zambia.

Not voting (3 Rumania, South Africa (seated in the General Assembly but unable to vm and Spain.

M hd Hofmann, U.N.Votes 72-35, toTem Zionism Fomr of Racism, NcW York Timcs, November 11,1975, p. A16 8 The resolution began by Recalling its resolution 1904 (XVnI) of November 1963 proclaiming the United Nat ions Declaration of the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and in particular its affiiation that any doctrine of racial differentia tion or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and its exp msion of alarm at the manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas in the world, some of which are imposed by certain Gov ernments by means of legislative, adminisuative, or other measures.

South African racism and Zionism. It qu oted Resolution 77 of the Organization of Af rican Unity, passed only three months before that the racist regime in occupied Pales tine and the racist regimes in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, fanning a whole and having the sa m e racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repssion of the dignity and integrity of the human being Among other things Resolution 3379 condemned the unholy alliance between THE U.N., THE U.S.S.R., AND THE REPEAL OF RESOLUTION 3379 Changes in world politics over the past two years make this the time to revisit Reso lution 33

79. First, the revolutionary movement toward democracy and free markets in the Soviet Union have lessened tensions between Moscow and Washington. The feel ings of antagonism between the two nations have been reduced not only around the world, but also at the U.N 21 Moynihan and Weawr. op. ut p. 199 9 I I Second, the newly freed and democratic nations of Eastern Europe, which formerly marched in lockstep wit h Moscow at the U.N and elsewhere) surely are open to argu ments favoring repeal. Third, with the collapse of Marxist ideology and of the U.S.S.R as a model many Third World nations want to emulate Western economic and political systems. The West should at tempt to persuade Brazil, Mexico, Portugal and similar na tions that voted for Resolution 3379, that the reasons that may have promptedthem to side with the anti-Israel forces no longer exist.

What also argues for revisiting Resolution 3379 is the dissolution of reflexive US Soviet antagonism. In fact, US.-Soviet cooperation at the U.N. already has begun and with the ascendancy of Russian President Boris Yeltsin almost certainly will increase.

Both nations axe working effectively to bring U.N. spending under control. The U.S and the Soviets are also interested in reducing the duplication of organizations that characterizes the U.N. bureaucracy.

US.-Soviet cooperation on Resolution 3379 is also possible. In a visit last October to Moscow, Heritage Foundatio n staffers were told at the Soviet Foreign Ministry that the U.S.S.R. might consider supporting a de facto overtuming of the resolution, so long as it did not require a specific Soviet vote on repeal. This might be accomplished by passing a new resolution that supersedes 33

79. Then in a meeting this March at the Soviet Mission to the U.N. in Manhattan with a Heritage staffer , a senior Soviet offi cial expressed satisfaction at the progress that Israel and the Soviet Union have been making toward normalizing their relations with each other. He suggested that repeal of Resolution 3379 may be part of the process of arranging a M iddle East peace confer ence. The gxeatly enhanced power of Russian Democrats after the failed August coup increases the likelihood of Russian assistance on this matter 1 OVERTURNING OR NEUTRALIZING RESOLUTION 3379 Washington must take advantage of the ne w climate in international politics. Rid ding the U.N. of Resolution 3379 will serve American interests in two ways First, it would be the first step in undermining the legitimacy of the U.N.s twenty year campaign against Israel. This prejudice has elimina t ed the U.N.s capacity to serve as a mediator in the Middle East peace process. Israel is justified in viewing that U.N. as hostile to Israeli vital interests. If this resolution could be eliminated, the heal ing process in the U.N. could begin. This, in t u rn, could improve the political climate for peace in the Middle East be invited to work with Washington in overtuming or neutralizing Resolution 3379 whether directly or inhctly Second, repeal would be an important test of improved Cooperation. Moscow sho u ld To overturn Resolution 3379, the U.S. should 4 4 Inform Israel immediately that America will seek repeal of Resolution 3379 America should notify the Israeli government of its intention to seek repeal. Israel then could muster its own resources and dev i se a strategy for action. Washington of in this falls U.N. General Assembly session 10 course, could decide not to take the official lead in the call for repeal. American spon sorship might cost the measure votes. If so, Sweden, Luxembourg or a similar na t ion should be recruited to introduce the resolution in the General Assembly. Yet America must remain the driving force behind the effort to repeal 4 4 Announce that America is prepared to push for repeal in this and every suc Resolution 3379 will never be repealed unless America demonstrates resolve. Only America has the influence to wage political war at the U.N. against Resolution 3379.

Opponents of repeal, moreover, need to know that they will face the issue and pressure from America repeatedly. Only then will they take the issue seriously and possibly vote for repeal.

Bush Administration must campaign publicly for repeal. George Bush should launch the offensive when he addresses the U.S. General Assembly on September

24. There he should state his categorical opposition to all forms of anti-Semitism, and he should then announce that the U.S. will press repeatedly until Resolution 3379 is rendered null and void.

Washington should warn, moreover, that economic development grants for some Third World countries may be reduced if they oppose overturning Resolution 3379.

Because economic development assistance to most Third World countries usually is wasted, ending aid to Bangladesh, Mozambique and other countries that voted for Res olution 3379 in 1975 wil l not ham U.S. interests. Of course, supreme U.S. interests at times require that assistance, particularly military aid, be provided Egdess of votes at the U.N. Example: American aid to Egypt. But such cases are exceptions 4 Announce that the U.S. will ve t o the candidacy of any eventual replacement cessive General Assembly session until repeal succeeds To make the U.N. member states believe that America is committed to this issue the for Javier Perez de Cuellar as U.N. Secretary General unless the candidat e supports repeal of Resolution 3379.

The U.S. can impose costs on those not supporting repeal of Resolution 3379 by de nying the Secretary Generalship to anyone who will not forcefully advocate wiping Resolution 3379 off the books at the U.N. The Semtary General of the United Nations is the symbolic focal point of the organization. For that reason the U.S. should use its veto power in the Security Council to ensure that the replacement for Javier Perez de Cuellar respects human rights in the way that the U.N. Charter originally intended.

Having a Secretary General committed to repeal would strengthen the effort to re peal Resolution 33

79. It would give the U.S. and its suppoxters in this effort an import ant ally at the U.N. who can use the bully pulpit of his office to advocate repeal 4 4 Announce that repeal of Resolution 3379 is a condition for U.S. support for a The rapid pace of events involving Secretary of State James Bakers trips to the Mid U.N. role in a Middle East peace process dle East dictat e s that the issue of repealing Resolution 3379 be considered im mediately. If not, a tremendous opportunity for repeal may pass. Israel and several Arab states may agree to attend an initial peace conference tentatively scheduled far 11 this October. Syria and other Arab countries hostile to Israel may find it politically dif ficult to participate in a Middle East peace conference while refusing to repeal Resolu tion 33

79. If they do not support repeal, then the rejection of the Arab states will reveal their true intentions; if they go along with repeal, then this stain on the U.N.s reputa tion can be removed Work with the Soviets to overturn Resolution 3379.

Assistant Secretary Bolton and Ambassador Pickering may decide that they cannot win a vote this fa ll to repeal the Zionism is Racism resolution. A head count taken last year by the U.S. in the General Assembly revealed that a vote on repealing Resolu tion 3379 now would be very close. While much of the sentiment for the original RSO lution may have di ssipated, some states may not want to admit having ma& a public error. If so, America should propose not a repeal of Resolution 3379 but a new resolu tion. This would state that Zionism is not a form of racism.

This approach may attract Russian support. Soviet officials seem to be looking for an indirect way to reverse Resolution 33

79. The U.S. should be willing to back an in direct reversal if it unambiguously repudiates the meaning of Resolution 33

79. Wash ington may invite M oscow to collaborate in drafting a joint resolution for the General Assembly that, in effect, would say I The General Assembly, recalling and recognizing the continuing validity of its resolution 1904 (XVIII) of November 1963, proclaiming the United Natio n s Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which justifiably condemned all forms of racial discrimination, recalling further its resolution 3379 of 10 November 1975, states categorically that Zionism is not a threat to world p e ace and security, and repnizes that Zionism is not a form of racism or racial discrimination CONCLUSION Little has handicapped or discredited the U.N. ma than its persistent anti-Israeli bias represented most harshly by the Zionism is Racism resolution of 19

75. Because of this, the U.N. rightly has been shoved to the sidelines in the Middle East peace pro cess.

Yet the global atmosphere that transformed the U.N. into a reflexively anti-Israel or ganization is changing. Because the Soviet Union no longer automatically opposes all U.S. policies in the U.N Moscow could work with Washington to overturn Resolution 33

79. Soviet officials indicate a willingness to back a de facto repeal of the resolution by passing a new resolution. The U.S. should pursue this intriguing suggestion. U.S. of 22 The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of all Fonns of Racial Discriminaton was passed as Resolution 1904 (XMI) on November 20,1963.The declaration proclaims in its first article that [dliscrimination between h uman beings on the ground of race, color, or ethnic origin is an offense to human dignity and shall be condemned asadenialoftheprinciplesof theUN.C harm 12 Ficials should broach the topic with Soviet officials and then invite the Soviets to join in drafti n g such a resolution At the same time, the U.S. should begin a campaign for full repeal of the "Zionism is Racism" resolution. Moving publicly for a complete repeal would make it more likely that the U.N. would back a compromise that nullifies Resolution 3 3 79 through a new resolution Test of U.N. Deciding whether or not to repeal Resolution 3379 will test the charac ter of the U.N. If it fails to right its unjust action from 1975, it will not only continue to be unfit to speak legitimately on peace portunit y to demonstrate that it has emerged from its quarter-century Dark Ages in which few responsible nations took it seriously the Middle East, it will have missed an op Christopher M. Gacek, Ph.D.

Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs Heritag e Foundation Resemh Intern Jeffrey Stier assisted in the preparation of this study 13 1881 Beginning on April 29, a long series of pogroms begin against Russian Jews incited by the Czarist regime in St. Petersburg 1894 French Amy Captain Alfred Dreyfus is falsely convicted of espionage; anti-Semitism plays a central role in his prosecution 18% In the midst of this new wave of European persecution, Theodore Henl publishes A State for the Jews (Der Judenstaat in which he argued that Jews could only protect t h emselves by establish ing a sovereign, Jewish state. Herzl is considered the intellectual father of Zionism 1906 In response to a new wave of anti-Jewish terror in Russia that began with the Kishniev pogrom of 1903, the American Jewish Committee was organ i zed 1917 The "Balfour Declaration," issued by the British government on November 2nd, promised the Jewish people a homeland in Palestine. The British government hoped that this gesture would prompt many Jews to desert their Central Power governments then f ighting in World War I 1938 Germany's Nazi government begins its public and overwhelming attack against German Jews in the morning hours of November loth referred to as Kristullnucht the night of of the broken glass During the ensuing violence, the Berlin synagogue is burned down, 101 other German synagogues are destroyed, over 7,500 Jewish businesses are destroyed, nearly 100 Jews are killed and thousands mm are beaten 1942 In Wannsee, a Berlin suburb, an executive conference of high-ranking Nazi SS offic e rs and other officials decides upon a "final solution" for European Jewry on January 20 1942 The first, massive use of gas begins at Bels on March 17 a death camp capable of killing 15,000 persons per day. The extermination camps become fully operational w ithin the year 8,861,000 Jews come under Hitler's control either directly or indirectly during WWII. Of these some 6 million are killed by the Nazis. Ninety percent of Poland's 3,300,000 Jews are put to death 1947 U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 pass e d on November 29, proposes a plan for the partition of Palestine that would mate a Jewish nation 1948 David Ben-Gurion on May 14 declares Israel's existence as a state 1975 The U.N. General Assembly's Resolution 3379 of November 10, condemns Zionism as "a form of racism and racial discrimination 1991 The Forty-sixth session of the U.N. General Assembly convenes on September 17.


Christopher Gacek

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs