40 Years Ago this Week, UN Resolution Equating Zionism with Racism

November 12, 2015

2 min read

On Wednesday, the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN, together with the Yad Chaim Herzog Association and American Jewish Congress, held a special event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the UN resolution 3379. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, and the family of the late Chaim Herzog, then Israel’s UN envoy and later the sixth president of Israel, were on hand to mark that dark day in 1975.

Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement: “Forty years ago, a dark chapter was written in the UN’s history, and despite the retraction of the resolution, the hypocrisy and delegitimization against Israel still echo in the halls of this organization. The UN must tear this page from its history, and open a new page of fairness and equality among all its member states.”

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted on November 10, 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The vote took place one year after UNGA 3237 granted the PLO observer status, following Yasser Arafat’s “olive branch” speech at the General Assembly in November 1974. The resolution was passed with the support of the Soviet bloc and other Soviet-aligned nations, as well as the Arab and Islamic countries.

The resolution was sponsored by 25 states, the vast majority of which still uphold the same conviction: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cuba, Dahomey, Egypt, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Yemen Arab Republic, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates. Of course, many of the above states are too busy at the moment fighting for their lives against their own racists from within to bother with the intricacies of Zionism.

The 72 states who voted in favor included the 25 sponsoring nations, plus 47 more: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Byelorussian SSR, Democratic Kampuchea, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, People’s Republic of China, People’s Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, East Germany, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet Union.

Many of these countries have undergone vast changes, and today maintain friendly, even prosperous relations with the Zionist state. Others no longer exist.

The 35 states who voted Against were: Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, West Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Swaziland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay.

32 states abstained: Argentina, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burma, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Upper Volta, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.

Ambassador Herzog (father of today’s opposition leader Itzhak Herzog) proclaimed at the time: “For us, the Jewish people, this is but a passing episode in a rich and an event-filled history,” and in a dramatic and memorable moment, he tore up the UN resolution on the podium of the General Assembly, and declared “For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such.”

The determination that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”, contained in the resolution, was revoked in 1991 with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/86.

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