Alan Keyes' hand in rescinding the UN's July 1975 resolution condemning Israel
EXCERPTS from "The 1975 'Zionism Is Racism' Resolution: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of a Libel"
By Dr. Yohanan Manor, May 2, 2010
The idea of having Zionism condemned by the United Nations originated with the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, before the Six Day War. It stemmed from the Soviet refusal to have anti-Semitism condemned by the UN. Since the Soviet Union could not openly voice such a position, it conditioned its acceptance of condemning anti-Semitism on a demand to condemn Zionism and Nazism. This occurred in 1964 and 1965 during the negotiation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination within the framework of the UN Commission on Human Rights.[1] .....

In parallel, the Soviet Union and the PLO advanced an initiative to bring about a condemnation of Zionism. In December 1973, for the first time, Zionism was associated with racism in a General Assembly resolution on South Africa's apartheid policy, condemning in particular "the unholy alliance between Portuguese colonialism, South African racism, Zionism and Israeli imperialism."[4]

In July 1975, the Soviet Union and the PLO succeeded to have Zionism explicitly condemned at the UN International Women's Year conference in Mexico City, which stressed in its final declaration that "Peace requires the elimination of colonialism, neocolonialism, foreign occupation, Zionism, apartheid and racial discrimination in all its forms."[5] In August 1975, the Organization of African Unity in Kampala stated that "the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin...organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being"; while the Non-Aligned conference in Lima "severely condemned Zionism as a threat to world peace."

Stern Western, above all American, opposition to Israel's expulsion or suspension, notably an American warning that such a move would force the United States to reassess its UN membership,[6] thwarted this initiative – but also much increased the eagerness to advance a substitute for it, namely, the condemnation of Zionism as racism. This was formally achieved first within the framework of the Third Committee of the General Assembly on 16 October 1975, and then on 10 November 1975 by the GA plenary with Resolution 3379 (XXX), which "Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." The Soviet-Arab coalition won by 72-35 with two abstentions....

During 1976-1984 the "Zionism is racism" resolution was reiterated time and again, sometimes by even larger majorities (see Table 2). In 1980, at the United Nations' Second World Conference on Women in Copenhagen, the notion of eliminating Zionism was for the first time included in an operative document, "The Program of Action for the Second Half of the UN Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace." This meant that the administrative units of the UN secretary-general, notably the Office of Public Information, would have to include the defamation of Zionism in their activities....

During this period the vilification of Zionism turned into a permanent feature of international life. That Zionism was a metaphor for universal evil became part of "common knowledge," accepted or at least not contradicted by almost the entire international body politic. This was not anticipated when Resolution 3379 was adopted, and it came not instead of but in addition to the consequences that were expected, placing Israel beyond the pale and giving anti-Semitism international sanction. During 1969-1972 there were four anti-Israeli resolutions per year at the United Nations. During 1973-1978 this number grew to sixteen per annum, and in 1982 it reached a peak of forty-four.[13]

The vilification of Zionism was not merely a second-best strategy to the one aiming to expel Israel from the United Nations altogether. In a sense it was even worse. Although Israel's formal membership in the UN was indeed maintained, it was increasingly deprived of its basic rights as a member state. As explained by Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. ambassador to the UN from 1981 to 1985, this involved "denying membership by denying participation,"[14] thereby instilling Israel's illegitimacy by placing it in a state of growing irrelevancy....

The real challenge, however, was to find ways to undermine the validity and legitimacy of the "Zionism is Racism" resolution and divest it of any moral value. This was achieved mainly through a long series of international, national, and regional conferences in Israel, the United States, Europe, and Latin America, an international petition to the United Nations signed by over a thousand worldwide personalities calling on it to "disavow the abusive Resolution 3379 and rededicate itself to its founding charter," and by parliamentary resolutions in the same spirit.

The first of these was a "Sense of the Congress resolution" adopted by the U.S. Senate in July 1985. Senate Joint Resolution 98 "formally repudiates UNGA Resolution 3379 and calls upon the Parliaments of all countries which value freedom and democracy to do the same."

This draft resolution also needed to be adopted by the House of Representatives, and was, several weeks later. It proved decisive in preventing the reiteration of 3379 at the Nairobi Conference closing the UN Decade for Women. Ambassador Alan Keyes, chief adviser to the U.S. delegation, included references to the Senate resolution in his statements and received clear instructions from Washington that Zionism was not to be included in any paragraph of the final document to be adopted by the conference; if this occurred the U.S. delegation was to leave.

(Emphasis added)

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