November 10, 1975: 45 years ago today. This was a very telling moment regarding the United Nations’ — and the international community’s — stance on Israel.
Twenty-five states sponsored Resolution 3379, which “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Seventy-two states voted in favor, 32 abstained and 35 were against the motion. The resolution referenced the 1963 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the 1973 resolution condemning “the unholy alliance between South African racism and Zionism;” and the August 1975 Conference for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, which called Zionism “a threat to world peace and security,” and urged world capitals “to oppose this racist and imperialist ideology.”
Prior to the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Chaim Herzog told the General Assembly:
I can point with pride to the Arab ministers who have served in my government; to the Arab deputy speaker of my Parliament; to Arab officers and men serving of their own volition in our border and police defense forces, frequently commanding Jewish troops; to the hundreds of thousands of Arabs from all over the Middle East crowding the cities of Israel every year; to the thousands of Arabs from all over the Middle East coming for medical treatment to Israel; to the peaceful coexistence which has developed; to the fact that Arabic is an official language in Israel on a par with Hebrew; to the fact that it is as natural for an Arab to serve in public office in Israel as it is incongruous to think of a Jew serving in any public office in an Arab country, indeed being admitted to many of them. Is that racism? It is not! That … is Zionism.
Herzog then pulled out a copy of the text of the resolution, held it up, and declared: “For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value. For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such.”
Herzog then tore the document in half.
For his part, US Ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan called the resolution “a great evil” and labeled it as outright antisemitism.