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Resolution 3379

RESOLUTION 3379

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 November 1975 during the General Assembly's annual discussion of the "Question of Palestine." This resolution identified Zionism with racism. In part it was the result of a campaign by the Soviet Union to counter the American campaign condemning the Soviet Union for its treatment of its Jewish population (and the vote divided, in part, along Cold War lines). It gained wide support not only among Arab nations but among other Third World countries as well, most of which had long suffered from either exploitation or outright colonial occupation by Western powers, and from the racial ideologies that were associated with them. Moreover, Israeli cooperation with the apartheid regime in South Africa had long been a sore point—as was, two years after the 1973 War, Israel's increasingly close strategic alliance with the United States. Israel also maintained a firm refusal to recognize any legitimate representative of the Palestinians or consider any discussion with such a representative. (Israel's official position toward the Palestinians then was that there was no such people, as distinct from other Arabs; as Golda Meir famously put it in 1969, "It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.") The vote was seventy-two to thirty-five, with thirty-two abstentions. When the resolution passed, the Israeli ambassador, Chaim Herzog, tore up his copy of the draft at the podium. The resolution reads: "The General Assembly, Recalling its resolution 1904 (XVIII) of 20 November 1963, proclaiming the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and in particular its affirmation that 'any doctrine of racial differentiation or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous' and its expression of alarm at 'the manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas in the world, some of which are imposed by certain Governments by means of legislative, administrative or other measures,' Recalling also that, in its resolution 3151 G (XXVIII) of 14 December 1953, the General Assembly condemned, inter alia, the unholy alliance between South African racism and Zionism, Taking note of the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace 1975, proclaimed by the World Conference of the International Women's Year, held at Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July 1975, which promulgated the principle that 'international cooperation and peace require the achievement of national liberation and independence, the elimination of colonialism and neo-colonialism, foreign occupation, Zionism, apartheid and racial discrimination in all its forms, as well as the recognition of the dignity of peoples and their right to self-determination,' Taking note also of resolution 77 (XII) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its twelfth ordinary session, held at Kampala from 28 July to 1 August 1975, which considered 'that the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being,' Taking note also of the Political Declaration and Strategy to Strengthen International Peace and Security and to Intensify Solidarity and Mutual Assistance among Non-Aligned Countries, adopted at the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975, which most severely condemned Zionism as a threat to world peace and security and called upon all countries to oppose this racist and imperialist ideology, Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."

The resolution caused an uproar in the West, particularly in the United States. It was condemned by Israel as an international act of anti-Semitism "devoid of any moral or legal value," and increased distrust of the United Nations in Israel and the United States. It contributed to the feeling of the Israeli right that Israel was besieged and stiffened Israeli resistance to discussion or negotiation. It was annulled by General Assembly Resolution 4686 in 1991.


SEE ALSO Arab-Israel War (1973); Herzog, Chaim; Meir, Golda; Resolution 4686.

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