November 10, 1975
The United Nations passes UN Resolution 3379 which defines Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination by a vote of 72 in favor, 35 against and 32 abstentions. The Soviet Union had originated the idea of equating Zionism with racism during the 1960’s during the debate in the UN leading up to the passage of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It was published in 1965 and went into effect in 1969. During that debate, the United States and Brazil had wished to include in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, a clause denouncing anti-Semitism. The Soviet Union, fearful that such a clause could be used to rebuke them for their persecution of Soviet Jewry, introduced a counter proposal. The counterproposal read, “State parties condemn anti-Semitism, Zionism, Nazism, neo-Nazism and all other forms of the policy and ideology of colonialism, national and race hatred and exclusiveness” (Troy, Gil, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, New York: Oxford University Press,2013, p. 75). Neither clause was included in the conventions. However the Zionism is Racism resolution passed with Arab, Muslim, and eastern European Block states voting for it.
Israel’s victory in the June 1967 Six Day War strengthened the resolve of the USSR and its Arab allies to battle politically against Israel. They both created propaganda and pushed for resolutions that equated Israel as a new version of the Nazis and equated Israeli policy with the apartheid practices of South Africa. Throughout the early 1970’s, both the Palestinians and the Soviet Union increasingly tied the Palestinian opposition to Israel to the struggle of other nations, mostly African ones, in their nationalist battles against European imperialism.
In 1974, the Party Central Committee of the Soviet Union put together a seven-point plan to strengthen anti-Zionist propaganda as part of an initiative to improve patriotic feelings among the youth of the nation.
Upon the passage of the resolution in November 1975, American Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan addressed the UN (shown in the photo below), “The United States rises to declare before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act…The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelmingly clear truth is that it is not.”
The resolution was finally revoked in December, 1991, after Israel made revocation a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference.
To view a portion of Moynihan’s speech on November 10, 1975: Click Here