U.N. resurrects ‘Zionism is racism’ motif

By Curtis Ellis

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UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations’ “Zionism is racism” sentiment surfaced briefly this week when the international organization insisted in censoring an exhibit on the history of Israel on display at the New York headquarters, then abruptly reversed itself when criticism erupted.

The exhibition sponsored by the Israeli Mission to the U.N. and the non-profit organization StandWithUs opened on Monday. The exhibit is touring U.S. campuses to counter anti-Israel propaganda efforts seeking to undermine the Jewish state and promote the Arab boycott of Israel.

The Israeli mission was informed on Friday shortly before sundown that three of the exhibit’s 13 panels would be censored by the U.N.

The three panels initially banned by the U.N. include one that identifies Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people and holy to all three monotheistic religions. A revisionist history promoted by anti-Israeli elements seeks to deny the ancient and persistent presence of Jews in the Holy Land.

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Another panel censored in the exhibit celebrates Arab Israelis as the largest minority in Israel, enjoying full rights in the democratic country. It describes Israel as the only true democracy in the Middle East.

The third and most controversial, panel defines Zionism – the vision of the Jewish people to return to its historic homeland. Forty years ago the U.N. General Assembly approved Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism. The resolution was reversed 16 years later but the sentiment judging it as racism has never left.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, slammed the U.N.’s initial move to censor the display.

Declaring the decision amounted to reinstating discredited Resolution 3379, Danon said, “The U.N. must reverse this outrages decision and apologize to the Jewish people. Zionism and Jerusalem are the foundation stones and the moral basis upon which the state of Israel was founded.”

When the exhibit went on display Monday morning, the panel on “Zionism” was emblazoned with a banner saying “Censored.”

But shortly thereafter, the U.N. reversed itself and allowed the Zionism panel to be included.

“This is a step in the right direction, but the U.N. must reverse its earlier decision entirely and allow the exhibit to be displayed without censoring the truth about Israel and Jerusalem – the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” Danon stated.

Shahar Azani, the executive director for the northeast U.S. region for StandWithUs, added: “The UN’s reversal of its decision is an important victory that sends a clear message about the importance of standing strong for what you believe in. We thank Ambassador Danon and Israel’s Mission to the UN for their leadership, and we at StandWithUs, will continue to stand by the people and the State of Israel against lies and any attempt to censorship the truth about the vibrant and diverse democracy that is the modern State of Israel.”

Even though the formal description of Zionism as “racism” by the U.N. had been reversed, WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah reported in 2001, “We’ve been down this road before. One of the most shameful episodes in the U.N.’s shameful history came in 1975 when the General Assembly first adopted a resolution equating Zionism with racism. The U.N. adopted that resolution annually until 1991 when the Madrid ‘peace process’ began.”

He reported at the time on another “conference on racism” … “in which there will be calls for labeling Israel as a nation involved in ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

“What do Israel’s enemies want? Over and over again, we hear, from their own mouths, that they want to destroy the Jewish state and replace it with an Arab state. ‘Palestine – from the sea to the river’ is the favorite expression of this movement. In other words, there is no room for a Jewish state in the Middle East – no matter what the borders are, no matter what concessions Jerusalem is willing to consider, no matter what rights Arabs are granted within Israel. Isn’t that racist?” he wrote at the time.

Not quite 10 years later, WND columnist Ilana Mercer wrote about the issue again.

“By popular demand, the enemies of civilization and their patrons at the United Nations Human Rights Council plan to re-enact the wildly successful ‘anti-racism’ conference, which was held in South Africa in 2001,” she wrote. “The word ‘anti-racism’ I hold between the tongs of quotation marks, because, as Alastair Gordon of the CCD reminded the amnesic, ‘the last U.N. anti-racism conference held in Durban … degenerated into a hate-fest of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel vitriol, while the most egregious human rights violators escaped criticism.'”

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