SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 13TH MEETING : 3RD COMMITTEE,
HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 16 OCTOBER 1985,
NEW YORK, GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 40TH SESSION
AGENDA ITEM 94: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued)
a. REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
b. STATUS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
c. STATUS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE SUPPRESSION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF APARTHEID: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
Mrs. BARGHOUTI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations coincided with the victory over the forces of nazism, fascism and militarism in Europe; unfortunately, however, that victory had not eliminated for ever the racially motivated practices of dominant groups. After the Second World War, there had been an alarming increase in racist, neo-Fascist and Nazi groups. Forms such as zionism, colonialism and apartheid were examples of attempts to revive the ideology of racial superiority and racial purity. Colour, ethnic origin, sex, age, religion and nationality had been used as forms of racial discrimination to strip people of their economic, political, social and national rights and other human rights, in spite of all the efforts of the international community to put an end to all forms of racism and racial discrimination.
In its resolutions 39/114 and 39/16, both adopted in 1984, the General Assembly had condemned all totalitarian ideologies and practices based on racial or ethnic exclusiveness or intolerance which deprived peoples of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, and had decided, inter alia, that the international community, in general, and the United Nations, in particular, should give the highest priority to programmes for combating racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, and intensify their efforts during the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination.
Israel was the concrete manifestation of Zionist ideology. Regardless of whether Jews constituted a distinct ethnic, racial or religious group, the concept of exclusivity was in itself racist, and that was the main reason why the General Assembly had determined in its resolution 3379 (XXX) that Zionism was a form of racism. That definition of Zionism not only emanated from the resolution, but was also the concrete expression of a real phenomenon that could be observed. Zionism was a political movement which operated in a specific place and against an identified people.
Zionism as a political creed had originated in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century as a recognizable political ideology with three inherent fundamental qualities. Those three qualities had characterized the movement since that time, and had become inseparable from it. They were: colonialism, racism and expansionism.
From the outset, the Zionist movement, as a settler colonial movement, had had a natural alliance with European imperialism. Chauvinist nationalism in Europe had determined that the superior racial qualities of the white man provided the basis for the exploitation and civilizing mission which he was to undertake. Herzl had spoken of imperialism and colonialism as noble activities destined to bring civilization to the backward races. He had believed that the Jewish state was designed to defend Europe from Asia, as an outpost of civilization against barbarism.
The Zionist project which had established Israel had clearly been a colonial enterprise sponsored by the Western Powers to solve economic and demographic problems and to serve as a base for their military operations. Zionism differed from other forms of colonialism in that it was based on massive transfers of population. Jews from other parts of the world had been gathered in Israel, and that unlimited immigration had brought about endless expansion. Between 1948 and 1949, after the first stage of the occupation of Palestine, the Zionist movement had led to the expulsion of approximately 800,000 Palestinians; over 290 cities had been totally destroyed and some 3 million dunuma had been illegally transferred to Jewish hands. In 1967, after the second stage of Zionist expansion in Palestine, 300,000 Palestinians had been displaced, the Zionist settlers had confiscated more than 50 per cent of the land of the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and more than 200 Jewish settlements had been established on that land.
The other characteristic that distinguished Zionism from other forms of colonialism was racism. The essence of the political doctrine of Zionism was the concept that Jews were one people and must have a Jewish State. The fulfilment of that objective was the dual programme of the ingathering of all Jews and the expulsion of all Palestinians, since they were non-Jews. That exclusionary vision of a theocratic State made the practices and policy of discrimination inevitable in the history of Israel. Another concept that was inherent in Zionist ideology was that of Jewish superiority and the notion of Jews as the chosen race.
The racist character of Zionism was manifested in the Law of Return of 1950, which granted exclusive citizenship rights to members of the Jewish faith throughout the world while denying civil rights to Palestinians and their forefathers who had lived in those lands for thousands of years. The agricultural settlement laws of Israel prohibited the sale and lease of lands to Arabs who, in many cases, were the original owners of that land. Those were only a few examples of the racist nature of Zionism.
Israel, through its Government and private companies, was actively violating all United Nations resolutions prohibiting co-operation with South Africa, especially military co-operation. The PLO believed that the ideology and practice of Zionism must be eliminated. As long as Israel continued to pursue that ideology, policy and practice, the future of the Palestinian people, as well as the prospects for peace and development in the area would be adversely affected. The international community should condemn the ideological, economic, social and political practices of the State of Israel. If Israel continued to deny the Palestinian people of their basic human rights, the Palestinians should struggle against Israeli colonialism and achieve independence and a decent future for themselves and their children.