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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2004/NGO/89
8 March 2004

ENGLISH ONLY

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Sixtieth session
Items 5 and 9 of the provisional agenda


THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD


Written statement* submitted by the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ),
a non-governmental organization on the Roster



The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[30 January 2004]

* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

GE.04-11610



Zionism: one of the earliest examples of a national liberation movement

1. As there is considerable confusion and misuse over the terms ‘ antisemitism’ and ‘anti-Zionism,’ the World Union for Progressive Judaism is contributing two texts on the subject eighty year apart: one by Albert Einstein in 1923, and a much longer recent analysis by Professor Robert S. Wistrich – with the author’s permission – which he used on 29 January 2004 for an address to a Conference on antisemitism, held in Jerusalem. Our two substantive written statements (1) will be made available for the conferences on antisemitism, scheduled by the European Union in February, and by the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research in Montreal on 14-16 March 2004.

* * *

2. On 6 February 1923, Albert Einstein – shortly after receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics and when he was at the peak of his fame – gave the first scientific address ever to be delivered at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In an impassioned address that testified to his Zionist credo, he declared: “I consider this the greatest day of my life. (…) This is a great age, the age of the liberation of the Jewish soul. And it has been accomplished through the Zionist movement, which has remained a spiritual movement, so that no one in the world will be able to destroy it.”


3. Einstein’s prediction spoken a decade before Hitler’s putsch and the Shoah is relevant today:


4. In 2003, referring to Albert Einstein’s address at the inauguration of the Hebrew University Prof. Robert S. Wistrich – director of the University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism – wrote: “ the profound words of the greatest physicist of the twentieth century are even more timely today than when they were first uttered .” (3). Here is his full text:

5. Anti-Zionism and antisemitism’: address by Prof. Robert Wistrich on 29 January 2004


6. With this grave warning – addressed to the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Members of the Commission, all UN bodies and the international community – the World Union for Progressive Judaism wishes to recall the words that were used in an oral statement 18 years ago (12 February 1986 ). After referring to the arrival in Israel from the USSR the previous day of the famous ‘Prisoner of Zion’ Anatoli [Nathan] Sharansky – now an Israeli minister – we concluded:
-----

Notes


(1) See also his “Antisemitism in Europe Today”, reproduced in WUPJ’ s written statement under items 4, 6, and 17.

(2) Albert Einstein, “The Mission of our University,” The New Palestine Weekly , 27 March 1923. Extracts published by Robert S. Wistrich, Antisemitism International (Annual Research Journal, Hebrew University, 2003), pp. 11-12.

(3) Robert S. Wistrich, “Einstein in Palestine,” Antisemitism International, ibid. p. 11.

(4) Statement by the main representative of the WUPJ (David G. Littman) on 12 February 1986, at the 42nd session of the UNCHR (E/CN.4/1986/SR.13); verbatim text in WUPJ, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, N° 1, p. 5.

________________

(*) Robert S. Wistrich is Neuberger Professor of modern European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He previously held the Chair for Jewish Studies at University College, London, as well as guest professorships at Harvard, Brandeis and Oxford Universities, and at the Royal Institute of Advanced Studies in the Netherlands. Between 1999-2001, Professor Wistrich was one of six historians appointed by the Vatican to the Catholic-Jewish historical Commission, which examined Pope Pius XII’s record during the Holocaust. He is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including the award-winning Socialism and the Jews [1982] and Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred [1992]. He also scripted, edited or presented several key documentary films for British television, including The Longest Hatred [1991], Good Morning Mr Hitler [1994] and Blaming the Jews 2003 . His latest study is Hitler and the Holocaust . [2001]. In 2002 he became Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is editor-in-chief of its annual journal, Antisemitism International.



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