The ‘Apartheid’ Smear, Antisemitism and the Unending Battle to Destroy the Jewish State
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) — with its history of anti-Israel smears — released its most destructive libel yet against the Jewish State: the “apartheid” libel. The report is baseless, but HRW knows that. HRW also knows the anti-Israel, and often blatantly antisemitic, game it is playing. If you can’t wipe out the Jewish State militarily, find another battlefield. And this particular game has a long history.
Everyone remembers the UN’s “Zionism is racism” resolution, but what is often forgotten is that it did not appear out of nowhere.
Two months after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Israel’s enemies refused to give up their dream of wiping the Jewish State off the map. So they went to the UN to continue the battle. On December 14, 1973, in General Assembly resolution 3151 G, on the “Situation in South Africa resulting from the policies of Apartheid,” the Arab bloc sought to label the Jewish State as the new, contemporary evil: apartheid. The resolution condemned “the unholy alliance between…South African racism, zionism and Israeli imperialism.”
Two years later, on November 10, 1975, the most infamous of UN resolutions was adopted, declaring “zionism is a form of racism.” What is often forgotten, however, is that the resolution specifically referenced that December 14, 1973, resolution as justification:
Recalling also that, in its resolution 3151 G (XXVIII) of 14 December 1973, the General Assembly condemned, inter alia, the unholy alliance between South African racism and zionism,
They didn’t stop there. The thirst to demonize the Jewish State was hardly quenched. While the Arab bloc used the UN to equate Zionism with racism and apartheid, it would also look for other evils to make obscene comparisons.
On December 14, 1979, the UN would apply a libel that Jews would be quite familiar with — that of seeking to control the world. In resolution 34/103, titled “Inadmissibility of the policy of hegemonism in international relations,” the UN declared that “racism including zionism and apartheid are all forces which seek to perpetuate unequal relations and privileges acquired by force and are, therefore, different manifestations of the policy and practice of hegemonism.” It went on to condemn:
imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, racism including zionism and all other forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination and interference, as well as the creation of spheres of influence and the division of the world into antagonistic political and military blocs.
You see, not only are Jews the ultimate racists, they are also seeking to manipulate and dominate the world.
Still, it did not stop there. A few years later, on May 4, 1982, the UN’s Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 1982/18 on the “Situation of women and children in the occupied Arab territories,” in which it:
Consider[ed] that international co-operation and peace are threatened by colonialism. neo-colonialism. fascism, zionism, apartheid and foreign occupation, alien domination and racial discrimination in all its forms.
Not only are Israelis the purveyors of racism and intent on world domination, they’re also fascists, too. Why not compare Jews to Nazis? They’d gotten away with the labels of apartheid and seekers of world domination.
The progression was not accidental. To understand this, one need only look at a 1974 speech at the UN by the head of the PLO’s political department, Faruq al-Qadumi. While boasting about a resolution that told the Palestinians they could use “all means” to achieve their “right of return,” as well as a second resolution that gave the PLO permanent observer status at the UN, Faruq said:
We did not come here to reconcile terrorism with Zionist usurpation. We came here to bear witness to the historic difference between us and the Zionists. We regard diplomatic activities as a part of our activities on the battlefield.
You see, Arab League Secretary-General Azzam Pasha’s 1948 “war of extermination and momentous massacre” had failed. Days before the Six-Day War, PLO founder Ahmad al-Shukeiri famously said of the upcoming war that “[t]hose who survive will remain in Palestine. I estimate that none of them will survive.” He was wrong, too, as were the invading Arab armies in 1973.
Knowing they could not defeat the Jews in conventional war, they still refused to accept the right of the Jewish people to live in their own state in their ancient homeland in peace. They instead chose to continue the battle in other ways, namely terrorism, and, as we see with HRW today, antisemitic libels that won’t end with the “apartheid” label.
David M. Litman is a lawyer who advocates for Israel and human rights.