NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC, together with the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations and the Chaim Herzog Public Council, sponsored a major event at the UN tonight, marking the 40th anniversary of the historic speech by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog's denouncing the world body for adopting the infamous "Zionism is racism" resolution.
"Chaim Herzog memorably and eloquently deplored this insidious action, which sought to deny the Jewish people the right to self-determination and, in doing so, effectively kindled a new wave of anti-Semitism," said AJC Executive Director David Harris, one of the speakers in this evening's program. "Surely, it represented a strikingly low point in the history of the UN, which was established on the ashes of the Second World War and Holocaust."
From the moment the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 3379 on November 10, 1975, by a vote of 72 to 35, with 32 abstentions -- tellingly, 37 years to the day after the Nazi regime's Kristallnacht, the devastating pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria -- AJC worked tirelessly in a worldwide campaign against this bigoted action and for its eventual repeal.
In this effort, AJC held hundreds of diplomatic meetings, sponsored several ads in leading newspapers, forged coalitions among like-minded ethnic and religious groups, and convened a game-changing conference at the U.S. Mission to the UN, in November 1990, at which a number of countries announced their determination to repeal the resolution. Throughout, AJC worked closely with the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was instrumental in leading U.S. efforts to mobilize support for reversing the resolution. He cited AJC as "one of the few" organizations with him from the beginning, when he was the U.S. Ambassador to the UN in 1975.
On December 16, 1991, the "Zionism is Racism" resolution was repealed by the UN General Assembly, by a vote of 111 to 25, with 13 abstentions. "Repealing a UN resolution happens very rarely, if ever. Indeed, this was only the second time in UN history," said Harris. "This made the victory all the sweeter, reflecting the belated triumph of truth over falsehood."
More than 500 people attended the program at the UN, which was also webcast live by the world body. They heard from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (via video), Isaac Herzog, chairman of Israel's Zionist Union party and son of Chaim Herzog; Natan Sharansky, chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel and former Prisoner of Zion in the Soviet Union; Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon; U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power; and AJC's David Harris.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee