Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Wiesenthal Center Campaign: "anti-Zionism is racism"
In an effort to boost the argument that "anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism" and thereby tar any criticism of Israel as "racist", a number of leading international Zionist organizations including the Simon Wiesenthal Center (http://www.wiesenthal.com/) and the World Jewish Congress (http://www.worldjewishcongress.org), have initiated a campaign to have "anti-Zionism" included as a United Nations recognized form of racism.
This campaign took an aggressive turn at the Experts' Seminar on Defamation of Religions and the Global Struggle Against Discrimination, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and Islamophobia, which was held at Barcelona, Spain, November 11 to 14, 2004. At this event, which was specifically concerned with religious discrimination and oppression around the world, the Zionist camp disrupted the proceedings by attempting to have their ethnically exclusive and discriminatory national movement equated with Judaism and therefore classified as a form of racism. Accordingly, Dr. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center argued "Anti-Zionism argues for the denial of sovereignty only to the Jewish people, which is, ipso facto, an act of racism." [See: http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=fwLYKnN8LzH&b=254471&ct=337449]
Needless to say, anti-Zionism is no more "racist" or anti-Jewish than anti-Fascism is anti-Italian or anti-Nazism is anti-German. To equate an ethnocentric and openly discriminatory political nationalist movement with the religion or ethnicity of the offending party is just as racist whether committed by true anti-Semites ("all Jews are Zionists and hate Arabs") or by the Zionists themselves ("Zionism represents all Jews, therefore any anti-Zionist expression is against all Jews"). That major elements of the Zionist movement would adopt a racist argument in order to oppose the charge of racism can be no surprise. There is nothing particularly new in this, after all, to be anti-Fascist was portrayed as being anti-Italian and to be anti-Nazi was portrayed as being anti-German, thus it can come as no surprise to see the Zionists adopting the same tactic in defense of their ethnocentric and discriminatory movement.
Spearheaded by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, this is developing into a full blown movement with attacks on Mr. Doudou Diène, the Rapporteur on Racism, who refused to support the Zionist position in Barcelona, as well as on UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Commission in an effort to force their position. See for example:SWC to UN Human Rights Commissioner: "Rapparteur on Racism must not endorse Anti-Zionism
Why the SWC will not attend "Education for peace" Conference at UNESCO
This campaign to equate anti-Zionism with racism played a further disruptive role before the Ethics Initiatives Consortium, at UNESCO in New York on January 18-19, of 2005 and is aimed at subverting the upcoming Rapporteur's report which is due to be presented to the Human Rights Commission in March/April 2005. One of the few bastions of resistance to Israeli policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians is the legitimacy of the Palestinian perspective in international law and the willingness of international bodies to recognize and affirm this legitimacy. Thus, any declaration by leading United Nations organs deeming opposition to Zionism a form of racism would be a major blow global anti-racism in general. After all, if such is the case, then surely opposition to Russian Nationalist skinheads, German Neo-Nazis, and American Ku Klux Klan members must be forms of racism too, against Russians, Germans, and Americans respectively.
In view of both the Zionist goal regarding the upcoming report as well as the dangerous undermining of the anti-racist position that such a move would result in, it is worth the effort to try to counter this campaign. We would like to encourage all anti-racist and anti-Zionist activists to send letters, faxes, and email to the following to thank him for taking the principled stance that anti-Zionism is a legitimate protest against an overtly racist ideology and for opposing moves to de-legitimize United Nations efforts against racism by accepting anti-Zionism as racist.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
Mr. Doudou Diène:
UNESCO House1, rue Miollis
Office: B.VI 9.36
Tel.: 01 45 68 47 64
Fax: 01 45 68 55 91
Further, we would like to ask that you also send letters, faxes and emails to the following applauding Diène's stance and appealing to them not to de-legitimize the global struggle against racism by accepting opposition to one particular form of racism (Zionism) as acceptable.
The High Commissioner UN High Commission for Human Rights
Mrs. Louise Arbour
CH 1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland - Suisse
Tel: + 41 (0)22 917 9240
Fax: + 41 (0)22 917 9012
World Conference Against Racism Secretariat
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations, Palais Wilson
52 rue de Paquis,
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (41-22) 917-9290
Fax: (41-22) 917-9022
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Aleje Ujazdowskie 19, 00-557
Tel.: +48-22 520 06 00 .
Fax: +48-22 520 06 05 .
We have specifically refrained from providing a sample letter because form letters and/or duplicates of the exact same letter tend to undermine their effectiveness. For pointers on how to write your own letter, see: http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/palestine/lobby4.html Further, if your can speak on behalf of an organization, it will have more impact in that most of the institutions listed above collaborate closely with various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
If at all interested, you can send a copy of your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org . If we receive enough good letters, we will consider setting up a website detailing the campaign and showcasing many of the letters.Please take a few minutes to oppose this attempt to subvert international institutions into accepting Zionism as a "respectable" form of racism and thereby undermining all United Nations sponsored efforts against racism in general and demonizing those who seek justice for Palestine in particular.
Jewish Friends of Palestine