“Time to Rekindle the UN Spark,” by Eric Walberg

New article by my friend Eric Walberg.

Time to Rekindle UN Spark

Eric Walberg

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently held a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the squashing of UN resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism. It was passed in 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions). The festive event this year was attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry and head of the Israeli Labour Party and Zionist Union Isaac Herzog, son of Chaim Herzog, president of Israel from 1983 to 1993, and star of the 1975 UN session.

The 1975 vote took place approximately one year after resolution 3237 granted the PLO “observer status”, following Yasser Arafat’s “olive branch” speech to the General Assembly in November 1974. It succeeded only because the Soviet Union and its allies were there to support the Arab and Islamic majority countries.

It was revoked in December 1991 by UN resolution 46/86. At the commemoration this year, Ban Ki-moon recalled Chaim Herzog’s words in 1975, “I appeal to the community of nations to always act to uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors.” Such nice platitudes coming from the Israeli ambassador—community, principles, tolerance, peace…

It is odd that this year’s festivities actually celebrate the passing of the resolution, rather than its demise, commemorating the chutzpah of Israeli UN representative Herzog, who stole the show, recounting how magnanimous Israel is with its Arab citizens, who apparently held the same rights as Jews, worked in border and police defense forces, were elected to parliament, studied at universities…

He pointed to Arabs coming from elsewhere for medical treatment, and to “the fact that it is as natural for an Arab to serve in public office in Israel as it is incongruous to think of a Jew serving in any public office in an Arab country.” The UN ambassador finished his tirade by ripping up the resolution and defiantly stating he would have UN Avenues in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv renamed Zionism Avenues.

Herzog didn’t mention how traditionally Jews lived freely under Muslim rule and often served Muslim leaders as advisers, how Arab anger today is directly due to Israel’s murderous, illegal actions against the rightful citizens of what was once the Roman province of Syria Palaestina. He didn’t mention the millions of Palestinians denied their basic rights because Israel is apparently free of racism.

At least the 1975 gathering had some punch. There was no substance in the commemoration in 2015. Kerry waffled, despite a weeks-long wave of violence that has claimed the lives of at least 77 Palestinians along with 10 Israelis. No mention of that. He said that a two-state solution in the Middle East was “not an impossible dream” but would require courage. Yawn.

Kerry called the 1975 resolution “ominous” because it gave “a global license to hate” the state of Israel. But then “hate” covers just about any word of criticism of Israel. After all, election fever is rising in the US and the Israel lobby is alive and well.

Bush Senior’s Half Truths

It is more instructive to deconstruct the speech by US President HW Bush, who introduced the UN motion overturning resolution 3379 in 1991, which he said “mocks this pledge and the principles upon which the United Nations was founded. Zionism is not a policy; it is the idea that led to the creation of a home for the Jewish people, to the State of Israel. To equate Zionism with the intolerable sin of racism is to twist history.”

He was half correct. Zionism is an idea, one that turned into a policy of racial exclusion and victimization of the Palestinian natives, whose land and property the new immigrants stole, even as they conducted a state policy of terror against the natives. Bush made no explanation of why Zionism is not a policy. But the Soviet voice was gone by 1991; only the US voice was heard defending the pious hope that Israel would one day make peace with the Palestinians based on the original 1947 UN Resolution 181 to partition the territory.

Bush’s claim that Zionism is not a policy of racism simply flies in the face of reality. But then the US itself was founded on an idea much like Zionism. The Puritans, Quakers and many other religious groups immigrated intending to establish an ideal Christian society modeled on the Bible, an idea which also was a policy of genocide of the American natives.

The 17th philosopher Francis Bacon penned a utopian novel New Atlantis based on his enthusiastic support for establishing the British colonies in North America, depicting the creation of a utopian land where “generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit” are the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of the mythical Bensalem.

The idea of a “new Jerusalem” is the bedrock of the US idea.
Even such a respected philosopher was able to disregard the racist policy of genocide against the American natives in the name of “generosity and enlightenment etc.” No one noticed that, from the start, that the idea of the US (Bensalem) was a racist idea, just as its policies were. Only in the 19th century did international opprobrium finally push the US to abolish its most glaring racist policy—slavery.

But by then, the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine was already being mooted by British politicians such as Lord Shaftsbury, and Israel was finally forced down the UN throat by FDR and Truman. For Shaftsbury et al, it was merely a logical development of western ‘civilization‘.

Bush lauded the crushing of the racism resolution in 1991 as “a real chance to fulfill the UN Charter’s ambition of working ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person’.” Yet he was unable to see that the emperor (himself) and his offspring were wearing no clothes, that it is Israel that is the scourge of war, the violator of human rights and human dignity.

Bush stated that the UN “cannot claim to seek peace and at the same time challenge Israel’s right to exist.” Again a half truth. No one intended to wipe Israel off the map, as long as it was a nation that followed international norms, in particular human rights of the peoples who live there or who will return there from refugee camps when a peaceful solution to the stand-off is agreed. But this is only possible if we address Bush’s other half truth that lies at the heart of Zionism, both as idea and policy.

Bush’s other mistake was to define the State of Israel as “a home for the Jewish people”. This makes Israel racist by definition, just as Hitler identified Germany as the home of the Aryan people, a similarly vague, racist definition of the state.

Bush’s Lesson: Don’t Cross Israel

There is a bitter irony in Bush’s kowtowing to Israel in 1991. In September he had asked Congress to delay Israel’s request for $10 billion in loan guarantees to help settle Soviet Jews, trying to force Israel to stop its illegal settlement construction and negotiate a real peace. He no doubt was recalling how Eisenhower had made Israel bend to the US game plan in 1956. Ford/ Kissinger/ Carter had too, though just barely in the 1970s, curbing somewhat Israel’s colonial ambitions. Both times, ironically, US leaders relied on the Soviet ‘threat’ to give them some backbone.

But ‘in victory, defeat’. The Soviet ‘threat’, providing the US some leverage with Israel, was no more, and in the meantime, the Israel lobby in Washington had become too powerful for a president to counter. The Zionists were in no mood to swallow their pride and obey a newly holier-than-thou imperial Washington.

Bush senior found he had no allies for his plan to bring Israel into line. He scurried to the UN to burnish his credentials, but to no avail. The Israel lobby mobilized, found their ideal candidate in Bill Clinton, and Bush suddenly was being attacked in the media. Incessant negative publicity as election day approached did the trick. He lost his re-election bid, going from a 90% approval rate following the Iraq invasion to 37% on election day.

It is time for a new resolution 3379, something with teeth that will wake Israel up and push it to admit its sins. There is no hope to find a sponsor in Washington. However, the support for Palestinians struggling for their rights continues to grow. The EU, BDS and others boycott settlement goods are having their effect. Israel‘s neighbors continue to resist. As US power wanes, there is hope that the UN will once again find some backbone.

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4 thoughts on ““Time to Rekindle the UN Spark,” by Eric Walberg”

  1. Let me preface this by saying, I believe that America (and broadly, the west) should cease all funds to Israel immediately, it helps neither country, only war and profit hungry elites. In fact, the European races should disengage entirely from the region.

    If westerners had stayed out of West Asia in the first place, Israel may have been in continual existence this whole time, and the diaspora may never have happened. I find it so incredible when white leftists try to paint Israel as colonial and the Arabs as native, whereas in reality, it is the precise opposite. Cultural Arabisation has devoured countless indigenous cultures, spitting out failed states along the way, and cheered on by “forward-thinking, intellectual” white leftists, who detest Israel because they associate it with American imperialism, colonialism, ethno-nationalism, “white supremacy”, “fascism”, “apartheid” and all the other supposed ills of the West. What they do not realise is that to the countless Mizrahim and Sephardim here, it basically sounds like the same pro-colonial rhetoric Europeans have always spewed. they have no right to tell indigenous peoples to relinquish their land to colonisers, especially considering it was Europeans who initially barred Jews from their land.

    Throughout history, Europeans had no problem periodically swinging through various parts of West Asia and randomly killing civilians, especially Jews and Muslims. I am not trying to instil guilt, I just think it’s awfully funny when some “enlightened” white tells me about how my family should go back to Baghdad and become dhimmis, in effect.

    Far-right Arab nationalists and pan-Arabists in Iraq began to drive out the Jews through intimidation and violence before Israel was even reinstated as a nation. Where were these people to go? To beg and grovel to the west for citizenships, or be stateless wanderers? And this is just one of many similar happenings in the Arab world. Sorry, Israel is probably the most “legitimate” modern nation in West Asia today, as it is a direct successor to the two previous south-Levantine Hebrew kingdoms.

    That thing about ethno-states being racist is utter garbage. Of course a nation should exist for her indigenous people. This is why all peoples should have a nation! Now I see why people such as yourself believe that, say, Jews and Arabs could share land, because you believe in the miserable failure of the idea of the “multicultural state”.

    Every other state there was drawn by arrogant Europeans who decided mix different ethnic groups together and make artificial states with no historical precedent – just as they today seek to do with “Palestine”

    Also, one last bit of nonsense
    “Herzog didn’t mention how traditionally Jews lived freely under Muslim rule (citation needed, please look up “dhimmi”) and often served Muslim leaders as advisers, how Arab anger today is directly due to Israel’s murderous, illegal actions against the rightful citizens of what was once the Roman province of Syria Palaestina.”

    That is greatly exaggerated, and fictional notions of “sweet Andalusia” are largely confined to between the ears of pale-skinned left-wingers, plus, it all basically fell apart with the onset of Arab nationalism and moreso Pan-Arabism
    “Arab anger” was around in the Farhud (41)
    “Arab anger” was in the Hebron attack (29)
    “Arab anger” was in the Aden riots (47)
    “Arab anger” was in the Fez riots (12)

    Also, your harkening back to the “Roman province of Syria Palaestina” certainly betrays your biases. Interesting point in history to stop, no? Couldn’t go a bit further back to when the land was ruled by natives, under a native name? The imperialism oozes from your writing. I can tell that the idea of Jews being under the European or Arab yoke gives you the jollies.

  2. Sorry for the vitriolic post. I do absolutely love this blog, have read for years, I just somehow had never seen the ridiculously misguided foreign policy views that are touted here. I understand your anti-war and anti-west views, but I implore you to read some of the points of view from Arabised Jews. Our voices are almost invariably left out of any discourse on this matter. Shouted over by western leftists, neocons, arabs, etc. Nobody listens to us, even though we have been in, say, Baghdad and the Nile before they were even Arabised.




    1. And in other news, HAMAS is lecturing Trump about how “peaceful” the Moslem Cult is!

      Don’t get me wrong, HAMAS, with their nasty habit of blowing shit up in Israel, is the PERFECT entity to talk about how Islam is the “Cult Of Peace”! And how much they oppose bloodshed.


      I cannot make this up! Of course, they’re only responding to Trumps call to shut our borders to the terrorists entirely, or we’ll suffer a bunch more 9/11s. HAMAS only wants to lie to us to leave our borders open to terrorists, so we’ll be easy prey.


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