How UN members agree to vote in bad faith: The case of ‘zionism equal racism’
A short note by Elias Davidsson 1. Sept. 2001
A number of UN member States supported in 1975 General Assembly resolution 3379 determining that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” and supported in 1991 General Assembly resolution 46/86 the decision to “revoke? their former determination. As neither the nature of Zionism nor Israeli practices based on Zionism changed between these two dates, the decision by States to reverse by 180 degrees their position on Zionism must have been based on external factors, unrelated to the substance of the issue. Western UN members have generally opposed the determination of Zionism as a form of racial discrimination with the United States viewing this charge as an offense to its foreign policy.
U.S. leaders have stated and even boasted that the U.S. administration acted with determination to “convince? other States to support ? within the United Nations ? the repeal of the resolution equating Zionism with racism.
Here are the States that reversed their determination on the nature of Zionism:
? Former Socialist bloc: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Ukraine, Russia.
? African countries: Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda.
? Latin America: Brazil, Grenada, Guyana, Mexico
? Asia: Cambodia, India
? Europe: Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Yugoslavia
A few observations:
(a) Except for India, in which muslims represent a minority, in none of the above countries is there any substantial muslim or Arab population. All countries with muslim majorities have opposed the revocation of the Zionism equal racism determination or abstained in the vote in 1991.
(b) The 180 degrees shift in Indi position may be explained by radicalisation of internal Indian politics, particularly increasing Hindi nationalism that is fiercely anti-Muslim.
(c) Most of the countries that reverted their position have no vested interests in determining the truth on the question of Zionism. Bowing to US pressure on this issue does not undermine these States own interests.
(d) The General Assembly did not engage in a factual examination of the question whether Zionism is or is not a form of racial discrimination, neither before adopting resolution 3379 in 1975 nor before adopting the revocation of this resolution in 1991.