Last November's United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Israel as being racist was hotly debated in the U.
GV INT Delegates seated for debate
SV Iraq delegate Amer Salih Araim speaking in English.
Delegates around table
SV PLO Delegate Zehdi Labib Terzi speaking.
GV Delegates seated
SV Israel delegate Chaim Herzog speaks.
ARAIM: "The situation necessitates that the United Nations should condemn once again Zionism as a path of racism and racial discrimination. The behaviour of Israel should also be condemned because it is practising racial discrimination against the Palestinian Arabs".
TERZI: "The Palestine Liberation Organisation considers that the militant struggle against racism and racial discrimination is indivisible. The victory over racist ideologies and regimes anywhere in the world is considered by the Palestine Liberation Organisation as yet another triumph in the struggle of the Palestinian people against foreign racist domination".
HERZOG: "Mr. President, November 10th 1975 will live in infamy in the history of our people - and in the history of free and civilised nations throughout the world. The Arab states, by forcing the United Nations to equate zionism with racism have brought discredit to the organisation and caused a world revulsion. Thus, while we supported all moves to eliminate racism in the world and there are no better witnesses to this fact than our African brothers, with many of whose countries to this day, I am proud to say, we are continuing our development co-operation, we must regretfully speak against a resolution on this subject. The introduction of this irrelevant partisan political issue to the resolution on the Decade of Action obliges us regretfully to speak out against the programme, as long as that obscene act is in any way, however remotely, associated with this programme."
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This film is serviced with parts of speeches during the debate by Iraq's delegate Amer Salih Araim, the PLO delegate Zehdi Labib Tarzi and Israel's Ambassador Chaim Herzog. Transcripts follow:-
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Last November's United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Israel as being racist was hotly debated in the U.N. Economic and Social Council on Wednesday (28 April). The debate was a continuation of the U.N. Decade for Action to combat racism and racial discrimination which began in December 1973.
On 10 November last the General Assembly passed a resolution - widely supported by most Arab and third world countries - condemning Israel as a racist nation.
At the time both Israel and the United States strongly condemned the resolution and at Wednesday's Council meeting it was Israel and the U.S. that once again spoke out against it.
The U.S. Ambassador William Scranton spelt out why his country would not take part in anti-racist activities in the U.N. as long as it was linked with the resolution equating Zionism with racism. He said while Americans supported every proper effort to combat racism and racial discrimination at an international level, they regarded the resolution as unjust and refused to participate in the Decade or attend a proposed anti-racism conference in Accra, Ghana.
But Jordan's Ambassador Abdul Hamid Sharaf, who spoke immediately after Mr. Scranton, took a different view. He said the U.N. resolution was of great moral consequence and a step in the right direction morally and politically. He added, "Like the resolutions on apartheid in Southern Africa, this resolution exposed the racist and discriminatory basis of Israel's conduct in the region of the Middle East, against the Palestinian Arabs and their neighbours.
Some of the strongest words during the debate came from Israel's Ambassador Chaim Herzog, who took the opportunity to reject recent criticism by Arab and other states of a recent visit to Israel by South African Minister John Vorster. He also put before the Council evidence to show that Israel wholly supported any moves to eliminate racism and pointed out cases where his country had continuing and satisfactory development programmes with several African states.
Other speakers on the issue during the debate include the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) delegate Zehdi Labib Terzi and Iraq's delegate Amer Salih Araim.