To the editors:

Andrea Sovan in a recent letter to the Reader [March 11] glibly stated that “Zionism is racism.” This defamatory statement has its origin in the now infamous UN Resolution 3379 which declared “Zionism as a form of racism.” This resolution, which was not supported by any Western democracy, sought to delegitimize Israel, justify terrorism and divide Blacks and Jews.

There is no better way to delegitimize a nation than to brand it as racist, thereby placing it outside the pale of civilization. The result is that violence against Israel is not only tolerated, but morally necessary. Scholars have also found a connection between Resolution 3379 and a parallel effort to deprive Jews of their status as victims of racism, replacing that history with the Orwellian image of Jews as Nazis.

Following the passage of this resolution, then UN Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated:

“Yesterday’s vote in the General Assembly of the U.N. may well have been the most reckless act in the history of that organization . . . It is not merely that our adversaries have commenced an effort to destroy the legitimacy of a kindred democracy through the incessant repetition of the Zionist-racist lie. It is that others can come to believe it also. Americans among them.”

Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. A Zionist is merely one who believes that Jews have the right to self-determination in a Jewish homeland. By stating that “Zionism is racism” one is in effect saying that the concept of Jewish self-determination is racist in and of itself, regardless that Zionism is a revulsion against racism and that Israel grants full democratic and civil rights to all its citizens, Arab and Jew alike (a claim that cannot be made by the Soviet bloc or Arab supporters of the resolution). If the concept of Jewish self-determination is racist it follows that all national liberation movements are racist.

It is high time that Resolution 3379 is repealed and this Big Lie put to an end. To allow such libel to continue is to distort the meaning of racism and obstruct those who truly wish to fight against it. As was said by Charles H. Fairbanks, political science professor at Yale and Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs:

“To call Zionism a form of racism makes a mockery of the struggle against racism as the emperor Caligula made a mockery of the Roman Senate when he appointed to it his horse.”

Evan J. Winer

W. Jerome