ZOA Condemns UN General Assembly President Brockmann For Saying That Israel “Crucified” Palestinians
December 5, 2008


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is appalled by the words of United Nations General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann (Nicaragua) for accusing Israel of apartheid, calling for divestment and sanctions against Israel and claiming that our Palestinian “brothers and sisters are being crucified” by Israel. His remarks were made on November 24, 2008 during the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This annual event marks the adoption of the General Assembly’s partition resolution which called for the creation of a Jewish and an Arab state on November 29, 1947.


Brockmann said:


“I spoke this morning about apartheid and how Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories appear so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era, a continent away. I believe it is very important that we in the United Nations use this term. We must not be afraid to call something what it is. It is the United Nations, after all, that passed the International Convention against the Crime of Apartheid, making clear to all the world that such practices of official discrimination must be outlawed wherever they occur … More than twenty years ago we in the United Nations took the lead from civil society when we agreed that sanctions were required to provide a non-violent means of pressuring South Africa …Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel…”


Brockmann’s comments led Anne Bayefsky, an international law and human rights scholar and activist who is Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, a prestigious Washington-D.C. based think tank, to comment, “Brockmann’s assault is a gross abuse of the position of Assembly President … He knows full well that his outrageous personal views will be translated into six languages and webcast around the world.” Professor Bayefsky, who is also a former Columbia University Law Professor, edits the web-site, Eye on the UN, and recently addressed the ZOA’s Brandeis Dinner in New York, also said that “His remarks are especially offensive since the facts indicate the complete reverse. One-fifth of Israel‘s population is Arab with more democratic rights than in any Arab state. Arab states have been essentially rendered Judenrein since the creation of Israel. UN resolutions denounce Jews living in Arab-claimed territory as ‘Judaization,’ and no mention is ever made of ‘apartheid Palestine’ … Brockmann’s call … was in effect, a call for the political destruction of Israel by means of the same strategy adopted against apartheid South Africa” (Ann Bayefsky, ‘UN General Assembly President Accuses Israel of Apartheid and Calls for a Campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel,’ Eye on the UN, November 25, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “General Assembly President Brockmann’s words remind us that, tragically, the United Nations has become the most prominent forum for the expression of hatred and anti-Semitism. Statements about Jews ‘crucifying’ anyone are part of a long, horrid history of anti-Semitism in which Jews are held guilty of the charge of deicide. It is part of the demonization of Jews that makes anti-Semitism a uniquely pernicious, durable form of hatred, not simply another form of bigotry, serious enough as that would be.


“To single out Israel without justification whatsoever for hatred, opprobrium and punishment via sanctions and other punitive measures only shows that Brockmann and other haters always seek the camouflage of human rights and other lofty ideals with which to conceal their venom. Despite giving voice to such transparent hatred, it remains astonishing that Brockmann made his statement without any reference to the horrors that exist in the Palestinian Authority and various Arab regimes, including the inculcation of the cult of suicide bombing and ‘martyrdom,’ and the incitement to hatred and murder that pervades so much of the Arab media, mosques, schools and other institutions.”


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