71. 'Racist State'

Anybody of course has the right to hail the repeal of the UN resolution on Zionism, but it has to be for the right reasons. On January 2, Catholic New York reported that Archbishop John Roach said that the world Jewish community, because of this resolution, "were too long forced to endure this denigration of their identity as a people." In fact, it is Israel and its leaders who do not recognize the Palestinians as a people. Golda Meir, in a 1969 interview, said: "It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist." And today, for the Palestinians to participate in the peace talks they have to be part of a Jordanian delegation. Also, Eugene Fisher said that the repeal "ends a period in which it could be pretended that what was at stake was the right of Israel to exist." In fact, it is Israel and its leaders who deny the Palestinians the right to self-determination and statehood.

It really pains me to see the Catholic leadership spreading, knowingly or unknowingly, such inaccuracies. UN resolution 3379 did not denigrate the identity of the Jewish people, nor did it question Israel's right to exist. It simply determined that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." This resolution didn't make Israel more racist and its repeal doesn't make it less racist. What makes Israel a racist state is its Basic Laws which institutionalized racism. For instance, under the Law of Return, a Jew, no matter where he was born and where he lives, may "return" to Israel as a full Israeli citizen. But an Arab (technically a non-Jew), born in Palestine but fled or driven out, may not. The criterion is simple: one is Jewish, the other is not. This is racism based on religion.

January 30, 1992