The United Nations harbors a deep obsession with anti-Semitism, and vocal opposition to both Zionism and the State of Israel.
Over the years, Arab foes have capitalized upon these neuroses, using the world body as a vehicle to sway Western "hearts and minds" by depicting Zionism in the same manner as other fashionable enemies, such as communism and fascism. The institutionalization of this trend took place on Nov. 10, 1975, when the U.N. General Assembly, by means of a wide margin, adopted a resolution declaring Zionism to be a form of racism.
As a result of that resolution, then-Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Chaim Herzog denounced the action, publicly tearing up a copy of the resolution while declaring it "malicious … part of a dangerous anti-Semitic idiom."
But, even before making this anti-Semitic equation a fixture within Turtle Bay, the U.N. was known for being infested with anti-Jewish feeling. In 1973, William F. Buckley discovered this fact while an acting member of the American delegation to the U.N. General Assembly. When he witnessed how openly the world body was running an anti-Semitic campaign, he stated that it is the "most concentrated gathering of anti-Semites since the days of Hitler's Germany."
Fast-forward to 1991. While serving as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, including the U.N., John Bolton was briefed by analysts on whether the United States had enough votes to overturn U.N. Resolution 3379. Bolton believed, to his core, that this hateful resolution was an insult to the intelligence of the civilized world, a belief he shared with then-Secretary of State James Baker.
After much hard work, on Dec. 16, 1991, the General Assembly repealed Resolution 3379 by a vote of 111-25 (with 13 abstentions and 17 delegations absent or not voting). Consequently, because of Bolton's efforts, American leadership was restored to the General Assembly, and this evil stain was removed. But, more importantly, a critically important and historic principle had been vindicated.
And it was exactly because of the way Bolton tackled Resolution 3379 that he was nominated as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; he served in that role from August 2005 until December 2006.
Yet, while Zionism-equals- racism may have been repealed on paper, the U.N. still continues its condemnations of Israel.
A Source of Jihadism
The organization's deformities are certainly not confined to anti-Semitism. For many delegates, diplomatic immunity has become synonymous with fraudulent and scandalous behavior, conduct which has no consequences whatsoever. This status has allowed them to spread anti-American, anti-Semitic and jihadist rhetoric right here in America.
Today, the Palestinian agenda — and sympathy for the Palestinian cause — has infiltrated every corner of the buildings that have long occupied Manhattan's Turtle Bay. It has engendered Arab and Western support for the delegitimation campaign waged against Israel, and alternately has spawned sympathy for the Palestinian cause. For example, Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appeared at the U.N. Palestine Day event that astonishingly featured a map of the Middle East missing Israel. This is emblematic of the way in which the U.N. has transformed itself into a propaganda machine for such thinking.
Furthermore, individuals like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are openly welcomed at the U.N., despite his repeated calls for wiping Israel off the map.
With the growing pervasiveness of books like The Israel Lobby by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, a work that intellectualizes the debate to a point where individuals find it difficult to decipher what is legitimate criticism and what is racism, we must be more vigilant than ever in our battle to combat anti-Semitism, starting with organizations like the United Nations.
Asaf Romirowsky is the manager of Israel and Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.