Is Zionism Racism? UN Resolution 3379

On Nov 10, 1975, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, determining that Zionism is “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” That’s quite a loaded description! In this episode, Noam Weissman breaks down what led to this infamous resolution, the UN’s relationship with Israel, and what it still means to us, almost 50 years later.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. What country was behind the “Zionism is Racism” U.N. resolution?
    • USSR
    • USA
    • UK
    • UAE
  2. In 1991, how many countries in the UN voted to repeal UN Resolution 3379?
    • Zero
    • All of them
    • 111
    • 45
  3. How many Arab countries abstained during the repeal of UN Resolution 3379?
    • 6
    • 0
    • 3
    • 20
  4. In 1991, the U.N. repealed the resolution, but…
    • it was reinstated a few years later
    • much of the damage had already been done 
    • it almost didn’t pass
    • the USSR still supported the original resolution
  1. Israeli political philosopher JL Talmon wrote that UN Resolution 3379 caused the state of the Jews to become the Jew of the states”. Reflect on this powerful quote and its implications. Do you think it’s still relevant today?
  2. Have you ever experienced criticism of Israel turn into antisemitism, in person or on social media? How did it make you feel and how did you react to it? Do you believe that UN Resolution 3379 was antisemitic or legitimate criticism of Israeli policy?
  3. In the podcast, the host brings up Bamidbar 23:9, in which the Jewish people are described as a nation that dwells alone. There are multiple interpretations of this verse. Are the Jewish people destined to always be alone? Is antisemitism simply the nature of the world, is it solvable or something that just needs to be reduced? Depending on what you think, what are the appropriate next steps?
  4. What does “Zionism is racism” really mean? What prompted this bold claim?
  5. In the last five years, the U.N. Human Rights Council has condemned Israel in nearly as many resolutions as every other country in the rest of the world combined. Why is the world so focused on Israel, when there is much to be desired in the human rights department by other countries throughout the world?
  1. Lead a podcast listening party. Download our PDF Guide.
  2. Is Zionism racism? Give your students the opportunity to individually respond to this accusation in a reflection vlog. You can use the free app flipgrid.
  3.  Watch our video on “What is Zionism?” and utilize the educational resources to better understand its context and history.
  4. Give your students our Kahoot on UN Resolution 3379: Is Zionism racism!
  1. Unpacked for Educators:
  2. Patrick Moynihan’s “Zionism is Racism” speech, 1975
  3. Chaim Herzog’s speech in opposition to U.N. Resolution equating Zionism with racism, 1975
  4. CIE, UNGA -Racism Resolution 3379 (primary document) 
  5. President George H.W. Bush, Repeal of “Zionism is Racism” Resolution speech, 1991
  6. Yitshak Rabi, “Kristallnacht at the United Nations: 100,000 in Rally to Protest Against Anti-Zionist Resolution Mass,” 1975 
  7. Paul Lewis, “U.N. Repeals its ‘75 Resolution Equating Zionism with Racism,” 1991

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