web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



When Daniel Moynihan Stood Tall at the UN

An interview with historian Gil troy on his new book, “Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism and Racism.”
Daniel Moynihan

Daniel Moynihan

On November 10, 1975, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, declaring Zionism a form of racism. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the United States ambassador to the UN at the time, rose after the resolution passed and proclaimed, “The United States…does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.”

A new book by historian Gil Troy, “Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism and Racism” (Oxford University Press), traces Moynihan’s fight against Resolution 3379 as well as its impact on American foreign policy and Moynihan’s subsequent 24-year career as a New York senator.

The author of eight previous books, Gil Troy is a professor at McGill University, a fellow at the Hartman Institute, and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. An interview with his brother Tevi Troy – a fellow at the Hudson Institute and an adviser to Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign – appeared in The Jewish Press on December 7.

The Jewish Press: Why did you write this book?

Troy: First of all, when I was growing up, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was my hero and I remembered Moynihan’s moment standing up [for Israel in the UN]. And as an American historian, I was surprised that this moment – which to me was a critical turning point in America’s relationship to the UN and the world – was barely mentioned in books about the 1970s.

When the General Assembly passed this infamous act, it was six months after the fall of South Vietnam. It was a moment of tremendous American demoralization. Moynihan spoke a language that inspired Americans. In fact, it inspired Ronald Reagan, who quoted Moynihan in his speeches on the campaign trail in 1976 when he ran against Gerald Ford.

Why did the UN proclaim Zionism a form of racism? Was it already so anti-Israel in 1975?

The UN had started turning anti-Israel in the 1960s. I interviewed George Will for the book, and he said Israel made a tremendous mistake in 1967: It dared to win at a time when the Left was falling in love with victims.

The interesting thing about Resolution 3379 is that it was a fallback. The original idea was to kick Israel out of the UN. That ran into the opposition, though, of Henry Kissinger and many Asian and African countries that were new members of the United Nations and didn’t want to start making membership in the United Nations something that was debatable.

You write in the book that Moynihan fought Resolution 3379, not out of love for Israel but love for America. Can you explain?

Moynihan comes in as UN ambassador in 1975 saying, “Israel is not my religion.” But he sees that the new way of humiliating the United States is Israel, and it offends his sensibilities. It plays into his fears of where the Third World and the UN is going, and so he says this is unacceptable.

You also write that at the same time the UN was debating whether Zionism was racism, a genocide was under way in Cambodia which the UN was ignoring.

Absolutely, and that’s part of the reason why I call November 10, 1975 the day the UN died.

Although Henry Kissinger, secretary of state at the time, opposed Resolution 3379, he didn’t fully support Moynihan’s campaign against it. Why not?

Kissinger was more from the realist school rather than the idealist school that Moynihan was from. He wanted a quieter, softer diplomacy, so he found Moynihan a bit of the bull in the diplomatic china shop. To my shock, I found transcripts where Kissinger literally says to one of his foreign aides, “We’re conducting foreign policy here. This isn’t a synagogue.”

In fairness to Kissinger, the Americans saw Egypt in the process of leaving the Soviet orbit after the 1973 war. Kissinger – and the Israelis – saw Resolution 3379 as a line in the sand that the Palestinians, Libyans and Syrians were drawing to force Egypt to vote with them and thus keep Egypt alienated from the West. So Kissinger and the Israelis didn’t want to overreact because they thought from a geo-strategic global perspective, it was better to have Egypt come into the American camp.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “When Daniel Moynihan Stood Tall at the UN”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Resnick-102414-Pergament

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/when-daniel-moynihan-stood-tall-at-the-un-an-interview-with-historian-gil-troy/2013/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: