Herzog's UN speech 'changed world'

Response to Zionism-racism comparison among "50 most important speeches."

June 26, 2007 10:47
1 minute read.
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32 years after his words astonished the UN General Assembly, the speech delivered by former ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog, who later became president of Israel, will be included as one of the 50 most important speeches in history, Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday. The speech will be reprinted in the new edition of the book Speeches that Changed the World, edited by a team of British historians and planned for publication in August. On November 10th, 1975, the UN General Assembly approved resolution 3379, which mandated that Zionism was a form of racism. Following the decision, Herzog ascended the assembly's podium and made the speech still considered one of the most important in Israeli diplomacy. Herzog warned the other ambassadors that they would be accountable for the next holocaust, that might ensue following the decision, voted on the 37th yahrzeit of Kristallnacht. "For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value. For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such," Herzog announced, proceeding to tear the document to shreds. The team in charge of editing the book is headed by historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, a descendant of Moses Montefiore. " - this is one of the most important speeches in history regarding the fight against anti-Semitism," he said. Herzog's speech appears side by side with speeches by Martin Luther King ("I have a dream"), Winston Churchill ("Blood, sweat and tears"), Nelson Mandela ("Free at last") and former US presidents John F. Kennedy ("Don't ask what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country") and Ronald Reagan ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"). Also included is a speech by US President George W. Bush, made after the 9/11 attack ("A great people has been moved to defend a great nation").

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