This Week in Israeli History: Zionism is Racism (According to the UN), Benjamin Zeroni and Operation Pillar of Defense

UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 - Zionism is Racism
On November 10, 1975, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution (by vote of 72 to 35) that dubbed Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination. The initiative was sponsored by twenty five Middle-Eastern and African countries that were politically backed by the Soviet Union.
The Arab, African, and Soviet coalition sought to delegitimize Israel (and by association the United States) on the world stage. Some allege that it was their ultimate goal to have Israel expelled from the United Nations and replaced by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
On the same day, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog (who went on to be Israel's 6th president) summed up the resolution with these words: "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." After his speech, Herzog held up the resolution and ripped it in half.
Sixteen years later in 1991, the resolution was revoked.
This resolution was merely another episode in the long history of anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, a bias that was affirmed by current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his predecessor Kofi Annan.
Since its formation in 2006, the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has issued more condemnations against Israel than all other countries combined. In addition, at the UNHRC’s tri-yearly session where they discuss the top 10 items facing human rights, Israel has the only permanent spot at Agenda Item 7.
Benjamin Zeroni – Irgun Commander and Lehi's First Chief of Operations
Born in Poland in 1913, Benjamin immigrated to Mandatory Palestine with his family in 1925. Upon finishing high school, he enlisted in the Irgun (Etzel) and proved himself as one of its most daring and brave fighters.
Benjamin served as commander of the Irgun’s Haifa branch and later commander of the Jerusalem branch. In 1939 he was arrested and cruelly tortured by the head of Britain’s Jewish Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ralph Cairns, who would later be assassinated by the Irgun.
Due to Benjamin’s physical state after the torture (during which he did not divulge any information), British guards did not think to put the maximal amount of surveillance on Benjamin who could barely walk. To their dismay, he mustered up all of his remaining strength and escaped the central British prison in Jerusalem.
After healing from his wounds, Zeroni resumed his underground activity. With Irgun commander David Raziel and his substitute Hanoch Kalai imprisoned, Zeroni assumed the role of Commander in Chief of the Irgun for two months until Raziel was freed.
With the Irgun’s decision to halt operations against the British in light of WWII, Zeroni followed Avraham Stern to the Stern Group (Lehi) where he became the organization’s first Chief of Operations. In 1942, Zeroni was arrested and exiled to Eretria where he was imprisoned until 1948, when he was released and returned to Israel to fight in the War of Independence.
Benjamin passed away on November 14, 2008 at the age of 94.
Operation Pillar of Defense
On November 14, 2012, the IDF launched an operation in response to the unrelenting Palestinian terror attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. With Hamas in the lead, terrorists shot hundreds of rockets onto Israeli civilians and targeted IDF troops along the Gaza border.
Operation Pillar of Defense had two main goals: cripple terror organizations in Gaza and defend Israelis living under fire. The IDF commenced the operation by assassinating Ahmed Jabari, the chief of Hamas’ military wing who was directly responsible for carrying out deadly terror attacks against Israel. The IDF then proceeded to carry out surgical aerial strikes against 1500 terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including senior terrorists, rocket launching sites, command centers, and smuggling tunnels.
During the eight-day operation, Hamas shot over 1,500 rockets onto Israeli towns, sending 3.5 million Israeli civilians into bomb shelters. This was the first time that Hamas fired the Fajr-5, a long-range Iranian missile that reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The Iron Dome intercepted over 400 rockets which substantially mitigated Israeli casualties. A ceasefire was agreed upon on November 21, ending the hostilities. Israel ended the operation with no ground incursion, and boasted success in impairing the Hamas rocket launching ability.