Back to PLO Bulletin 1-15 September 1979



The Zionist-enforced resignation of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, has become a prime issue of debate in the U.S., drawing attention to the core of the Middle East conflict, the Palestinian people's cause. The debate was triggered off by the mere fact that Young, fulfilling his role at the UN, met with the PLO's UN representative, Zehdi Tarazi, Even though this was not the first time such a meeting has taken place between a U.S. official and a PLO member. The Zionist lobby in Washington, with its loyalty to Israel, blackmailed the U.S. government into dropping the one significant Black leader in the U.S. administration who had a following among the oppressed Black community.

Naturally, leaders of the Black American community have reacted strongly to this racist move. In fact, most Black leaders have made public their awareness that disastrous developments in the Middle East, due to Israeli intransigence and U.S. one-sidedness, will further worsen their already bad living conditions.


The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a prominent Black leader, has said that he intends to arrange meetings between Black leaders and the PLO "to figure out how to reconcile this crisis, because we will be part of the economic impact if the situation blows up in the Middle East."

PLO representative to UN, Zehdi Tarazi shakes hands with
Joseph Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership
Contrary to the Zionist allegation that the Palestinian people do not exist, Young declared: "At one time we all thought that the PLO would go away. They have not gone away. They seemingly have increased in their political influence and potential economic strength and I don't think it is in anybody's interest to ignore those kinds of forces."

For American Jews who are Zionists, whose first loyalty is to the State of Israel and not to the U.S. people, Young's meeting with Tarazi was unacceptable. But to Black Americans, most of whom belong to the poorer classes of American society, an increase in the cost of gas would mean a further deterioration of their living standards, and therefore Blacks naturally take an interest in a genuine peace in the Middle East.

A group of leading Black Americans held a press conference on August 20 after a meeting with Tarazi. Dr. Joseph Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which Young was once an official, said: "We communicated to Mr. Tarazi and his associates our support of the human rights of all Palestinians, including the right of self-determination, including among other things their homeland."

Rev. Jesse Jackson
Relations between Black and Jewish communities have been strained in recent years by some Jewish groups' opposition to affirmative action programs that seek to redress discrimination against Blacks and other minorities in the U.S. Israel's recognition of and warm relationship with South Africa has been severely condemned by U.S. Blacks. In the words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the strains between the Black community and American Jewish Zionists "are more serious than some people want to pretend."

The Black American civil rights movement and the Palestinian Resistance, whose development began almost simultaneously in the early 1960s, share many things in common. Both are revolts against intolerable systems of racist repression. Since their enemies, the rulers of the United States and Zionism, are closely allied to each other, it is logical that the Afro-American and Palestinian liberation movements should develop close ties with each other.

The Afro-American revolutionary groups have long been opposed to Zionism and recognised its racist character. In the July 1967 insurrection in Detroit, Zionist capitalists and their property were main targets of popular anger. What the Young affair has done is to reveal the true nature of Zionism even to the reformist, often pacifist, civil rights groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, which had not taken an anti-Zionist position in the past. These organisations remain moderate and pacifist and, rather than attacking Israel, they have declared their support for Palestinian rights. This in itself, however, is a very positive and important development. As Congressman Paul Findley saw it, "the Palestinian people are the only group of people that seem to have been overlooked in our broad concern for human rights," and Afro-Americans are now endeavouring to correct this omission. Young stated publicly that he had warned the Israelis their insistence on his dismissal could create a constituency for Palestinian rights in the United States.


The Black Americans, who themselves have waged a biter struggle to reaffirm their human and civil rights, are realizing more and more that their faith and struggle is linked to the struggle of other oppressed peoples the world over, including the Palestinian peoples the world aware of the fact that increases in the cost of living in the U.S. are partially linked to the crisis in the Middle East. As a consequence of the Camp David "peace", the U.S. is to boost its billions of military and other "aid" to the Zionist state and the Sadat regime. Furthermore, the probable disorder in Western oil supplies in the not so far future as a result of U.S. aggressive and destabilising Middle East policies is bound to affect the already bad living conditions of the working population in the U.S., above all of all the Blacks and other minorities.

The Black community in America, becoming ever more deprived and a primary victim of inflation, can no longer turn a deaf ear to the cry of the Palestinian people, for it is a cry for justice, equality and peace. International peace matters a lot to American Blacks, since the Vietnam War demonstrated they are the first ones to be drafted and get killed when the U.S. pursues aggressive policies.

Last but not least, the racist attitudes of American Zionists have insulted many Blacks. Theodore Mann, Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, remarked that Black leaders are not qualified to understand U.S. foreign policy. Such remarks, revealing the racism that is at the root of the Zionist ideology, can only strengthen the resolve of the Black community in the U.S. to confront its real enemies.

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