From: Ismail Zayid
To: Guardian Weekly
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 10:40 PM
Subject: Zionism and Racism

8 Aug. 2001
The Editor
The Guardian Weekly
Dear Editor:
The threat by the U.S. to boycott the Durban Conference on Racism { "Washington may boycott racism summit" Aug. 2} is an incredible form of arrogance and hypocrisy. Unfortunately, Mrs Robinson's reaction is a submission to intimidation. Her statement that " It is not appropriate to reopen the question of Zionism and racism" gives Israel, in essence, a carte blanche to its continuing blatant practice of racism against its own Arab citizens.
Israel's practice of racism is longstanding and is manifest in its practices and legislation. Without going into listing the catalogue of such practices, I will let some of Israel's noted thinkers and human rights workers testify to that. The late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor and the then chairman of the Israeli League for Civil and Human rights wrote:
" It is my considered opinion that the state of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term. In this state people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried out today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement".
The Israeli thinker Derek Tozer stated : " The official policy of the government [of Israel] is unequivocal. Arabs like the Jews in Nazi Germany are officially "Class B" citizens, a fact which is recorded on their identity cards."
It is saddening to see Mrs Robinson, in her capacity as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, allowing this violation of human rights to continue unchallenged.
Yours sincerely
Ismail Zayid, MD