The events at Durban are not new historically. Arab members of the UN have manipulated the General Assembly (GA) as a forum for isolating and chastising Israel. Their advantage is simply mathematical. In the UN argument and rational discussion does not sway the vote, but rather who has more political support. Within the UN there is a built in anti-Israel lobby. With support from third-world nations, the Non-Aligned group and others, the Arab and Islamic states can guarantee the passage of any anti-Israel resolutions.
See: Shimon Peres 04 September 2001 "The Arab League is made up of 24 countries, 30 nations - totally anti-Israeli, totally against peace, for the renewal of the boycott, for the continuation of the intifada, for the cutting of relations with Israel, and no reason nor justice nor activity can change their position.
Unfortunately, there is another bloc, the Muslim League, which comprises 60 countries, over a billion people, and there, too, the position is basically anti-Israeli, not necessarily pro-peace, extremely biased, on many occasions ignorant about what is taking place here. May I say that among all those Muslim countries and Arab countries, I can hardly recognize a real democracy, a full democracy. In many of them there is neither peace nor civil rights, nor really an understanding of the conflict which is taking place in our country, in our region."
Many of the anti-Israel actions take place at the following prestigious forums:
Each year, at the opening session of the GA, the Arab members challenge the credentials of the Israeli delegation.
For decades, the Security Council has also participated in singling out Israel by passing one-sided resolutions charging Israel with sole responsibility for human rights violations, violence and deportations. On the other hand, Palestinian and other Arab violations and involvement with such incidents are rarely criticized, or even noted by the Council.
Some UN agencies have also exhibited anti-Israel sentiments. For example, between 1974 and 1987 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) instituted financial sanctions against the Jewish State, passed hundreds of resolutions criticizing Israel's activities on the West Bank, and denounced Israel's archeological and restoration efforts in Jerusalem.
Israel and the UN -Links
1. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website
Zionism is Racism
Among the most harmful UN anti-Israel resolutions was the notorious General Assembly #3379 resolution equating Zionism with racism, passed in November 1975 by 72 to 35. It stated that Zionism "is a form of racism and racial discrimination... [and] is a threat to world peace and security."
Links to the Record
1. 1975 - Text of the UNGAXXX Resolution #3379 Zionism = Racism
2. More significant official comments on #3379 collected in the USA and Analysis.
3. Other famous quotes:
There is no difference whatever between Anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel's statehood. Classical Anti-Semitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination."
Abba Eban, New York Times, November 3, 1975
You declare that you do not hate Jews, you are merely anti-Zionist. And I say, let the truth ring forth from high on the mountain tops... When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews... What is anti-Zionist? It is the denial of the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe."
Reverend Martin Luther King, 1968.
Anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations coincide with events in the Middle East.
An improvement was facilitated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left the Arab member states devoid of the superpower ally needed to maintain their powerful anti-Israel activities and enhanced by the western-led Gulf War alliance against Iraq.
Indeed, UN-Israeli relations seemed to improve from the beginning of the Oslo Accords,