March 14, 2013 Pivotal Speech by Daniel Patrick Moynihan Is Subject of Book Discussion

Statement Cost Moynihan His Job at United Nations

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

On Nov. 10, 1975, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism. Afterward, a tall man with graying hair, horn-rimmed glasses and a bowtie stood to speak. He pronounced his words with the rounded tones of a Harvard academic, but his voice shook with outrage: “The United States rises to declare, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.”

This speech made Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a celebrity, but as Gil Troy demonstrates in his new book, it also marked the rise of neo-conservatism in American politics – the start of a more confrontational, national-interest-driven foreign policy.

Troy will discuss and sign “Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism” (Oxford University Press, 2012), on Thursday, April 4, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Moynihan recognized the resolution for what it was: an attack on Israel and a totalitarian assault against democracy, motivated by anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. While Washington distanced itself from Moynihan, the public responded enthusiastically: American Jews rallied in support of Israel, and civil rights leaders cheered. The speech cost Moynihan his job but soon won him a U.S. Senate seat. Troy examines the events leading up to the resolution, vividly recounts Moynihan’s speech and traces its impact in intellectual circles, policy making, international relations and electoral politics in the ensuing decades.

Gil Troy is a leading political historian and one of today’s most prominent activists in the fight against the delegitimization of Israel. He is a professor of history at McGill University and a research fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Engaging Israel Program. Troy’s writings have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic and other major media outlets. He writes a weekly column for The Jerusalem Post and is editor-at-large of The Daily Beast’s Open Zion blog. Troy is the author of eight books, including biographies of Ronald Reagan and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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PR 13-048
ISSN 0731-3527