55th General Assembly
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
As Jews, our tradition and historical experience demand that we cry out against all forms of injustice.
This tradition makes us sympathetic to President Carter's human rights campaign and to all efforts to safeguard human dignity and personal freedom throughout the world. We are particularly sensitive to persecution as a result of an official government policy of discrimination. Such a policy exists today in South Africa in the form of apartheid.
Apartheid has resulted in a system that is separate and unequal. In South Africa today there are some 18.6 million classified as "blacks," 2.5 million classified as "colored" (i.e., children of biracial marriage), and 750,000 Asians. All these are denied fundamental human rights by a minority of 4 million whites. South Africa's nonwhite population is subject to brutal police force and the denial of due process, is generally denied an equivalent wage, is deprived of the right to vote, is segregated at every level of society, undergoes forced separation of families, and is forced to live in separate and poverty-ridden areas. As a result, there exists in South Africa today the disenfranchisement of the overwhelming majority and the continuation of one of the most repressive and discriminatory systems in the world.
Our memory and our Jewish sense of justice compel us to condemn such discrimination and dehumanization that is the way of life in South Africa. The 55th General Assembly of the UAHC urges the government of the Republic of South Africa to eliminate apartheid and grant full civil rights to all nonwhite residents. We recognize with approval breaches in the wall of apartheid in such areas as sports and the legitimization of black labor unions.
We commend those who, often at great personal risk and under threat of the deprivation of their own civil liberties, struggle nonviolently from within to ameliorate the racial injustice of their society.
We urge the United States--indeed, all governments--to refrain from political and military support for the government of South Africa.
We further urge any business with investments in South Africa to demand that the principles of equal pay, expansion of training programs, and nonsegregation of facilities be observed toward all nonwhites. If these conditions cannot be met, we urge those companies to terminate their business dealings with South Africa until apartheid itself is ended.