During Martin Luther King’s appearance at Harvard University in 1968, a student stood up and asked a question that was clearly anti Zionist. Dr. King responded, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”
As we celebrate black history month, let us remember Dr. King’s firm support of Zionism, as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and its manifestation…the State of Israel.
Dr. King believed that whoever opposes the national liberation movement of the Jewish people- opposes Jews as a whole.
On March 25, 1968, days before his tragic assassination, Dr. King declared “peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy and a marvelous example of, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood.”
As a community activist, I helped organize freedom Seders where the African American and Jewish community came together at Passover to commemorate their shared history of slavery, ghettos, segregation, oppression, discriminatory laws, hatred… but more significantly to celebrate their shared reality of freedom, liberation and exodus to the promised land. We quoted Moses as well as the prophesies of Dr. King.
It is certainly time for us: African Americans, Jews and frankly, all of us, to work together to make Dr. King’s words a reality in the US as well as the Middle East.
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