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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 18, 2010 / 3 Shevat 5770

Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Zionism

By Abraham Cooper, Harold Brackman and Yitzchok Adlerstein



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two ironies dominate the way we remember Martin Luther King. One pertains to all white Americans, the other to Jews.

Many of us think "us and them." We respectfully acknowledge the special place that Rev. King has in the place hearts of our black fellow-citizens, because of his pivotal role in shepherding the Civil Rights movement in its most crucial years. In truth, however, all Americans—blacks, but especially whites — owe more to Rev. King's leadership in those turbulent years. Looking back in at the decades of inequality, we should recognize how lucky we are that America's inner voice harkened to his message and method. For any society riven by deep divisions of race is a potential tinderbox. Largely because of Rev. King's preaching of non-violence, an America that could have exploded, instead was generally kept at a slow simmer, and change came without a greater degree of violence, loss of lives and property.

In eschewing violence, Rev. King faithfully distilled and applied to the lessons of Gandhi. Regarding the Jewish people, Rev. King's record was 180 degrees opposite to the Father of modern India. Reacting in real-time to Nazi persecution of German Jews in 1938, Gandhi wrote, "If I were a Jew…I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest Gentile German might, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment…Suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy … the calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews …But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy."

Gandhi also rejected the Jewish people's continuity and legitimacy in the Holy Land, even in the midst of the Holocaust, when Jews had no other place to go but the gas chambers. "The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me….Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French….The Jews should meet the Arabs, make friends with them and not depend on British aid or American aid, They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs…They can offer … themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them."

Six million dead Jews later, Rev. King had an approach to Jewish survival and destiny diametrically opposed to Gandhi. He consistently spoke up in defense of the Jewish state, including this declaration soon before his death: "I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can almost be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."

Letter from JWR publisher


King, like so many other trailblazing Black leaders, was a true believing Zionist with roots in the long mutual history of Zionism in black as well as white. The story begins over a century ago with Edward Wilmot, born into a free black family on Charlotte-Amalie, capitol of St. Thomas, Danish Virgin Islands, in 1832. Proud of his African ancestry Blyden also prized his close cultural ties with Jews, beginning with members of Amelie's 400-strong Jewish community whose Yom Kippur services he watched from outside the congregation to which belonged a future rabbi, David Cardoze, who taught his young friend the rudiments of Hebrew. Unable to obtain a theological education in the racist pre-Civil War U.S., Blyden was sent by the American Colonization Society to Liberia, the American "Black to Africa" experiment that in 1847 became an independent nation. Devoting the rest of life to Africa as an educator, publicist, and diplomat, Blyden traveled widely including an 1866 trip to Jerusalem about which he wrote in From West Africa to Palestine (1873).

By the 1890s, Blyden was ready for the message of Theodore Herzl's new Zionist movement. In 1898, two years after the publication of Herzl's Der Judenstaat (1896), Blyden embraced "that wonderful movement called Zionism" as a model for the Pan African movement that today recognizes him as its godfather. By 1912, when Byden died, leadership of the Pan African movement to liberate the so-called "Dark Continent" from colonialism had shift to an African American, W. E. B. Du Bois.

Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1868, Du Bois was educated at Harvard and German universities where he absorbed the patina of "polite" anti-Semitism he outgrew while working with such Jewish cofounders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as Joel and Arthur Spingarn and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. By 1919 when he journeyed to Paris to head the first Pan African Congress, Du Bois was wedded to the position that "The African movement must mean to us what the Zionist movement must mean to the Jews . . . [The] amelioration of the lot of Africa . . . [must also] ameliorate the conditions of colored peoples throughout the world." Despite Du Bois fierce disagreements with Jamaica-born Marcus J. Garvey, who headed a mass "Back to Africa" movement in Harlem in the 1920s that veered toward conflict with the NAACP's liberal Jewish supporters, Du Bois agreed with the self-styled "Black Moses" about Zionism as a paradigm for black progress. Du Bois' and Garvey's pro-Zionism also extended to many of the "Black Hebrew" congregations founded during the interwar years that continued to flourish up through Israel's creation in 1948.

After the declaration of "Black Power" in 1965, MLK's friendship toward Jews and Israel was challenged by radical Black Nationalists like Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) of the Black Panther Party who looked as a role model to the martyred Malcolm X. Conveniently forgotten, however, is what Malcolm X said in 1964, before his assassination by fanatical followers of Elijah Muhammed of the Nation of Islam: "Pan Africanism will do for the people of African descent all over the world, the same that Zionism has done for Jews all over the world."

"Black Zionism" in the three decades since didn't disappear but went underground to periodically reemerge. Repenting his own history of anti-Israel outbursts, a maturing Jesse Jackson, before the World Jewish Congress in 1990, reaffirmed MLK's acceptance of Zionism as "the liberation movement" of the Jewish people. Randall Robinson, founding president of Trans-Africa, has also repeatedly stated that African Americans and Africans can learn much from the history of the Zionist movement.

Gandhi was wrong about the destiny of the Jewish people. Rev. King got it right. May his embrace of Zionism — based on a rich tradition from those who preceded him — continue to speak to both Jews and black Americans, and all the peacemakers inspired by his unmatched example.

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Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angelels. Harold Brackman is the Senior Researcher there, and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the Center's Director of Interfaith Affairs.



© 2010, JWR

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