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O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
MLK: American Hero and Zionist

With the passage of the years, as Martin Luther King, Jr. has come to be acknowledged not just as a great African-American but as a great American in the widest sense and a world-historic moral authority, many groups have competed over the use of his legacy. This is in general a good thing: when Republicans and Democrats, for instance, are asking who’s more like King, they’re thinking in the right direction. But in some areas, King’s legacy has been misappropriated to endorse opinions 180 degrees opposite of those he held—and the Israel-Palestine conflict is one such issue.

King was an ardent supporter of Israel, and no amount of rhetoric recasting Israel as an “apartheid state” will undo that. King never wavered in his commitment to the Jewish state, and spoke in defense of Zionism up until his last days on earth.

If you don’t believe us, perhaps you will take it from the man himself:

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  • Corlyss

    “The great civil rights leader saw Israel not as an apartheid state,”
    He didn’t live long enough to observe how far the movement strayed from his sober restraint. Now the movement is led by race-baiters and chaos pimps and virulent anti-Semites.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Some black Americans in the 1960’s gravitated to Islam. Dr. King apparently did not have any temptation to do that, which is one of the many reasons he and his movement are remembered for greatness.

  • Jon Robbins

    MLK was too preoccupied with his own movement to give much consideration to the moral and strategic calculus in the Middle East. And he was very conscious of the black civil rights movement’s dependence on Jewish funding, organization and media support to take issue over Israel in any case. Also, on an ideological level, American blacks had long analogized themselves to the “captive Israel” of the Bible and were generally uninformed about the reality of Palestine/Israel.

    Since his time, however, blacks have come to realize that in dealing with organized Jewry, it was either their way or the highway. And secular black leaders also realized that the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians could not be rationalized. The more people understand about the Palestine/Israel, the less supportive of the Zionist state and its US lobby they tend to be.

    Try to portray MLK as a Zionist is ludicrous and dishonest (but unsurprising for TAI). Just as MLK’s position on Vietnam disturbed many people, his position on the Palestinian struggle, had he lived a full lifespan, would undoubtedly evolved. Naturally, Jews would have been outraged. (Where does the ingratitude come from?!) We can see this phenomenon clear as day with Hollywood’s “snubbing” of Selma and the complaints about its historical accuracy. Of course, Steven Spielberg’s films Amistad and Lincoln were grossly inaccurate in many respects, the latter portraying a public celebration in Washington over the passage of the 13th Amendment when most whites were indifferent or hostile. In Amistad, Spielberg portrays white Christian evangelicals as doleful, passive, ineffective supporters of abolition, and instead created an anachronistic secular hero for the film. The truth of course is that Christian evangelicals were the engine of the abolition movement.

    Our establishment doesn’t mind ahistorical films as long as they tell the “right” story. The lack of “good” white characters in “Selma” was taken as symbolic of black “ingratitude,” the same sort of reaction as with the Ocean Hill teachers’ strike of 1968. And of course Spielberg is one of “our crowd” unlike the director of “Selma.”

    All in all, lots of hypocrisy surrounding the film and MLK of which this article is a good example.

    • Grantman

      Quote: “…the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians…”

      There is, and has never been, an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. That statement is absolutely incorrect. The population of the Palestinians has increased four-fold (if not more) since 1948. If that’s ethnic cleansing, the Israelis are the most incompetent country in the world.

      As far as ethnic cleansing is concerned, take a look at the population of Christians and Jews in the rest of the middle east and north Africa. There’s ethnic cleansing for ya.

      • Jon Robbins

        The Zionist project has from its inception been about the replacement and subjugation of Arabs by Jews. Palestinians have been cleansed out of large parts of Palestine in which they constituted the majority. (After all they were 92% of the total population before the mass Jewish immigration facilitated by British imperial control began in earnest.) It’s true that the Palestinian population, in its reduced land area, has increased markedly. But the issue is what happens going forward. Under the crush of Israeli apartheid regulations, embargoes, military operations, and deliberate incentives for high rates of emigration, Palestinian birth rates have fallen steeply, and the Palestinian population is plateauing likely to fall over the coming decades. Israel will attempt to increase Jewish birth rates and continue the covert invasion of the West Bank through continued settlement activity with the ultimate goal of changing the population rations and laying the ground for annexation several decades from now.

        Ethnic cleansing has always been at the core of Zionism and continues to be so.

        It’s true that less covert ethnic cleansing is going on elsewhere in the Middle East. But we don’t subsidize that ethnic cleansing unlike in Israel where we fork over fistfuls of cash to the Israeli state all the time.

        • Grantman

          No, the Zionist project has always been about returning Jews to their homeland. That’s it and all it’s ever been. The rest of what you’ve written is poppycock.

          • Jon Robbins

            “No, the Zionist project has always been about returning Jews to their homeland.”

            It is about creating space for Jews in an area with which they DO have historical association but which was overwhelmingly Arab as the project go underway following the Balfour Declaration. This reality necessitated the subjugation and carefully engineered cleansing of the existing Arab population.

            That’s what the Zionist project is about. You are simply psychologically unable to face that truth.

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