Was Martin Luther King indifferent to what looked like the potential eradication of the Jewish State, with the likely death of its millions of Jewish citizens?
According to a story in The Jewish Week, "King and the Jews" (Jan. 11), the answer is yes, he was indifferent.
What can I say. Judge for yourself.
According to the article, on the eve of the Six-Day War, when Arab nations from Morocco to Iraq sent troops to destroy Israel, when Egypt in particular was being backed by the full military support of the Soviet Union, and instituted a naval blockade choking Israel from the Straits of Tiran, King signed a letter, along with numerous clergymen, supporting Israel.
The statement said, "men of conscience must not remain silent at this time."
The statement called upon all Americans and the administration "to support the independence, integrity and freedom of Israel." So far, so good.
No one who signed the letter suggested sending troops or weapons to help Israel. No, Israel was still on its own. The clergy statement was nice, and the way things looked in May 1967, it was like sending flowers to a hospice.
It is hard to argue with King signing that letter, right?
Wrong. According to the article, "King privately rued the decision."
What was there to rue?
The Jewish Week article notes, "As Taylor Branch writes in ‘At Canaan’s Edge’ (2007), his authoritative history of King’s final years, King ‘smarted from criticism that he had abandoned non-violence.’”
In other words, Israel should have responded to the gathering of troops from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Tunesia and Sudan, armed by the Soviets, with a non-violent demonstration? Israel should have reacted to ten Arab armies as if that was nothing more than being refused lunch at a Woolworth’s?
As if ten Arab armies, backed by the Soviet Union, would be deterred by a Jewish sit-down strike and some folk songs?
And when Egypt demanded and the United Nations agreed to remove the UN buffer force in Sinai, a buffer force that was the last thing seperating Egypt from annihilating Israel (or so Egypt and the UN thought), and when Israelis were digging huge pits in public parks in preparation for what they feared were their own mass graves, all that King could do was worry if Israel was sufficiently non-violent enough to suit King?
If that’s the case, then King’s friendship for Israel was as phony as a three-dollar bill. Jews were there for King when he needed allies. Now Israel needed allies and he rues his signature on that letter?
The Times reported (May 28, 1967), just days before the war, Jacques Torczyner, president of the Zionist Organization of America "pleaded for the Western powers, particularly the United States, to give Israel military material" in this time of "grave peril."
And King, with all his stature and powers of persuasion, would not advocate for Israel to get military aid but he wanted Israel’s response to ten Arab armies to be a sit-down strike? King was a bright guy, he had to have known he was advocating nothing less than Israel’s death.
Did King buckle to the volcanic anti-Semitism beginning to brew in the black community? Was he jockeying for support of a growing, angry Islamic faction, the black Muslems that were rallying around Malcolm X?
To add insult to a potentially genocidal injury, on the day after the war, according to the Jewish Week piece, "King worried that Israel might itself become the aggressor. As King told his advisers: ‘Israel faces the danger of being smug and unyielding.’"
Israel escaped from ten Arab armies, the Soviet Union, the UN, and United States neutrality, and King is worried about the Jews being aggressors?
Because here’s what happened immediately after the war. On the day when King was concerned about Israel being "smug and unyielding." Israel had already returned the keys to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa to the Arabs, without negotiations, without asking anything in return.
Israel didn’t expel any Arab from any home, unlike what happened to Jews when in the Arabs conquered the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1948. And Israel, flush with victory, still did not let Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Hebron and the Gush, or Shechem, or anywhere on the West Bank return to their lost homes,
The day after, when King was so worried about Israel being "smug and unyielding," Israel’s stated policy was a complete yielding of all territories in exchange for a peace agreement, and Israel returned control of the Temple Mount — Israel’s holiest site — even without a peace agreement.
What did King have to say about Khartoum? Less than 90 days after the war, the Arab League passed resolutions reiterating that a state of war still existed with Israel, and declared the famous "Three No’s" policy toward Israel — no peace, no recognition, no negotiations.
Was that smug and unyielding? According to the article, King had nothing to say about Khartoum.
If that was the case, and I’m assuming the report to be correct, than King was holding Israel to an impossibly unfair double standard while imposing no standard whatsoever upon those who would have Israel dead.
Meanwhile, Jews continue to promote the fraud of the Black-Jewish alliance, an alliance that was more of a halucination, an alliance that proved to be as meaningful as the alliance between a rock and window.
Imagine if King told gays or feminists or Hispanics or Muslems that they were smug and unyielding. Would their response be, so what, he was a great American?
That Jewish Week article isn’t the only one suggesting that King’s support for Israel was jive. The pro-Palestinian left has been saying this for years. Over at Electronic Intifada, edited by Ali Abunimah, one of Obama’s old Chicago friends, you can find the article, "Fraud Fit For A King: Israel, Zionism, and the Misuse of MLK."
Here’s another piece from Electronic Intifada, "Israel’s Apologists and the Martin Luther King Hoax."
I’d like to think that the Martin Luther King that I revered is not the King of the hoax. The only possible defense for King in 2011 is that at a time of vicious anti-Israel demonization, some people are so ghoulish as to rob King’s grave — to distort his legacy and cherry-pick his quotes — to accomplish on the printed page what Arab armies can’t accomplish on the battlefied.
Here’s a link to a site that claims King as a great Zionist. (without addressing these problematic quotes).
And here’s The Jewish Week article, King and the Jews – Beyond Heschel,by Eric Herschtal, where I discovered King’s disturbing quotes about Israel in 1967.