A quote in last week’s editorial, “Honoring Dr. King and His Message,” attributed to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — is, by this time, a fairly well-known forgery.
The quote is as follows: “You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist.’ When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.”
You’re in good company. Even Rabbi Marc Schneier’s book, “Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Jewish Community,” reproduced it. As a participant in the civil rights movement and the Soviet Jewry movement’s adoption of MLK’s non-violent philosophy, I among others tried to track it down, and came up empty. I suspect that whoever wrote this letter tried to do good, but let feelings get in the way of truth.
Wikipedia discusses the alleged letter: (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_to_an_Anti-Zionist_Friend).
In real life, Dr. King spoke up forcefully for Israel Jews. His remarks on the oppression of Soviet Jews were even stronger than some Jewish organizations at the time.