Monday, September 17, 2007

M.L.K and Zionism

This little tidbit of video propaganda from youtube (below) would have us believe that Martin Luther King was a rabid, flag-waving Zionist.

Tim Wise exposes this deception in an article called Fraud
Fit For A King: Israel, Zionism, And The Misuse Of MLK
. From the article:

Rarely am I considered insufficiently cynical. As someone who does anti-racism work for a living, and thus hears all manner of excuse-making by those who wish desperately to avoid being considered racist, not much surprises me. I expect people to lie about race; to tell me how many black friends they have; to swear they haven’t a racist bone in their bodies. And every January, with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday just around the corner, I have come to expect someone to misuse the good doctor’s words so as to push an agenda he would not likely have supported. As such, I long ago resigned myself to the annual gaggle of fools who deign to use King’s “content of their character” line from the 1963 March on Washington so as to attack affirmative action, ostensibly because King preferred simple “color-blindness.” That King actually supported the efforts that we now call affirmative action--and even billions in reparations for slavery and segregation--as I’ve documented in a previous column, matters not to these folks. They’ve never read King’s work, and they’ve only paid attention to one news clip from one speech, so what more can we expect from such precious simpletons as these? And yet, even with my cynic’s credentials established, the one thing I never expected anyone to do would be to just make up a quote from King; a quote that he simply never said, and claim that it came from a letter that he never wrote, and was published in a collection of his essays that never existed. Frankly, this level of deception is something special. The hoax of which I speak is one currently making the rounds on the Internet, which claims to prove King’s steadfast support for Zionism. Indeed, it does more than that.

In the item, entitled “Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend,” King proclaims that criticism of Zionism is tantamount to anti-Semitism, and likens those who criticize Jewish nationalism as manifested in Israel, to those who would seek to trample the rights of blacks. Heady stuff indeed, and 100% bullshit, as any amateur fact checker could ascertain were they so inclined. But of course, the kinds of folks who push an ideology that required the expulsion of three-quarters-of-a-million Palestinians from their lands, and then lied about it, claiming there had been no such persons to begin with (as with Golda Meir’s infamous quip), can’t be expected to place a very high premium on truth. I learned this the hard way recently, when the Des Moines Jewish Federation succeeded in getting me yanked from the city’s MLK day events: two speeches I had been scheduled to give on behalf of the National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ).

Because of my criticisms of Israel--and because I as a Jew am on record opposing Zionism philosophically--the Des Moines shtetl decided I was unfit to speak at an MLK event. After sending the supposed King quote around, and threatening to pull out all monies from the Jewish community for future NCCJ events, I was dropped. The attack of course was based on a distortion of my own beliefs as well. Federation principal Mark Finkelstein claimed I had shown a disregard for the well-being of Jews, despite the fact that my argument has long been that Zionism in practice has made world Jewry less safe than ever. But it was his duplicity on King’s views that was most disturbing. Though Finkelstein only recited one line from King’s supposed “letter” on Zionism, he lifted it from the larger letter, which appears to have originated with Rabbi Marc Schneier, who quotes from it in his 1999 book, “Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Jewish Community.” Therein, one finds such over-the-top rhetoric as this:

“I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.” The letter also was filled with grammatical errors that any halfway literate reader of King’s work should have known disqualified him from being its author, to wit: “Anti-Zionist is inherently anti Semitic, and ever will be so.” The treatise, it is claimed, was published on page 76 of the August, 1967 edition of Saturday Review, and supposedly can also be read in the collection of King’s work entitled, This I Believe: Selections from the Writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That the claimants never mention the publisher of this collection should have been a clear tip-off that it might not be genuine, and indeed it isn’t. The book doesn’t exist. As for Saturday Review, there were four issues in August of 1967. Two of the four editions contained a page 76. One of the pages 76 contains classified ads and the other contained a review of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album. No King letter anywhere.

Yet its lack of authenticity hasn’t prevented it from having a long shelf-life. Not only does it pop up in the Schneier book, but sections of it were read by the Anti-Defamation League’s Michael Salberg in testimony before a House Subcommittee in July of 2001, and all manner of pro-Israel groups (from traditional Zionists to right-wing Likudites, to Christians who support ingathering Jews to Israel so as to prompt Jesus’ return), have used the piece on their websites.

The Zionists just can't stop lying.

The entire article is here.

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