by Andrew G. Bostom
Anti-Zionism is the Jew hatred of the left. 

This article originally appeared on
Martin Luther King, Jr. possessed a remarkable clarity of vision and purpose.  He complimented these attributes with a
sound, empathic understanding of the history of human oppression.   Dr. King's unequivocal renunciation of anti-Zionism reflected his consistent, courageous opposition to all manifestations of bigotry.  Against the backdrop of resurgent Jew hatred world-wide, epitomized by the hypocritical September 2001 Durban Conference on "Racism,"  Dr. King's candid, thoughtful reflections on the true nature of anti-Zionism are particularly edifying. 

Shortly before his death, Dr. King had the moral courage to confront the burgeoning Jew hatred of  both extreme leftwing
Black organizations, including the Black Panthers and the radicalized Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, as well
as the Black Muslims.  For example, during the 1968 appearance  at Harvard University, he stated bluntly:

"When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews.  You are talking anti-Semitism."  (from "The Socialism of Fools:  The Left,
The Jews and Israel" by Seymour Martin Lipset;  in Encounter magazine, Dec. 1969, p. 24.).

King immediately recognized anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, refusing to indulge what he believed was simply another
manifestation of the same hatred confronting Blacks.  As Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who worked closely with Dr.
King during the civil rights movement, observed last year on Martin Luther King Day: 

"He knew that both peoples (i.e., Blacks and Jews) were uprooted involuntarily from their homelands.  He knew that both
peoples were shaped by the tragic experience of slavery.  He knew that both peoples were forced to live in ghettoes, victims
of segregation.  He knew that both peoples were subject to laws passed with the particular intent of oppressing them simply
because they were Jewish or Black.  He knew that both peoples have been subjected to oppression and genocide on a level
unprecedented in history." (San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, January 21, 2002).

Historically, 20th century black intellectuals prominent before Dr. King had regarded the Zionists movement favorably
because of their own strong impulses for self-determination.   W.E.B.  DuBois in 1919 wrote, "The African movement means
to us what the Zionist movement must mean to the Jews."  In 1941, DuBois elaborated that Palestine was "The only refuge
that harassed Jewry as today. "

During Israel's War of Independence, Menachem Begin recalled that Dr. Ralph Bunche, Jr. conveyed to him, "I can understand
you.  I am also a member of a persecuted minority."

Dr. King's empathic awareness revealed a profound understanding of both the Jews' complex embrace of Zionism, and the
thinly veiled Jew hatred inherent in anti-Zionism: 

"After 2000 years of exile, the Jewish people has emerged traumatized.  The source of that trauma has been the constant
insecurity and fear that characterized most of the Diaspora, in most parts of the world.  It is a product of landlessness,
massacres, periodic expulsion and flight, persecution by tyrants and abuse by the Church and Mosque who encouraged
anti-Semitism to satisfy their own insecurities and political desires. ... Physical security for the Jews has traditionally been
improved in a number of ways:  Usefulness, mobility, bribery and assimilation.  Psychological responses to this insecurity
and trauma are well known:  Self-hatred and blame, identification with an appeasement of abusers, obsessive fantasy of a
future paradise on earth.  These solutions and responses are so integrated into the Jewish psyche that they have been passed
down from generation to generation, displaying themselves even in relatively free societies, even in America and the recent liberated homeland, Israel. ...

"Despite its significancy to the Jewish Nation, the State of Israel has failed to alleviate most of this trauma, and has not
reduced the levels of anti-Semitism -- it has simply allowed anti-Semites to masquerade themselves under the new banner
of "anti-Zionism".  We cannot expect anti-Semitism to disappear -- Jewish existence and Jewish philosophy will always
be threatening to its children:  Christianity, and Islam ... the trauma and insecurity on the other hand, is within our power to
diminish should we decide to do so. ... "And what is anti-Zionist?  It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right
that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe.  It is discrimation against Jews,
my friend, because they are Jews.  In short, it is anti-Semitism... The anti-Semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his
malice.  The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews.  This being the case, the
anti-Semite might constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison.  How he must revel in the new masquerade!  He
does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!"....

Dr. King's deep historical, theological and social understanding are sorely missed.  But there are hopeful signs.  The
influence of shrill, shallow demagogues such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton may be waning.  Their hypocritical agenda
has been exposed:  A perverse "Third Worldism" where jihad terror against a democratic Israel is rationalized, while the
slaughter enslavement, and mutilation of tens of thousands of Black African South Sudanese Christians and animists during
a jihad campaign waged against them by the Islamic Arab Khartoum government, is ignored.

The indifference of Reverends Jackson and Sharpton not withstanding, Dr. Charles Jacobs, an Orthodox Jew and founder of
the American Anti-Slavery Group, helped forge an extraordinary coalition with Congressional Black Caucus members, as
well as various Christian and Jewish organizations, that lobbied successfully for the passage of the Sudan Peace Act. 
Columnist Nat Hentoff, in the Washington Times, summarized the salient features of this legislation as follows:

"... The Sudan Peace Act authorizes $300 million to aid the blacks in the South over the next three years for humanitarian
purposes and 'to prepare the population for peace and democratic governance.'  Under the law, the president is to certify
every six months that the Khartoum government and the (South) Sudan people's Liberation Army are negotiating in good
faith.  If he finds that they are not, sanctions go into effect.  As described, for example, by the (Human Rights Organization)
Freedom House, if there is evidence of  'continued bombing of civilians, slave raids, and bans on relief flights,' the United
States will oppose 'international loans and credits to Khartoum,' and among other punitive actions, seek  'a U.N. Security
Council Resolution to impose an arms embargo on Khartoum.'"

It is reassuring to see the direct, lasting impact of Dr. King's noble legacy on his contemporary struggle for human rights:
As an impressionable college student, Dr. Jacobs stood on the Washington mall listening to the "I Have a Dream" speech.
Author Biography:  Andrew G. Bostom, MD, MS, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School.
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