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What MLK’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ tells us about Ahed Tamimi in a cold Israeli cell

US Politics

In recent weeks, several people have said that the liberal indifference to Ahed Tamimi’s detention in an Israeli prison for slapping an occupying soldier on December 15 is reminiscent of the white liberals in Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, written in 1963. Today, you can give yourself no better political lesson than rereading that inspiring document of the American movement  for freedom.

King’s letter is an explanation of the need for “direct political action.” King addresses a group of white liberal ministers and rabbis who have said they’re against segregation but times are changing, so why do “extremist” black clergy have to risk a backlash with provocative demonstrations? King answers that time is neutral and won’t do anything on its own; blacks have waited for hundreds of years for some modicum of justice and learned that the privileged will never give up privilege without pressure. White businesses promised to remove humiliating signs directing blacks to segregated water coolers and bathrooms and never followed through, and meantime anti-colonial struggles in other countries have outpaced American change, and inspired blacks to dream of an equal future.

King

We need to ratchet up political tension so as to precipitate a crisis, King explained:

[T]here is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. . . . we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So, the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.

Liberal ministers and rabbis were a bigger obstacle to this process than outright racists, King said, because they defused that tension among progressives with “lukewarm acceptance.” In the distant past the church had ended infanticide and gladiators’ fights to the death, but now the church was ineffectual. King warned:

It is so often the arch supporter of the status quo [as to]. . . be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. I meet young people every day whose disappointment with the church has risen to outright disgust.

Some whites had walked in black people’s shoes and understood the “urgency of the moment,” King said, but the moderate ministers were blindly supporting order, however unjust.

You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.” I don’t believe you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its angry violent dogs literally biting six unarmed, nonviolent Negroes.

And he warned that the black community now includes many nationalists who advocate violence against Jim Crow.

The analogies of King in the Birmingham city jail to 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi in an Israeli jail are many. Occupied Palestinians have waited decades for justice as other struggles in the world have been successful. Palestinians have long been promised sovereignty and never gotten it. “Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber,” King writes, but Palestinians have seen their lands robbed year after year with no enforcement mechanism from the world. Many in the Palestinian community now advocate violence. But in their little village the Tamimi’s are part of a non-violent struggle against a violent occupation.

Ahed Tamimi caused tension– and a “crisis-packed” situation– when she slapped the soldier in her tiny village of Nabi Saleh on December 15, just hours after her cousin was maimed by another Israeli soldier.

But her weeks in jail are greeted with indifference or contempt by leftwing Israelis and American liberal Zionists, who tell us there must be equal sympathy for the Israeli soldiers and the Palestinian children. While the U.S. press writes articles about Tamimi’s choice in clothing, suggesting her encounters were staged. These people rationalize Israel’s brutal policy of a “managed conflict” forever with “lukewarm acceptance.”

Some will say, what about Ahed’s slap? Wasn’t that violent? It was not. Violence entails the possibility of producing injury to another. Tamimi’s slap of a towering, heavily-armed soldier was merely an insult, and a resonant one. “We must see the need of having non-violent gadflies.” (And as for throwing stones, even the New York Times Magazine has justified that as a legitimate response to occupation).

King’s letter is a challenge to the indifferent who rationalize the status quo. Moral people — church people, political people — must either take action or support it, he said. Geography is no barrier. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” is the most ringing line in the letter (which one of us used as an epigraph in his book against South African apartheid).

Today we revere King for precipitating radical political change in the U.S. and sacrificing his life to do so. The letter speaks to all who cherish the hope of ending other injustices. It is NOT meaningful as a nostalgic signpost of a huge battle our society won 50 years ago. It is ONLY meaningful as a signpost for what actions we should take today.

King ended his letter with a prayer. It is consciously a spiritual statement. Birmingham 1963 is the “eternal now of the letter, and the message passes from King’s soul to the reader right now. It addresses the struggle we all feel inside ourselves: It calls to the idealistic and motivated parts of our nature that see a way to address injustice, and against the lukewarm, timid despairing acceptance we feel in the face of huge odds.

For people who care about the Middle East, the letter can have only one meaning, to look on the lives of our brothers and sisters in Palestine and to hate the occupation and anything that rationalizes it. King tells us to be with Ahed Tamimi in her cold cell, and fight for her freedom.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was released from the Birmingham jail after 11 days. Ahed Tamimi, 16 years old, is still in an Israeli jail — 27 days later, and counting.

76 Responses

  1. Bumblebye
    January 15, 2018, 8:05 pm

    Just heard: Palestinian leaders have ordered PLO to suspend recognition of israel!

    • eljay
      January 15, 2018, 8:23 pm

      Palestinian leaders call on PLO to suspend recognition of Israel in latest fallout from Trump Jerusalem decision

      Seems like a foolish move, IMO. But leave it to a Zionist – in this case, King Bibi – to be the bigger biggest asshole by playing the victim card…again:

      … “The root of the conflict between us and the Palestinians is their steadfast refusal to recognise the Jewish state in any borders whatsoever”. …

      Right, KingZio. The problem isn’t that you kidnapped women, chained them in your basement and repeatedly raped them – it’s that they refuse to recognize you as their master. What an asshole.

  2. ritzl
    January 15, 2018, 8:28 pm

    Yes! LFBJ and Donald Johnson’s call back of the slap scene in “The Heat of the Night” provide perfect context to Ms. al-Tamimi’s efforts and courage. and resilience/sumud.

  3. pabelmont
    January 15, 2018, 9:17 pm

    The MLK Jr Letter from a Birmingham Jail contains this : ” “wait” has almost always meant “never.” It has been a tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration. ”

    This is correct. And surely the Palestinians have waited too long to remove recognition from Israel since Israel has never recognized them. DItto going to ICC.

  4. pabelmont
    January 15, 2018, 9:39 pm

    I’ve been reading MLK Jr.’s letter. It is wonderful, much better (because of detail) than the American Declaration of Independence’s complaints against jolly old King George III.

    I think that excerpts from it match very well with the plight of the Palestinians living in WB, and might be read at pro-Palestine rallies anywhere in the world. If nothing else, reading these words would show up the hypocrisy of the LZ’s who urge waiting and utter non-violence, etc., and of all Americans who claim to have human-rights concerns but who fail to oppose Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

    • ritzl
      January 15, 2018, 11:13 pm

      What MLK observed (about “white moderates”, or moderates generally, as you point out) really is a constant and/or universal, isn’t it.

      “I’m all for your struggle, but please don’t make me uncomfortable, or challenge me deeply [to the point of affecting MY life]…”

      Well said pab.

  5. yonah fredman
    January 15, 2018, 11:13 pm

    A slap would not have been considered nonviolent by those trained in nonviolence in the struggle for civil rights. And if Ben ehrenreich considers stone throwing as legitimate, it certainly is nowhere near nonviolent. (Throwing stones at soldiers is not terrorism; but it is not nonviolent.)

    The occupation of the West Bank is in many ways worse than Jim crow. But the goal of the tamimis is not as innocent as the goals of mlk. Their specific goals in Nabi Saleh are indeed as innocent as the goals of MLK, but the overall goal is entwined in a nationalist struggle that might be legitimate and justified, but certainly also involves concepts like armed struggle and questioning the rights of the jews to self determination. These ideas come from real grievance, but to confuse them with the black marchers who were waving the union (US) flag 100 years after the civil war was won by that flag, has an entirely different dynamic than waving the flag of Palestine.
    Too many justify the occupation. In my view the impatience of yeshayahu leibowitz and if not now protesters are certainly on the right track compared to those barely troubled by the status quo, but facile analogies still irk.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    January 16, 2018, 8:02 am

    Martin Luther King Jr.’s scorn for ‘white moderates’ in his ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ is somewhat akin to the scorn ‘you know who’ has for “liberal Zionists”.

  7. Jon66
    January 16, 2018, 8:25 am

    I don’t know what Dr. King would have thought about Ms. Tammimi.
    But, we do know what he thought about Israel and its need for security.
    “I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can almost be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”
    http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/assets/public/resources-ideas/cj/classics/1-4-12-civil-rights/conversation-with-martin-luther-king.pdf

    • CigarGod
      January 16, 2018, 11:29 am

      So, MLK wasn’t immune to Zionist propaganda.
      But that isn’t the point you were thinking you could slip in unnoticed, is it?

      • Jon66
        January 16, 2018, 5:28 pm

        Cig,
        “So, MLK wasn’t immune to Zionist propaganda.”
        Or, he was an educated man who had traveled to the area, was an expert on human rights, and was a Zionist.

      • Talkback
        January 17, 2018, 8:50 am

        Jon66: “Or, he was an educated man who had traveled to the area, was an expert on human rights, and was a Zionist.”

        Or maybe he was misinformed by Zionists about their ethnic cleansing and keeping Nonjews under military law in closed enclaves until 1966 within the green line and under the same permit system they intruduced to the Westbank in 1967.

    • Misterioso
      January 16, 2018, 11:32 am

      @Jon66

      To briefly state the obvious:

      Assuming the quotation you provide is accurate, if Dr. King had lived long enough, he would have had no option other than to publicly declare he was terribly wrong. His knowledge of the conflict at the time was limited and the assertions you quote were demonstrably uninformed, e,g,, apparently, he did not know that between late 1947 and the fall of 1948, by employing force of arms, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation, Jewish forces and the IDF had dispossessed and expelled 800,000 Palestinians, according to Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry (which necessitated intervention by Arab state armies), seized 78% of Palestine (22% more that the Partition Plan recommended) and went on to destroy over 500 of their towns and villages.

      King was assassinated in 1968, one year after Israel attacked Egypt, seized the Sinai, the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (along with Syria’s Golan Heights, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms/Kfarshuba hills) and instituted a belligerent, illegal and brutal occupation of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs that is still in effect and becoming increasingly fascistic every day.

      Nor should we forget that apartheid is rampant west of the green line.
      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

      In short, if he had lived longer, Dr. King would have had to condemn Zionism and its, spawn, Israel.

      • Jon66
        January 16, 2018, 5:31 pm

        Mist,
        Your entire thesis is conjecture without proof.
        The evidence we have, which includes unequivocal statements by MLk, are that he suppported Zionism. He may have changed his position, but he also may have grown into a stronger Zionist.
        There is no evidence to support your fantasy.

      • Marnie
        January 17, 2018, 7:29 am

        As there is no evidence to support yours. Why do zionists feel compelled to drag everyone through the mud? MLK being a zionist? Yeah that works. Especially since he was murdered and cannot confirm or deny what is being said about him WRT apartheid israel. But people are funny; I heard actually that some of Bull Connor’s closest and dearest friends were african americans, cept he called them something else.

    • LHunter
      February 12, 2018, 2:13 pm

      Jon66

      https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-apologists-and-martin-luther-king-jr-hoax/4955

      May be a bit too long for you to read. But it does shed light on the fraud Zionists like you commit often

      • Jon66
        February 12, 2018, 3:22 pm

        LH,
        I have never quoted from that letter. My quotes are from undisputed sources. I have never began the reference to Dr. King, rather, my posts are in response to pro-Palestinian commenters who bring up MLK. They assume that he would have supported their cause and I provide actual quotes which show his pro-Zionist stance. My posts are in response to the misuse of MLK. The fraud being perpetuated is the assumption that MLK did/ or would currently oppose Zionism.
        BTW, do you have the same objections when commenters here post quotes from Einstein, Freud, etc ‘opposing’ Zionism?

  8. Jackdaw
    January 16, 2018, 8:33 am

    “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://martinkramer.org/sandbox/2012/03/in-the-words-of-martin-luther-king/

    King was a full-throated supporter of Israel. Sorry guys.

    • eljay
      January 16, 2018, 8:57 am

      || Jackdaw: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

      http://martinkramer.org/sandbox/2012/03/in-the-words-of-martin-luther-king/

      King was a full-throated supporter of Israel. Sorry guys. ||

      It’s interesting – but not surprising – that a Zionist like you would approve of MLK’s anti-Semitic conflation of Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism.

      • Jackdaw
        January 16, 2018, 12:41 pm

        King knew a bigot when he saw one.

        Beeeeeegot.

      • MHughes976
        January 16, 2018, 1:06 pm

        There was an element of discretion about King’s support for Israel. He may have started from neutrality – there’s little hint of Zionist language or anti-Z critique in his 1959 sermon about his Palestine visit. Latterly Palestine was coming to be an extremely difficult point in the relationship between King and his friend and rival Carmichael. I can’t deny that he went the Zionist way when questioned but his unequivocal statements are mainly to Jewish correspondents and audiences. He avoided taking the lead on the matter when it came up in the near-disastrous 1967 Conference of New Politucs. I don’t think he ever quite said in a public speech or in writing that anti-Z is always anti-Semitism – this would have signalled sharp alienation from Carmichael. He perhaps saw that it is extremely hard, particularly for a leader, always to speak out openly and clearly.

      • eljay
        January 16, 2018, 1:07 pm

        || Jackdaw: … Beeeeeegot. ||

        Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz is turning in his grave.

    • Marnie
      January 17, 2018, 8:07 am

      Jackd – MLK was killed in 1968. If he had lived long enough to see israel’s crimes and get beyond the various biblical props the mostly atheist zionists use when dealing with christians, he’d be on the side of the oppressed (hint: Not israeli jews). Unless of course the zionists had his nuts in a vice grip of a compromising situation, blackmail or even threatened him or his family with bodily harm (I know, hard to imagine them doing THAT), I’m pretty sure he’d be standing with palestine and be a full supporter of BDS and to hell with the zionist alternative facts (lies).

      Something I’m sure a lot of folks here have noticed about zionists and the israel right wing – in their minds, Dr. King “is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more”.

      I Am Not Your Negro – Official Trailer – YouTube

  9. Sisyphus
    January 16, 2018, 8:35 am

    In the racist context of Israel, Hannah Arendt’s relevant notion of becoming and being “superfluous” is underlined in a three year old’s being shot (during what is considered a normal military exercise, i.e. Israeli soldiers sanctioned to practice their skills in an urban setting), in countless other acts of degradation … and in Ahed Tamimi’s human response to jackboot colonialism. Her human response cannot be appreciated in what has become normal in Israel. She is kept in jail and it seems may be there for a long time because she is this ‘other’ who refuses to be so reduced – refuses to be an ‘other’. This refusal, it is feared, will become a model for others to follow. And so it goes – as they say, ‘the beatings will stop when morale improves’.

    For any who would like a deeper understanding of Hannah Arendt’s relevance in the context of what Israel has become I suggest VITA ACTIVA – a 2015 documentary on Arendt’s intellectual life and her contribution to understanding the ‘banality of evil’ and related ideas. Look it up – Arendt’s capacity to think things through validates much of what Philip Weiss and others do.

  10. Ossinev
    January 16, 2018, 9:49 am

    @Jackdaw “King was a full-throated supporter of Israel. Sorry guys”

    He never visited Israel and most certainly never visited the occupied territories to see at first hand the Apartheid ,Segregation and Zionist Brutality at first hand. I suspect that his “support” for Israel was a combination of naive Evangelicism and also no surprise active cultivation by Pro – Zionism American Jews.
    As for the comment attributed to him quoted by your fellow Hasbarist Jon66 viz
    “I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can almost be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy”
    This simply reinforces the fact that his views on Israel were scripted to him by Zionist propaganda merchants in America. The old “desert” meme is an absolute giveaway.

    • CigarGod
      January 16, 2018, 11:31 am

      Exactly.

      • MHughes976
        January 16, 2018, 12:48 pm

        He had visited the West Bank – one of the fairly few distinguished Westerners of the time to do so – in its Jordanian days and he must have been aware of some of the darker side of the situation pre-67. He wasn’t just a parochial American, seeing no further than the segregated streets of Alabama, and he wasn’t one to let others simply write his scripts. He was a liberal Protestant intellectual inclined to think along the same lines as Reinhold Niebuhr. Those two did tremendous damage among the liberal intellectual classes in respect of the ME, their motivation being to atone for the partial embrace of Nazism by Euro Protestants and to repair the through-ages damage done by Christians to Jews. The mindset they encouraged can be seen in the November 75 manifesto signed by many distinguished followers of King in the NYT.

      • Jackdaw
        January 16, 2018, 2:06 pm

        You guys can rationalise till your blue in the face, but that won’t change the facts one iota.

        Dr. King visited Jerusalem when it was occupied by Jordan, but Jordan forbid King entry to the Jewish Quarter.

        King was forced to cancel his visit to Israel in 1967 due to the outbreak of the war, but he promised his hosts to try and return the next year. He was assassinated in 1968.

        King supported Israel in her struggle against Egypt in 1956.
        During Israel’s 1956 war with Egypt, he wrote: “There is something in the very nature of the universe which is on the side of Israel in its struggle with every Egypt.”

      • eljay
        January 16, 2018, 2:18 pm

        || Jackdaw: You guys can rationalise till your blue in the face, but that won’t change the facts one iota. … ||

        Yup, the facts won’t change:
        – MLK anti-Semitically conflated Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism; and
        – you approve of his anti-Semitism.

      • echinococcus
        January 16, 2018, 2:51 pm

        The whiny Z-limpets are at it again for who knows how many weeks to come, “it” being the exploitation of ill-advised and ignorant quotes by ML King.

        They forgot to check something: why would anyone sane waste a second about some cretinous statement by anyone if it goes against human decency, logic and facts? That includes King, too.

        I doubt that anyone has started a religious cult of Dr. King and declared him infallible –except, of course, the US that uses his image to promote all kinds of racist policies, after having murdered him.

      • Talkback
        January 16, 2018, 5:18 pm

        Jackdaw: “King supported Israel in her struggle against Egypt in 1956.
        During Israel’s 1956 war with Egypt, he wrote: “There is something in the very nature of the universe which is on the side of Israel in its struggle with every Egypt.””

        So King supported Israel’s war of aggression against Egypt and calls it a “struggle”. What a nutcase.

        “While King’s followers were largely Black, his donor base was white and largely Jewish. As such, he was sensitive to their concerns as may be seen in a question from one of the rabbis asking if donations to the movement had dropped off as American Jews became increasingly alienated from the civil rights struggle. King understood that at that time, Israel was rapidly becoming a defining element of Jewish identity. That’s what informs much of the glowing remarks he delivered here.”
        https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2018/01/16/martin-luther-king-great-anti-colonial-leaders-israel/

      • Jon66
        January 16, 2018, 5:37 pm

        Echi,
        For the authors to use MLKs letter to speak about Ms. Tamimi without noting his support of Israel’s Security seems an intentional oversight.

      • MHughes976
        January 16, 2018, 5:44 pm

        I think it’s fairly clear that King was not forced to abandon his Pilgrmage by the War (he stated that ‘danger’ scarcely existed) but by his decision – this is in a cinversation in mid-67 reported by a participant and as I recall recorded by the FBI – that he could not emerge with reputation unscathed. He’d be ‘damned if he said this and damned if he said that’. He would be taken as supporting all that Israel had done, a matter on which ‘I do have questions of doubt’. He was not unlimited in his Zionism, though I don’t think that his ‘questions of doubt’ were ever to be openly articulated. As you know, I regret the line he took – we can observe nuances, though. Their existence is enough to show that he was thinking about the matter, not just letting others put words into his mouth or thoughts into his brain. He was a complex man, with Questions of Doubt not so different from those of some white moderates.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2018, 5:27 am

        King supported Israel in her struggle against Egypt in 1956. During Israel’s 1956 war with Egypt, he wrote: “There is something in the very nature of the universe which is on the side of Israel in its struggle with every Egypt.”

        no, he didn’t jack. the suez war broke out on October 29, 1956. Martin preached those words in a sermon he delivered on may 17, 1956 in new york, during a national day of prayer. it is an inspirational sermon on brotherhood, the origins of evil, oppression and colonization. it was entered into congressional record in july 3, 1956 by NY Sen. Irving McNeil Ives (sponsor of the Ives-Quinn Act of 1945, the first state law to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin). nasser didn’t nationalize the suez canal company until july 26, 1956. the reference to israel and egypt is from the biblical story of the parting of the red sea. it has absolutely nothing to do with supporting israel in the 1956 suez war.

        This story, at bottom, symbolizes the death of evil. It was the death of inhumane oppression and ungodly exploitation….Gradually we have seen the forces of freedom and justice emerge victoriously out of some Red Sea, only to look back and see the forces of oppression and colonialism dead upon the seashore. There are approximately 2,400,000,000 people in the world today. The vast majority in Africa and Asia..

        and then he goes on to talk about the evils of colonization and exploitation. so please, to pretend this is in reference to the countries of israel and egypt in 1956, in support of israel, is to completely thwart the meaning of the sermon.

        https://books.google.com/books?id=jusR8iQGgsMC&pg=PP388&lpg=PP388&dq=There+is+something+in+the+very+nature+of+the+universe+which+is+on+the+side+of+Israel+in+its+struggle+with+every+Egypt.&source=bl&ots=_l_jnYpAvi&sig=whQYZbv6FUQnA0qEQa5XcqxNm2g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcq4yd3d7YAhXpzVQKHWc_BwcQ6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=There%20is%20something%20in%20the%20very%20nature%20of%20the%20universe%20which%20is%20on%20the%20side%20of%20Israel%20in%20its%20struggle%20with%20every%20Egypt.&f=false

        if you want to make the point martin supported israel in that war you’re going to have to find it somewhere else. because the workers who were exploited and died building that canal, were not the Israelites.

        hasbara #FAIL — stop lying about martin.

      • Keith
        January 17, 2018, 11:03 am

        ANNIE- “… to pretend this is in reference to the countries of israel and egypt in 1956, in support of israel, is to completely thwart the meaning of the sermon.”

        Yet another example of the lack of intellectual integrity of these Zionist apologists. And as Talkback correctly points out, much of King’s financial support came from Jewish donors who undoubtedly influenced King’s opinion on Israel where he had limited knowledge. A more honest appraisal would be that King’s limited statements on Israel reflected a desire to appease his donors rather than based upon thoughtful, moral principles.

      • MHughes976
        January 17, 2018, 11:57 am

        We tend to blame everything on donors but I think that King, like Niebuhr, was responding to something he generally believed. I regret very much what King did say but he was not, I think, someone who could just be bought by Zionist or other money.

      • Keith
        January 17, 2018, 1:07 pm

        MHUGHES976- “We tend to blame everything on donors but I think that King, like Niebuhr, was responding to something he generally believed.”

        Saying that King was influenced by his Jewish donors who he undoubtedly respected about a topic which he was poorly informed does not mean that he did not believe what he said. Of course he did. And if his donors had been anti-Zionists I suspect that they would have influenced his opinion accordingly.

  11. genesto
    January 16, 2018, 12:30 pm

    MLK might also have been talking about the gatekeepers we confront in the movement, i.e. those who claim to fight for Palestinian justice, but refuse to go beyond a certain point in questioning the root causes of the problem, including the possible religious basis for Zionism, or investigate the degree of influence the Israel lobby has had in our society for over 100 years. These same gatekeepers also refuse to publicly denounce Zionism as a racist ideology.

    You know who you are.

  12. Jackdaw
    January 16, 2018, 2:16 pm

    “These same gatekeepers also refuse to publicly denounce Zionism as a racist ideology. ”

    Racist ideology!
    Wanting to return to your home makes you a racist? LMAO!

    What would you call the ideology that declared a holy war on the Jews in 1948? Non-racist?

    https://youtu.be/pyAGVdl1TcI

    • eljay
      January 16, 2018, 2:34 pm

      || Jackdaw: … Wanting to return to your home makes you a racist? LMAO! … ||

      Geographic Palestine was not and is not the “home” of people all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who chose and who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

      I don’t know if “wanting to return to your home” makes you a racist, but when “wanting to return to your home” actually means advocating, engaging in, supporting and or justifying terrorism, ethnic cleansing, theft, occupation, colonization, oppression, torture and murder – all for the greater glory of a religion-supremacist state in as much as possible of a foreign land – “wanting to return to your home” makes you an unjust and immoral human being. In short, it makes you a Zionist.

    • echinococcus
      January 16, 2018, 3:16 pm

      Sure, it stands to the most elementary logic: Jackdaw, or was it John S, born in the Bronx or thereabouts to parents immigrated from Bessarabia, Poland or the Planet Mars, returns ***home*** to the tip of Syria.

      You don’t want a holy war or whatever it is against “the Jews”? You just don’t invade in the name of “the Jews”. Simple.

      • Mooser
        January 16, 2018, 5:51 pm

        “You don’t want a holy war or whatever it is against “the Jews”? You just don’t invade in the name of “the Jews”.”

        But “echin” if the Zionists say “in the name of the Jews”, they can implicate all Jews in Zionist actions. That is very important to them. Can’t have anyone thinking all Jews aren’t complicit in Zionism. That’s why Zionists are all so eager to insist Zionism is an essential component part of the Jewish religion.

      • echinococcus
        January 16, 2018, 10:37 pm

        Mooser,

        Of course.

        That is precisely why many people immediately resigned from the terrible tribe –if, that is, they had had anything to do with it. Was very easy for those who were not Yiddish-speaking Slavs.

        Also, if I ever had had any religion before, I certainly would have become an atheist on hearing about Zionism. Or at least converted to something else if I still kept spiritual. Wiccan sounds like a fun choice, I guess.

        When you are submerged by ghouls, insisting that an over-overwhelming majority doesn’t speak for you is ridiculously ineffective. Not an option.

    • Talkback
      January 16, 2018, 5:08 pm

      Jackdaw: “Wanting to return to your home makes you a racist?”

      Calling it “your” home does. And to “return” “you” must have been gone. Unfortunately until today no Zionist historian could prove that any of “you” went away. But that is not going to prevent “you” from repeating the same BS lie over and over again, does it? Being racist and a liar seems to go hand in hand.

      • Jackdaw
        January 17, 2018, 5:29 am

        The words used by Balfour, and codified by the League of Nations, were, “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

        Like it or lump it.

      • Talkback
        January 17, 2018, 10:25 am

        Jackdaw: “The words used by Balfour, and codified by the League of Nations, were, “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.”

        Balfour never lost a word about Palestine being THE (exclusive) home OF the Jewish people. He wrote about the establishment of A national home IN Palestine FOR the Jewish people. And a “national home” is not a state. Just read what the Jewish Zionist Norman Bentwich, the first General Attorney of Palestine, wrote about the term “national home”:

        “It signifies a territory in which a people, without receiving rights of political sovereignty, has nevertheless a recognized legal position and the opportunity of developing its moral, social, and intellectual ideas.”

        So according to you a state in Palestine or Palestine as a state for the Jews was not “codified by the League of Nations”.

        Jackdaw: “Like it or lump it.”

        Grow up.

      • MHughes976
        January 19, 2018, 4:21 pm

        I often refer to Margaret Macmillan’s ‘Peacemakers’ which makes it fairly clear that Balfour was not sincere in his reference to the rights of non-Jews. The Press was immediately briefed that it was ‘Palestine for the Jews’. No one had a right to put this into effect but enough people thought that it was God’s will for the outrage to be perpetrated.

    • Talkback
      January 16, 2018, 5:21 pm

      Jackdaw: “What would you call the ideology that declared a holy war on the Jews in 1948? Non-racist?”

      Self defence against settler colonial terrorists. But you won’t understand this with your ridiculous on the “Jews” obsession.

      • Mooser
        January 16, 2018, 6:18 pm

        “I lived in the US for 55 years. I made Aliyah five years ago.” Jackdaw

        “Jackdaw” took a bad hit in the 2008 collapse and ‘retired’ to Israel.

      • Jackdaw
        January 17, 2018, 5:32 am

        @talker

        The fatwa demanding jihad was first proclaimed in November 1947, BEFORE the civil war, and BEFORE any massacres and BEFORE an expulsions. To wit; your self defence claim is frivolous.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2018, 7:03 am

        jack, are you denying the Irgun were not actively engaged in terrorism prior to November 1947? really? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irgun_operations

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2018, 6:24 am

        “Jackdaw” took a bad hit in the 2008 collapse and ‘retired’ to Israel.

        yep, he found his “roots” when the PBGC reduced his pension.

      • Jackdaw
        January 17, 2018, 8:57 am

        @Annie

        Of course I not denying that, anymore than you’d deny that Arabs weren’t engaged in terrorism before 1947.
        The fatwa was made in response to the UN partition resolution, not in response to terror attacks.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2018, 9:18 am

        iow, when you claimed BEFORE any massacres you were making that up (lying, another of your fabrications http://mondoweiss.net/2018/01/letter-birmingham-israeli/#comment-904452 tsk tsk). what 1947 ‘arab fatwa’. link please.

      • Talkback
        January 17, 2018, 10:35 am

        Jackdaw: “The fatwa demanding jihad was first proclaimed in November 1947, BEFORE the civil war, and BEFORE any massacres and BEFORE an expulsions.”

        To be exact. On the day that the violation of the territorial integrity of Palestine was recommened by the UN after nearly a decade of Jewish terrorism.

        Jackdaw: “To wit; your self defence claim is frivolous.”

        Sure, only Jews are allowed to defend themselves against terrorism and the violation of the territorial integrity of their Apartheid Junta. As only they are allowed to transform a rejected UN proposal into using war and expulsion to implement it.

      • gamal
        January 17, 2018, 11:58 am

        “The fatwa demanding jihad”

        a fatwa is an opinion, however authoritative, which is by nature non-binding…otherwise we would never ask the Ulema anything…

      • Jackdaw
        January 17, 2018, 12:39 pm

        @gamal

        On the 2nd of December 1947, three days after the UN vote, the ulama – the chief scholars of theology – of the University of Al-Azhar, in Cairo, perhaps the most important arbiters and authorities in the Sunni Muslim world, declared a “worldwide jihad in defense of Arab Palestine ”.
        In the course of the war, the Ulama of Al-Azhar periodically renewed the fatwa and call to jihad. “The liberation of Palestine [is] a religious duty for all Muslims without exception, great and small. The Islamic and Arab governments should without delay take effectiove and radical measures, military or otherwise,” pronounced the Ulama at the end of April 1948.

        On the day of the Egyptian Army invasion of Palestine, 15 May, Muhammed Mamun Shinawi, the rector of Al- Azhar, declared: “ The hour of “ jihad ” has struck … A hundred of you will defeat a thousand of the infidels … This is the hour in which … . Allah promised paradise … “ And in December 1948, on the eve of the final bout of hostilities between the IDF and the Egyptians in the Negev and Sinai, the ulama of Al-Azhar renewed their call for jihad and cautioned the Arab kings – this was directed at Abdullah, King of Jordan, who was suspected of colluding with the Jews – against deviating from “ the way of the believers.” Otherwise, they faced “damnation.”

      • gamal
        January 17, 2018, 1:36 pm

        “On the 2nd of December 1947″

        all of which is beside the point, and weirdly edited..a fatwa is an opinion in response to a specific question, Alim can of course contrive to have a topical issue addressed to them, they are not without cunning.

        other howlers Zionists declaim

        Nathan : ” the Jordanian waqf..”…?

        my personal favorite I think Mayhem wrote ” The root of Salam (and by implication Islam?) is a word meaning submission”

        “The root …is a word meaning…”

        There is something majestic about ignorance which is impervious to influence…

        My father was a graduate of Al-Azhar I have two cousins teaching there I guess I understand its status and know what a fatwa is and that the Arabs have every right to defend themselves and express themselves as they do…

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2018, 2:19 pm

        “yep, he found his “roots” when the PBGC reduced his pension.”

        And he was too old to be a mail-order American groom for a “pre-Mandate” Jewish family.

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2018, 2:30 pm

        “There is something majestic about ignorance which is impervious”

        Isn’t it something? They don’t know the names of the Jewish or Christian religious courts and their judgements, which in many cases were binding, even to capital punishment.

        But “fatwa” they know.

      • gamal
        January 17, 2018, 3:16 pm

        “But “fatwa” they know”

        I may have missed it but I was hoping the Judaism for Dummies JonS or one of the Zionist would take on Rabbi Yaakov on the grounds of Jewish learning, could something be arranged, I would pay…and a booking fee.

        I watched some of his videos and know it’s a silly thing but I was really moved by his “would you be humiliated to run from a wild animal” thing, boy in the end we going to so regret even harsh words said in anger…Cockney is a language largely composed of imprecations, curses and profanity so whatever happens I will have my p,c or n peeps with me.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2018, 7:06 pm

        Gamal, do you think you could restrain yourself a bit? We are trying to air our prejudices here, so it’s very disconcerting to have someone who actually knows a lot about it chiming in.
        Spoils the mood.

      • Jackdaw
        January 19, 2018, 12:24 am

        @gamal

        Whether a fatwa is binding or non-binding isn’t the issue.
        Thousands of jihadis answered the call and joined the Holy War. The fatwa had to have played a part in the decision of the Arab States to go to war against the Jews in May, 1948.

        As for the jihadis, the were 100% certain that Allah would grant them victory over the Jews.
        Some of the jihadis were blessed by their village imams and carried with them amulets that they believed would protect them from ‘all manner of lead and steel’.

        Lo. The trinkets didn’t work.

      • Jackdaw
        January 19, 2018, 6:14 am

        @talkbackside

        “To be exact. On the day that the violation of the territorial integrity of Palestine was recommened by the UN after nearly a decade of Jewish terrorism”

        A decade preceded by a decade of Arab terrorism.

        A violation of territorial integrity that most of the world accepts today as the best chance for peace, a ‘two-State solution’.

        You do want peace, don’t you.

      • Talkback
        January 19, 2018, 9:53 am

        Jackdaw:”@talkbackside”

        Nope, it still is Talkback. Try again. I promise you that you will become intelligent one day. Don’t give up. Even if it hurts your brain.

        Jackdaw: “A decade preceded by a decade of Arab terrorism.”

        There was no such thing before Jewish terrorism. There were several progroms against innocent Jews because of Zionism. But that’s not terrorism. Look up the definition. (But don’t rush and first try to learn my name.)

        Jackdaw: “A violation of territorial integrity that most of the world accepts today as the best chance for peace, a ‘two-State solution’.”

        Understandably. To safe at least a minimum of Palestinian rights from being violated by Jewish settler terrorists and their Apartheid Junta.

        Jackduh: “You do want peace, don’t you.”

        You don’t know what peace is, do you. It certainly isn’t supremacism and the violation of international law and human rights.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 12:53 pm

        “A violation of territorial integrity that most of the world accepts today”

        Sure, because Zionism is going to be the big exception to all colonial projects. The most likely outcome is the Jews will leave (as rulers). Or a tiny fraction of the world, held together only by a a religion subordinated to self-interest, will relish their role as “The People of Eternal Conflict?

        Of course, if you can turn Palestine into 3.8 million square miles of untapped natural resources, and turn the clock back 3 or 400 years, you may get a different outcome.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 1:01 pm

        “Zionist would take on Rabbi Yaakov on the grounds of Jewish learning”

        Why bother? Zionists have their own Rabbis. You don’t like what one Rabbi says, you can find another one who will say what you want.

        “Jackdaw” is very much like a black-comedy Peter Pan, trying to keep his Tinkerbell, Zionism, alive:

        ‘If you don’t believe in Zionism, she will die! You must believe in Zionism! You there, sir, you believe in Zionism, don’t you? If you believe in Zionism, clap your hands! Clap louder!’

      • ErsatzYisrael
        January 19, 2018, 1:54 pm

        There was no such thing before Jewish terrorism. There were several progroms against innocent Jews because of Zionism.

        Those mob attacks were not pogroms, Talkback. The mob attacks you’re referring to would have to have been approved or condoned by the ruling power to qualify as “pogroms”.

      • Jackdaw
        January 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

        @talkhack

        Your sacred, inviolate Palestine was created by a handful of British military men and bureaucrats after a lunch at the Treaty of Versailles. This group, whose notes were recorded, didn’t give a shit about the Arabs or the Jews. Their first and foremost concern was to create a buffer state between their Suez Canal and French Syria. Some bible pounder was called in and told the group that the Jewish homeland should run from Dan to Beersheba. The group’s collective response was, ‘Where’s Dan’?

        Oh Palestine, my Palestine!

        Please. Your ignorance is pitiful.

      • Jackdaw
        January 19, 2018, 3:03 pm

        @ Mooser

        “Sure, because Zionism is going to be the big exception to all colonial projects. ”

        No. The big exception was the partition of The British Crown Colony of India into India and Pakistan, which also occurred in 1947.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 3:36 pm

        “Sure, because Zionism is going to be the big exception to all colonial projects. ”

        Sure, “Jackdaw”, the fellow-feeling of one Jew for another provides all the resources Zionism needs to draw on for its survival.
        And has that never failed us.

        Oh, BTW, “Jackdaw” what is the minimum number of Jewish residents Israel must have to achieve its aims?

      • MHughes976
        January 19, 2018, 4:24 pm

        ‘From Dan to Beersheba’ was a favourite phrase of Lloyd George, that great Christian Zionist.

      • gamal
        January 19, 2018, 5:16 pm

        “Why bother? Zionists have their own Rabbis. You don’t like what one Rabbi says, you can find another one who will say what you want”

        yes it’s a bad as Islam..but while I am a great admirer of the simple piety of so many people, if you are not, as a follower able to distinguish between well founded arguments, there are certain assumptions, and ill founded ones…better to follow your own sweet heart, I can distinguish between bullshit and Judaism, it is not what ijaazas you have it’s how you are, but I am heretic because I look cool in my heresy, and I like Rabbi Yaakov..which in no way diminishes him as my heresy is non-destructive…embraces all

        do i look bothered? look at my face, do I look bothered?

      • Talkback
        January 19, 2018, 8:26 pm

        Jackdaw: “@talkhack”

        You nearly got it right, Jackdaw. It’s Talkback. If you get closer you will be ready to go to primary school. Allthough it might be quicker to train a monkey.

        Jackdaw: “Your … pitiful.”

        After you learn to write my name correctly we will start to teach you how to formulate a counter argument instead of shifting completely the point of issue and creating a straw man. With your “condition” this might take a decade. But be patient. Overcoming Zionism without strong medication is tough.

  13. Ossinev
    January 17, 2018, 7:05 am

    I know that there is a “Martin Luther King’ Street in Jerusalem – how sweet and kind of the most democratic etc in the world to have honoured him in this way for totally altruistic reasons of course. I am surprised that they haven’t yet got round to a “Nelson Mandela” Street but perhaps that might draw attention to the obvious Apartheid similarities.But there is hope yet.The Yahoo is currently cosying up to Modi the current Prime Minister of India so perhaps there may be a ” Mahatma Gandhi”Street in the offing.
    BTW I do hope that the Yahoo is taking the opportunity to point out to Modi that curry is actually an original Israeli dish.

  14. iResistDe4iAm
    January 24, 2018, 4:08 am

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” is the most ringing line in the letter…”

    Here’s a short video [only 56 seconds] of MLK delivering the same message in an awe-inspiring speech against the US invasion of Vietnam…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B05U-wOc60Q

    Transcript:

    “For those who say to me ‘stick to civil rights’, I have another answer.
    And that is that I’ve fought too long and too hard now, against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern.

    I’m not going to do that.

    Others can do what they want to do. That’s their business!
    If other civil rights leaders, for various reasons, refuse or can’t take a stand or have to go along with the administration, that’s their business!
    But I must say tonight, that I know that justice is indivisible. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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