Trending Topics:

Update: On MLK Day, lots of folks are talking Palestine

on 26 Comments

It’s nighttime now on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the day has not gone by without a lot of folks talking and thinking about Palestine.

USA Today has a big piece on how King’s legacy is being carried on today in the U.S. by leaders of #BlackLivesMatter, including Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders (which was founded after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012). Reporter Rick Hampson notes one of King’s strengths, and Agnew’s:

  • The internationalist. His ability to elicit support from abroad – and shame Americans with segregation’s inherent contradictions — resonates with Agnew, who recently traveled to Palestine with other activists.

Dream Defenders lately held an action in Nazareth.

Speaking of King’s internationalism, Jamil Dakwar writes:

“If you wonder what #MLK’s position on #BDS would be read this newly found 1964 London speech.”

BDS is of course the international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel. Dakwar links to this speech reported on DemocracyNow today in which King addressed racial injustice at home and abroad in 1964 and called for boycotting South Africa:

Our responsibility—our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: We can join in the one form of nonviolent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa, the action which African leaders have appealed for, in a massive movement for economic sanctions. In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons, do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our government and your government in Britain refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea or a Vietnam—will they recognize a crisis? If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.

Electronic Intifada reported that speech excerpt some years ago, as well as a letter that King wrote in 1962 along with Albert Lutuli, a leader of the African National Congress. Key sentence:

The apartheid republic is a reality today only because the peoples and governments of the world have been unwilling to place her in quarantine.

Israeli supporters are promoting the fact that King also said nice things about Israel– calling it one of the outposts of democracy in the world (youtube clip here). Avi Mayer also tweets this photo of MLK Street in central Jerusalem.

MLK Street in Jerusalem

MLK Street in Jerusalem

But Dakwar is surely on target here. King was martyred when Israel was still Plucky Israel in the eyes of the west, before the occupation took real form. And it is the treatment of Palestinians under occupation that has driven the BDS movement in the west. There’s no question that if King were alive today, he would be in lines with that movement. Besides, think of how far America has come since King’s death. Diversity is today widely celebrated, and some establishment institutions are actually fostering diversity.

[Update: King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a conference call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

Brooklyn for Peace urges folks to support negotiations with Iran— “Dr. King knew that war abroad means misery at home”– and is pressing activists to get on the campaign to pressure that NY City delegation to Israel not to go. From NYC2Palestine’s Facebook page:

Join us on Thursday, Jan 22nd at 1pm in City Hall Park to tell New York City Council members – Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel!

New Yorkers are outraged by 15 New York City Council members’ decision to take an all-expenses-paid propagandatour of Israel, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council and United Jewish Appeal in February 2015.

Multiple social justice groups and organizations participating in a press conference on the steps of City Hall this past Monday told the New York City Council: #DontTourApartheid. We, the people of NYC, need to do the same.

Also, on Fresh Air today, Eric Foner spoke of the importance of solidarity to the antislavery movement, whites and blacks joining together. What was a difficult thing that was to achieve in the 1850s:

You know, the barriers between black and white were far higher than they are today. And overcoming that in order to work in a collaborative way, cooperating with each other in a, I think, noble cause of trying to assist people who were escaping from slavery and trying to undermine the institution of slavery and, eventually, bring about its abolition. And I – you know, I think on Martin Luther King Day, it should lead us to remember that the civil rights movement had antecedents in our history. It had, you know – that this was a great social movement of the mid-19th century and that these are the things that inspire me in American history – the struggle of people to make this a better country. To me, that’s what genuine patriotism is.

Of course Martin Luther King built that sort of coalition with considerable care in the 1960s, and today we should be thankful for the transformative coalition that we and so many others are building across racial and religious and national lines to free Palestinians (and Israelis), and lift a glass to MLK.

Thanks to Annie Robbins, Allison Deger and Alex Kane.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

26 Responses

  1. just on January 19, 2015, 10:39 pm

    Many, many thanks to all of you for this. Martin was a great man.

    I’ve posted relevant things other places on MW today, and now I have the pleasure of reading this fine article.

    Sadly, I’ve read some terrible things elsewhere on this day as well wrt MLK. The US still has a long way to go. So do a lot of other “democracies”. Rampant Islamophobia is on the rise, too.

  2. light2014 on January 20, 2015, 1:05 am

    After the Six Day War Israel offered to return all lands that fell to it during this war which began with Nasser moving tens of thousands of Egyptian troops into Sinai & demanding U.N. peacekeepers to withdraw .And Egypt closing the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping. And six Arab countries deploying more than 230,000 troops close to Israel’s boundary lines. At the beginning of June 1967 President Aref of Iraq declared “Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map”
    After the war the leaders of thirteen Arab states gathered at a summit conference in Khartoum, Sudan from August 29 to September 1, 1967. There they pledged to continue their struggle against Israel. Influenced by Nasser, “their conditions were quite specific: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and ‘maintenance of the rights of the Palestinian people in their nation.’ The Khartoum Declaration was the first serious warning to the Israelis that their expectation of an imminent ‘phone call’ from the Arab world might be a pipe dream” (Sachar).
    This “warning” was reinforced on October 21, 1967 when an Egyptian missile boat sunk the Israeli destroyer Eilat, killing 47 people. It was confirmed in November and December 1967, when the Arab states repeatedly rebuffed attempts by Sweden’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, Gunnar Jarring — serving as the U.N. secretary general’s special envoy – to induce them to join talks with Israel. In fact, the “three no’s of Khartoum” held for a dozen years, until Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel — at which point the other 20 member states expelled it from the Arab League
    As hatred grew on the Arab side Israel out of fear of losing a buffer between themselves and the haters held onto to the territories. The Arabs in the territories, Arab Palestinians , did
    not imaginatively see this as an opportunity to understand and work with their new benign neighbors. The “old neighbors” the Jordanians and Egyptians had occupied and harshly ruled these same territories since 1948 the Palestinians Arabs didn’t dare complain about Jordanian Egyptian occupation.

    • Walid on January 20, 2015, 12:24 pm

      Light2014, your post about the 67 Israeli aggression is total bullshit. This should shed some light on what really happened; from Foreign Policy Journal in 2014:

      “Israel’s attack on Egypt in June ’67 was not ‘preemptive’
      by Jeremy R. Hammond July 4, 2010 153 Comments

      It is often claimed that Israel’s attack on Egypt that began the June 1967 “Six Day War” was a “preemptive” one. Implicit in that description is the notion that Israel was under imminent threat of an attack from Egypt. Yet this historical interpretation of the war is not sustained by the documentary record.

      The President of Egypt, then known as the United Arab Republic (UAR), Gamal Abdel Nasser, later conveyed to U.S. President Lyndon Johnson that his troop buildup in the Sinai Peninsula prior to the war had been to defend against a feared Israeli attack.

      Israel’s June 5, 1967 surprise attack on Egypt resulted in the obliteration of Egypt’s air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.

      In a meeting with Nasser, Johnson’s special envoy to the UAR, Robert B. Anderson, expressed U.S. puzzlement over why he had massed troops in the Sinai, to which Nasser replied, “Whether you believe it or not, we were in fear of an attack from Israel. We had been informed that the Israelis were massing troops on the Syrian border with the idea of first attacking Syria, there they did not expect to meet great resistance, and then commence their attack on the UAR.

      Anderson then told Nasser “that it was unfortunate the UAR had believed such reports, which were simply not in accordance with the facts”, to which Nasser responded that his information had come from reliable sources (presumably referring to intelligence information passed along by the USSR).

      Nasser added that “your own State Department called in my Ambassador to the U.S. in April or May and warned him that there were rumors that there might be a conflict between Israel and the UAR.”

      U.S. intelligence had indeed foreseen the coming war. “The CIA was right about the timing, duration, and outcome of the war”, notes David S. Robarge in an article available on the CIA’s website.

      On May 23, Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms presented Johnson with the CIA’s assessment that Israel could “defend successfully against simultaneous Arab attacks on all fronts … or hold on any three fronts while mounting successfully a major offensive on the fourth.”

      In an document entitled “Military Capabilities of Israel and the Arab States”, the CIA assessed that “Israel could almost certainly attain air supremacy over the Sinai Peninsula in less than 24 hours after taking the initiative or in two or three days if the UAR struck first…

      … ”Neither U.S. nor Israeli intelligence assessed that there was any kind of serious threat of an Egyptian attack. On the contrary, both considered the possibility that Nasser might strike first as being extremely slim.

      The current Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael B. Oren, acknowledged in his book “Six Days of War“, widely regarded as the definitive account of the war, that “By all reports Israel received from the Americans, and according to its own intelligence, Nasser had no interest in bloodshed”.

      Rest of the article proving Israel’s version of the story is all bull:

      http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/07/04/israels-attack-on-egypt-in-june-67-was-not-preemptive/

      • Walid on January 20, 2015, 12:49 pm

        Sorry, the FP Journal article was in 2010.

      • just on January 20, 2015, 12:53 pm

        thanks Walid.

        good of you to correct the dates, though it hardly matters :))

    • Zofia on January 20, 2015, 3:28 pm

      Great comment Walid!:)
      Also awesome comments in here:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/understanding-still-matters

      And:
      The Myth of Annihilation and the Six-Day War, by Joseph L. Ryan
      http://worldview.carnegiecouncil.org/archive/worldview/1973/09/2214.html/_res/id=sa_File1/v16_i009_a009.pdf

      Mr. McNamara said that our intelligence differed on some of the facts Prime Minister Eshkol had relied upon; but, more importantly, our appraisal of the facts was different. We thought the Egyptian deployments were defensive in character and anticipatory of a possible Israeli attack.
      http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d69

      ‘Armed Attack’ and Article 51 of the UN Charter: Evolutions in Customary Law and Practice, by Tom Ruys
      It has been observed that several official Israeli sources admitted after the war that Egypt did not have the intention of attacking Israel.General Rabin, for example, stated: ‘I do not believethat Nasser wanted war….”
      Quigley moreover makes the case that the various steps undertaken by the Arab States were inspired by the concern for an Israeli attack on Syria thus suggesting that Egypt’s actions were not offensive in nature, but defensive.In this context, it is worth noting that during the debates on the Six Day War several UN Members mentioned Israeli threats to ‘invade’ Syria.

      The Sword And The Olive: A Critical History Of The Israeli Defense Force, by Martin van Creveld about Israel’s forces: spoiling for a fight and willing to go to considerable lengths to provoke one., p. 172.

      The Generous Peace Offer that was Never Offered: The Israeli Cabinet Resolution of June 19, 1967 in:
      http://www.academia.edu/2545518/_The_Generous_Peace_Offer_that_was_Never_Offered_The_Israeli_Cabinet_Resolution_of_June_19_1967_Diplomatic_History_vol._37_no._1_January_2013_
      Historically, and to a considerable extent currently, Israel’s official line has been that despite persistent attempts to make peace with its Arab neighbors there was no one to talk to on the other side. In public and academic discourse, the cabinet resolution of June 19, 1967 , which was adopted a bare nine days after the guns of the Six Day War had fallen silent, has frequently been put forward as proof of Israel’s desire for reconciliation:its government,the argument goes,offered Egypt and Syria the territories they had lost in the war in return for contractual peace,but the magnanimous initiative met with an immediate rebuff from the belligerent Arabs. The story of the rejected “generous peace offer” makes a very strong casefor a peace-seeking Israel and for Arab animosity toward the Jewish state. But an investigation into the matter reveals that the “generous peace offer” was never offered, and that the Israeli cabinet passed the June 19 resolution mainly as a diplomatic maneuver.Its principal objective was to win the United States’support against an uncompromising Soviet drive for a United Nations resolution demanding Israel immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the territories occupied in the war. The purpose of this essay is twofold. One is to show that the story of the“generous peace offer” of June 19 , 1967 is unfounded. The second is to examine how the myth of the “generous peace offer” came into being.

      About Tiran… Citizen has a comment:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/israels-reliance-on-us-has-turned-it-into-a-global-pariah#comment-460675
      The question of the Straits of Tiran. Ok. Number one, U Thant had made an offer, he said let’s do what happened in Cuba during the Missile Crisis. Let’s have a moratorium. The moratorium would be, Egypt promises not to fire on foreign vessels that go through the Straits of Tiran, Israel promises it won’t send through Israeli-flagged vessels. Egypt says, fine. Israel says, no.
      Now, another unknown fact. Everybody refers to the blockade in the Straits of Tiran. There was no blockade. I know you’ll be surprised to learn that. It’s a little known fact. The first couple of days the Egyptians searched ships. By the end of the week they stopped searching the ships. The ships were going right through. We know that because the main figure there, he actually just passed away this week, Indar Jit Rikhye, he wrote a book called The Sinai Blunder, and he was in charge of the UN forces there. There was no blockade. He writes it in the book, I even asked, kind of surprised, I called him to check on it a couple of years ago and he laughed. He said there was no blockade.
      Number three. Nasser said, you say you have the rights of passage in the Straits of Tiran, we say you don’t. If you want, go to the World Court. Let the World Court adjudicate it. Nasser said, yes. The Israelis said, no.

      To add to all the above: in Tom Segev 1967 p.241: Moshe Shapira to Rabin: “The Straits were closed until 1956- did it threaten Israel’s security? It did not!”.

      The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense, by John Quigley
      About the book: http://electronicintifada.net/content/did-israel-develop-doctrine-behind-iraq-invasion/13939

      CIA Analysis of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol49no1/html_files/arab_israeli_war_1.html

      Dalia Gavrieli-Nuri: Saying “War”, Thinking “Victory”—The Mythmaking Surrounding Israel’s 1967 Victory, Israel Studies – Volume 15, Number 1, Spring 2010, pp. 95-114
      “Pre-emptive War:” the Six Day War Revisited Ersun N. Kurtulus:
      The article presents a critical assessment of the widespread conceptualization of the June 1967 War between Israel and its neighboring Arab states as a pre-emp-tive war both in academic and non-academic writing. Tracing the origins of the notion of pre-emptive war to international law, the article identifies three necessary conditions for such a war to be classified as pre-emptive: acute crisis combined with high alert levels; vulnerable offensive weapons; and strategic parity as regards to offensive capabilities. On the basis of a re-interpretation of the evidence produced by previous research, this article argues that the circumstances surrounding the Six Day War did not fulfill some of these necessary conditions.
      This conclusion also is supported by evidence related to the Israeli decision to launch a first strike.
      link to https://kar.kent.ac.uk/1547/1/Kurtulus.pdf

      • RoHa on January 20, 2015, 6:47 pm

        And let us not forget the continual Israeli encroachment on the DMZ in the Golan prior to 1967. According to Dayan, the Isaelis would deliberately provoke the Syrians.

  3. light2014 on January 20, 2015, 1:59 am

    Excerpt from Susannah Heschel;What Selma Meant to Jews Like My Father
    Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/212971/what-selma-meant-to-jews-like-my-father/?#ixzz3PLI8qHQx

    My father arrived in 1940 as a refugee from Nazi Europe, where all too many Christian theologians were declaring Jesus an Aryan, not a Jew, and throwing the Old Testament out of the Christian Bible because it was a Jewish book. It seemed miraculous for him to discover Martin Luther King, Jr., placing the Exodus and the prophets of Israel at the center of the civil rights movement.

    Marching out of Selma felt like a reenactment of the Exodus, but in a new way. Not only were the Israelites leaving Egypt, the place of enslavement, but also the Egyptians, because there was a hope at Selma that white America was repudiating its racism. My father had written, “The tragedy of Pharaoh was the failure to realize that the exodus from slavery could have spelled redemption for both Israel and Egypt. Would that Pharaoh and the Egyptians had joined the Israelites in the desert and together stood at the foot of Sinai

    Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/212971/what-selma-meant-to-jews-like-my-father/?#ixzz3PLGtIqsf

    • Walid on January 20, 2015, 12:37 pm

      “My father arrived in 1940 as a refugee from Nazi Europe, where all too many Christian theologians were declaring Jesus an Aryan, not a Jew, and throwing the Old Testament out of the Christian Bible because it was a Jewish book. It seemed miraculous for him to discover Martin Luther King, Jr., placing the Exodus and the prophets of Israel at the center of the civil rights movement. ”

      Light2014, you have evidently inherited your father’s passion for folklore.

  4. JeffB on January 20, 2015, 2:07 am

    @Phil

    There’s no question that if King were alive today, he would be in lines with [the BDS] movement

    I’ll question it. King was always quite loath to associate with radical groups. For example King certainly allowed his mentor Bayard Rustin to be drummed out of the civil rights movement because of his past Communist Party affiliations and homosexuality. Or for example when Paul Robeson (an American superstar of the late 20s with strong Soviet affiliations) attended the prayer pilgrimage King wouldn’t meat with him.

    The fact is that King cleared the decks of almost all the previous generation of civil rights leaders for the same reasons, even though the Communist party was pretty common among civil rights advocates of the 1930s and 40s it was simply an unacceptable affiliation. King was a man who took the civil rights movement and made it respectable to average Americans. He challenged Americans to do what they already believed was the right thing to do. He didn’t try and overturn society and threaten them with a cause they didn’t believe in. Equality for blacks was a cause he championed, ending Jim Crow was a cause he championed. Uniting the working class globally was a cause he opposed.

    If you want to use that analogy the BDS movement is far closer to what the civil rights movement looked like in the 1930s than what it looked like in the 1950s. The BDS movement goes out of its way to cause offense. Fundamentally it is trying to offend people (particularly Jews) and provoke a reaction which then creates attention to the cause. It also isn’t really looking for mainstream acceptability. It tends towards demonization and imagines utopian goals. Remember King started with eliminating just one Jim Crow law, not demanding a total remaking of society. That’s the opposite of what BDS does.

    I have to say I think if the 2010s MLK were Jewish he’d be a J-Streeter. He’s much more Jeremy Ben-Ami than you. If he were Palestinian I think he’d be affiliated with something like IPCRI. He’d be aggressively trying to get Palestinians to support a Meretz government and working with the Israeli left on a fair and just peace. He’d oppose any attempts to force the Israelis into change externally since that would tend to produce resistance (i.e the entire philosophy behind non-violence). His peace movement would start with very minor actions that most Israelis could support like maybe ending housing segregation or going back to unrestricted movement. He would be advising Palestinians that at the current level of fear and tension there is no just solution to long term problems that Jews are going to accept. 130 years of violent conflict have created hatreds on both sides and the oppressor needs to be able to see past his fear for justice to emerge. For King the first step is to create a relationship of goodwill with the antagonist. Your movement rejects that.

    So no I don’t think he’d be a BDSer. I don’t think he’d be an Abbas supporter either however. I think he might very well agree with you on an eventual goal of a one-state solution with full equality and an end to Zionism but he would totally disagree with you on how to achieve it.

    • Whizdom on January 20, 2015, 11:52 am

      Bullshit.

      MLK on South Africa

      Our responsibility—our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: We can join in the one form of nonviolent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa, the action which African leaders have appealed for, in a massive movement for economic sanctions. In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons, do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our government and your government in Britain refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea or a Vietnam—will they recognize a crisis? If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end.
      http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/19/exclusive_newly_discovered_1964_mlk_speech

      • just on January 20, 2015, 12:20 pm

        Nice! Thanks Whizdom!

      • JeffB on January 20, 2015, 1:33 pm

        @Whizdom

        That is interesting.!Though you are talking about a brand new find, from Democracy now, quite literally in the last few days.

        The fact that it is a new find means that me have made these statements perhaps only once and in London. So I think the context is a bit telling and I wouldn’t apply it as generally as you are. The audience here was not Americans but English liberals. And the issue was one that the USA wasn’t involved with in any substantial way at the time and was unlikely in the near term to get more involved with. Resolution 1761 (calling for sanctions against South Africa) was passed by the UN in 1962 and the UK was leading the fight against 1761 considering it to be a violation of the UN’s mandate. Britain itself had a pretty active anti-Apartheid movement starting in 1961. The British were at that time starting to take a much harder line against Rhodesia and had implemented a call for majority rule in former colonies before independence. So they were becoming majoritarian with respect to other countries. They had 1/2 thrown South Africa out of the Commonwealth already.

        So he is talking to liberals who can influence British policy and mostly advocating a policy most of them already supported. I don’t see how that contradicts what I said above about him avoiding the radical left. This would be in keeping with getting Britain to do what it already thought was right (majority rule) in a situation where the economic losses were greater. That’s all.

      • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 4:33 pm

        “The BDS movement goes out of its way to cause offense.”

        JeffyB, I assure you, that is one thing you will never, ever, need to do.

    • annie on January 20, 2015, 12:26 pm

      The BDS movement goes out of its way to cause offense. Fundamentally it is trying to offend people (particularly Jews) and provoke a reaction which then creates attention to the cause.

      do you know the meaning of fundamentally? fundamentally the BDS movement goals are equality, and they do that not by “offending people (particularly Jews)” but by trafficking in truth and promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions, a very typical tactic countries (including the US) use to change the behavior of other countries.

      your hasbara is absurd as saying the fundamental purpose of iran sanctions is to offend people and create attention.

      he would totally disagree with you on how to achieve it.

      oh really, that’s odd because king himself, after years of lobbying cancelled his trip to israel after the annexation of jerusalem. it’s a very fundamental sort of action that one takes when one doesn’t agree, when ones instincts are to distance themselves from a person or a country’s immoral actions. have you read the latest update in the article – his words during the conference call before canceling the trip to Israel?

      ” if I go…. would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…[the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem…they don’t plan to give it up… …my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake.”

      and he knew enough to cancel his plans before there was a bds movement to pressure him. he did it on his own, in his own words: instinctually.

      • JeffB on January 20, 2015, 1:53 pm

        @Annie Robbins

        fundamentally the BDS movement goals are equality

        No they aren’t. If they were after equality they would say that. BDS’s demands would be something like, “BDS strives for full legal equality between Palestinians and Jews in all the territories governed by Israel”. They wouldn’t be focusing on “ending the occupation”.

        but by trafficking in truth

        They don’t traffic in truth. Trafficking in truth is far nuanced and complicated then simplistic hate propaganda. A lot of what BDS proponents say is simply false or highly misleading.

        a very typical tactic countries (including the US) use to change the behavior of other countries.

        Absolutely. To change their behavior. Not to end their national existence. That’s a much more rare policy. Moreover the objectives of BDS aren’t to change behavior. if it were they would be looking for policy changes. They also wouldn’t be pursuing denormalization.

        the fundamental purpose of iran sanctions is to offend people and create attention

        The fundamental purpose of Iran sanctions is to pressure Iran and to act as a warning to Iran that forcible regime change is being seriously discussed. The BDS movement has so far mainly focused on symbolic acts without much economic impact on Israel but that are loud and noticeable. That’s very different than the sanctions policy the USA pursued with Iraq, has with Iran or for example that Israel is using against Gaza.

        oh really, that’s odd because king himself, after years of lobbying cancelled his trip to israel after the annexation of jerusalem.

        The annexation of Jerusalem was July 30, 1980. King didn’t do anything after that or for many years before that. What you mean is the conquest of Jerusalem.

        The quote BTW is shocking misleading. A good example of BDS trafficking in truth I guess! The conversation takes place with Stanley Levison. King is concerned about the political ramifications of him endorsing Israel. This isn’t a moral discussion I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab. I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt… I frankly have to admit that my instincts, and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right… I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed.

        Your version of the quote completely misrepresents what he was saying by dropping the political context.
        http://www.martinkramer.org/sandbox/2013/01/why-martin-luther-king-never-visited-israel/

      • annie on January 20, 2015, 4:54 pm

        The annexation of Jerusalem was July 30, 1980. King didn’t do anything after that or for many years before that.

        king’s statement was in 67. he was assassinated apr.’68, so saying he didn’t do anything for many years before or after 1980 is an understatement.

        What you mean is the conquest of Jerusalem.

        yes, pardon my faux pas, or martin’s you could say. those were his words, representing his motivation for not going, not mine: “Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up

        The conversation takes place with Stanley Levison.

        no, your own link confirms it was “a conference call of King and his advisers, on July 24, 1967”. it was picked up, allegedly from the FBI tapping of levison’s phone but it was with several people.

        Your version of the quote completely misrepresents what he was saying by dropping the political context.

        it’s directly from the version quoted from the FBI conference call as recorded in numerous places as well as the source link: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/MLKandIsrael.html and i quoted more of it below here – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/folks-talking-palestine/comment-page-1#comment-739850

        how anyone could claim the annexation of jerusalem (his words) as dropping the political context is beyond me. granted, i didn’t mention “the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter” but so what. i would love to see the entire conversation. i will concede it is open for interpretation, but when he talks about following his “instincts” i think he is very much referencing “and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up”. it’s wrong. “would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt”, meaning he does doubt [the morals or rightness] of israel’s actions. his instincts are telling him he would be crossing the lines by going, that he would come out scathed. he made a judgement call, and it was the right one.

        p.s. your whole “end their national existence” is hypocritical hasbara. assigning to ones enemies ones own actions. everyone knows very well who (israel/zionism) is in the business of ending national existence. it’s israelis who ethnically cleanse palestine, not the other way around. flipping that over to demonized the bds movement is a joke. it’s israels own damn fault it’s national existence depends on the ethnic cleansing of another. palestine doesn’t have that problem. it’s yours, own it.

      • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 10:48 pm

        “The annexation of Jerusalem was July 30, 1980. King didn’t do anything after that or for many years before that.” “JeffyB”

        “king’s statement was in 67. he was assassinated apr.’68, so saying he didn’t do anything for many years before or after 1980 is an understatement.” Annie.

        Now, there’s one for the ages. And could JeffyB have established his reverence for MLK any more positively? He’s made the man immortal.

      • annie on January 20, 2015, 10:53 pm

        ;)

  5. Mooser on January 20, 2015, 10:46 am

    Overheard at a Northridge Ca. eatery, on MLK day:

    Diner: “I need some breakfast, big day ahead”
    JeffyB: “What’ll you have?”
    Diner: “Short stack, two ever easy, and some encouraging words”

    JeffyB comes back from the kitchen and put his petite dejuner before him.

    Diner: “How about those encouraging words I ordered?”
    JeffyB: “Sure, mister! Don’t eat the eggs!”

  6. annie on January 20, 2015, 11:37 am

    love that update:

    Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up… I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake.

  7. JeffB on January 21, 2015, 8:13 am

    @Annie

    king’s statement was in 67. he was assassinated apr.’68, so saying he didn’t do anything for many years before or after 1980 is an understatement.

    That was my point. In the original though you said it as well, “that’s odd because king himself, after years of lobbying cancelled his trip to israel after the annexation of jerusalem ” which is what I was commenting on. He cancelled his trip after the ’67 war. Anyway we’ll agree on this we’ll move on.

    how anyone could claim the annexation of jerusalem (his words) as dropping the political context is beyond me. granted, i didn’t mention “the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter” but so what

    The so what is he says he’s worried about the political fallout of the trip: “would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done”, ” but the constant turmoil in the Middle East makes it extremely difficult to conduct a religious pilgrimage free of both political over tones” He has a conversation about balancing for the sake of appearance and then gives the instincts line you are quoting, i.e. his instincts are that balancing wouldn’t work.

    That is a totally different context than King agreeing with you that Israel “annexing” Jerusalem is
    a bad thing at all. He’s concerned about how supporters react (like being willing to travel for fear). He’s worried that the Arabs view his as pro-Israel.

    That’s what politicians do when they are worried about being tagged with an unpopular position they mostly agree with. MLK is not advocating a boycott, which is what you all were originally claiming. He never uses the term and everything he says is that he personally is under pressure not to do X, not that he’s participating in some broad boycott and thus not doing X.

    your whole “end their national existence” is hypocritical hasbara. assigning to ones enemies ones own actions. everyone knows very well who (israel/zionism) is in the business of ending national existence. it’s israelis who ethnically cleanse palestine, not the other way around. flipping that over to demonized the bds movement is a joke. it’s israels own damn fault it’s national existence depends on the ethnic cleansing of another. palestine doesn’t have that problem. it’s yours, own it.

    You are confusing two things here:

    1) Does the BDS plan end Israeli’s national existence?
    2) Does Annie think ending Israel’s national existence is the right policy?

    Your claiming because (2) is true that (1) isn’t true. I get that you think it is the right policy. When Athens ended the national existence of Melos for refusing to pay tribute the Athenians were very worried about what would happen if Melos set an example. Athens having what they considered very good reasons to do it is not the same as saying it was not Athen’s intent to end the national existence of Melos.

    What you are giving is why you want to end the national existence of Israel. They at one point engaged in an ethnic cleansing and you want to see this particular ethnic cleansing reversed. Great so you have a reason. That doesn’t mean you don’t support the policy and it doesn’t mean that BDS doesn’t support the policy and it isn’t perfectly accurate to accuse BDS of supporting national destruction. Sure it is a nation they don’t like, but most everyone who supports destroying nations only supports destroying nations they don’t like for some reason.

    The point of a genocide is generally (there are exceptions like the Holocaust) to flood a territory with a group of people of a radically different culture than those currently living there. That’s why it is done. You are not the first person in history to want to flood a territory with a different group of people than those currently living there. They had reasons. And while BDS doesn’t advocate genocide they advocate the positions that historically become the motivation for genocide. To use your words, it is time you own that.

    I’m perfectly happy to say that Israel has created a situation where getting justice for the Palestinians likely results in genocide. I have no problem owning it.

    • annie on January 21, 2015, 10:14 am

      1) Does the BDS plan end Israeli’s national existence?
      2) Does Annie think ending Israel’s national existence is the right policy?

      Your claiming because (2) is true that (1) isn’t true.

      this is fruitcake logic.

      BDS doesn’t advocate genocide they advocate the positions that historically become the motivation for genocide. To use your words, it is time you own that. I’m perfectly happy to say that Israel has created a situation where getting justice for the Palestinians likely results in genocide. I have no problem owning it.

      you’re sick. good bye.

      • Mooser on January 21, 2015, 11:03 am

        “you’re sick. good bye.”

        Gosh, I hope he isn’t serving people food.

    • eljay on January 21, 2015, 10:35 am

      >> JeffBeee: 1) Does the BDS plan end Israeli’s national existence?

      From BDSMovement.net:

      The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:
      1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

      BDS appears to call for justice, accountability and equality. I can see why JeffBeee is horrified by it.

      Does BDS translate into an end to Israel’s national existence – that is, to the existence of Israel as a state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally? As far as I can tell, it doesn’t.

      It does, however, appear to translate into an end to the existence of religion-supremacist “Jewish State”, but religion-supremacist “Jewish State” never had a right to exist in the first place.

Leave a Reply