Monday, January 16, 2006

# Posted 11:24 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

IN MEMORY OF A TRULY GREAT AMERICAN: What is the significance of the tragic loss of Martin Luther King Jr. at such a young age? It is very hard to say. He made dreams of justice come true in his short lifetime, and one can only imagine what dreams might have become a reality had he lived out the full life he deserved. Even today, he would only be seventy-seven.

I would also like to note that in this photo from the Selma civil rights march on March 21, 1965, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel stands two places to King's right. Heschel's role in the civil rights movement is a symbol of the great pride that American Jews take in their (our) long-standing commitment to liberty and justice for all.
(11) opinions -- Add your opinion

I was in downtown Atlanta yesterday to get to school and I saw the last remains of the parade dissipate and many held signs that said; "Bush Step Down".

I thought that that was a terrible way to attempt to honor Dr. King and then the thought that I have been pondering is; what would Dr. King think of Pres. Bush?

I know he would not have supported the wars but what about the progress minorities have made in the Bush White House? Also, do people think that Dr. King would be in favor of Affirmative Action today? I do not think so.
Unfortunately for your hopes, Dr. King did come out in favor of affirmative action, contrary to his expressed ideals. But I think he would have been in favor of effective action against terrorism.
the reason i asked that is because I am tempted to think that Dr. King would say that African Americans are more than capable today to create their own destiny, they can prove with their own intellect that they can get in to elite schools and jobs. They do not need an archaic governmental program to do so.

Let me also state that when Affirmative Action was started it was a neccesary program, I just have ambivalence about its place in today's society.
Powell and Rice together couldn't hold Ralph Bunche's hat. Of course, Bush couldn't hold Truman's hat either.

There has been a lot of progress in the 38 years since King was assassinated, but Bush is much more the beneficiary of this progress rather than its cause.

What would King have thought of Bush's response to Bush's handling of Katrina? What would King have thought of Iraq?

One of the things I like about MLK Day is listening to a great orator, slow and deliberate. Yet if he were transported to our "sound bite" time, no one would listen. I know he was flesh and blood, but it almost seems that he came from an earlier Age of Heroes like Achilles or Aeneas. Our present actors seem small by comparison.
"liberty and justice for all" -- except, oops, those pesky Palestinians.
Open your eyes. Jewish opinion is not a monolith.

American Jews have often been the most vocal advocates of better treatment for the Palestinians. And they are matched by the Israeli left.

If only Palestinians expressed the same concern for Jews since 1948.
David, In the academic circles you have been in is there any acknowledgment of the allegations raised in this book?
Is this common knowledge? Or do you think that like in John Ford's " The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" we are just "printing the legend"?

Plagiarism and the Culture War: The Writings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Other Prominent Americans
Theodore Pappas
(Hallberg, 1998)

Reviewed By Gavan Tredoux(google this to get the reveiw)
How richly ironic that someone who complains that Jewish opinion is not 'a monolith' goes on to apply the same blanket approach to Palestinians since 1948. Differences of opinion abound there too.

However I shall pretend you were being deliberately ironic and merely ask you this : since leading Palestinian opinion accepts the need for a two-state solution, and since even Hamas has now dropped the demand for the destruction of Israel from its election literature, shouldn't American Jews, in common with all other Americans, be far more critical than they are of the Likud party, in particular Netanyahu, for refusing to accept that the Palestinians have a legimitate claim to any kind of state whatsoever?
First, no, I don't know anything about the Pappas book.

Second, even though we've wandered pretty far from the subject of Dr. King, here's a brief response to Niall.

Of course Palestinian opinion was never a monolith. But where, from 1967 onward, was there an organized current of Palestinian opinion calling for peace with Israel, akin to the Israeli left?

And over the past decade, with Arafat and Hamas commanding far more loyalty than anyone else, has there been a strong Palestinian voice willing to condemn the slaughter of civilians by their own side?

A monolith? Of course not. A mirror image of the diversity of Israeli/Jewish opinion, with its vocal peace movement? Not even close.
Sorry I haven't been able to get back to this before now.

Firstly David I'll note that you didn't answer the question I asked about American Jews' response to Likud. A pity - I'll just leave it hanging then..

Secondly, on the absence of an 'organised current of Palestinian opinion' I'll grant you there is no mirror image of the Israeli peace movement (though that movement seems pretty marginalised right now, at least judging from those Israeli soldiers I have heard speak who refuse to serve in the occupied territories). However, have a think about why such a movement may not have developed. It is fruitless to expect similar social currents to develop in very different societies. Israel has a reasonably wealthy, well-educated population and well-resourced universities around which such oppositional movements can gather and share opinions. Most peace movements in the US and Europe after all have arisen amongst student populations and trades unions. Neither of these are particularly well represented among Palestinians.

The Palestinians don't even have the basic structure of a state right now, given that so many *still* live in refugee camps. In such conditions, is it likely that the average Palestinian has the time or inclination to put a lot of effort into campaigning for peace with Israel and thus against the actions of his or her neighbours? unlikely, particularly as supporting militant action would seem more likely to be in the individual material interest of that Palestinian.

Having said that it is clear that a significant section of the Palestinian leadership, including Abbas' section of Fatah, has supported a two-state solution for a long time now. Can a similar statement be made about the Israeli ruling class? In fact, it seems only a minority are prepared to make an unambiguous commitment to the eventual goal of a Palestinian state.
i don't want to hide behind the anonymous tag, so just to claim the previous post...
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