Jan. 30, 2019
- MLK’s Legacy Is about Moral Clarity, Not Easy Analogies – Thane Rosenbaum
Recently, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the civil rights movement, which King led, and the struggle for Palestinian statehood, have been analogized and morally linked in ways that might have surprised King himself. These tortured analogies reject everything King represented. After all, he preached peaceful and “passive nonviolent resistance,” a strategy that most Palestinian leaders have never embraced. Too many Palestinian leaders are dedicated to eradicating Israel, not living beside it.
Despite widespread slanders of ethnic cleansing, there is no genocide against the Palestinians. Their people, in fact, have doubled in population since 1967. Nor are Israel’s practices, as Michelle Alexander assesses in the New York Times, “reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States,” surely not when Arabs serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and can live, work and eat anywhere they choose, vote freely in elections and are represented in parliament.
The only nation in the Middle East where civil rights exist for racial minorities, homosexuals and women is Israel. It is to Israel where Ethiopian Jews were airlifted from Sudan, and where an Israeli-born Ethiopian woman was in 2013 crowned Miss Israel. It’s also in Israel where a forest is named for Martin Luther King.
- The writer directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at New York University School of Law. (CNN)