DEBBIE L. SKLAR
Downtown Royal Oak
is making a comeback.
in the game.
LIFE IN ISRAEL
Civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Martin Luther King Jr. and Whitney Young met with Lyndon
Johnson at the White House in 1964.
Blacks, Jews Need New Leader
For Martin Luther King's Legacy
s the nation celebrates the birth-
day of Dr. Martin Luther King, it
might be instructive to consider
how he would have viewed the current
political situation in Israel and the United
- Dr. King was a man who believed in
dialogue and reconciliation. He would no
doubt have approved of the U.S. decision to
make contact with the PLO, but he would
also have shared the State Department's
condition that Yassir Arafat back up his
words with deeds.
As a man who preached non-violence,
Dr. King could never have been a supporter
of the PLO when it was taking credit for
terrorist actions. He also is not likely to
have looked favorably on the Palestinian
uprising. He would speak out against in-
justices suffered by Palestinians, where he
saw them, but he would also have counsel-
ed against the violent demonstrations that
have been the hallmark of the intifada. He
would have viewed the proposal of
Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij for a ceasefire
as a positive step toward advancing the
peace process and denounced Arafat's
threat of assassinating proponents of such
Dr. King never accepted attacks on
Israel's legitimacy and would not have been
fooled by the resolutions of the Palestine
National Council which refer to "the true
image of Israel as a racist, fascist, settler
state based on the usurpation of the
Palestinian territory and the extermina-
tion of the Palestinian people." The PNC
failed to repudiate its charter, which calls
Dr. Mitchel. Bard is a foreign policy analyst
in Washington, D.C.
Zionism "an illegitimate movement." Even
Arafat's acceptance of U.N. Resolution 242
was done only in the context of all U.N.
resolutions, including the infamous 1975
"Zionism is racism" resolution. Dr. King's
answer to such formulations was clear:
"Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism."
As dismayed as Dr. King would have
been over attacks on Israel, he would doubt
have been more concerned about tension
between the black and Jewish com-
munities. The 1988 presidential campaign
would have been painful for him to watch
as Jesse Jackson's candidacy divided peo-
ple who he had known to be political allies.
While there may have been justifica-
tion for New York Mayor Ed Koch's state-
ment that Jews would be crazy to vote for
Jackson, Dr. King would have been disap-
pointed by the resulting polarization of the
communities. He would be working now to
heal the rifts creatd last year, to reassem-
ble the coalition that fought for civil rights
in the 1960s so that the battles of the 1990s
could be joined by a united liberal front.
Dr. King was not a man to retreat in
the face of difficulty. He would not aban-
don Israel while it struggles to free itself
from the burdens of occupation. He also
would not turn his back on American Jews
while we wrestle with our divisions. He
would not allow differences between blacks
and Jews on issues like affirmative action
to overwhelm our common interests in civil
While we celebrate Dr. King's memory,
we also mourn the loss of his vision and
courage. Perhaps his legacy will yet be a
generation of people who will live peaceful-
ly in a society free of racism or anti-
Semitism. For now, we could use another
leader who will step forward to bring Jews
and blacks together to continue Dr. King's
work toward fulfilling his dream.
still yearn for their families.
Judaism has a high regard
for trees, a heavenly gift.
Our family section looks
at Tu B'Shevat and trees.
Fairy tales and fantasies
are brought closer to children.
on the Window
Illness tests a family's strength .. .
January 20, 1989
Sabbath ends Jan. 21
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS