Black, Jewish Leaders Call for Renewed Partnership in Honor of MLK Day
January 15, 2024

The Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI), dedicated to strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Jewish people, and people of African descent through education and advocacy, and Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 2,500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy, today called for renewed partnership on the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. 

“Too many who claim to honor Dr. King and his work now invoke his memory in order to demonize Israel and justify hatred against our Jewish brothers,” said IBSI Founder and CEO Pastor Dumisani Washington, PhD. “These efforts betray Dr. King’s legacy of support for Jewish civil rights and the Jewish state’s right to self-defense, and his outreach and partnership with Jewish leaders here in America.”

In a public address just days before his assassination, Dr. King called Israel “one of the great outposts of democracy in the world” and “an oasis of brotherhood and democracy,” and said that “we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity.” The renowned American sociologist and political scientist Seymour Lipset also recorded Dr. King as responding to a student’s attack on Zionism, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

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“The Black and Jewish communities have a shared history of both experiencing and overcoming bigotry and persecution,” concluded CJV President Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld. “This day must always remind us to emulate Dr. King’s efforts to build bridges between communities, to jointly build a better tomorrow for all.”

Image Credit: Wes Candela. © 2008-2017 Wes Candela Photography

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