Israel has grabbed land which belonged to the Palestinians, with the same self-granted right with which the slavers grabbed the black people in Africa: the right of a master race dealing with a downtrodden people.
What! You don't believe me? Oh, yes, you must have read somewhere that famous MLK quote. The one in which King says that those who criticize the Zionists actually mean the Jews and are, thus, antisemites.
The problem is that there is as much evidence to prove that my father heard him denounce Israel as there is to confirm that he equated anti-Zionism to antisemitism. Below is the passage familiar to all of us:
Shortly before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr., was in Boston on a fund-raising mission, and I had the good fortune to attend a dinner which was given for him in Cambridge. (...) One of the young men present happened to make some remark against the Zionists. Dr. King snapped at him and said, "Don't talk like that! When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism!"
But, who reported this? An independent observer, with unimpeachable credentials as a nonbiased reporter?
Er no. It happens to be a very partisan source, namely Dr. Seymour Martin Lipset, a former chair of the National B'nai B'rith Hillel Commission and the Faculty Advisory Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal who died in 2006. The quote comes from the article "The Socialism of Fools: The Left, the Jews and Israel" which was published in the December, 1969 (page 24) edition of Encounter magazine, and was reprinted in other publications. Encounter was a neoconservative publication avant la lettre, which was initially funded by the CIA.
In other words, Lipset was a member of an institution that raised money for Israel's wars writing in a magazine closely allied to the US government. The details he gives are extraordinarily vague: "shortly before he was assassinated" (exactly when?) King went to a dinner in Cambridge (exactly where?) where he admonished a black student (exactly who?). But if it wasn't true, couldn't Dr. King have protested to the magazine? No, he couldn't; he died the year before the article was published.
Do we have further details from other sources? Well, yes; CAMERA claims that King's words were pronounced "in a 1968 appearance at Harvard." Is that so? Er no. On the day of his death, the Harvard Crimson (the university's students' paper) reported:
The Rev. Martin Luther King was last in Cambridge almost exactly a year ago--April 23, 1967.
So that CAMERA is wrong on this (which, by the way, debunks the often-made claim "CAMERA may be biased but it's always factually correct"). All other references to the King quote are either explicitly based on Lipset's article or verbatim transcriptions without attribution.
The evidence being so flimsy, a few years ago someone had the brilliant idea of manufacturing a complementary "Letter to an anti-Zionist friend" by King, which "appeared" in an August, 1967 edition of Saturday Review, and "ratified" King's views on Zionism and antisemitism. Only, those people weren't properly trained on how these things are done. They provided a detail that gave them away; Tim Wise took the trouble to examine all issues of Saturday Review from August, 1967, and found not a hint of a King letter to anyone. Lipset had been much wiser, giving what seemed to be a lot of information on the background to the King quote, but without providing a single concrete, verifiable detail.
And thus are created the Zionist talking points. No, the British commander at the King David never said "I don't take orders from Jews; I give orders to them." And no, never were orders for Arabs to leave Israel broadcast on Arab radio in 1948! But those are subjects for further posts.
So, what do you say? Do you believe Lipset or my father? Or me? Or none?