Stand for Israel is suspending activity on Monday, January 19, to observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We’ll be back on Tuesday, January 20 — and rest assured, if any critically important developments related to Israel come up in the meantime, we’ll let you know about them. In honor of this great leader and friend of Israel, here is Rabbi Eckstein’s tribute to Dr. King, written 45 years after the civil rights leader’s passing:
Dr. King was also a staunch supporter of the modern State of Israel, which was founded during his lifetime. At a 1968 national rabbinical convention, he said, “I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”
This strong support was reciprocated by countless American Jews, who were some of the earliest and most ardent supporters of King’s efforts for equality for African-Americans. Jewish organizations offered material, moral, and financial support to the Civil Rights Movement. Members of the African-American and Jewish communities marched together to protest discrimination throughout the U.S. – and, in some cases, even died together doing so.