I read with great interest Melanie Roth Gorelick’s op-ed “Why we must recommit to the civil rights movement” (July 4). In it she states, “Just as in the past, there is an important role for the Jewish community in today’s civil rights issues. We must play a significant role in this country’s movement to end mass incarceration, and do our best to help make a difference. Our history will not allow us to stand on the sidelines.”
We did not stand on the sidelines during the civil rights movement in the ’60s. There were great Jewish leaders, such as Rabbis Joachim Prinz and Abraham Joshua Heschel, who stood together with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Riders James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were murdered in Mississippi on June 21, 1964, for this cause and many other Jews risked their lives by participating in civil rights demonstrations and other actions.
What have we received in return from the black community but an increase in anti-Semitism and support for Black Lives Matter, an organization that in its platform states, “The U.S. justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.” It also calls Israel an “apartheid state.”
These statements are anti-Semitic and false.
Many black congressional leaders, such as Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), supported the anti-Semitic statements of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Many did not support a resolution pending in the House and Senate opposing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. Why?
We must recommit to the civil rights movement. Where is the black community’s commitment to the Jews and Israel? How many times do we have to be slapped in the face?