Dumisani Washington, a multi-talented and dedicated human rights activist, is a CAMERA speaker and has spoken to students at UCONN and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign among many others. Dumisani Washington is dedicated to continuing Dr. King’s legacy of establishing peace and justice in the world. Washington fights for justice by promoting and defending the Middle East’s only democracy, Israel.
Unfortunately, many critics of Israel draw parallels between the African-American narrative and the Palestinian narrative in Israel.
As Washington explains, according to Dr. King, this juxtaposition of the African American experience in America to the Palestinian experience in Israel has been false, from the beginning, since Israel’s establishment as a state on multiple levels.
Arabs, not Israelis, were the aggressors at the time
Israel defended herself in the 1967 Six Day War and managed to safeguard the country as the homeland for the Jewish people. It is important to note that Israel was up against all bordering countries during the Six Day War: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
In other words, only a few years after the Holocaust, all surrounding countries decided to attack Israel and wanted to end the existence of the Jewish people’s new safe haven.
The Arab League, the Arab leadership at the time, had no interest in negotiations with Israel. Their only response to defeat was to label Israel as imperialist.
Almost immediately following Israel’s success in the Six Day War, the Arab League met in Sudan and officially condemned Israelis as “occupiers.”
There, the Arab League issued the infamous “Khartoum No’s” in the Khartoum Declaration:
No peace with Israel
No recognition of Israel
No negotiations with Israel
Rather than trying to work with Israel, the Khartoum Declaration made it very clear that the interests of Arab leadership were otherwise. Throughout history, Israel has offered peace talks but is only rejected with hostility or approached with false promises of peace.
Israel is ignorantly labeled as imperialist when it is only struggling to survive as the rightful homeland of the Jewish people.
Putting Dr. King’s hopes to disgrace, the Palestinian Authority ruins Palestinians’ opportunities in the Middle East
Corruption of the PA puts Dr. King’s hopes to disgrace by hurting Palestinians’ chances for life improvement. Dr. King’s legacy to help Palestinians and efforts to establish a Marshall Plan are completely disregarded and crushed by the PA.
The Marshall Plan originated from an American project to aid Western Europe in economic support in order to help rebuild them rebuild after the war. In 1968, Dr. King initiated a Marshall Plan for the Palestinians. Just as America tried to financially support Europe after the war, so too does the US need to try to help impoverished Palestinians.
Calev Myers, founder of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, has exposed the PA’s use, or lack thereof, of these attempted Marshall Plans. During the past 19 years, the Palestinian Authority has been given the per capita equivalent of 25 Marshall Plans, altogether worth tens of billions of dollars.
Despite all that the PA has received, poverty ensues among Palestinians as a direct result of the PA’s corruption. The funds do not reach the Palestinian people and Dr. King’s hope of helping them through Marshall Plans has gone down the drain.
It is not clear where all the funds end up, but the PA does not try to explain how the money goes missing. Recently, for example, the European Court of Auditors reported that approximately $3.1 billion given to the PA for Palestinians somehow has disappeared.
In addition, Bassem Eid, a pro-Palestinian activist and CAMERA speaker, testifies that overall Palestinians cannot trust the PA. Palestinians are being oppressed by their very own government and yet many ‘human rights’ activists fail to notice this.
The Palestinian Authority’s failure to distribute funds to Palestinians is part of a cycle to blame Israel further
Dr. King was a staunch pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian activist. According to Dr. King, the terms ‘pro-Israel’ and ‘pro-Palestinian’ are not at all antithetical because Dr. King simply believed in human rights for people, all people.
When Anti-Israel protesters use King’s views as material to delegitimize or criticize Israel, they are betraying his values and beliefs in human rights for all. While they use Israel as a scapegoat for the cause of all Palestinian plight, in truth, Israel is not comparable or at all relevant to the African-American narrative.
Such anti-Zionist activists project an image that they are fighting for justice and human rights but this is a cover for their true interests to put down Israel.
If they were truly dedicated to bettering life for Palestinians, they would be criticizing the PA and other Middle East regimes that oppress Palestinians.
Unfortunately, there is an endless cycle here: as long as Israel is blamed and used as the scapegoat for Palestinian oppression and impoverishment, the sources of Palestinians’ problems will not be addressed. And as long as the Palestinians continue to suffer, their suffering will be used as excuse to blame Israel.
To follow in Dr. King’s legacy, activists need to recognize this destructive cycle and end it for the sake of Palestinians.
Contrary to the view of many pro-Palestinian activists, Israel offers Palestinians great opportunity. It would be wise for all Palestinian activists to support Israel for the sake of Palestinians.
Israel is a land of opportunity for Arabs. The BDS movement strives to delegitimize Israel but consequently hurts Palestinian livelihoods in Israel. The Jewish state is a democracy where Palestinian citizens of Israel live freely, are employed, and Palestinians living outside of Israel in Gaza are even supported by the Israeli government through constant shipments of goods and materials.
In order to truly respect and continue Dr. King’s legacy of fighting for human rights, anti-Israel activists that truly want to help Palestinians need to address the actual perpetrators of the Palestinians’ plight and stop uselessly blaming Israel.
Contributed by CAMERA Intern Penina Simkovitz