I’m writing in response to Jerry Russom’s statements [“Give Him a Chance,” July 18] regarding Israel and Martin Luther King Jr. Regardless of why opinions originally expressed in the Asheville Citizen-Times are being discussed in the Mountain Xpress, let me clear up Martin Luther King’s supposed statement about anti-Zionism.
What Mr. Russom refers to is more than likely the “Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend,” which Dr. King never wrote. It was a fabrication—one contrived by supporters of Mr. Russom’s stance to use Martin Luther King’s name to add weight and support to their argument. This faux letter has been cited numerous times, despite being proven a fake.
Truth be told, Martin Luther King did allegedly utter a similar statement once at Harvard University, but that is hardly the point. The point is that this ridiculous syllogism, “anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism,” has no place in honest discourse. It cannot and should not be taken seriously, even if spoken by one as enlightened as Dr. King. To simply equate legitimate opposition to the expansion of Israel into Palestinian lands as “anti-Semitism” is a type of twisted logic that people like Mr. Russom use to scare off any who might disagree with them.
And speaking of twisted logic, Mr. Russom claims that Israel has “most-favored nation status.” Perhaps he could explain to me how and when Israel attained this high ranking. Was it God who granted Israel such an elite title? Is this perhaps why Israel is permitted to commit human-rights abuses and disregard international law time and time again? If so, apparently I missed the memo.
— David Hance