Coretta Scott King understood that a people who fight for their own rights are only as honorable as when they fight for the rights of all people. In this spirit, she championed the legacy of her late husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., in strengthening black-Jewish relations, in fighting for the civil rights of Jews and in supporting the issues and concerns of the Jewish community with the State of Israel in particular. Coretta Scott King, who died Jan. 30 at the age of 78, was honored Tuesday in a tribute attended by four presidents and an estimated 10,000 mourners.
The Jewish people are under attack. Horrific expressions of anti-Semitism are spreading across the United States and the world. These attacks, both verbal and physical, are occurring at all levels of society, from the highest ranks of government to individuals on the street.
This month, as we honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we ask blacks to embrace his legacy and to join Jews in defeating the injustice of anti-Semitism. Even as King struggled to achieve equality for black Americans, he did not hesitate to express total disdain for anti-Semitism, especially when it reared its ugly face in his own community.
This weekend we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the life he dedicated to the struggle for civil rights. As we still reel from the savage assault wrought upon our nation on Sept. 11, 2001, and as the people of Israel endure terror on an almost daily basis, the significance of King's life should be recognized anew. Under his leadership, the civil rights movement transcended political, theological and ideological differences. So, too, must our fight against terrorism.