Martin Luther King's son speaks in solidarity with Israeli Arabs

Published May 12th, 2016 - 10:35 GMT
Martin Luther King III speaks in Israel at a symposium hosted by the non-profit advocacy group Mossawa Center. (photo: Mossawa)
Martin Luther King III speaks in Israel at a symposium hosted by the non-profit advocacy group Mossawa Center. (photo: Mossawa)

The son of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. visited an Arab village in Israel on Tuesday, where he spoke in solidarity with Israel's minority Palestinian population. 

Martin Luther King III, 58, visited Jisr Az-Zarqa on Tuesday, an Arab village in northern Israel, where he met with municipal leaders and the town's mayor. 

On Tuesday afternoon, King spoke at a symposium hosted by the Mossawa Center, a non-profit organization that advocates for Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are also known as Israeli Arabs, and who make up about 20 percent of Israel's population. By contrast, Palestinians living in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, who number about 3.8 million in total, do not have Israeli citizenship. 

The symposium at which King spoke was called "The Arab Community: Civil Rights & The Role In Peacebuilding." It was attended by over 100 activists, journalists and lawmakers, Mossawa said on its website. 

In his speech Tuesday afternoon, King said that having witnessed many family members being killed in the US, it would "have been easy" to become a hateful person, but instead he "embraced love." 

"Forgiving is sometimes difficult to do but I would have been a very hateful person if I gave in to that,” King said. 

You can watch his speech here: 

King is the son of the activist Coretta King and Martin Luther King, Jr, a Baptist minister and civil rights campaigner who famously gave his "I have a dream" speech in Washington D.C. in August 1963 where he advocated for equal rights for black people in America. King was assassinated five years later in Memphis.

--Hunter Stuart


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