Do Not Repay Evil For Evil – King’s Legacy

As we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. today, I want to focus especially on his commitment to non-violent resistance. I have often wished that the Palestinians had found a champion like Gandhi in India, King in the States, and Tutu in South Africa to lead them in a non-violent campaign against the Occupation and unjust policies of the government of Israel against them.

Naim Ateek and his organization, Sabeel, have tried to apply the principles of liberation theology and non-violence to the situation but, for some reason, it has never caught on with the vast majority of the Palestinian people. Is it because the situation is so much more difficult in Israel/Palestine than it was in India, the U.S., or South Africa? I cannot believe that it is.

Is it because Christian Palestinians are in the minority and non-violence does not find as much support in Islam as in Hinduism or Christianity? Possibly, yet the so-called “Golden Rule” has its place in the Qur’an as well and surely principles which have been imported from one religious tradition to another before (i.e. King studying Gandhi) could make a such a journey once again.

I believe the world (even people here in our country who are so largely “pro Israel” could see even more clearly the justice of the Palestinians’ cause if their witness could be carried out in a non-violent (but persistent and courageous) way.  Some of the most successful “revolutions” of our time have been accomplished, not at the barrel of a gun, but by brave and committed people being willing to risk injury, prison, or even death rather than to “repay evil for evil.”

May Dr. King’s spirit be revived today in all who seek an end to oppression and equal rights for all!

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