(The Jewish Chronicle) A new biography of America’s original social justice warrior — the “militant mystic,” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel — unwittingly reveals the hypocrisy and double-mindedness of one of the many Jews who helped fabricate the popular myth of Martin Luther King, Jr. — while at the same time turning a blind eye to the poisonous hatred upon which the Zionist dream was realized:
No photo of a rabbi has come to symbolise his legacy quite as much. In 1965, Martin Luther King led a march against racial segregation in the USA that set out from Selma, Alabama; arm-in-arm with the civil rights leaders was a white-bearded figure with the aura of a sage. “I felt my legs were praying,” said Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
For Heschel, protest went hand in hand with prayer, propelled by a prophetic passion that infused his writings and speeches. He became the exemplar of tikkun olam, the call to repair the world through social action, even though he may not have popularised the Hebrew term himself. Prayer was meaningless, he once wrote, “unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism and falsehoods”.
Fifty years after his death, a new biography — part of the admirable Yale “Jewish Lives” series — has been published to celebrate the life and work of a rabbi whom the former chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Ismar Schorsch, described as “the most important Jewish thinker of the modern period”.
The “militant mystic”, as Time magazine dubbed him, was a born to a Chasidic family in Warsaw who named him after a revered great-great-grandfather, the Apter Rav.
Princeton University professor Julian E. Zelizer does a fine job in evoking the different social and cultural milieux in which Heschel moved, from the often grinding poverty but religious richness of Jewish life in Warsaw to the comforts of America, where the primary threat to the Jewish community was spiritual desiccation…
…Zelizer traces the roots of Heschel’s activism to his frustration at what he felt was the passivity of American Jewish organisations while their fellow Jews were perishing during the Holocaust. He lost his mother and three sisters and saw himself as “a brand plucked from the fire in which my people was burned to death.”
When he took part in a rabbis’ march in Washington in 1943 to lobby the American government to do more for their brethren abroad, it was “his first real taste of grassroots activism in the pursuit of justice,” Zelizer says. He was later to play a significant role in the Vatican’s renunciation of antisemitism in the ‘60s and in awakening American Jewry to the oppression of Jews in the Soviet Union.
In 1962, he published what Zelizer says became his “most influential and enduring work”, The Prophets. “There is immense silent agony in the world, and the task of man is to be a voice for the plundered poor, to prevent the desecration of the soul and the violation of our dream of honesty,” he wrote.
No one did more to put the prophetic tradition of justice at the heart of modern Jewish living. Acting on his words, he threw himself into the fight against racism which he condemned as “satanism”. It was not the only cause which thrust him into the national limelight. He was a vehement opponent of the Vietnam War and when he once met Henry Kissinger, then National Security Adviser, he confronted him with the question: “How could you as a good Jew prosecute a war like this?”
But he defended Israel after the Six-Day War when radicals were accusing it of being an outcrop of the imperialist West and was commissioned to write a work to explain the country’s importance to Jews, Israel: An Echo of Eternity, in which he wrote: “We are tired of apologising for our existence.”
Heschel came to fame when many religious leaders were involved with the progressive politics of the 60s. As Zelizer reminds us, society later took a turn to the right with the rise of the Moral Majority in the USA and the influence of neo-conservatism. But as our world is shaken by new challenges, perhaps his words will resonate once again: “There is one evil which most of us condone and are even guilty of: indifference to evil.”
So this rabbi who fought against “racism” in America supported the racist, segregated State of Israel for the banal reason that Jews “are tired of apologizing for our existence.”
He protested against a war against Jewish communism, but supported an Israeli imperialist war of aggression against its arab neighbors.
He pressured the Vatican to back off its traditional opposition to Jewry’s hatred of Christianity — smearing it as “anti-Semitism.”
Rabbi Heschel was the living embodiment of the subversive Jewish revolutionary who was tone deaf to his own hatred of white Christendom — and used blacks as his sentimental pawns to make the world safe for his fellow Jewish revolutionaries.
And when Martin Luther King turned on his Zionist handlers and began expressing his support of the Palestinian cause, he had outlived his usefulness to American Jewry — and the Zionist Internationale.
He had become a liability — and given his credibility with the world as a moral “civil rights” leader, his criticism of “racist, marxist Israel” would have been devastating to the Zionist cause — something that international Jewry simply could not — and would not — risk.
The Israeli Mossad’s fingerprints are all over the assassination of Martin Luther King — as are those of the Anti-Defamation League — and the C.I.A. in the cover up.
After his convenient death, Jews actually went so far as to fabricate a letter from Martin Luther King in which he allegedly claimed that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-semitic — which just so happens to be what the new and improved definition of “anti-semitism” Jewry is trying to ruthlessly impose on the world today.
This is the real legacy of Rabbi Heschel — who helped create Martin Luther King — a Jewish golem, a Frankenstein-like weapon to destroy Jewry’s enemy — white Christian America.
And like many golems, they often turn on their makers — and when they do, they need to be destroyed.