The famed civil-rights activist and long-time Georgia congressman John Lewis died last week at the age of eighty. In 1982, Lewis, who worked to maintain good relations with the Jewish community, helped establish the Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition. Although his record of support for Israel was not unblemished—he joined many of his fellow Democrats in boycotting Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2015 address to Congress—it was nonetheless admirable, and included the denunciation of the movement to boycott the Jewish state. Perhaps most importantly, the congressman was willing to condemn Louis Farrakhan forcefully for his anti-Semitism, when other mainstream figures, both black and white, equivocated or ignored it.
Remembering John Lewis’s Plea for Soviet Jewry
When Jews, and Jewish Institutions, Give Cover to Anti-Semites
During the recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, a few left-wing members of Congress not only condemned the Jewish state, but repeated libelous claims about “attacks” on al-Aqsa mosque. Worse still, their rhetoric seemed to imply, in classic anti-Semitic fashion, that Israel is not just a particularly problematic country, but one somehow at the root of all the world’s other problems. Seth Mandel writes: