At Jewish Labor Committee Human Rights Awards Dinner, Al Sharpton calls for healing

by Stuart Elliott

(l-r) Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network; Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and JLC President Stuart Appelbaum at the JLC's awards dinner in New York, June 19th. (Miller Photography)

(l-r) Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network; Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and JLC President Stuart Appelbaum at the JLC’s awards dinner in New York, June 19th. (Miller Photography)

Last week the Jewish Labor Committee held its 43rd annual Human Rights Dinner, which also marked the 80th anniversary of the its founding.  The years dinner recognized two outstanding labor leaders AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Teamsters Vice President George Miranda and featured Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. a possible 2016 Presidential contender, and  the Reverend Al Sharpton.  This was a controversial invitation.  Events of this sort are designed to be fundraisers and Sharpton has been a controversial in the American Jewish community.

Miriam Moster of the JTA reported

Stuart Appelbaum, the JLC’s president, told JTA that the group decided to invite Sharpton as part of its effort to rebuild the alliance between blacks and Jews.

“[We invited] Reverend Sharpton to speak to a Jewish organization to reestablish the relationship that motivated us for so many decades,” said Appelbaum, who is also the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

She quoted Sharton as saying

“We that have done things that has led to the division of blacks and Jews have to work vigorously to heal the wounds that we’ve had in this city and correct the behavior that has divided us, and we say whatever we’ve done, we’ve got to do better,”

Read the entire story here.    JLC blog on 80th anniversary of founding      A 70-year JLC history (1934-2003) is online here

2 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on johnomason and commented:
    I urge everyone to learn about the Jewish Labor Committee, and support it. It began during the rise of Fascism in the 1930s, and with the current rise of what looks like Fascism to me, it remains important.

  2. I am gratified to learn that Rev. Sharpton feels that commonality of struggle still exists between Jews and African-Americans. I hope that his contrition is not a momentary lapse of reconciliation, because by all accounts, antisemitism is on the rise globally.

    Part of fighting antisemitism is attacking specific incidents of hatred which are camouflaged so cleverly as anti-Zionism. To Jews , and true progressives, attacking Zionism is no different than attacking Judaism, and fools nobody. Disparaging specific policies of Israel as a pretext for a “Cancel Israel” movement is a clever back door strategy supported by David Duke, Pat Buchanan, The National Front, and similar fascist elements that continue the policies which have survived the days of Ford, Coughlin, and Hitler. I am sickened that a cultural agenda of the misguided, posing as “progressive”, has fallen in with these rotten right wing populists, as the BDS Movement. Pink Floyd, Santana , Elvis Costello, Naomi Klein, use Left-Wing rhetoric to advance the same goals as The National Front: dismantle Israel and encourage ridicule of Jewish students on college campuses, Jewish cultural events in civic life, and isolate Jewish students and Jewish organizations.

    Let Rev. Sharpton atone for past indescretions by choosing sides. Does he stand with us or with them? Will he defend Israel and Jewish students when attacked on US campuses for defending Israel and celebrating Israel
    Independence Day, or will he march with those who want to see Israel
    fall? Will he attack The BDS movement on his TV show on MSNBC?

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