THE BLOG
07/16/2014 05:12 pm ET Updated Sep 15, 2014

Remembering Martin Luther King's Stand for Peace as Violence Continues Abroad and at Home

Our country is currently confronting several high profile issues:

*The crisis of hundreds of children from Central American countries seeking residency in our country
* The Israel-Palestine conflict
* The unprecedented uptick in gun violence in Chicago, Detroit, etc.
* The continued breakdown of communication and cooperation between Congress and President Obama

Recently, I was re-reading my beloved colleague Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech that he delivered at the Riverside Church in NYC on April 4th, 1967: "A Time to Break the Silence." In his opening lines, King said, "A time comes when silence is betrayal."

It was his first public speech in opposition to the then war in Vietnam. Among those passages I read was his quote from James Russell Lowell:

"Once in every man and nation, comes the moment to decide. In the strife of truth and falsehood For the good or evil side."

The current crisis on our southern border is not solely or principally a problem of attempted illegal border crossing entries into the United States. We are face with a refugee problem. Our response should transcend existing immigration laws and procedures. Resolution of this problem will reflect who we are as a nation, and what are our current priorities.

An American citizen protester in Murrietta, CA eloquently presented the issue:

"If somebody brought six children to your house and you ain't got no job, are you gonna take them in? What are you gonna do? Are you gonna try to go out there and take care of these children AND the children you got already that you can't take care of? What are we going to do for the people who are here who are starving already? We got our OWN people that are starving and hungry ... Why would we add to the problem?"

What about our own domestic poor and hungry sleeping on the sidewalks in LA, NY, Detroit, San Francisco, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, etc.? For every dollar allocated from the proposed $3.7 billion requested appropriation by President Obama, 50 cents, or half, should be allocated to assist domestic existing citizen poor persons in our country.

In connection with the Israeli Palestinian war, does anyone doubt that Israel will militarily "win the war"? The probable political consequences will be the final nail in the coffin of a proposed "two state" solution between Israel and Palestine and increased isolation of Israel within the international community.

Israel is between a "moral" rock and a hard place: The direct and collateral damage inflicted upon the Palestinian people and their community infrastructures as consequence of Israel's exercise of its "right to militarily defend itself" may irrevocably damage the moral heart and soul of the precepts and principles underlying the founding of Israel. In so-called justifiable wars, even the doctrine of "military proportionality" and limited injuries to civilians prevails.

The United States bears a great deal of responsibility for the current situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We are "enablers" of Israel's continued expanded settlements on land that is or was the basis for a two state solution. How can the Palestinians have any meaningful territorial state if a substantial part of the land for such a new state has already been taken by Israeli settlements during the course of negotiations for such a Palestinian state?

In the current conflict, the deafening silence of Palestinian leadership to call for an immediate end to the indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel also makes them "enablers." An "eye for an eye" only leaves everybody blind.

A new Pyrrhic victory for Israel will only further isolate it within the International community. Additionally, the continued military conflict undermines efforts by those who seek to resurrect and commemorate the historic MORAL and political coalition that existed between the African-American and Jewish communities during our civil rights movement.

The struggle against resurgent anti-Semitism should not be compromised by people conflicted by Israel's war against Hamas. It is important that Israel be perceived as the party occupying the moral high ground.

On the issue of rising gun violence in our country, same song, different verse. When will our Congressional representative have the will and the backbone to follow their consciences and not the implacable opposition of the NRA to background checks and a limit on the size of gun magazine cartridges?

So far the NRA mantra that a good guy with a gun is the best answer to a bad guy with a gun doesn't/t seem to effective in reducing gun violence in Chicago and elsewhere.

President Obama and Congress will soon commence their vacations. Will they work together once they return?

Don't hold your breath.