Dermer Addresses Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer visited on Sunday a historic African-American church in what seems to be an effort to reach out to minority groups and traditional Democratic Party loyalists – a campaign kicked off by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week in DC.

Speaking at the “Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church” in Atlanta, Georgia, the church where Martin Luther King Sr. and Jr. preached, Dermer described it as “the greatest honor that has been bestowed upon me since I became Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.”

In his remarks, the Israeli Ambassador drew a parallel between Dr. King’s goal “to ensure that African-Americans, like all Americans, could exercise their individual right of self-determination in the country they called home” to Israel’s goal which “has always been to ensure that the Jewish people, like all people, can exercise our collective right of self-determination in the land we have always called home.”

Dermer also commented on the recent terror attacks in Paris, pointing to the fact that terrorism has nothing to with territorial conflict. This lesson, he said, is not being learned by world leaders when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “They believe this because they forget a second lesson we must learn from Dr. King — that those who deliberately target the innocent are not driven by some legitimate grievance that can be addressed,” said Dermer.

“You see, many people continue to believe that the root cause of terrorism is poverty or the deprivation of rights. But think about that for a second. Was Osama bin Laden poor? I don’t remember him or any of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 standing on line at soup kitchens. They were relatively wealthy and well-educated,” Dermer asserted. “Bangladesh and Haiti are two of the poorest countries in the world. How many Bangladeshi and Haitian terrorists have you heard of? And what about Dr. King, was he and his followers deprived of their rights? You know they were. But did Dr. King champion murdering the innocent? Of course not.”

Read the full text of Dermer’s remarks here

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