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February 27, 2015 5:16 pm

Leading Black Activist, Ministers Say ‘Congressional Black Caucus Should be Absolutely Ashamed’ for Boycott of Netanyahu Speech

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Black leader Star Parker said members of the Congressional Black Caucus should be "ashamed" by their boycott of PM Netanyahu's speech. Photo:

A prominent leader of the black Christian community on Thursday, along with leading black ministers, lashed out at the Congressional Black Caucus for its boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress on March 3.

“The Congressional Black Caucus should be absolutely ashamed of themselves and these black ministers are standing to oppose them,” said Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a public policy think-tank. “We want the Israeli Prime Minister to know that he is welcomed here by the black Christian community.”

“Israel has had to fight for survival every single day since its founding and it is a sign of ungratefulness that the Congressional Black Caucus is not supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu as the Jewish community stood by us throughout the Civil Rights Movement,” she added. “They financed Dr. Martin Luther King. They helped found the NAACP. Two Jewish youth even died in Mississippi trying to help the black community.”

Parker made the comments during a press conference in Washington where leaders of the black Christian community gathered to voice support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Ministers who delivered statements at the event included Bishop David A. Richey of the Gulf Coast Christian Center in Mobile, Alabama, Pastor Levon Yuille of The Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Pastor Cecil Blye of More Grace Ministries in Louisville, Kentucky, Pastor Dexter D. Sanders of the Rock Center for Transformation in Orlando, Florida and Rev. Ralph Chittams, Sr. of the Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church in District Heights, Maryland among a number of others.

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Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus said their position on Netanyahu’s speech, which will address the Iranian nuclear threat, is an act of protest against US House Speaker John Boehner, who invited Netanyahu to address Congress without giving much advance notice to the White House. Boehner admitted earlier in February that he made a politically calculated decision to inform the White House on the morning of his invitation to Netanyahu, fearing “interference” by President Barack Obama.

Parker on Monday wrote an op-ed entitled “Black Christians Love Israel,” in which she argued that all Americans should support Netanyahu’s speech “with enthusiasm.” She said that those Congressional Black Caucus leaders who do not attend the prime minister’s address to Congress “violate the principles of freedom of our nation, for which Dr. King fought. They also betray the unique relationship of black Christians, and America in general, to the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”

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