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IPS’ MLK holiday program challenges youths to engage in civic duties

Indianapolis Public Schools tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Public schools is keeping the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. alive.

The district on Friday had its 39th tribute program. People packed the auditorium Friday at Crispus Attucks High School for the MLK holiday. Speakers said young people were the lifeblood that kept the Civil Rights Movement alive. Speakers also challenged youths to continue King’s push for equality.

Guest speaker Brandon Cosby said, “We really need to focus on the reasons why and how we can be together.”

The event included a group of youngsters delivering King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech he delivered in 1963.

King in his speech called for all ethnicities to one day come together without discrimination.

At Friday’s event, IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson challenged students to become engaged not just by heading off to college, the military or workforce, but also in civic duties.

Johnson said, “When you look at data and you look across all sectors, when you look at housing, health care, criminal justice, education, you still see gaps play out by race in our country.”

But, Cosby said, there’s time to fix that if young people take the reins.

“I think sometimes we have forgotten that young people and their voices, in their opinions and their power and presence, has really been the lifeblood of the movement of civil rights,” Cosby said.

He said conversations too often center on what young people are doing wrong instead of pointing out where they can do right.

“Dr. King was a very young man at the center of that Civil Rights Movement in so I think sometimes we need to do a better job of recognizing and creating space for the youth to really be able to take the lead,” Cosby said.


Israeli foreign minister slams Sanders ‘horrifying comment’

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s foreign minister denounced Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders on Wednesday for what he called his “horrifying comment” about Jerusalem, saying that those who support Israel would not back Sanders’ presidential candidacy after such remarks.

At a contentious Democratic debate on Tuesday night in South Carolina, Sanders labeled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “reactionary racist” and said he’d consider reversing President Donald Trump’s historic move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and return it to Tel Aviv.

In a daring foray into American domestic politics, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said there was a not a Jew in the world who “hasn’t dreamed of Jerusalem” and Sanders words were so severe that he had no choice but to retort.

“We don’t intervene in the internal American electoral process, which is splendid,” Katz told Israel’s Army Radio, before noting that Sanders had a long history of attacking Israel and the things most sacred to its identity and national security.

“Naturally, people who support Israel will not support someone who goes against these things,” he added.

Sanders’ comments at the debate came after he recently announced he would skip an appearance before the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which he called a “platform for bigotry.”

He’s also called for cutting back American foreign aid to Israel and redirecting it to the Palestinians instead. Sanders, who if elected would become America’s first Jewish president, doubled down Tuesday saying: “What you cannot ignore is the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Sanders prefaced his remarks by saying he was “very proud of being Jewish,” and noted how he had volunteered in the 1960s on a socialist Israeli kibbutz, where he honed his leftist leanings. But his harsh criticism of modern-day Israeli policies, and embrace of supporters who have called to boycott Israel and been accused on anti-Semitism, has raised great concerns in the Jewish state about his surging candidacy.

Sanders has firmly established himself in the lead after scoring primary and caucus victories in the first three nominating states: Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Yair Lapid, a leading opposition figure who aims to replace Katz as foreign minister after next week’s Israeli election, said in a recent TV interview that he was “very worried” about Sanders’ rise because of his “lack of understanding of our unique situation in the Middle East.”

The majority of American Jews vote Democrat and have been very critical of the Trump presidency.

But in Israel, Trump has been warmly embraced by Netanyahu and his allies, which has contributed to undermining the traditional bi-partisan support for Israel in the United States.

Even so, Trump has remained very popular in Israel for backing it in a hostile region and delivering it a string of diplomatic achievements. Last month, Trump unveiled his much-anticipated Mideast plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It sided with Israel on most of its core demands and granted it sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank that the Palestinians seek for a future state.

Previously, Trump reversed decades of American foreign policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving it’s embassy there.

Michael Bloomberg, another Jewish candidate seeking the Democratic nomination, said at Tuesday’s debate that it was too late to reverse the embassy move and people should instead focus on advancing a two-state solution.