Taylor Branch

When I wrote Re-Imagining Ourselves in Our Fallen Heroes, I was inspired after starting to read the first couple paragraphs from Taylor Branch’s op-ed in the Sunday New York Times’ Week in Review and his comment that "more than once, the dominant culture has turned history upside Down to make itself feel more comfortable."  After reading the whole article, I was also struck by his comment that the "civil rights movement rose from the the fringe of maids and sharecroppers."  This should resonate among modern activists…

In our work at OneVoice to empower Israeli and Palestinian citizens to propel their politicians towards a two state agreement we are often asked, “Where is the MLK or Gandhi that will inspire and mobilize their people?”

The aspiration is valid.  But these leaders are formed over time, and they achieve mythological status only after the cause succeeds, or after they pass away. MLK and Gandhi were not world-revered when they were forming their movements. MLK was a minister who got recruited well into the creation of the civil rights movement. Many people had contributed to it. 

Its incumbent upon all Israelis and Palestinians to do their part.  The OneVoice Executive Staff in Palestine and Israel, and their respective youth movements, each include a lot of natural leaders that can contribute towards historic change. 

But at the end of the day all citizens must join in the arduous path to achieve peace based on a two-state solution. 

Waiting for the messiah will yield no change and generate no MLKs.

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