Al Sharpton Visits Holocaust Memorial During Israel Visit

The Rev. Al Sharpton, the New York civil rights activist, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Tuesday as part of a solidarity visit to Israel and appealed for an end to Mideast violence.

"People want people to end the bloodshed. That's why I came," Sharpton said.

Sharpton traveled to Israel for a three-day visit of solidarity with terror victims. He met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat at the last minute Monday on the advice of Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

A black activist prominent in New York City politics, Sharpton and New York's Jewish community have long stayed at arm's length. He led marches during riots that erupted in 1991 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn after a 7-year-old black boy was killed by a car driven by an ultra-Orthodox Lubavitcher Jew. Blacks accused New York City police of giving preferential treatment to Jews after the driver was never charged.

Sharpton has since begun refashioning himself as a national civil rights leader in the United States and is considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

During his visit, Sharpton dined with Jewish religious leaders and met with Israel's chief rabbi. He said his tour of the Holocaust memorial was moving and compelling.