Antisemitism With a Literary Glow: Alice Walker’s Ugly Caricature of Israeli Jews

June 24, 2012 12:53 am 12 comments

Alice Walker and a friend.

“Jesus, a Palestinian – is still being crucified.” (Alice Walker’s blog, per CAMERA.)

“[Israeli] settlers are the [Ku Klux] Klan” (Alice Walker, during interview with Jesse Rosenfeld.)

“I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves.”  (Alice Walker, Foreign Policy, in June, 2011.)

“I feel that the Israel that many Jews dreamed of having – that one is gone. That’s demolished. I think it’s time for people to accept that. Because what you have now is something that is so frightening. Israel is as frightening to many of us as Germany used to be.” (Alice Walker: Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, Guardian, June 25, 2011.)

The literary foot-stomping  which is Alice Walker’s recent refusal to permit her book ‘The Colour Purple’ to be translated into Hebrew – bizarre as it is – can hardly have come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with the writer’s history of anti-Israel activism. Neither does the Guardian’s decision to showcase extensive sections of Walker’s letter of refusal to the would-be publisher exactly come as a shock.

Walker is a long-standing activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), and indeed allowed her letter to the Israeli publisher which requested permission to translate the book to be posted on the website of PACBI – the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel – which leads and sets the tone for the BDS campaign.

PACBI does not aspire to a two-state solution – it promotes the ‘return’ of millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees, thereby rejecting the existence of Israel within any borders. PACBI opposes ‘normalisation’ and has produced a document which defines that term as:

“participating in any project, initiative or activity whether locally or internationally, that is designed to bring together-whether directly or indirectly Palestinian and/or Arab youth with Israelis (whether individuals or institutions) and is not explicitly designed to resist or expose the occupation and all forms of discrimination and oppression inflicted upon the Palestinian people.”

PACBI founding member and steering committee member Omar Barghouti believes (mistakenly) that:

“International law does give people under occupation the right to resist in any way, including armed resistance”.

In other words, Alice Walker chose to make her statement on the platform of an organization which aspires, by any means, to oppose co-existence in the Middle East and bring about an end to the Jewish state.

That too should not be surprising, for another of Alice Walker’s pet hobbies is supporting an additional Palestinian organization which opposes dialogue, seeks to bring about the end of Israel and openly calls for the murder of Jews – Hamas.

In 2011 Walker joined the (failed) flotilla to Gaza, engaging in self-promotion on the pages of the Guardian (where else?) along the way. Walker’s flowery prose was full of buzz-words such as ‘justice’ and ‘respect’, but any concern for the people of Israel’s south – battered and traumatized for over a decade by the terror organizations involved in organizing that flotilla – was remarkably absent, as Howard Jacobson pointed out to her at the time.

And then of course there is Alice Walker’s involvement in that self-appointed kangaroo court-cum-echo chamber known as the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which flits from venue to venue in order to reach the foregone conclusion of Israeli’s immutable guilt based on carefully pre-selected ‘evidence’.

Walker claims that her decision not to allow her book to be translated into Hebrew is part of her ongoing attempt to “rid humanity of its self-destructive habit of dehumanizing whole populations”, yet it has obviously never occurred to her that she is supremely guilty of that fault herself.

A woman who would liken Israelis who live on “the “wrong” side of the green line” to the KKK is an unserious political poser – an extremist engaged in incendiary, hateful, and dehumanizing rhetoric about hundreds of thousands of Jews.

A once  celebrated literary figure who holds steady with the sophomoric belief that the United States and Israel are the “great terrorist organizations” of our time is someone who has become a 60′s political anachronism: an embarrassment to those who may have succumbed to the temptation of imputing to Walker true wisdom by virtue of her literary achievements.

A person who excuses terror and murder by claiming that “[t]his is David and Goliath, but Goliath is not the Palestinians. They are David. They are the ones with the slingshot. They are the ones with the rocks and relatively not-so-powerful rockets. Whereas the Israelis have these incredibly damaging missiles and rockets” is severely lacking in even basic human empathy.

Much of Walker’s self-allocated expertise and supreme authority on the subjects of terrorism, discrimination and apartheid is, by her own account, based upon her experiences growing up in the south of the United States.

But by choosing to support a plethora of organisations which seek to deny Jews the right to self-determination like any other nation in the world and in promoting her own radical-chic credentials by deeming a language – and the nation which speaks it – beyond the pale, Walker shows herself to be no better than the Deep South racists of her youth.

Walker, schooled in the art of compassion, liberalism (and the theology of liberation) evidently fails to note the succor she is providing for the most illiberal, reactionary Islamist movements: forces of antisemitic intolerance which resemble – indeed, wildly exceed – the fervor of hardcore racism arduously defended during the 1950s and 1960s in places like Jackson, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama.

In an essay which Walker wrote in 2009, she described giving a gift to a Palestinian woman:

“I gave her a gift I had brought, and she thanked me. Looking into my eyes she said: May God Protect You From the Jews. When the young Palestinian interpreter told me what she’d said, I respondedIt’s too late, I already married one.” [emphasis added]

It may be too later for her, but Alice Walker seems intent on at least protecting others from the perfidy of the Jewish people.

12 Comments

  • Shame on the ‘klu-klux-klan’ for forgetting to put ‘Alice Walker’ on their list of the undesirables.

  • Walker’s book’s subject is biased itself in that it debases the black male even more than white racism in its subject matter and theme. It just restates the prejudice and condemns the black man who is working and supporting his family in favor of a black woman that wants to be free of responsibility. Her plot is prejudged and her characters manipulate one into believing that no compromise is possible. Just like her personality in real life–the illogical emotional attraction to the loser regardless of any real life circumstances or facts. A black man could read her book and wonder where his place in her imagined society is. Who would want this piece of garbage leftist dribble translated to Hebrew?

  • Alice Walker has emerged as the stereotypical ignorant,extreme, flotilla- prone, self-righteous pseuo-peacenik who,not having a clue about the reality in the Middle-East,uses her notoriety in an underhanded and distorted way to enhance her bigotry. Her transparent mask has now fallen off, completely, and she deserves the condemnation and delegitimization that her actions have engendered. Many have never truly doubted this, beginning with the disturbing antics from her earlier days.

  • The synagogue / temple religion, of Esau nation went astray following the Levites, (Luke 10:32) instead of following Moses (Hebrews 7:14). The state of Israel will lie and wait for blood, what happen to the ark of the Lord, reading (1st Samuel 6:2)? *Ezekiel 48:11 It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray *(Nehemiah 10:28)*

  • It is a bitter irony that so many American Jews worked to bring pressure on American power to move the civil rights of African Americans. I always find this kind of story so disheartening. People should read their history before making up their own versions.

  • I love Alice, but.
    Jesus was a Jew.
    There NO Palestinians during the Roman occupation.
    Israel did not participate in single bombing in Europe, America, Africa or India.
    Alice, you do realize that Darfur is Arabs killing African Moslins, right? You do know that?
    Muslims kill more other Muslims than anyone else ever could? The Iraq-Iran war killed over 1,000,000 million Moslims, not even counting the Kurds.
    I am thinking maybe a little bit more research.
    And that is not even counting all acts of violence against women.
    Come on, Alice!

    • Vee, you are so right. It is sickening to me, as an American liberal, to hear people who self-identify as “progressives” spouting this trash.

  • Alice Walker is no different than a Klansman:
    She doesn’t want Jews to exist except as slaves.
    Instead of crosses she wants to burn Torahs.

  • The more ignorant, the more extreme those antisemitic parrots are. Pathetic.

  • You cannot see the truth if you are blind. Seems like Alice Walker has lost her sight long ago. Too bad.

    • I agree with you Talia. It’s sad how some people are so ignorant to the truth. When was Ms. Walker ever in Israel’s political spectrum to see and learn firsthand the truth of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
      My advice is for Ms. Walker mind your own business.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Rocks Solo Acoustic Version of Israeli National Anthem – Hatikva (VIDEO)

    Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Rocks Solo Acoustic Version of Israeli National Anthem – Hatikva (VIDEO)

    Ok, fans, question time. What do: Guns ‘n’ Roses shred-meister guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (aka Ronald Jay Blumenthal), “Hard Rock Hotel”, “Las Vegas” and Israel’s ”Hatikva” (The Hope) national anthem… all have in common? I know, you’re probably thinking, “Hmm, ‘One of these things is not like the other,’ would fit in here,” right? Um, no, turns out. Caught backstage by blogger Darren Garnick at the swanky Vegas gig in early June, Thal, acoustic guitar in hand, fretted out a sweetly melodic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs David Letterman’s Sidekick on His ‘Dream Job,’ Jewish Upbringing

    David Letterman’s Sidekick on His ‘Dream Job,’ Jewish Upbringing

    JNS.org – A Jewish upbringing taught Paul Shaffer, David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick for 32 years, the value of giving back. After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Shaffer served as musical director for “The Concert for New York City,” and in 2012 he accompanied Adam Sandler in “12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief,” a fundraiser for people affected by Hurricane Sandy. He was also the national spokesperson for Epilepsy Canada. “My mother taught by example,” Shaffer said in an [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.