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December 17, 2018 4:08 pm

Top US Jewish Civil Rights Group Slams Times for Publication of Endorsement of Antisemitic Book

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Talkshow host Oprah Winfrey (R) and producer Scott Sanders (C) listen as writer Alice Walker speaks during the curtain call of Winfrey’s Broadway musical ‘The Color Purple,’ in New York, Dec. 1, 2005. Photo: Reuters / Keith Bedford.

A top US Jewish civil rights group has criticized The New York Times Book Review after the publication of an interview this weekend with Alice Walker, in which the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple recommended a book written by a prominent antisemite.

“We’re deeply disappointed that The New York Times Book Review would print author Alice Walker’s unqualified endorsement of a book by notorious British antisemitic conspiracy theorist David Icke,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt stated on Monday. “His book ‘And the Truth Shall Set you Free,’ calls Judaism an ‘incredibly racist’ religion which preaches ‘racial superiority,’ claims that a ‘Jewish clique’ fomented World War I and World War II as well as the Russian Revolution, and draws heavily on the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ for inspiration. He even casts doubt on the Holocaust and condemns the Nuremberg Trials.”

Icke, Greenblatt concluded, had “a long history of scapegoating Jews and Times readers should be aware of this before considering his work.”

And the Truth Shall Set you Free was one of four books recommended by Walker at the start of the interview.

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“In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about,” Walker said. “A curious person’s dream come true.”

Walker has a long history of anti-Israel activism, including a 2009 visit to the Gaza Strip and her 2011 participation in a flotilla seeking break the blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

In 2017, she wrote a poem on her personal blog about the “poison” of The Talmud, a centuries-old text on Jewish religious law and tradition.

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