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Michael Devolin

Alice Walker's Folly
By Michael Devolin
Jun 24, 2012 - 11:53:49 AM

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David Horowitz, in his book Hating Whitey, wrote, "The fact is that it is not tolerable in America to hate blacks, but it is okay in our politically correct culture to hate white people." Mr. Horowitz points out a little later that, "A paradox of the current civil rights debate is the way in which the terms of the historic conflict have been reversed. Martin Luther King Jr.'s triumphant crusade to extend America's constitutional covenant to all citizens is today scorned by the very heirs to his legacy....It is the traditional civil rights activists who now march to oppose civil rights initiatives that seek to defend the principles for which King stood, and it is their efforts, which if successful, would put that historical process in reverse."

It was reported in the Associated Press this past week that Alice Walker (one of those heirs to King's legacy) has forbidden an Israeli publisher to release the Hebrew-language edition of her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Color Purple because she says "Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people." She protests that she grew up under "American apartheid" but that the Israeli version suffered by the Palestinian people "was far worse." How very interesting.

My first thought about Alice Walker's very general excoriation of the State of Israel and the defense of its sovereignty and Jewish citizenry against Arab Muslims who wish all Jews, both within and without her present borders, the very worst of fates, is that African Americans, unlike their Jewish counterparts, were already living within the bounds of an established nationhood when their protestations against racism began to be heard beyond those bounds. Jews, on the other hand, even after achieving a second sovereign nation (where the first one used to be) as a refuge from future threats of total annihilation, have always been faced with the nagging reality that simply living peaceably alongside their Arab-Muslim neighbors (the so-called Palestinians included) is dangerously insufficient to garner peace with those same Arab-Muslim neighbors, especially when the only other alternative for Israel-- ironically, the very alternative proposed by her Arab-Muslim enemies--is the extirpation of Jews and Jewish nationhood from the Middle East altogether.

Alice Walker has now descended from the basic Sharpton type anti-white racism into the darker regions of overt anti-Jewish hatred. An accomplished writer like Alice Walker will surely understand how someone like me, a non-Jew and self-educated, might accuse her of anti-Semitism and intolerance by reason of her broad and very public condemnation of the State of Israel, a condemnation with the added punishment of depriving from anyone who reads Hebrew the freedom of reading her stirring novel The Color Purple. I would have thought that someone of her intellectual capacity could perhaps trust in Israel's Jews (a people not without a reputation for genius)--if it were so that their nation really is so evil--to find enough inspiration from her novel about "American apartheid" (to borrow her definition) to turn away from their own version of such pandemic racism.

Instead, her objective in withholding the Hebrew-language version of her book from Israel's Hebrew-speaking majority remains unclear and obviously counterproductive. Alice Walker's "affirmative action" of late betrays an anti-Jewish hatred, in my opinion, which would explain her very public reassurances of having had "the joy of working beside" certain and undisclosed "brave Israeli activists," some of whom just happened to be Jewish.

Alice Walker is proudly defending Arab Muslims, a people who, apparently unbeknownst to her, have been murdering for decades now not only Jewish men women and children simply because they were Jewish, but also their own Arab Muslim homosexuals, mothers and daughters, and anyone who is even suspected of doing business with Israeli Jews. These are the same Arab Muslims who elected, democratically no less, Hamas as the governing body of Gaza.

America cleansed itself long ago from an apartheid ("segregation") that really did exist. The State of Israel, however, has nothing to repent of. Apartheid does not exist in Israel, never has; it's as simple as that. So why are Israel's leaders, therefore, inculpated by Alice Walker for simply defending their Jewish citizens from Arab Muslims who wish them dead? Such anti-Jewish hatred, in Alice Walker's case, is nothing but an aging yet still very fashionable anti-white racism now dressed up in pro-Palestinian clothing, shouting anti-Jewish canards. Once a racist, always a racist. Once an anti-Semite, always an anti-Semite.

Norman Mailer wrote that, "Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists." My take on Alice Walker is that she is, like so many other shouting and screaming anti-Semites in the world today, infatuated with sounding off against the State of Israel and her Jews, regardless how misinformed her protestations, regardless how incitive her unctuous blather.

Janet Lehr of IsraelLives has written recently that certain Jewish organizations in the Diaspora have "set out to, and have achieved, the separation of Jews away from Israel, toward their homelands in the diaspora and, further encouraged them to view themselves first as citizens of the world, not as 'special', not as Jews first." I'm guessing those Jewish friends Alice Walker boasts of "working beside" are of the same feather and strive for the same goals. They are definitely not Zionists. And being a Pulitzer Prize winning writer does not excuse anyone--not even Alice Walker, an African-American--from the shame that eventually and inevitably tarnishes all those exposed as anti-Jewish bigots. Ask Mel Gibson. Or as the wise King Solomon wrote long ago, "A little folly outweighs wisdom and honour."

Michael Devolin


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