Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker has further burnished her anti-Semitic credentials. Her latest book, “The Cushion in the Road,” is replete with an abundance of anti-Jewish rhetoric, including 80 pages devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which she compares the Jewish State to Nazi Germany, bashes Jews and Judaism in general, and suggests that Israel should cease to exist.
Abraham H. Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), illuminates the thrust of Walker’s latest effort. “Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said Foxman. “She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before. Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world.”
The ADL cites a dozen essays contained in a section of the book titled “On Palestine,” in which Walker makes the effort to justify terrorism inflicted against Israelis. She even rails against black churches whose leaders cite Biblical passages in which Jews emerge triumphant. “It amazes me, in these churches, that there is no discussion of the fact that the other behavior we learned about in the Bible stories: The rapes, the murders, the pillaging, the enslavement of the conquered, the confiscation of land, the brutal domination and colonization of all ‘others’ is still front and center in Israel’s behavior today,” Walker writes. She then compared the plight of Palestinians with the treatment of black Americans. “It is because I recognize the brutality with which my own multi-branched ancestors have been treated that I can identify the despicable, lawless, cruel, and sadistic behavior that has characterized Israel’s attempts to erase a people, the Palestinians, from their own land.”
Walker condemns Israel for its moral values, which are based on little more than a feeling of “supremacy,” further noting that Israeli settlements are based on the idea that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” a lesson she claims she “learned from my Jewish lawyer former husband. This belief might even be enshrined in the Torah,” she contends.
Walker’s “Jewish lawyer former husband” was civil rights attorney Mel Leventhal. Apparently the reality that Leventhal’s parents fled the Holocaust made no impression on Walker, who takes a cheap shot at the man in her book. She describes a meeting with an elderly Palestinian women who accepts a gift from the author. “May God protect you from the Jews” the woman says. “It’s too late, I already married one,” Walker responds. Several paragraphs later she takes another shot at him, his family, and Jews in general. “These were people who knew how to hate, and how to severely punish others, even those beloved, as he was,” she writes.
Regarding an encounter with a young Israeli soldier manning a checkpoint, Walker is equally contemptuous. “I couldn’t bring myself to use the ‘N’ word, but I did say, ‘Don’t you think this behavior — insulting, threatening, humiliating — makes you all seem rather Germanesque? I meant the old Germanesque of the late thirties and early forties, not the current Germanesque,” she explains. When she speaks of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, all of the typically libelous catchphrases are employed in the effort. Thus, Israelis are responsible for “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” “crimes against humanity,” and “cruelty and diabolical torture.” Walker also hammers the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, comparing it to Nazi propaganda festivals established by Hitler leading up to WWII, and conceived to “make the bully look more respectable.”
Comparing Israelis soldiers to Nazis no doubt enables her to rationalize Palestinian terrorism perpetrated against innocent Israeli civilians. Walkers believes it is “dishonest… that people claim not to understand the desperate, last ditch resistance involved in suicide bombings; blaming the oppressed for using their bodies where the Israeli army uses armored tanks,” she contends.
Walker’s latest anti-Semitic outburst follows a familiar pattern. In 2011, she announced her participation in the Freedom Flotilla II, the second attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The effort, aimed at delegitimizing Israel’s determination to keep weapons from being smuggled into Gaza, ended in failure, one that even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labeled “neither necessary or useful.”
Walker even alienated radical leftist Rabbi Michael Lerner. Lerner had second thoughts about letting her give a speech on Yom Kippur, one he characterized as “so lacking in nuance and filled more with attitude than facts or analysis,” due in large part to Walker’s completely unsubstantiated claim that Israeli soldiers raped Palestinian women.
Lerner went further. “I personally experienced some of her remarks as offensive to me and her manner of talking to us dismissive and put-downish and her perception of the Jewish people seemed largely ignorant of the tradition of Jews that we represent and that has been growing worldwide,” he wrote. “So I want to apologize to our community for subjecting you to this talk.”
In 2012, Walker again stirred up controversy when she refused to allow her most famous book, “The Color Purple,” to be translated in Hebrew. Writing a letter to Yediot Books, Walker insisted that Israel engages in “apartheid” and must change its policies. “I would so like knowing my books are read by the people of your country, especially by the young and by the brave Israeli activists (Jewish and Palestinian) for justice and peace I have had the joy of working beside,” she wrote in the letter. “I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen. But now is not the time.”
Last month, Walker, along with the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement that advocates an economic boycott of Israel, turned their attention towards entertainer Alicia Keys, pressuring her to cancel a July 4 concert in Tel Aviv. In a personal letter to Keys, Walker warned Keys about “putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists.” Walker urged Keys to visit her website where she can learn about the “unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major ‘crime’ is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.” She tells Keys the information at that website will provide the singer with “a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil.”
Keys wasn’t buying it. “I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show,” she told the New York Times.
In a piece entitled “The Conspiratorial World of Alice Walker,” Commentary Magazine’s Jonathan Kay reveals how far beyond the borders of reason Walker has traveled, noting that her “recent musings about world-domination plots still serve to disqualify her from the mainstream marketplace of ideas.” He refers to her effusive praise of a 2010 book, Human Race Get Off Your Knees by author David Icke. Icke is a one-time professional soccer player convinced the earth has been taken over by giant lizards that have taken human form. Kay notes that Icke is a long-time fan of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and his book makes constant references to “Rothschild Zionists,” who control vast numbers of corporations, NGOs and media organizations, and who have inflicted vast amounts of misery on the Palestinians.
According Walker, the book is “amazing,” “stunning,” “magical,” “profound” and “the ultimate reading adventure.”
Thus, it should surprise no one that “The Cushion in the Road” represents little more than another brick in Walker’s ever-rising wall of anti-Semitism. Thanks to people like Alice Walker and others, anti-Semitism in America has become more “trendy” than ever.
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