Alice Walker is an anti-Semite.
There's no serious argument about that. It's not just her endorsement of David Icke's Holocaust denial and Jewish reptilian space people.
Even her anti-Israel activism is so blatantly anti-Semitic that it's hard even for the "it's anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism" crowd to defend.
Walker, the ADL statement went on, “suggests that Israeli settlements are motivated by the concept that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law,’ which she claims is a lesson she ‘learned from my Jewish lawyer former husband. This belief might even be enshrined in the Torah.’”
A meeting she describes with an elderly Palestinian woman in the territories is telling about the impetus behind Walker’s hostile attitude towards Jews and Israelis. The woman, upon accepting a gift from Walker, says “May God protect you from the Jews” to which Walker responds, “It’s too late, I already married one.”
This stuff wasn't obscure.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL had both cited it. Walker had pushed Icke on the BBC. The Independent had previously mentioned Walker's affinity for Icke. (And I've blogged about all of the above.)
Finally the curtain of silence fell when Walker pushed Icke's ravings in the New York Times, not because the Times objected (it still hasn't added a note to the Walker piece about anti-Semitism), but because of Yair Rosenberg's Tablet piece citing some of Walker's anti-Semitic craziness.
Over the weekend, the New York Times Book Review published a full-length interview with Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple. The very first question: “What books are on your nightstand?” Walker replied with four, the second of which was:
“And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” by David Icke. In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true."
In the book and elsewhere, Icke draws liberally upon the infamous anti-Semitic pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—a Russian forgery about an alleged global Jewish cabal that is widely considered one of the most influential anti-Semitic works in history.
And now there are pieces in the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, JTA, and assorted outlets, some trying to minimize it, and others addressing it.
But why did it take so long?
Walker has been saying this stuff for a while with no consequences. Compare the treatment of Paula Deen to Walker getting a pass for medieval anti-Semitism, linking Judaism to everything evil in the world.
The bottom line is that the lefty cultural establishment didn't want to know about it because Walker was one of theirs. They kept claiming that it was anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism, no matter how blatant it became, until finally they were forced to confront the ugliness.
And, the other bottom line, is that there will be no consequences.
The Color Purple will go on being an establishment classic. Walker will continue to be featured at festivals and will continue to be celebrated and published.
A racist author would have been shut down for good. An anti-Semitic lefty author will continue to enjoy all the privileges of her position.