The “New York Times” Gives Alice Walker a Platform to Promote Naked Anti-Semitism

Dec. 18 2018

Last weekend’s edition of the New Times Book Review featured an interview with the author and Israel-hater Alice Walker, in which she was asked what books are currently on her nightstand. Among the four she named was And the Truth Shall Set You Free by David Icke, a longstanding peddler of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; the book itself draws liberally on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, complains that Holocaust denial isn’t taught in schools, blames Jews for the Holocaust, and accuses the Anti-Defamation League of supporting far-right groups with the help of the Mossad and the Rothschilds. In Walker’s words, recorded by the Times without comment, the book is a “curious person’s dream come true.” Yair Rosenberg observes:

As can be seen from . . . its chapter titles (“Master Races,” “The Hidden Hand”), anti-Semitism is not incidental to Icke’s book; it is essential. It is impossible to miss. . . . That a celebrated cultural figure like Walker would promote such a self-evidently unhinged bigot might seem surprising [to those unfamiliar with her previous pronouncements]. But this is only because the cultural establishment has spent years studiously looking away from Walker’s praise of Icke and his work, and her [own] repeated expressions of anti-Semitism. . . .

Normally, . . . I’d say that it was good that the Times published Walker’s recommendation of Icke because it lets us know who she is. But we have known who she is for many years. It is rather the Times and other cultural elites who have opted to ignore this inconvenient fact. Thus, the only thing that is accomplished by uncritically disseminating Walker’s bigoted [recommendation] is ensuring that the racism is disseminated to more people.

Why has Walker escaped accountability for so long? Perhaps it is due to her Israel politics, which have been used to confuse the issue. Walker is a prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, famously forbidding [her novel] The Color Purple from being translated into Hebrew. Because Walker—like Icke—is a strident critic of Israel, her defenders—like Icke’s—have dismissed allegations of anti-Semitism by claiming they are merely an attempt to quash her criticism of the Jewish state.

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More about: Alice Walker, Anti-Semitism, BDS, New York Times, Politics & Current Affairs

The Syrian Civil War May Be Coming to an End, but Three New Wars Are Rising There

March 26 2019

With both Islamic State and the major insurgent forces largely defeated, Syria now stands divided into three parts. Some 60 percent of the country, in the west and south, is in the hands of Bashar al-Assad and his allies. Another 30 percent, in the northeast, is in the hands of the mostly Kurdish, and American-backed, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The final 10 percent, in the northwest, is held by Sunni jihadists, some affiliated with al-Qaeda, under Turkish protection. But, writes Jonathan Spyer, the situation is far from stable. Kurds, likely linked to the SDF, have been waging an insurgency in the Turkish areas, and that’s only one of the problems:

The U.S.- and SDF-controlled area east of the Euphrates is also witnessing the stirrings of internal insurgency directed from outside. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “236 [SDF] fighters, civilians, oil workers, and officials” have been killed since August 2018 in incidents unrelated to the frontline conflict against Islamic State. . . . The SDF blames Turkey for these actions, and for earlier killings such as that of a prominent local Kurdish official. . . . There are other plausible suspects within Syria, however, including the Assad regime (or its Iranian allies) or Islamic State, all of which are enemies of the U.S.-supported Kurds.

The area controlled by the regime is by far the most secure of Syria’s three separate regions. [But, for instance, in] the restive Daraa province in the southwest, [there has been] a renewed small-scale insurgency against the Assad regime. . . .

As Islamic State’s caliphate disappears from Syria’s map, the country is settling into a twilight reality of de-facto division, in which a variety of low-burning insurgencies continue to claim lives. Open warfare in Syria is largely over. Peace, however, will remain a distant hope.

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More about: ISIS, Kurds, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war, Turkey