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 Riots on the Gaza Border are Carefully Coordinated Attacks on Israel, and Should Be Treated as Such

Jan. 16 2019

On Friday, the weekly riots at the Gaza security fence resumed in full force: 13,000 people participated, and a Palestinian woman was apparently killed by Israeli gunfire. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) had established a commission of inquiry in May, not long after these riots began, “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human-rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, . . . particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on March 20, 2018.” In a report to the commission, Richard Kemp, a retired senior British officer, concludes, after investigating the situation at the Gaza border, that there is no evidence whatsoever of Israeli wrongdoing, and that the commission is operating under faulty assumptions:

The terms of [the commission’s] mandate are self-evidently biased against the state of Israel and the IDF. The context cited—“the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests”—make clear that the UNHRC either failed to understand what was happening on the ground or deliberately misrepresented the reality. In addition, the commission’s mandate terms the Gaza Strip “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” which it is not. . . .

[T]he so-called “civilian protests” in reality were, and continue to be, a deliberate military operation, orchestrated and controlled by Hamas, [a] terrorist group that has been waging an armed conflict against Israel for many years. Their intention was and remains to kill and wound IDF soldiers, to break through the border fence, to murder and maim innocent civilians, to destroy property, and to compel the IDF to take defensive action resulting in the death of Gaza civilians for exploitation in the international arena. [Israel’s] “military assaults” were not what was implied by this prejudicial mandate. They were in fact lawful, proportionate, and restrained defensive actions. . . .

Suggestions that these demonstrations are [protests] against Israeli policy toward the Gaza Strip are demonstrably false and easily refuted by cursory viewing of Hamas and other public statements made at the time of the events. . . . Further, it is clear that Hamas intended this violence to continue its long-standing strategy of creating and intensifying international outrage, vilification, isolation, and criminalization of the state of Israel and its officials. . . .

[T]he starkest indication that these events were entirely under Hamas control is the simple fact that, when it suited Hamas’s political interests, the [demonstrations] occurred and were of a violent nature, and when such actions did not serve Hamas’s interests, the border was quiet. As the most recent example of this, in November 2018, Qatar began to make large cash payments to Hamas in Gaza. The most recent payment of $15 million was handed over in December 2018. These payments are reportedly part of an agreement with Hamas to diminish violence along the Gaza border. [After] the first payment, the border violence [was] reduced [and the] demonstrations [became] far more restrained.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Laws of war, UNHRC