It appears that Ms. Alice Walker, holder of a Pulitzer and many other honors, has a problem with, well, what shall we call it ? Zionists, the Hebrew language, Jews as a group ? Let’s just say it’s complicated.
But here are some things that we do know.
1) It is “humanitarian views that permeate her work.” How do we know this ? Why, she herself has told us so. Yes indeed, her views are absolutely humanitarian, we can definitely take her word for that one. What a friend we have in Alice !
2) Ms. Walker is in the news lately because she has refused to allow a Hebrew translation of her book The Color Purple. She has given her reasons to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: in brief, she does not want the people of Israel to read her work. Someday perhaps, but “now is not the time.” Put otherwise, she does not want to be on speaking terms with the Jews. Not now, but perhaps some day. Well, OK, fine, we can wait.
3) But, as it happens, Ms. Walker once had a Jewish husband, with whom she had a daughter, Rebecca, who is now forty-three. Now Ms. Walker has not been on speaking terms with Rebecca for at least a decade. Look, you can’t be on speaking terms with just anybody, can you. Here is Rebecca’s account of her relations with her mother.
4) Ms. Walker’s negative views of Israel, she says, are based on what she heard as a juror (which she calls a “jurist’) on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine:
As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse.
Of course Ms. Walker has been an anti-Israel activist for many years before she was appointed to this so-called RToP. In fact, according to the NGO Monitor, all the jurors and all the judges on this “tribunal” were long identified as anti-Israel activists. What sort of justice can you expect from a court all of whose members have declared against you long before the trial ? This RTofP, like the other Russell tribunals, is notorious as a kangaroo court pure and simple.
I do know that Ms. Walker does not want me to read what she writes, that if she knew of me, she would no doubt consider herself as not on speaking terms with me. Nevertheless, I now make this attempt, through this blog, to send her a little something that she might wish to consider. Since she is a “jurist,” she will no doubt be interested the US Supreme Court’s position on tribunals. The following is an excerpt from an opinion by Mr. Justice Black (who was not Jewish, so, dear Ms. Walker, no danger of contamination here) speaking for the Court, In Re. Murchison, et al. 349 US 133 (1955):
A fair trial in a fair tribunal is a basic requirement of due process. Fairness of course requires an absence of actual bias in the trial of cases. But our system of law has always endeavored to prevent even the probability of unfairness. To this end no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome. That interest cannot be defined with precision. Circumstances and relationships must be considered. This Court has said, however, that “every procedure which would offer a possible temptation to the average man as a judge . . . not to hold the balance nice, clear and true between the State and the accused, denies the latter due process of law.” Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U. S. 510, 532. Such a stringent rule may sometimes bar trial by judges who have no actual bias and who would do their very best to weigh the scales of justice equally between contending parties. But to perform its high function in the best way “justice must satisfy the appearance of justice.” Offutt v. United States, 348 U. S. 11, 14.
UPDATE, June 2013:
Ms. Walker has just published a book of essays, The Cushion in the Road, many of which are devoted to her hatred of Israel, of the Jewish people, and of her Jewish ex-husband. From a review of the book by the Anti-Defamation League:
On several occasions Walker seems to indicate that the purported evils of modern-day Israel are a direct result of Jewish values, alleging that Jews behave the way they do because they believe in their “supremacy.” She 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.”
To read the whole review, CLICK HERE.