Alice Walker stops new Hebrew version of ‘The Color Purple,’ blames Israel’s ‘persecution’ / Pulitzer-winning author writes open letter, citing ´apartheid ... of the Palestinian people´ (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) ALEXANDER NAZARYAN 06/20/12)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Articles-Index-Top
Alice Walker has refused to allow a new Hebrew translation of her
Pulitzer-winning novel, “The Color Purple” to be published in Israel,
which she says is “guilty of apartheid and persecution of the
Walker, 68, has long been a member of the boycott, divest and
sanction movement, which wants Israel ostracized economically and
culturally on the international stage until it changes its policies
toward the Palestinian residents of Gaza and the West Bank.
She compared Israel to the South Africa of yesteryear — as well as
“I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse,” Walker
says in an open letter to Israeli publisher Yediot books, which is
affiliated with the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronoth and was planning
a new translation.
That letter appeared on the website for the Palestinian Campaign for
the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on Sunday.
Describing how she years ago refused to have the film version of “The
Color Purple” shown in apartheid South Africa, she writes: “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. I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen. But
now is not the time.”
Israel’s supporters lashed out at the author.
The right-leaning Commentary magazine called Walker’s letter “among
the most egregious acts of discrimination against Israel by leftist
And Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a City University trustee and a vocal
supporter of Israel, called Walker a “lunatic” and suggested she and
her ilk “need serious counseling.”
Incidentally, Walker’s ex-husband is Jewish civil rights lawyer Mel
Leventhal. They had one daughter together, 42-year-old Rebecca
Walker, whose books include “Black White and Jewish.”
Her mom’s criticism of Israel has been even more strident in the past.
Asked last year by Foreign Policy magazine if Hamas was a terrorist
group, she replied: “I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that
part of the world. And I think, in general, the United States and
Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves.”
That interview was given as Walker attempted to board “Freedom
Flotilla II,” which was to pass through the Israeli maritime blockade
of Gaza. A previous flotilla had left nine activists dead after they
were confronted with Israeli forces seeking to stop their ships. The
second flotilla was ultimately thwarted without violence.
Walker published “The Color Purple,” based on her own childhood in
Jim Crow Georgia, in 1982 to great acclaim. The following year, she
became the first woman of color to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
In recent years, she has devoted an increasing amount of time to
political activism. (© Copyright 2012 NYDailyNews.com. 06/20/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY