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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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Alice Walker: Our Enemies Unite Us

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Every vicious anti-Semite has a personal agenda. The anti-Israel assertions of Alice Walker, nationally celebrated feminist author and political activist, in her latest book are much too shrill to pass for your household pro-Arab hate speech. When I read the words, “I imagine Israel just as capable of doing us nuclear harm … because the United States and Israel, working together have done terrible things to others … and it is the nature of thieves to eventually have a grand falling out,” my shock prompted me to research Alice Walker’s personal background.

What makes Alice Malsenior Walker take the issue of Israel personally? For these words are not sentiments articulated by an activist no matter how passionately committed to an ideology: these words are outpourings of hate, revealing a personal gripe. Like Hitler, whose global hatred of Jews originated in his youth in a personal grievance against a particular Jew, so the case must be with this latter-day Jew-hater!

It did not take long to find the background source. In 1967, Alice Malsenior Walker, the die-hard black feminist fighter from the deep South, married Melvin Leventhal, a white Jew from a Jewish neighborhood. In one blow she fell into a pit of dual slavery against which she had warned women the world over – marriage and motherhood. How did it happen? Who is to blame? The Jews, of course!

Although the fierce fighter managed to free herself soon enough from the dual servitude, demolishing the marriage with the Jew, and disowning the half-Jew daughter with a Biblical name, the resentment lingered. The Jewish ex-husband re-married and established a happy family with five children, and the half-Jewish daughter Rebecca turned her back on her mother, plunging into family life and blissfully bearing a child. When Rebecca told her mother of being pregnant, Alice Walker cut all (albeit tenuous) ties with her daughter. When Rebecca, herself a talented writer, published a frankly worded autobiography entitled, Black, White and Jewish revealing all the bumps in her road, Alice Mensenior Walker’s brewing hatred and helplessness rose to a crescendo. In retaliation she penned a new book, The Cushion in the Road, her frustration emerging as full-blown Jew-hatred disguised as antagonism to Israel.

In a review of the book the Anti-Defamation League writes: “Walker has crossed the line between any notion of legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. She doesn’t merely rationalize Palestinian terror, trash the state of Israel and compare it to Nazi Germany. She also blasts Judaism and traditional Jewish beliefs (for which she blames any alleged misbehavior by individual Israelis or the state itself) and writes of Israelis in terms that are undeniably anti-Semitic.”

Alice Walker’s irrational Jew-hatred united the Jewish community in New York the way nothing had in recent years. When the 92 Street Y invited her to deliver a lecture, there was an unprecedented outcry by all segments of the Jewish public.

Her latest paranoid activity for the anti-Israel boycott, including her pressure on Alicia Keys not to perform in Israel with the warning cry: “Alice, save your soul! Boycott Israel!” reinforced an amazing boomerang effect.

Thanks to the Almighty, the substance that unites us seems to be activated, unlike the early days of Hitler when his Jewish followers refused to be dissuaded until it was too late. Let’s pray that in our days, enemies like Alice Walker should continue to exercise a positive impact.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

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