I just have to start this post with a joke:
Alice Walker walks into a shop and chooses some carpets. After she paid for them, the salesperson asks "Should I wrap them up or do you want to chew them here?"
Kind of crude and not exactly new, I know, but after it was established beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ms Walker's enchilada is missing quite a few tacos, it's practically unavoidable.
Anyway, I want to ask you, my dear reader: knowing that the lady is mad as a bedbug, why should her opinion on anything be of any interest to you? Should it be of interest to the public in general? I would say not. However, The Daily Beast continues crunching out articles in support of the lady's body of work (if I may use such an exalted expression) on behalf of Palestinians.
The first one, titled BDS-Backer Alice Walker Protested At Jewish Institution by Aryeh Younger shows that some incensed supporters of Israel call her names and accuse her of being anti-Semitic.
A couple dozen fervent pro-Israel activists gathered outside the 92nd Street Y on Thursday night to protest an appearance there by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. Some of the demonstrators labelled her an “anti-Semite," lamenting that she'd been invited to a vaunted Jewish institution on Manhattan's Upper East Side.I have never concealed my chagrin about the "anti-Semite" label being thrown around and cheapened by hot-heads (and/or just morons, if you will). Even if BDS leaders' final goals are as anti-Jewish as they come (Denial of the right of State of Israel to exist, one-state solution, right of return etc - in effect, they welcome the elimination and/or dispersal of us all, which is a pretty antisemitic sentiment, no matter how you look at it). But, seeing the mental state of the lady in question, I doubt that she is able to see the BDS folks for what they really are.
Then comes another piece, Alice Walker Is Not An Anti-Semite, by Elisheva Goldberg.
Daniel Gordis—among others—has accused Alice Walker of Nazi-grade anti-Semitism for refusing to translate her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple, through an Israeli publisher. This doesn’t sit well with me.This doesn't sit well with me too, for reasons mentioned above. However, Elisheva proceeds to say something that is certain to rub me the wrong way. Namely, she starts with a version of "As a Jew, I..." that in her case is put as "My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor." Does that fact make Ms Goldberg an expert in antisemitism? Hardly.
Her next argument? "Walker’s ancestors were also slaves." And? What bearing does it have on the question of the alleged Ms Walker's antisemitism?
Then the inescapable factoid:
Walker married (and divorced) a Jewish civil rights lawyer and they became the first legally married interracial couple ever to live in Jackson, Mississippi.Yeah. And I bet Ms Walker counts quite a few Jews among her best friends. Strong argument, ain't it? Esp. its divorce part...
And, unfortunately, Ms Goldberg has chosen to round up this list of poor arguments by the poorest of all:
They had a child, a daughter named Rebecca, who still grapples with her black, white, and Jewish identity.Little knowledge is a dangerous thing, as Ms Goldberg will be the first to confirm after reading the proof that it's mostly Rebecca's unhinged mother and all the damage she caused to her daughter that Rebecca is grappling with. Whether Ms Goldberg knew it and has chosen to pass it over deliberately or was really ignorant of the sad story - up to her.
And now, after all is said and done - I have a few qualms on the issue of the alleged Ms Walker antisemitism. Or the lack of it. Not that it's of any importance, seeing her mental state, but for the sake of the argument (which, you will agree, was started by someone else):
- Ms Walker repeated several times that Israel is a terrorist state. Never saying anything even remotely similar about Hamas-owned Gaza (for instance).
- Israel as apartheid state is practically her morning mantra. Reserved exclusively for Israel too in Ms Walker's worldview.
- She didn't say explicitly that Israel=Nazis, as her more outspoken colleagues in BDS and elsewhere tend to, but she constantly flirts with the comparison, coming very close to it on many occasions.
But enough is enough. Even with all of the above, I am not ready to consider the issue seriously, just because... Enough games, let's proceed to the fun part. It was provided via that article by Aryeh Younger, linked above. In its first version it reported on an apparent altercation between Alice Walker and hotheads from the group of Israeli supporters. Then the article was modified to include the following correction:
This post and its headline have been updated to reflect the following correction: an earlier version of this post described an encounter between Alice Walker and demonstrators that, according to Walker, did not occur. The account in Open Zion matched that offered by other outlets, where an apparent impostor allowed on-lookers to believe she was Walker, who wrote on her blog that she actually entered through a rear entrance and had no exchange with protesters. We regret the error.I've looked at the "other outlets" mentioned, and there even appears a picture of alleged Ms Walker during her alleged encounter with pro-Israeli protesters:
Alice Walker sparred with protesters outside the 92nd Street Y on May 30, 2013, telling them about Israel, "it wasn't your land."" And the photo credit goes to Lori Lowenthal Marcus, i.e. the author of that piece, so I doubt that it's some kind of a con job by The Jewish Press, where the article appears. Since I don't see a reason to doubt Ms Walker's statement as well, the only possible conclusion is inescapable: somebody very, but very good impersonated Ms Walker, even to the level of imitating her rhetoric (read the article) and her characteristic inability (that of a fanatic for a cause) to listen to arguments. And I know only one person able to pull that job off:
Great work, Woopi, and way to go, maideleh!