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February 18, 2014

PBS' Alice Walker Film Includes Unanswered Defamation of Israel

walker flotilla.jpg

The Public Broadcasting Service Master's Series broadcast "Beauty and Truth" on Feb. 7, is a much publicized paean to Alice Walker. Walker gained renown from her 1982 novel, "The Color Purple," which Steven Spielberg made into a film. Her agitation against Israel has kept her fashionable among segments of the media and academia. A review in the Feminist Wire describes how "In Walker’s life ... beauty exists within a mosaic of truths alongside rabid institutional racism, patriarchy, misogyny, colonialism, heterosexism, and so much else." The litany of "evils" listed here locates Walker in the American cultural landscape.

Toward the end of the 83 minute program, Walker discusses her adoption of the Palestinian cause. She planned to participate in the Gaza Flotilla in 2011, a show of support for Hamas-ruled Gaza. Walker compares the plight of the Palestinians to the black civil rights movement in the South, except in her opinion, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is "worse." While other controversial aspects of Walker's life, like her estrangement from her daughter, are candidly discussed in the PBS film, her denunciation of Israel's "apartheid" wall and claim that the Palestinians are "just daily humiliated... ground in the dirt," are aired without any pushback or scrutiny of the validity of such accusations.

Viewers are not made aware of Walker's history of issuing hateful statements about Israel and Zionism. During the flotilla campaign, she described Israel and the United States as "great terrorist organizations" and used inflammatory (and false) religious imagery to stir up hatred of the Jewish state. She called "Jesus, a Palestinian" and claimed he "is still being crucified."

Speaking before a synagogue known for its leftist activism, she appalled attendees who viewed "the tone of her speech as being hateful and frankly blatantly anti-Semitic."

The American Masters series has substantial support from Jewish donors. One wonders what these donors think about how PBS is using their financial gifts.

Posted by SS at February 18, 2014 12:42 PM


It's worse than that. Walker endorsed David Icke and his insane lizard people conspiracy theory.

Posted by: fizziks at February 18, 2014 10:43 PM

I can give Alice Walker a thousand examples of war crimes committed by Palestinians, like killing Israeli children in their bed, blowing up buses, schools, disco's, pizzeria's, strapping mentally challenged kids with bombs, and I can go on all day. And then Alice wonders why Israel built a wall.

Posted by: Ken Kelso at February 19, 2014 02:03 PM

Walker is an excellent writer but her credentials as a decent human being are lacking.

Posted by: Etti at February 20, 2014 10:41 AM

Do you have to use the phrase "lesbian 'lifestyle'" to describe her? I totally condemn her hypocritical embrace of a culture which would soundly reject her sexuality, as opposed to one in Israel which would accept it, but it sounds like a right-wing smear to use the label you did. That will only alienate many LGBTQ-friendly supporters of Israel, like me, who are otherwise completely sympathetic to your criticism of her.

Posted by: Joshua Zatcoff at February 20, 2014 04:34 PM

Walker is a MEDIOCRE writer - and an excellent anti-semite.

Posted by: Apglik at February 24, 2014 10:15 PM

I agree with Joshua, your description of Walker as "fashionable" because she is a lesbian (in fact she has had many partners of both sexes, and says she rejects "sexuality" categories) is unnecessary and inappropriate. It is an example of bigotry, which you say you don't tolerate in comments.

This is not to come to the defense of Alice Walker. The documentary was outrageous, basically a pr piece for her, false justifications and slants. Their depiction of her severed relationship with her daughter was shameful, as one could learn only by reading Rebecca Walker's honest writing about her imperfect mother. (American Experience producers don't like imperfection in the subjects they portray?)

I'll also add that Alice Walker's anti-Semitic hatred of Israel is normal in the left, and acceptance (or silent tolerance) of such a stance is prerequisite for being accepted in leftist activism and in *leftist* feminist circles.

Posted by: Adriene at February 26, 2014 06:44 PM

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