Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, penned a letter to R&B star Alicia Keys laced with hatred of Israel urging Keys to cancel her performance in Tel Aviv and warning Keys that she is jeopardizing her soul by performing there.
Walker, a long-time supporter of the Palestinian cause, visited Gaza in 2008 and never uttered a word about Hamas.
Walker joins the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement as its members have turned on Keys for performing in Israel. Her letter reads:
Dear Alicia Keys,
I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people. Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally, and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there. It is our only nonviolent option and, as we learned from our own struggle in America, nonviolence is the only path to a peaceful future.
If you go to my website and blog alicewalkersgarden.com you can quickly find many articles I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own. Under a campaign named ‘Brand Israel’, Israeli officials have stated specifically their intent to downplay the Palestinian conflict by using culture and arts to showcase Israel as a modern, welcoming place.
This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.
I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world. Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist.
With love, younger sister, beloved daughter and friend,
Of course, the children slaughtered by Palestinians in their various bombings do not count, and the fact that Israel has never been an apartheid country does not, either, (try telling Walker of the numerous Muslim countries that became Judenrein after 1948).
Most outrageously, for Walker to write that it is the Palestinians “whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own,” when it is the Palestinians who have always denied Israel’s right to exist, is downright ignorant and evil in its own way.
But hey, Steven Spielberg likes her.