Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, recommended one of David Icke’s conspiratorial and antisemitic books in a recent interview for the New York Times, reports Yair Rosenberg in Tablet Magazine. Yet Walker has promoted Icke in the past, even favorably comparing him to Malcolm X, rendering the current controversy old news.
So why now? Why again?
There is a recurring, unnoticed theme to Rosenberg’s attack, which is far more important than Walker’s personal political opinions.
Rosenberg is yet another Zionist male who has sanctimoniously targeted a woman of color for antisemitism. His attack comes at the heels of far-right pundit and devout Zionist Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire who invited newly-elected progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Puerto Rican descent to “debate” on his show, a proposal she skillfully rejected. Recently, Shapiro accused Ocasio-Cortez of “antisemitism” for her connections with several leaders of the Women’s march who support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Notably, Ocasio-Cortez has yet to come out with an official stance on BDS.
These two cases are different. Whereas Ocasio-Cortez has not expressed a single antisemitic opinion, quite the contrary, and is being used by Shapiro to promote his anti-BDS, far-right agenda, Walker indeed endorsed Icke’s explicit antisemitism now, as reported by Rosenberg, and in the past.What binds the cases is the hypocrisy of two Zionists who target women of color for antisemitism yet strongly promote the relationships between Israel and extremely reactionary, regressive and antisemitic forces worldwide, including those in the United States. They are part of an attack by Zionists meant to divide solidarity of black and brown people with BDS, as their recent foray against Marc Lamont Hill demonstrates as well.These white supremacist, misogynist forces are enemies of Black and Brown people, Muslims, Indigenous groups, Jews, Women, immigrants, LGBTQI, Palestinians and other marginalized communities.
Both men continue a long tradition of cynically and opportunistically weaponizing claims of “antisemitism”, while promoting (or remaining silent about) Zionist collusion with antisemitic forces for the purpose of expansionism and resource acquisition, at the expense of the Indigenous Palestinians.
The contemporary Zionist collusion with antisemites and fascists runs deep and is orchestrated by those at the very top. In fact, Zionists and the current Netanyahu regime are some of the foremost contributors to antisemitism and fascism worldwide.
In addition to collaborating with – and covering for – fascistic/ antisemitic agendas and politicians in the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States among others, Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly blamed George Soros for different events in Israel and has shared fake news about the Jewish billionaire.
Netanyahu’s son, Yair, was banned by Facebook earlier this week due to a genocidal post, and was the subject of much controversy for sharing an explicitly antisemitic meme featuring George Soros in 2017. As a result, Yair was celebrated by the neo-Nazi outlet The Daily Stormer.
Zionists have always flirted with antisemites and fascists. It is now simply more obvious and shameless, likely inspired by the current global reactionary trend and unremitting permissiveness of the US to Israeli human rights violations, with Netanyahu the father openly revising the history of the Holocaust to serve his political needs.
Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism
The veteran Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote yet another controversial piece, in which he stated his lack of sympathy for illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The article sparked outrage, and some on social media called for the de-platforming of Levy from Haaretz.
Similar to all critics of Zionism and the state of Israel, Gideon Levy is excoriated as an “antisemite”, “self-hating-Jew”, “traitor” etc.
The hypocrisy inherent within these self-righteous cries is astounding.
These same voices were silent when Haaretz recently ran Daniel Pipes’ column, which called for a push for an “Israeli victory” as the “only way to end the conflict with the Palestinians”.
They were silent when Haaretz ran Gadi Taub’s embarrassing puff piece for antisemite/ fascist Steve Bannon.
And they were silent when Haaretz ran Petra Marquardt-Bigman’s smear of the Tamimi family.
In fact, there are many examples of pieces in the Liberal-Zionist Haaretz which support the rise of global neofascism, imperialism and Israeli ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Levy is among a few (e.g. Amira Hass is another) who serve to sanitize Amos Schocken’s Hasbara platform.
By colluding with antisemites worldwide and weaponizing the term “antisemitism” to inappropriately include anti-Zionism, Zionists have transformed a very real and ongoing threat to Jews into a political tool that serves their own settler colonialist goals.
It is time for all people of conscience, including Jews to hold Zionists accountable for their ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people. As part of this process, it is essential to prevent the cynical manipulation of anti-racism as a tool for dividing resistance and solidarity with the oppressed.
When antisemitism is weaponized opportunistically and strategically by Zionists and other white supremacists, it places all marginalized communities, including Jews, at risk.