To contextualize Alice Walker’s explanation for participating in the “Freedom Flotilla II” (Alice Walker: Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, Guardian, June 25) you need to read her moral reasoning here:
“I feel that the Israel that many Jews dreamed of having – that one is gone. That’s demolished. I think it’s time for people to accept that. Because what you have now is something that is so frightening. Israel is as frightening to many of us as Germany used to be.”
To equate the democratic Jewish state with Nazi Germany is more than stupid, its unimaginably cruel – a simply grotesque moral inversion of the worst order.
If Walker was part of a left who was loyal to liberal principles, who swore allegiance not to the post-colonialism of fools, nor the anti-imperialism of idiots, but, rather, to a progressive politics which took seriously moral distinctions between flawed liberal democracies and reactionary Islamic fundamentalism, she would have long ago been denounced as a hypocrite of the first order, someone ill-suited to the cause to which she claimed allegiance.
Asking Israel to defend itself from charges that it is like the Nazis who exterminated 6 million Jews is as reasonable as asking America to defend itself from charges, from Iran, that it is the “Great Satan”. That is, nobody who’s morally or intellectually serious would deem such a hateful and grotesque invective as worth of a reply.
Walker explains that the boat she’s riding to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, is “carrying letters to the people of Gaza. Letters expressing solidarity and love.”
She further, quite audaciously – and comically in the context of the violent, anti-Semitic, and fanatically illiberal Hamas regime she’s providing moral succor – conjures Ghandi and, covering her liberal Jewish flank, even has the gall to summon the moral example of “ the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the American south in our time of need”.
As a Jew, I don’t require Walker’s sanctimony; as a morally sober student of the civil rights movement, I’m simply aghast at the attempt to equate the quite moral struggles of African-Americans in the 50s and 60s with Hamas’ explicit genocidal designs on the Jewish state. Walker demeans the movement to which she claims authority. Ismail Haniyeh as Martin Luther King mocks the latter and grotesquely elevates the former.
Walker, schooled in the art of compassion, liberalism, and liberation evidently fails to note that the regime she’s providing succor is beyond illiberal, is more than merely regressive. Indeed, Hamas, the movement which runs Gaza, which imports arms from Iran, and which fires rockets at Israeli schoolchildren, resembles – indeed, wildly exceeds – the racist fervor of the “‘good ol’ boys’ of Neshoba County”, the racists of Mississippi, Bull Conner, and Jim Crow.
Walker’s liberalism is a liberalism turned, morally, upside down.
She’s evidently blind to the explicit classical anti-Semitism of Hamas’ founding charter, which quotes directly from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ to “prove” that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, unaware of their radical misogyny or their homophobia and religious supremacy.
Nick Cohen’s book, “What’s Left?”, dissects, with laser precision, the radical left’s moral blind spots, their tendency to overlook, in the name of multiculturalism!, the sins of “dark-skinned” despots, and obsess over the sins of the democratic West.
If there was a decent left, a left which elevated liberal principle over moral posturing, Alice Walker would be derided as the political traitor she is and excommunicated from the moral community she dares to claim allegiance.
Let it be known that the cognitive war against the right of the Jewish state to live is being waged in the name of liberalism and civil rights – reactionary anti-Zionism in the name of progressive politics.
“Audacious” doesn’t begin to describe it.