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Posted in: Israel

Published on Jun 06, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Alice Walker: Stop Telling Lies About Israel


The lies have got to stop. They will not stop–but they are far too dangerous to go unchallenged.

Yes, I am talking about how our world well has been poisoned by brazen, crazy lies about Israel and about the Israeli Defense Forces. These lies come at us day after day, week after week, year after year, and they do not stop coming. The world is saying, as if in one voice: Jews, Israelis: Stop. Do not defend yourselves. You are defending a state that is not supposed to exist; its extermination or dissolution will alone bring peace to the Middle East, peace between America and the Muslim world, prosperity and the end of civil, tribal, and ethnic wars everywhere.

It is painfully clear. The world does not want a Jewish state. And, to understand that is to understand that the world does not want the Jews to live. Day by day, I understand more deeply how the Nazi Holocaust could actually have happened—and how another one might now be in the offing.

The Jews will prevail. Israel will not fail. But, the necessary cost will be so very high. My heart is breaking.

What an irony. Jews were ceaselessly persecuted when we did not have a state of our own. Today, the continued persecution of Jews everywhere is being justified on the basis of how much "trouble" Israel causes the world.

For example, the New York Times published two articles in their Week in Review section. I want to focus only on one. Written by Helene Cooper, it is the kind of piece intended to garner support for President Obama's evolving foreign policy on Israel. Thus, Cooper suggests that Israel's policy towards Gaza and towards the Turkish flotilla terrorists is endangering American interests in the Middle East and in the larger Muslim world. Read this journalist's lips: Why should Americans die for Jews? Why not sacrifice the Jews? They deserve it, the Jews themselves, (of J Street, she quotes two of 'em), say so and Jews can't be anti-Semites, can they?.

Her piece is titled: What to Do About Israel?

I dunno. What should we "do" about Iran or Turkey? That seems a more pressing question. Focusing on Israel is precisely the way to avoid focusing on the looming, larger dangers.

The African-American feminist and writer, Alice Walker, (with whom I go way back), has written a naive and rather hate-filled piece about the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the IDF response to the Turkish terrorist boats. It has been widely reprinted, including on the website of JewsForJusticeforPalestine and, of course, at the SocialistWorker website too.

Walker begins:

"My heart is breaking; but I do not mind.

For one thing, as soon as I wrote those words I was able to weep. Which I had not been able to do since learning of the attack by armed Israeli commandos on defenseless peace activists carrying aid to Gaza who tried to fend them off using chairs and sticks. I am thankful to know what it means to be good; I know that the people of the Freedom Flotilla are/were in some cases, some of the best people on earth. They have not stood silently by and watched the destruction of others, brutally, sustained, without offering themselves, weaponless except for their bodies, to the situation. I am thankful to have a long history of knowing people like this from my earliest years, beginning in my student days of marches and demonstrations: for peace, for non-separation among peoples, for justice for Women, for People of Color, for Cubans, for Animals, for Indians, and for Her, the planet."

And Walker brings in Jim Crow, Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Montgomery, Alabama, and the civil rights movement in order to present her view as hallowed by history, as holy. But her facts are all wrong.

How can Walker compare these known terrorists and racists to non-violent civil rights activists? Why does Walker hate Jews? But that can't be true, she's an anti-racist, she once married a Jewish man, a fellow civil rights worker with whom she had a half-Jewish daughter. So many Jews were part of that very hallowed civil rights movement, and supported the creation of the NAACP; so many Jews were and are feminists; what has gone wrong here? I mean: Why does Walker condemn, even abhor the Jewish state and idolize the tyrants and Islamists who hold Palestinians hostage in Gaza? Why does she identify the haters and aggressors as the pure and innocent victims? Why is she a member of Codepink? She is smarter than that–or so I once thought.

To what extent do Walker's views reflect those of the Administration and of those close to the President?

We now do understand that the passengers on board one ship, the Mavi Marmara, came to fight, to kill, and to die. Some were definitely Turkish mercenaries, hired to do the Turkish Prime Minister's bidding—or perhaps Iran's bidding. Many had ties to known terrorist organizations. We also know that there were important tactical, practical, and life-saving reasons that the IDF stopped the boat while it was still in international waters. And, we know that IDF soldiers rappelled onto the boat with paintball guns on their backs, expecting as little resistance as was met on all the other boats. Yes, perhaps, Israeli Naval Intelligence failed to factor in the possibility that this boatload was "loaded for bear," that the IDF soldiers would be met with a fierce battle at sea. Why, and whether this is really so, remains an open question, an open wound, really. But, we also know that no Israeli soldier died, or was successfully kidnapped. And, we know that only nine of the six hundred or more flotilla passengers were killed.

Do you all remember the lynching of the two Israeli reservists in Ramallah? I mean their literal lynching? Do you recall the bloodthirsty glee with which they were murdered and how their Palestinian murderers dipped their hands in their blood and held them up at the window of the police station to signal "victory?" And smiled and smiled? Barbarians all, but not described as such by any newscaster in the American media.

I want to share with you something I've just received. I have no idea if it is completely true, partly true, or not true at all. I also have no idea of whether sharing this information violates any Israeli military secrets. But, the account rings true, based on what I understand about Muslim and Islamist violence, within families, clans, tribes, and towards infidels. Torturous beheadings, grisly deaths are the norm, not the exception. Think about how Ilan Halimi was tortured over a three week period in Paris by the Muslim group "The Barbarians." (I try not to think about this but it comes to me, unbidden; it haunts me still).

Here is part of an email which an Israeli Navy soldier sent to a relative. He requests that this information be shared widely. If this is completely false—please tell me. Prove it to me too. Otherwise, here is one soldier's account of what happened to that first Israeli soldier as he was lowered onto the Mavi Marmara.

"Dear Aunt X:

This is Y writing you. As you know, it was my unit and my friends who were on the ship. My commander was injured badly as a result of the "pacifist's" violence. I want to tell you how he was injured so you can tell the story. It shows just how horrible and inhuman were the activists. My commander was the first soldier that rappelled down from the helicopter to the ship. When he touched ground, he got hit in the head with a pole and stabbed in the stomach with a knife. When he drew out his secondary weapon–a handgun, (his primary weapon was a regular paintball gun- "tippman 98 custom"), he was shot in the leg.

He managed to fire a single shot before he was tossed from the balcony by 4 Arab activists, to the lower deck (a 12 feet fall). He was then dragged by other activists to a room in the lower deck were he was stripped down by 2 activists. They took off his vest, helmet, and shirt, leaving him with only his pants and shoes on. When they finished they took a knife and expanded the wound he already had in his stomach. They cut his ab muscles horizontally and by hand spilled his guts out.

When they finished, they raised him up and walked him on the deck outside. He was conscious the whole time. If you are asking your self why they did all that here comes the reason. They wanted to show the soldiers their commanders' body so they will be demoralized and scared. Luckily, when they walked him on the deck, a soldier saw him and managed to shoot the activist that was walking him down the outside corridor. He shot him with a special non lethal bullet that didn't kill him. My commander managed to jump from the deck to the water and swim to an army rescue boat (his guts still out of his body and now in salty sea water). That was how he was saved. The activists that did this to him are alive and now in Turkey and treated as heroes.

I'm sorry if I described this with too many details, but I thought it was necessary for the credibility. Please tell this story to anyone who will listen. "

Stop the Lies. Alice Walker: My heart is breaking too.


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