Why do African Americans embrace Arabs and reject Israel?
The author Alice Walker is the latest African American celebrity to condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians by refusing to allow an Israeli publisher to translate her novel “A Color Purple.”
In a letter published on the website of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Walker thanked the publisher for seeking to translate her award-winning book, but then proceeded to slam the Israeli government over a number of human rights issues.
“Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories,” she wrote to Yediot Books.
“I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, even South Africans including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.”
Walker’s sentiments echo similar arguments made by other prominent African Americans, including, among others, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan.
While I agree with Walker that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians has been horrid, I also feel that she as a black woman is making a grave error by embracing Arabs as her “allies” and espousing their “cause.”
Among other things, Arabs (in the Middle East and across North Africa) have abused, raped, kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured and enslaved sub-Saharan black Africans for thousands of years.
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