Alice Walker Boycotts Hebrew ‘Color Purple’ Translation
American writer Alice Walker has turned down an Israeli publisher’s request to translate her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Color Purple, into Hebrew because she believes Israel abuses the Palestinian people.
In a letter to Yediot Books posted by Walker on the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel‘s website, the writer claims that the Jewish state is “guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people” and must change its ways before she would any translation to be done.
However, several Hebrew translations have already been published in Israel as early as 1984, notes the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
Walker, who was once married to a Jewish man, pulled a similar stunt during the 1980s when she refused the Steven Spielberg-directed movie adaption of her book to be distributed in South Africa until “the apartheid regime was dismantled and Nelson Mandela became the first president of color of South Africa,” reports The UK Daily Mail.
The left-leaning social activist has been involved in an anti-Israel boycott campaign for several years. She traveled on one of the boats that tried to block an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip last year.
In her letter, Walker claims Israeli policies toward the Palestinians were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid.
The head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a statement that he was saddened by Walker’s decision.
“It is sad that people who inspire to fight bigotry and prejudice continue to have a biased and bigoted side,” Abe Foxman said. “For some time Walker has been blinded by her anti-Israel animus. Unfortunately, this willful ignorance and bias against Israel has led her to exercise poor judgment in her publishing endeavors.”