Alice Walker: Palestinian Oppression Is "More Brutal" Than the Jim Crow South
And when Walker says that life for the Palestinians is “more brutal” than it was for blacks in the Old South, there is truth in her words, as this recent video of border police ambushing and kicking a young child demonstrates (which is tame in comparison to the many disturbing, graphic videos available).
Now, some may critique Walker for her choosing to focus on Palestinian issues. Some may create false equivalencies or attempt misdirections, noting her focus on Palestinian issues as others in the world suffer – an argument that is an implicit anti-Semitism charge.
Some will bring up the word terrorism – something I know a bit about – justifying Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians on past acts of terror from militant extremists that mainstream Palestinians and Palestinian politicians have denounced. They will bring up the word ignoring the fact that nonviolent protest has become the normative and most powerful force amongst Palestinians today.
There will be those who lob such critiques. However, they will do nothing to change the truth of her words.
One may say, “So what? Who cares what Walker has to say on this issue?”
My answer is this: when a prominent American personality exposes the realities of life for Palestinians – a reality that largely goes unnoticed in the mainstream U.S. media – it’s an important step in changing public opinion on the matter. For Israel is an integral American ally which receives billions of dollars every year, dollars that Americans shell out annually in their taxes.
It’s important for public opinion to change, for only such a shift can change the way in which politicians are forced, for political expediency, to view the issue. And only such a shift can lead to the one force which may be capable of ending Israel’s occupation: real, meaningful American pushback.
Israel’s internal mechanisms cannot stop what is happening on its own. And many progressive Jews, like myself, who still believe in a two-state solution also understand that the occupation may end up leading to Israel’s demise.
And so I celebrate Walker’s efforts. Efforts meant not to demonize, but to revolutionize. Efforts meant to change one of the most inequitable situations that has persisted for too long.
Follow David Harris-Gershon on Twitter @David_EHG