Author Alice Walker 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Kimberly White)
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, who has a long history of supporting
terrorism against Israel, has now resorted to bigotry and censorship against
Hebrew-speaking readers of her writings. She has refused to allow The Color
Purple to be translated into Hebrew.
This is the moral and legal
equivalent of neo-Nazi author David Duke disallowing his books to be sold to
Black and Jewish readers.
There is an appropriate moral and legal
response to Walker’s bigotry. The publisher who had sought permission to publish
Walker’s book in Hebrew should simply go ahead and do it – without her
permission and over her objection.
Walker could then sue for copyright
infringement, and the issue would be squarely posed whether copyright laws,
which are designed to encourage the promotion of literature, can be used to
censor writings and prevent certain people from having access to it, based upon
the language they read.
The laws of most Western countries prohibit
discrimination based on race, religion and national origin.
guilty of violating both the spirit and the letter of such laws. The laws of
copyright should not be permitted to be used in the service of bigotry and
But even if it were lawful for Walker to prevent
Hebrew-speakers from reading her book, it would be immoral to do so, and the
publisher might well consider engaging in an act of civil disobedience, as
Walker herself has done.
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Walker participated in unlawful efforts to break
Israel’s entirely lawful military blockade of the Gaza Strip – a blockade
designed to prevent Hamas and other terrorist groups from bringing to Gaza
weapons that are aimed at Israeli civilians.
In doing so, she has
provided material support for terrorism, in violation of the law of the United States and several other countries.
Her bigotry against
the Jewish state and in support of terrorists knows no bounds. Now she is even
prepared to impose censorship of her own writings as a tool in support of
She should not be permitted to get away with such bigotry. Nor
should her actions be seen as morally elevated.
The laws of copyright
were certainly not designed to encourage or even permit selective censorship
based on national origin or religion.
I am confident that reasonable
courts would rule against Walker if she sought to sue a publisher who refused to
go along with her bigoted censorship. Inaction in the face of bigotry is
unacceptable. Alice Walker’s bigotry should be responded to by turning her own
weapon – the written word – against her. Her writings should be published in
Hebrew, whether she likes it or not, and the royalties should be contributed to
the NAACP and other civil rights organizations that understand the true meaning
of fighting against bigotry and real apartheid.
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