Music

Alice Walker pens open letter to Alicia Keys about Israel

Wed., May. 29, 2013 12:02 PM EDT
by Stereo Williams

alice_walker

“Dear Alicia Keys,

I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people. Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there. It is our only nonviolent option and, as we learned from our own struggle in America, nonviolence is the only path to a peaceful future.

If you go to my website and blog alicewalkersgarden.com you can quickly find many articles I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own. Under a campaign named ‘Brand Israel’, Israeli officials have stated specifically their intent to downplay the Palestinian conflict by using culture and arts to showcase Israel as a modern, welcoming place.

This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.

I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world. Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist.

With love, younger sister, beloved daughter and friend,

Alice Walker”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Simon

    Dear Ms. Walker,

    You appear not to have the faintest clue
    about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
    Arabs living inside Israel share full democratic rights and access to
    services as all other citizens. Please
    find me an Arab country in which Arabs have more human rights and better living
    conditions than in Israel. As for Gaza
    and the West Bank, conditions are the result of a conflict with two sides-
    Israel on one side and the Arab world on the other. Blaming Israel for everything that happens is
    short sighted and ignorant.

    • Mohamad

      Jewish only villages? higher unemployment, segregated bus lines, no right to pass israeli citizenship to spouses. your definition of equal rights is silly at best.

      • Ariel Ben Melek

        This is due to the insecurity of not knowing who will blow you up one day.. a little kid or a mother..

      • Fernanda

        Did you know that in Israel there are villages where only arabs lives and they refuse to have a Jew close to them? Did you know that if an arab dares to sell a house to a Jew in one of these villages, the other arabs will do all they can to make the Jew leave, even burning down the house. I bet you didn’t…

    • Mohamad

      I do not understand why my post was deleted as it was not offensive or contained any vulgar remarks.

      but I will say it again. Israeli Arabs are treated as second class citizens in Israel. They do not have rights to fair housing, passing nationality on to their spouses, and are subject to discrimination and segregation in many aspects of their everyday life.

      Please do not censor an honest rebuke.

      • israeli_guy

        Hi Mohamad. Simon has rightly distinguished between the situation INSIDE Israel vs. the conflict zone. You have deliberately ignored this, making the impression that “segregated bus lines” and “jewish only villages” exist in Israel. They don’t. The only places such practices are met are in conflict zone i.e. the west bank. The reason is obvious – you wouldn’t get on your bus next to your enemy sitting in front of you. Even there – it is not “jewish only” buses or villages, but “Israeli only”, which is not the same thing. Same goes to passing nationality – If the wife/husband doesn’t happen to come from enemy countries – there’s no such problem.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.reik Lisa Reik

        The Arabs are and have always been in the Israeli Knesset, or Parliament, Mohamad.
        Let ud compare the situation of the Arabs in Israel with that of the Jews in say Lebanon or Syria or Egypt.
        Makes you pause for a moent, doesn’t it.
        Not to mention Arab laws on women, gays, non Muslims, etc.
        To reiterate, Israel, whiule not perfect, is the ONLY democracy in the ME.
        There is not one Arab regime that even comes close to Israel in its openness and freedom.
        Ms. Walker would do beter to come visit,l than sit home and dcriticize when she hardly has the facts at her disposal.

      • Ariel Ben Melek

        Show me how they treat a Jew in an Arab country.. 5th class citizen? Common brother in the end we are family.. line of Abraham.. its the damm system and old school catholics that got us fighting.. Shalom!

      • Fernanda

        That is a huge lie. It would be more honorable if you stick with true facts.

    • Majin Buu

      Typical Israeli apologist response.

      • israeli_guy

        The fact that it’s typical doesn’t make it wrong.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.reik Lisa Reik

        What’s typical about it, Guest?
        How would you rate the “typical” Arab hate response?

  • Ellyn

    Dear Alice Walker, The fight for black equality in the United States is in no way similar to the issues in Israel. Israel offers equal rights to all citizens regardless of skin color including Druze, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and Jews… The Palestinians do NOT want equal rights, they want to destroy Israel. I would respectfully suggest you GO WITH Alicia Keys to Israel, which would be a wonderful opportunity for you to learn the truth and see for yourself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.reik Lisa Reik

      Also, to Ms. Walker.
      Israe is the ONLY country in the hsitoyr of the modern world that has ever taken blacks out of Africa- in this case Ethiopians- to freedom.
      The others have only removed the blacks from their native lands for purposes of slavery.

  • Sharona

    Dear Ms. Walker, Every artist has the right to entertain where they are loved, wanted and supported. She will be performing to sold out audiences, embraced by her adoring, peaceful fans who know the words & love her songs… By the way, the Palestinians aren’t asking for our entertainers at all! And I bet more Israelis have read and appreciated your book The Color Purple than any Palestinian. I hope you have removed your book from being sold there. It would be terrible for them to appreciate the writings of someone so bitterly misguided & is fighting so fiercely against them. But why stop at the artists? Go all the way with your boycott, make sure your cell phone doesn’t contain Israeli invented technology. Oh ya, & any life saving machines that your doctors use on you or your family & friends…

  • donna

    WRONG MS. WALKER … YOU GOT TO GO TO ISRAEL AND LIVE THERE BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SHIT COMES OUT OF IT … IF YOU HAVE NOT LIVED IN ISRAEL AND DONE YOUR RESEARCH THOROUGHLY ABOUT ISRAEL AND ITS DEMOCRATIC AND MORAL VALUES … THEN YOU HAVE NO RIGHT ON EARTH TO SPEAK ABOUT ISRAEL … UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE A THOROUGH INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH INTO ISRAEL’S HISTORY AND THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE … THEN AND ONLY THEN DO YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SPEAK … OTHERWISE THE GOOD LORD ABOVE WILL JUDGE YOU … AND YOU WILL HAVE TO JOIN THE REST OF THE HATERS OF ISRAEL IN HELL … THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY HATE ISRAEL FOR THE SAKE OF HATING WITHOUT DOING THEIR RESEARCH … LAZINESS LEADS TO COMMENTS LIKE YOURS … RESEARCH MY DEAR RESEARCH ISRAEL BEFORE SHIT COMES OUT OF YOUR MOUTH …

  • Donna
  • Nicha Ita

    Dear Ms Walker, You are woefully not informed. See the link.

    Jews come in all colors! And immigrants of all shades are as one! Also Israel treats all peoples of all religions living within her boarders with all the rights of Israeli Citizens!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=587490461273103&set=pb.116106135078207.-2207520000.1370120965.&type=3&theater
    Here is a historic link as an example!!!
    Respectfully,
    Nicha Ita!!

  • [email protected]