Lifestyle & Belief

Alice Walker refuses to publish 'The Color Purple' in Hebrew


Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker arrives at the induction ceremony for the California Hall of Fame December 6, 2006 in Sacramento, California.


Justin Sullivan

Author Alice Walker won't allow a new Hebrew edition of "The Color Purple" because of Israel's politics.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Walker argued "Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people" in a recent letter to publisher Yediot Books.

"I would so like knowing my books are read by the people of your country, especially by the young, and by the brave Israeli activists (Jewish and Palestinian) for justice and peace I have had the joy of working beside," Walker wrote, according to the LA Times. "I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen. But now is not the time."

The Jerusalem Post reported that letter was then "posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website [saying] Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement 'will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.'”

Walker has compared Israel to South Africa under apartheid.

The Jerusalem Post reported it is unclear whether Walker can stop the publication and that, in fact, "at least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew translation, in the 1980s."

Meanwhile, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz responded in the Jewish Press saying Walker "has now resorted to bigotry and censorship against Hebrew-speaking readers" and that Yediot Books should go ahead with the publication anyway.

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