Alice Walker, the author of the acclaimed novel The Color Purple, has publicly forbid Israel from translating her award-winning book into Hebrew. Walker opposed the translation because she feels Israel is guilty of apartheid. She hopes her non-violent boycott will help change Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Globes reported:
Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize winner for “The Color Purple”, and one of the most important contemporary African-American authors, has notified Israeli publisher Yediot Books, an affiliate of the Hebrew daily “Yediot Ahronot” that she will not allow to publish a new translation of the book. “The Color Purple” was first translated into Hebrew in 1984.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott on Israel published Walker’s letter of June 9, and was first reported by the “Jewish Telegraph Agency” (JTA).
In the letter Walker says, “It isn’t possible for me to permit this at this time for the following reason: As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.”
She adds, “It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”
The “JTA” says, “It was not clear when Yediot Books… made the request, or whether Walker could in fact stop translation of the book. At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew translation, in the 1980s.”
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