Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple says she's on board with the anti-Israel flotilla reportedly heading to Gaza at the end of June. The American ship, Greek-owned and registered in Delaware named "The Audacity of Hope" plans to join other vessels in what Ms. Walker describes as the "freedom ride of this era."
Shurat HaDin, an Israeli Legal Center, is trying to stop the Gaza flotilla. After sending a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder citing violations of Section 962 of Title 18 of U.S. Code, the Center filed a civil suit on June 16.
The international initiative was launched last July by a group calling itself the U.S. Boat to Gaza which is backed by the Obamas' friend Rashid Khalidi. The Columbia University professor helped to raise $370,000 for the 50 or so activists ready to transport thousands of letters, postcards and emails to the men, women and children of Gaza. Walker, along with CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, were among the first to express interest in the flotilla.
Walker and Benjamin are no strangers to Hamas-controlled Gaza. They gained access back in March 2009 via Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak in honor of International Women's Day. The CODEPINK delegation "sang peace songs both in front of the border gate and inside." This was the same "peaceful" bunch whose members were caught on video last February calling for Clarence Thomas to go "back to the fields," then "string him up" and "cut off his fingers."
The racist language makes sense. The pro-Palestinian Walker often compares freedom riders of the civil rights movement to 21st century anti-Israel radicals. In response to Noam Katz, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, told the New York Times that "Hamas is a terror organization...we have a blockade and we will enforce the blockade." Ms.Walker told Michael Archer of Guernica that "The Audacity of Hope" will not be deterred.
I am reminded of something Bernice Johnson Reagon of SNNC said once: that the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee participants (of the 1960s) understood that the white supremacists of the south had a job, which might include abuse and murder of the students. But that the students had a job as well; which was to dismantle segregation and break the chain of fear that bound all people of color. The racists would do their job as they understood it; we would do ours.
From the 60's to the Middle East, Walker tells Archer who the real terrorists are.
I had never seen much blatant terrorism as I witnessed in Gaza. Israeli-made; American-made. It is unfortunate that officials of Israel appear to know so little about what their government is doing in the terrorism department.
In fact, Israel has a long history of terrorism as does the United States. Both countries were founded on acts of terrorism against the indigenous populations.... No one else on the planet is as well armed as Americans and Israelis. Or as vicious in the widespread use of arms.
It's no small detail that the Pulitzer prize-winning, anti-Israel, anti-American's books have been on high school and college reading lists for decades. Walker's literary skills have made her a wealthy woman and an influential one.
The 67-year old activist champions "oppressed people everywhere" with the notable exceptions of Jews and conservative Americans. Walker's fame has helped fund her causes, not the least of which are her trips to Palestine. The writer just returned from the West Bank in April and told Archer in the Guernica interview that she's not worried about any legal obstacles stopping the June flotilla. "Any boat that leaves the shore in order to help others has already landed, whether it ever docks or not."
Walker needs to hold that thought. "The Audacity of Hope," despite its name, may not get the chance to expend all that fuel just to deliver "humanitarian" letters supposedly representing a wide cross-section of Americans. On Friday the Washington Post reported a Turkish charity funding the same ship which refused to surrender to Israeli authorities in May, 2010 and suffered deadly consequences, has backed out.
The author/poet conveniently ignores Hamas as part of the problem while she attacks the United States and Israel. Her hatred for nations who attempt to implement democratic principles and her love of a terrorist group put her squarely at odds with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who wrote in his book Strength to Love: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."