Author of The Color Purple refuses to authorize Hebrew version because ‘Israel is guilty of apartheid’

Alice Walker says Israeli policies were ‘worse’ than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid.




Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, citing what she called Israel’s “apartheid state.”

U.S. human rights activist and author Alice Walker.

U.S. human rights activist and author Alice Walker speaks during a news conference about an international flotilla to blockaded Gaza, in Athens, Monday, June 27, 2011. - Photo by AP

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow the publication of the book into Hebrew because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, 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.”

It was not clear when Yediot Books, an imprint of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper, 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.

Walker said Israeli policies were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid.

“The Color Purple,” which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was adapted into a movie in 1985 directed by Jewish filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

The novel and the film, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, treat racism in the American South in the first part of the 20th century and sexism among blacks.

Walker has intensified her anti-Israel activism in recent years, traveling to the Gaza Strip to advocate on behalf of the Palestinians.

View original HAARETZ publication at:


  1. Walker said “South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid”.

    This brings to mind a quote from one of my favorite films:
    “Stupid is , as stupid does”. – Forrest Gump.

    (It means that an intelligent person who does stupid things is still stupid. You are what you do.)

  2. mohammad says:

    Unfortunately it’s right 100%, Israel is apartheid state and all the world say’s that and believe in that, the most nice thing is you shows this news to the public here,!We know that the most people who suffered in the history are Jews especially during the world war II, they killed, tortured, raped,terminated by the Nazi government …no body liked that or even like to hear that, but now the most important question is (why Israel and Jews enjoy seeing the Palestinians suffering and terminated while once the Jews hated and suffered that, we hope that all of “old Jews suffering”transformed into (love) not(hate)others .!
    I hope someday in future all of Israeli’s and Palestinians will enjoy a real peace and a good relationship, and treat others as a human beings
    we really hope that, No for hate, Yes for peace and love.!

    • repaer says:

      true sir.fully agree

    • Tor M says:

      If Israel was apartheid, then you don’t know much about apartheid.
      Israel is the only country where people can live freely with equal rights no matter if you are black, white, yellow, pink, orange, brown, red, or no matter what political belief you have, no matter what religion you have. That’s the only place in the whole middle east where you can have anything like freedom. You want to know who have adopted apartheid? Morrocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, PLO, Hamaz, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are some of the countries who strictly forbids Jews, and everyone who refuse to follow Sharia, or someone who are not muslims, or someone who is opposed to their dictator, is brutally prosecuted, imprisioned, tortured, raped and murdered. That’s where you have apartheid. You see PLO have a rule that says, if you sell anything to a Jew, you are committing a serious crime, and therefore you will be sentenced to death.
      You can say much about Israel, they are not perfect at all, and there’s a lot of improvements, but Arabs and Jews are living peacefull together in Israel. There are Arab soldiers, Arab judges, Arab politicians ect.. I have lived in Israel myself and I never saw any kind of discrimination between Jews and Arabs, instead I saw that Jews and Arabs were inviting each other to dinner and were good friends. If you ask the Israeli Arabs if they want to live somewhere else they will answer you, no I love Israel.
      As I said Israel will never be perfect, but try find a perfect country, you will never find, and if you compare Israel with all the other countries in the middle east, Israel has reached way way further than anyone else

  3. Anyone who agrees, either doesn’t understand the meaning of Apartheid, doesn’t know the truth about Israel, or because of hate, finds it easy to accept this propaganda lie.

    Since Israeli laws allows Israeli Arabs (and all minorities) to be Members of Knesset (Israeli Parliament), become Police, go into the army, sit as a Judge in our Supreme Court and hold any position they wish, Israel cannot be Apartheid.

    Because Israeli Arabs (all minorities) have equal accessibility to the national health care, entry into ANY university, and employment in whatever field they qualify for,, Israel cannot be Apartheid.

    As for FREEDOM OF TRAVEL. Israeli Arabs & all minorities can travel freely anywhere in Israel and must be inspected at roadblocks just as Jewish drivers.

    Up until the FIRST INTIFADA, Palestinian Arabs also had freedom of travel. BUT, once SUICIDE BOMBERS began blowing up Hotels, Restaurants, Buses, Open markets, Bus Stops and Shopping Malls, it became the RESPONSIBILITY of the Israeli gov’t to protect Israelis….Jews AND Arabs AND Visitors.

    Since Hamas AND the Palestinian Authority have sworn to continue in their ARMED RESISTANCE, Israel MUST continue to check all those who threaten to mass murder innocent civilians. THIS IS NOT APARTHEID because it will discontinue as soon as the Arab Palestinians discontinue their violence.

    Now, if you think Israel is Apartheid, what are the Palestinians? They will not allow ANY Jew to buy land to live in Gaza OR in areas under Palestinian Authority. Any Arab to sell land to a Jew will be hanged, under their laws>>>>>THAT IS APARTHEID!!

    Watch and learn:

    • Excellent….Excellent post Seeff. THANK YOU!

      Seeff’s post is a clip of A European reporter who questions South African Member of Parliament, Kenneth Meshoe on the charge that Israel is an apartheid state.

      MP Meshoe provides a very clear picture of why there is no comparison between the Palestinians and the South Africans in this issue.

      He also points out than any comparison to Israel, is an insult to the pain & sufferings the Black South Africans endured.

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