The ADL, an American Jewish organization whose mission is to "stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all citizens alike," says the novel dedicates over 80 pages to essays on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which they say is "peppered with explicit comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany."
According to the ADL, the pages, which comprise a dozen essays in a section called "On Palestine," are brimming with attempts to justify terrorism against Israeli citizens. She also ostracizes the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, comparing it to movie festivals Hitler had established in the days leading up to World War II.
“It amazes me, in these churches, that there is no discussion of the fact that the other behavior we learned about in the Bible stories: The rapes, the murders, the pillaging, the enslavement of the conquered, the confiscation of land, the brutal domination and colonization of all ‘others’ is still front and center in Israel’s behavior today,” Walker writes in The Cushion in the Road.
“It is because I recognize the brutality with which my own multi-branched ancestors have been treated that I can identify the despicable, lawless, cruel, and sadistic behavior that has characterized Israel’s attempts to erase a people, the Palestinians, from their own land."
'Sunk to new lows'
Walker is no stranger to anti-Israeli rhetoric: Only last month she wrote an open letter to American R&B singer Alicia Keys, urging her to boycott Israeli "apartheid."
"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," she wrote in the letter. Keys, however, has yet to succumb to growing pressure to cancel her show, and is set to perform in Tel Aviv on July 4.
Walker also made headlines last year when she refused for her highly acclaimed "The Color Purple" to be translated into Hebrew, telling Israeli publishing house Yedidot Books that the State must change its polices before she would allow it to be published there.
According to the ADL, in her new novel Walker suggests that Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state.
“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
“She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before. Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world."
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life