Alice Walker and the Flotilla of Fools

flotilla of fools

Flotilla of fools sails for "peace"

Upon reading author Alice Walker’s smug, self-serving and self-righteous justification of her participation in the Flotilla of Fools I was filled with both despair and bitter humour. Despair at the ignorant yet holier-than-thou attitude of all these “progressive” “liberal” participants of the Flotilla to Gaza, and bitter humour at their lack of self-awareness and ignorance or ignoring of the most unprogressive and illiberal positions of the terrorist group Hamas which rules Gaza today.

What struck me almost immediately was the inanity of Walker’s comments as to their aims:

Our boat, The Audacity of Hope, will be carrying letters to the people of Gaza. Letters expressing solidarity and love. That is all its cargo will consist of.

“Letters”. I thought this was supposed to be an “Aid flotilla” bringing much-needed humanitarian aid to the poor starving Gaza residents. (h/t for the photos to Miriam and cba). Now it turns out to be just a dangerous publicity stunt for ageing radical-chic terrorist sympathisers.

Happily, I came across two excellent fiskings of her article, by CifWatch and award-winning journalist and author Howard Jacobson on CNN.  I thank them for digging through the dirt so that I don’t have to.

I will bring you just a snippet from each review and recommend you read them both in their entirety.

From CifWatch:

If Walker was part of a left who was loyal to liberal principles, who swore allegiance not to the post-colonialism of fools, nor the anti-imperialism of idiots, but, rather, to a progressive politics which took seriously moral distinctions between flawed liberal democracies and reactionary Islamic fundamentalism, she would have long ago been denounced as a hypocrite of the first order, someone ill-suited to the cause to which she claimed allegiance.

Asking Israel to defend itself from charges that it is like the Nazis who exterminated 6 million Jews is as reasonable as asking America to defend itself from charges, from Iran, that it is the “Great Satan”.  That is, nobody who’s morally or intellectually serious would deem such a hateful and grotesque invective as worth of a reply.

Walker, schooled in the art of compassion, liberalism, and liberation evidently fails to note that the regime she’s providing succor is beyond illiberal, is more than merely regressive.  Indeed, Hamas, the movement which runs Gaza, which imports arms from Iran, and which fires rockets at Israeli schoolchildren, resembles – indeed, wildly exceeds – the racist fervor of the  ”‘good ol’ boys’ of Neshoba County”, the racists of Mississippi, Bull Conner, and Jim Crow.

Walker’s liberalism is a liberalism turned, morally, upside down.

And from Howard Jacobson:

Human beings are seldom more dangerous than when they are sentimentally overcome by the goodness of their own intentions. That Alice Walker believes it is right to join the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza I do not have the slightest doubt. But beyond associating her decision with Gandhi, Martin Luther King and very nearly, when she talks about the preciousness of children, Jesus Christ, she fails to give a single convincing reason for it.

“One child must never be set above another child,” she says. A sentiment that will find an echo in every heart. But how does it justify the flotilla? Gaza is under siege, Israelis will tell you, because weapons are fired from it into Israel, threatening the lives of Israeli children. If the blockade is lifted there is a fear that more lethal and far-reaching weapons will be acquired, and the lives of more Israeli children endangered.

Alice Walker makes plain, “its cargo will be carrying.” But what will these letters of solidarity be expressing solidarity with? Solidarity is a political term implying commonality of interest or aspiration. So what interest or aspiration do Alice Walker and her fellow travelers share with the people of Gaza? A desire for freedom? Well we all aspire to that. A longing to live in peace?

If they have such a longing we must be solid with them in that too, though the firing of rockets from Gaza is not, on the face of it, an expression of such a longing. And what about the declared hostility of Hamas to the very existence of Israel? Hamas, we are often told, is the elected government of Gaza, a government that fairly represents the wishes of its people. In which case we must assume that Hamas’s implacable hostility towards Israel fairly represents the implacable hostility felt by the people of Gaza. Are Alice Walker’s letters of love and ‘solidarity’ solid with the people of Gaza in that hostility?

At the end of the Guardian piece by Walker there is an addendum which sheds some interesting light onto the motivations of the flotilla activists fools and their motivations.  It’s simple jealousy of the attention that the “Arab Spring” has brought to the wider Arab region which has taken attention away from the Palestinians.

There is a danger, says Chris Doyle, director of the council for Arab-British understanding, of the Palestinian issue being overlooked – in the west at least – as focus shifts to countries going through the extraordinary changes in the Arab spring. “There is a danger that people forget how important this issue is, and that it is boiling. It is still an unresolved issue. At a time when international politicians – Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy and others – are concentrating so much on other areas of the region, the issue of Palestine has not gone away.”

The issue is only boiling because of the actions of Israel-hating terrorist supporters like Doyle and Walker who will not let the Palestinian issue take its natural place way down in the order of world crises, thereby encouraging the Palestinians in their maximalist demands.

“Everyone has been so amazed and shocked at the beauty of the Arab revolutions, seeing these incredibly brave and wonderful citizens, that it quite naturally seizes the attention, but at the heart of the Arab revolutions is Palestine,” says Karma Nabulsi, an academic and expert on the Middle East. “I would say it hasn’t been properly covered in the west, but Palestine is central to what people – the Arab media, the people who are participating in the Arab revolutions – talk about all the time.”

Er, no, Ms Nabulsi.  The Arab Spring is not as beautiful as you make out and Palestine is definitely not in the center of the demands of the Arab revolutions.

As PM Netanyahu said last week, it is time the Palestinians grew up.

This entry was posted in Israel news, Mideast news and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Alice Walker and the Flotilla of Fools

  1. Ben says:

    Much of Alice Waters’ article consisted of praise for individual Jews and the Jewish community in the USA for their support of American blacks during the years of the Civil Rights struggle. It puzzles me why she doesn’t ask herself why blacks got no support to speak of from Arabs and Muslims in that struggle.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi Ben, welcome to my blog. That’s a very good point you raise. It is something we often see amongst the radical left: they profess their love of Jews and they are probably quite sincere, and would be horrified if anyone considered them antisemitic. Yet by casting Israel in the role of the international Jew, the automatic villain, they are indeed fulfilling all the tropes of classic antisemitism. They may love individual Jews, but they seem to have trouble with the Jewish collective.

      And yes, they never question why there was no support from Arabs and Muslims. Again, in their eyes, only the Jews have the duty and the ability to speak out for the oppressed. It’s a the infantilisation of the Arabs and Muslims, which goes on to this very day.

  2. Pingback: “Non-violent” “peace” activists on flotilla planning to kill soldiers | Anne's Opinions

  3. whatevs. says:

    smug and self-righteous?
    Israel is the most smug, self-righteous country in the world. and it’s hardly a ‘flawed liberal democracy’. it’s little more than a military junta.
    like most Jews, the chip on your shoulder is so big, and you’ve been playing the victim card for so long, that you’re utterly blinded to the possibility that your own people are going down the wrong path.
    well, they are. Israel is in a very dark place, and most of the world thinks so, regardless of what the mainstream western media says.
    and I know many Jews who agree. both American AND Israeli Jews.

    the only card you’ve got is “anti-semitic”… pathetic. try arguing with logic, like Alice Walker does, and you might get some respect.

    • anneinpt says:

      Israel is a military junta? That’s funny. How do you explain the democratic elections that take place at least every 4 years, and usually more often. How do you explain all the Arab members of the Knesset, the judiciary and academia?

      “Like most Jews” – aha! The cat is out of the bag. You are a plain old antisemite. No need to go any further.

      “You know many Jews who agree” – yes, the “some of my best friends are Jews” excuse of the traditional antisemite. Besides which, all the latest opinion polls prove you wrong.

      “We only have the antisemite card?” If it walks like duck, quacks like a duck – it’s a duck.

      Alice Walker and logic? bwa ha ha! That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. Did you even read the articles I linked to in my post?

      You are pathetic. DavidinPT has got you bang to rights.

  4. DavidinPT says:

    Mr/Ms Whatevs,
    You are a truly snivelling, pathetic and self-righteous piece of work.
    You write: “Israel is in a very dark place and most of the world thinks so…”.
    Firstly, that’s balderdash and eminently unprovable. By what yardstick do you maqke that assumption? When was a vote taken on the subject? It’s just your opinion and that of your fellow-travellers.
    Secondly, let’s examine some of the countries that comprise “most of the world” and look at their track records and see whether they are in a place that can criticise Israel.
    USA – Shoot Mexican infiltrators
    France – Deport Romanian gypsies, in defiance of Eu rules
    UK – Disallow free speech (yesterday’s headlines)
    Egypt – Shoot to kill Sudanese infiltrators
    China – Shoot civilians in Tianamen Square
    Iran – Shoot , stone and hang civilians for being homosexual or comitting adultery
    Saudi Arabia – Amputate hands for robbery
    and so on and so on and so on.

    Compared to that lot, Israeli society and policy is a haven of peace and tranquility, and , yes, we will not allow our sworn enemies to arm themselves to attack us. If you don’t like that, tough, we don’t like you!

  5. whatevs. says:

    there ya go. proving once again that an Israeli’s first response to any conflict is VIOLENCE and AGGRESSION.
    the difference between all those countries you mention, and Israel, is that when people talk about those various atrocities they can debate them normally and openly, even in the public sphere, without a crowd of whiney pussies coming in and crying about ‘anti-semitism’ and bitching louder and longer than everyone else until the issue is buried, the person’s public career is destroyed, and no one has the balls to talk about the truth any more, even WITHIN Israel where Israeli activists for peace are persecuted by their own government, just like China.

    it’s also telling that in trying to DEFEND Israel you have to point to the worst abuses by the worst countries in the world. kind of proves my point. thanks!

    fact is, if Israel had held to the 1960 peace accords, and stopped lunatic right-wing religious nutcase settlers from constantly STEALING LAND that didn’t belong to them, there would have been peace in Palestine decades ago.
    but whatev, might as well try arguing with a rock as arguing with a (cry)baby of Abraham.

    moreover, there probably wouldn’t be such a hooplah about it if Israelis weren’t such ***REDACTED FOR FILTHY LANGUAGE *** ; brainwashing their kids with all their ‘chosen people’ bullshit, ranting about ‘god gave them the land’ bullshit; and of course using their massive media power in the west to cry about the Holocaust for 7 straight decades like it’s the worst thing that ever happened in the world..
    (guess what? IT’S NOT.) … hell you’ve gone so far as to co-opt the number 6 million for Jews killed, even though more than a third of that number were gypsies and other outsider groups in Europe. but nobody ever talks about the gypsie holocaust, cuz the Jews are too ***REDACTED*** busy milking the situation for everything they can get (and inherently too racist) to even recognize that other groups were involved as well…

    “oh Jerusalem, you know that it’s not right/ after all you’ve been through/ you should know better than to become the Wicked Ones…”
    Mirah. a great singer, and rare Israeli with brains and a moral compass.

    • anneinpt says:

      To take apart your comment:

      Israel’s first response is defense. The aggression always comes from the Arabs.

      Yes, when debating other countries’ atrocities the debate can be carried on normally – if it ever takes place at all. When it comes to Israel, it is assumed a priori that Israel has committed atrocities and then the facts are twisted to prove the point. No debate about Israel can ever be carried out sanely. The antisemites start raving and frothing in a Pavlovian response.

      Which Israeli activists are persecuted within Israel just like in China? You should know since you’re posting from very near there. How do your Chinese overlords treat Taiwan? Are they giving you lots of democratic freedom nowadays? Hypocrite.

      I’d love to know what 1960 peace accords you are talking about. No such thing exists except in your tiny mind.

      Your next paragraph has been redacted due to the disgusting filthy language you use. I will not have you come into my home (my blog) and defecate on the kitchen floor.

      Your virtual Holocaust denial has been left up for all the world to see. You and your ilk are the source of Israel’s problems and most of the world’s too.

      As for Mirah – would a woman in any Arab country be allowed all the rights that she has in Israel? If she indeed said those words she’s as big a hypocrite as you.She should try her luck in Iran.

  6. DavidinPT says:

    OK, whatevs, from your latest post the truth is evidently out, you’re just another boring, ranting antisemite. No point discussing anything with you. Get help, get a life and, most importantly, get lost.

  7. anneinpt says:

    comments are now closed on this article. The foul-headed mouth-breathers are polluting my blog.

  8. Pingback: Good News Friday | Anne's Opinions

Comments are closed.