Friday, December 21, 2018

At History News Network, professor of social studies and history at NYU Robert Cohen states flatly that Alice Walker is not an antisemite:

Whatever the merits of Walker’s reading of Icke, her life history has been one in which she has consistently and eloquently battled bigotry since her teenage college years at Spelman College where she was active in the Atlanta movement against racial discrimination and the Jim Crow system. As one who has studied Walker’s history of political activism, I find no trace of anti-Semitism, but instead find a humane identification with the oppressed, including Palestinians, and a dedication to battling war, poverty, and hatred. 

... I know this because this year I published a book on Howard Zinn, Spelman, and the Atlanta student movement, Howard Zinn’s Southern Diary: Sit-Ins, Civil Rights, and Black Women’s Student Activism, and Walker wrote a foreword to it that described in moving terms how her and her family’s love of education and reverence for teachers, along with her passion for freedom, and justice, motivated her to stand up for her beloved [Jewish] teacher.  
Wow. Just wow.

A supposed scholar who has spent a great deal of time studying Walker not only brushes off her defense of David Icke, chooses not to mention Walker's antisemitic poem, on her website today, about Jews and the Talmud, based on her meticulous research of watching YouTube videos.

Walker says that for centuries Jews have been taught by their rabbis that they should enslave "goyim." Walker says that Jewish rabbis have taught generations of students that Jesus is burning in hell because he stood up for the poor. Walker claims that Jews are taught from birth to kill "goyim" (which she helpfully defines as "us," since Jews are clearly The Other.)

This isn't "support for Palestinian rights." This is Nazi-level Jew-hatred, Protocols of the Elders of Zion-level filth, far worse than what I see in the worst of Arabic media.

To excuse this hate and these lies is to be complicit in them. 

Walker's poem should exclude her from any respectable circles. Full stop. Anyone who disagrees because of the good work she has done is enabling antisemitism in academia and intellectual circles. It is beyond immoral - it is dangerous.

The most charitable thing one can say about Cohen is that he is unaware of Walker's antisemitism in her poem and her earlier books (where she says that Israeli  Jews have used the dictum, that  "might even be enshrined in the Torah," that possession is nine tenths of the law.) If that is so, he is not a scholar - he is a hack and a fraud.

The least charitable thing you can say is that Cohen is aware of Walker's antisemitism (as he is clearly aware of her full throated support for Icke's Jew-hatred) and that he consciously decided to defend her anyway.

Either way, if he doesn't pull this article, he has been proven to have no intellectual honesty.

This is twice in one week that History News Network has published ridiculous defenses of antisemites. In the previous article, Jews who felt that someone who accuses Jews of poisoning Palestinian wells of antisemitism are the real racists.

HNN needs to employ some fact checkers, because what used to be a good and useful site is in danger of being subverted by "academics" whose goals are anything but the truth.

(h/t Phil)



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