Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” is calling on singer Alicia Keys to cancel her performance in Tel Aviv this summer.
The author and activist warned the R&B singer that a visit to Israel would put her in “soul danger.”
In an open letter this week comparing the civil rights movement in America to the plight of the Palestinians, Walker — a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel — encouraged Keys to boycott the country.
“You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people,” Walker wrote. “Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there.”
Instead, Walker urged Keys, who is scheduled to perform in July, to visit Gaza. She further criticized Obama for his support of Israel.
“This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil,” Walker wrote. “You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.”
Last year Walker refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of “The Color Purple” due to what she claims to be Israel’s “apartheid.”
According to Haaretz, shortly after Keys confirmed her performance in Tel Aviv in March the BDS movement began to pressuring Keys to cancel.