Saturday, June 25, 2011

Letters Needed: CNN Op-Ed Attacks Alice Walker and Gaza Flotilla

WRITE! For Justice is a coalition member of the US Campaign.
June 25, 2011

Today, CNN has published an outrageous op-ed by Howard Jacobson 'Why Alice Walker Should Not Sail to Gaza' (6/24) which attacks author Alice Walker and her recent piece 'Why I'm Sailing to Gaza' (6/21).  The article characterizes Walker as a good person who could do 'great harm' -- it implies that she is simply naive in traveling on the flotilla and being used for propaganda purposes.  While lecturing Walker about morality, at no time does Jacobson acknowledge the devastating impact of the siege on Palestinians or respond specifically to Walker's concern about the plight of Palestinian children growing up under unacceptable conditions -- except to say that Walker "chooses the Palestinian child over the Israeli."

As for the flotilla, Jacobson maintains that it is "by its very essence a provocation" and "half inviting a violence which can then be presented as a slaughter of the innocents."  Even worse, the op-ed attempts to justify the blockade and collective punishment in Gaza by claiming "we must assume that Hamas's implacable hostility towards Israel fairly represents the implacable hostility felt by the people of Gaza."

Please WRITE! to CNN using the feedback form in support of Alice Walker, the Gaza Flotilla, and a free Gaza.  Letters should be kept under 150 words and be sure to include your name, address, and phone number for verification purposes.

Why Alice Walker shouldn't sail to Gaza

By Howard Jacobson
June 24, 2011

It should not need arguing, this late in the ethical history of mankind, that good people can do great harm. One of the finest and funniest novels ever written -- Don Quixote -- charts the damage left in the wake of a man who would make the world a better place.

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.