Yoav Litvin writes in Aljazeera:
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Pulitzer-prize winner Alice Walker caused much controversy by recommending David Icke’s book And the Truth Shall Set You Free, claiming it was “a curious person’s dream come true”.
Many reacted sharply to Walker’s endorsement of what is widely considered to be an anti-Semitic book, accusing her of embracing Icke’s racist conspiracy theories; others, like Palestinian-American writer Susan Abulhawa, defended Walker, claiming her ideas are anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic. In her article, In defence of Alice Walker, Abulhawa claimed Palestinians are “killed, humiliated and destroyed in visible and invisible ways by Israel’s notions of Jewish supremacy”.
Omitted from this public debate is an important distinction regarding the fundamental nature of Zionism and its implications on the struggle against injustice.
Zionism is a modern movement, which gained traction among a minority of secular Jews only in the late 19th century in response to Europe’s rising anti-Semitism and romantic nationalism.
Early Zionists syncretised many aspects of European fascism, white supremacy, colonialism and messianic Evangelism and had a long and sordid history of cooperating with anti-Semites, imperialists and fascists in order to promote exclusivist and expansionist agendas.
In fact, throughout the past century, anti-Semites and Zionists have worked towards the mutual interest of concentrating Jews in Israel; the former as a means of scapegoating and expelling an unwanted population, and the latter to combat the “demographic threat” posed by native Palestinians. Further, both anti-Semites and Zionists construct Jews as a biological race, which needs to be segregated as part of a utopia of global apartheid.
Zionism is a racist and settler colonialist movement, which opportunistically coopts aspects of Judaism in an attempt to justify its criminal practices of apartheid and genocide of indigenous Palestinians. White supremacy is dominant within Israeli society, which privileges white-skinned Ashkenazi Jews at the expense of dark-skinned African Jews, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews as well as African refugees. African/black Jewish communities are often denied recognition by Israeli authorities with some members even deported.