Chris Hedges: Alice Walker & the Price of Conscience

Under heat from the Israel lobby, The Bay Area Book Festival humiliated one of the most gifted and courageous writers in America. 

“Price of Conscience,” original illustration by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges

There is a steep price to pay for having a conscience and more importantly the courage to act on it. The hounds of hell pin you to the cross, hammering nails into your hands and feet as they grin like the Cheshire cat and mouth bromides about respect for human rights, freedom of expression and diversity.

I have watched this happen for some time to Alice Walker, one of the most gifted and courageous writers in America. Walker, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple, has felt the bitter sting of racism. She refuses to be silent about the plight of the oppressed, including the Palestinians.

“Whenever I come out with a book, or anything that will take me before the public, the world, I am assailed as this person I don’t recognize,” she said when I reached her by phone.

“If I tried to keep track of all the attacks over the decades, I wouldn’t be able to keep working. I am happy people are standing up. It is all of us. Not just me. They are trying to shut us down, shut us up, erase us. That reality is what is important.”

The Bay Area Book Festival delivered the latest salvo against Walker. The organizers disinvited her from the event because she praised the writings of the New Age author David Icke and called his book And the Truth Shall Set You Free “brave.”

Icke has denied critics’ charges of anti-Semitism. The festival organizers twisted themselves into contortions to say they were not charging Walker with anti-Semitism. She was banned because she lauded a controversial writer, who I suspect few members of the committee have read. The poet and writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who Walker was to interview, withdrew from the festival in protest.

Walker, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has been a very public advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel for many years. Her friendship with Icke has long been part of the public record. She hid nothing. It is not as if the festival organizers suddenly discovered a dark secret about Walker. They sought to capitalize on her celebrity and then, when they felt the heat from the Israel lobby, capitulated to the mob to humiliate her.

“I don’t know these people,” Walker said of the festival organizers who disinvited her. “It feels like the south. You know they are out there in the community, and they have their positions, but all you see are sheets. That’s what this is. It’s like being back in the south.”

Banning writers because of books they like or find interesting nullifies the whole point of a book festival.

Should I be banned because I admire Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s masterpieces Journey to the End of the NightDeath on the Installment Plan, and Castle to Castle, despite his virulent anti-Semitism, which even after World War II he refused to relinquish?

Should I be banned for liking Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, which I recently reread, and which is rabidly misogynistic? Should I be banned for loving William Butler Yeats, who, like Ezra Pound, many of whose poems I have also committed to memory, was a fascist collaborator?

Should I be banned because I revere Hannah Arendt, whose attitudes towards African-Americans were paternalistic, at best, and arguably racist? Should I be banned because I cherish books by C.S. Lewis, Norman Mailer and D.H. Lawrence, who were homophobic?

We might as well sweep clean library shelves if the attitudes of writers we read mean we are denied a right to speak.

And let’s not even get started with the Bible, which I studied as a seminarian at Harvard Divinity School. God repeatedly demands righteous acts of genocide, transforming the Nile into blood so the Egyptians will suffer from thirst. God sends swarms of locusts and flies to torture the Egyptians, along with hail, fire and thunder to destroy all plants and trees. God orders the firstborn in every Egyptian household killed so all will know “that the Lord makes a distinction between Egyptians and Israel.” The killing goes on until “there was not a house where one was not dead.”

The Bible contains much of this divinely sanctioned slaughtering of non-believers. It endorses slavery and the beating of enslaved people. It condones the execution of homosexuals and women who commit adultery. It views women as property and approves the right of fathers to sell their daughters. But the Bible also remains, with all these contradictions and moral failings, a great religious, ethical and moral document. Even the most flawed books often have something to teach us.

Attack on Walker’s Poem

Organizers of the festival attacked Walker for her poem “It is Our Frightful Duty.” They accuse Walker of channeling Icke’s alleged anti-Semitism into her writing, as if Walker is unable to think for herself. The attack on the poem, which is a gross misreading of its intent, exposes the lie that Walker’s position on Israel and Palestine had nothing to do with her being disinvited.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Walker has not only promoted Icke’s ideas widely on her own blog and in interviews, but they may have influenced her own writing,” the festival wrote in a statement. 

Alice Walker in 2012. (American Library Association, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Walker’s 2017 poem “It is our (Frightful) Duty to Study the Talmud” encourages people to use Google and YouTube to “follow the trail of ‘The / Talmud’ as its poison belatedly winds its way / Into our collective consciousness. // Some of what you find will sound / Too crazy to be true. Unfortunately those bits are likely / To be true.”

A New York Magazine essay by writer Nylah Burton (who identifies as Black and Jewish) describes her reaction to Walker’s support of Icke and this poem.

The poem calls out these hate-filled religious texts. “All of it: The Christian, the Jewish, The Muslim; even the Buddhist. All of it, without exception, At the root.”

Walker reminds us in the poem that these texts have been used throughout millennia to sanctify subjugation, dehumanization and murder. Slave holders defended the enslavement of Blacks by citing numerous passages in the Old and the New Testament, including Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians where, equating slaveholders with God, Paul writes: “Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ.”

Israel seeks, in the same way, to legitimize its colonial-settler project by citing the Old Testament and the Talmud, the primary source of Jewish law. Never mind that Palestine was a Muslim country from the seventh century until it was seized by military force in 1948. The Old Testament, in the hands of Zionists, is a deed to Palestinian land.

Walker excoriates this religious chauvinism and mythology. She warns that theocracies, which sacralize state power, are dangerous. In the poem, she highlights passages in the Talmud used to condemn those outside the faith. Jews must repudiate these sections in the Talmud and the Old Testament, as those of us who are Christians must repudiate the hateful passages in the Bible. When these religious screeds are weaponized by zealots — Christian, Muslim or Jewish — they propagate evil.

Walker writes:

Is Jesus boiling eternally in hot excrement,
For his ‘crime’ of throwing the bankers
Out of the Temple? For loving, standing with,
And defending
The poor? Was his mother, Mary,
A whore?
Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only
That, but to enjoy it?
Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?
Are young boys fair game for rape?
Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?
Pause a moment and think what this could mean
Or already has meant
In our own lifetime.

Walker was invited to the festival to interview Honorée Fanonne Jeffers about her work, not to give a lecture on Icke or Palestine — but no matter. She ran afoul of the thought police, who are always vigilant about catering to smear campaigns against Israeli critics but blithely ignore the virulent and overt racism of Israeli politicians, military commanders, writers and intellectuals.

Honoree Fanonne Jeffers at left in 2016 on a poetry panel with Marilyn Chin and Gary Snyder. (Martin Alonso, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Walker is not the first writer targeted by Israel. Israel banned the author Günter Grass and demanded the rescindment of his Nobel prize after he wrote a poem denouncing Germany’s decision to provide Israel with nuclear submarines, warning that Israel “could wipe out the Iranian people” if it attacked Iran.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to create a “Greater” Israel, described the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish as “someone who has written texts against Zionism — which are still used as fuel for terror attacks against Israel.”

He said honoring Darwish was the equivalent to honoring Adolf Hitler for Mein Kampf. Israeli bookstores Steimatzky and Tzomet Sefarim purged Sally Rooney’s novels from some 200 branches and online sites because of her support for BDS. Israeli writer Yehonatan Geffen was beaten outside his home for calling the Israeli prime minister a racist.

Bay Area Book Festival founder and director Cherilyn Parsons defended the board’s decision to disinvite Walker when I requested a comment:

“Our decision to disinvite Ms. Walker had nothing to do with her position on Palestine, her voice as a Black woman writer, or her right to speak her mind freely. We honor all those things. We also do not hold that she is anti-Semitic. (To be pro-Palestinian does not mean a person is anti-Semitic, just as to be Jewish does not mean that one is anti-Palestine.) Our decision was based purely on Ms. Walker’s inexplicable, ongoing endorsement of David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who dangerously promulgates such beliefs as that Jewish people bankrolled Hitler, caused the 2008 global financial crisis, staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and more. (See his book ‘And the Truth Shall Set You Free,’ available full-text on the Internet Archive.) Icke also regularly promotes ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ a fabricated, uber-anti-Semitic text that was widely read during the time of social upheaval in pre-WWII Germany and turned public sentiment against Jews — a truly dangerous document for a populace to embrace. Finally, we note that Ms. Walker provided financial support for, and participation in, a documentary celebrating Icke and his work.”

“I do not believe he is anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish,” Walker posted on her website.

“I do believe he is brave enough to ask the questions others fear to ask, and to speak his own understanding of the truth wherever it might lead. Many attempts have been made to censor and silence him. As a woman, and a person of color, as a writer who has been criticized and banned myself, I support his right to share his own thoughts.”

Bay Area Book Festival in 2016. (Richard Friedman, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“I maintain that I can be friends with whoever I like,” Walker told me. “The attachment to this belief that this person is evil is strange. He’s not.”

I worked for two years as a reporter in Jerusalem. I listened to the daily filth spewed out by Israelis about Arabs and Palestinians, who used racist tropes to sanctify Israeli apartheid and gratuitous violence against Palestinians.


Israel routinely orders air strikes, targeted assassinations, drone attacks, artillery strikes, tank assaults and naval bombardments on the largely defenseless population in Gaza. Israel blithely dismisses those it murders, including children, as unworthy of life, drawing on poisonous religious edicts. It is risible that Israel and its U.S. supporters can posit themselves as anti-racists, abrogating the right to cancel Walker. It is the equivalent of allowing the Klan to vet speakers lists.

Torat Ha’Melech by Rabbi Yitzhak and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur is one of innumerable examples of the deep racism embedded in Israeli culture. The book provides rabbinical advice to Israeli soldiers and officers in the occupied Palestinian territories. It describes non-Jews as “uncompassionate by nature” and justifiably exterminated to “curb their evil inclinations.”

“If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the seven commandments of [Noah]…there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

It assures troops that it is morally legitimate to kill Palestinian children, writing,

“There is justification for killing babies if it is clear they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

The Biblical prohibition on murder, Yitzhak and Elitzur write, “refers only to a Jew who kills a Jew, and not to a Jew who kills a gentile, even if that gentile is one of the righteous among the nations.” They even say it is “permissible” to kill Jewish dissidents.

A Jewish dissident, the rabbis write, is a rodef. rodef, according to traditional Jewish law, is someone who is “pursuing” another person to murder him or her. It is the duty of a Jew to kill a rodef if the rodef is told to cease the threatening behavior and does not. Yigal Amir, who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, argued that the din rodef, or “law of the pursuer,” justified Rabin’s murder.

Walker is the best among us. She is one of our most gifted and lyrical writers. She stands unequivocally with the crucified of the earth. She sees her own pain in the pain of others. She demands justice. She pays the price.

Boycott the Bay Area Book Festival.

That is the least we owe a literary and moral titan.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor and NPR.  He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

Author’s Note to Readers: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waiver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at so I can continue to post my Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

29 comments for “Chris Hedges: Alice Walker & the Price of Conscience

  1. April 29, 2022 at 09:33

    “But the Bible also remains, with all these contradictions and moral failings, a great religious, ethical and moral document.”

    A great religious, ethical and moral document?

    Are you serious, Mr. Hedges?

    The best uses for a Bible (both old and new testaments) or a Koran are for a doorstop, paperweight or booster seat for a child who isn’t tall enough to sit comfortably at a table.

    Judaism, Christianity and Islam (and every other form of mono-theism) are plagues upon the earth, its people and all other creatures. No wonder we have a world filled with war, aggression, poverty, hunger, environmental collapse, and every other social malady one can conceive of. The mono-theists are in charge of literally everything.

    If the human race is ever going to really become civilized, theism must become extinct. And it can’t happen soon enough in my humble opinion.

    And yes, Boycott the Bay Area Book Festival.

  2. Raymond Howard
    April 28, 2022 at 17:53

    David Icke has claimed that Jews are alien hybrids. He’s a complete crank whose work is irrational and dangerous in today’s climate. He shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone – especially a well known, published author. I don’t think his work should be censored, but Walker is silly if she thinks supporting him shouldn’t get her into trouble. It’s one thing to support his right to try to publish his work, it’s another to publicly claim it has merit.

    As with V. S. Naipaul’s stories mocking W. Indians, Walker’s novel, The Color Purple portrayed Black men in an unflattering way which many enjoyed. If Walker is ignorant that that fact helped her novel to its success and her to fame and fortune, then she’s too naive to be in public life. Similarly, if she doesn’t know that Jews are a very large part of the American intelligentsia – including both popular and elite entertainment, or does know and chooses to play the fool with Icke’s explosive assertions, then she’s not savvy enough to remain among famous authors in this country.

    I don’t know what propelled Walker along this road to crankery and exclusion, but she’s got mostly herself to blame.

  3. I Stevenson
    April 28, 2022 at 12:48

    When I was younger , I now realise, I hoped to find books or writers who were infallible on a particular subject. I’d sometimes find one , only to be disappointed when I found there were areas which didn’t seem to be right. Of course, all people are fallible -even me-so I now try to assess people and try to be prepared to change my mind or reserve judgement. This sometimes means that people which whom I am in sympathy with on most things, take a different view. It can be uncomfortable when they pass judgement on me for the ‘treason ‘ of not agreeing with the group or individual. It can also be uncomfortable when I find myself isolated ( some seem to enjoy being the lone voice) or when I realise I have to move away from friends.
    I have a long time friend who sends me ‘proof’ of how the whole covid thing is a plot. When I challenged some of the reasoning or the reliability of the evidence, ( I used to mark national exams in history) she wanted to terminate the friendship of 30 years. Fortunately she changed her mind. I guess most of us who use this website might be considered ‘conspiracy theorists’ by some. Hopefully, we can judge by reason and understanding.
    Chris Hedges is a remarkable man who , IMHO, challenges us to find the better part of ourselves.

  4. Eddie S
    April 27, 2022 at 22:28

    Much like Chris Hedges rhetorically poses above, I too have wrestled somewhat in the past with the problem of separating an artist from his/her art and have come to the conclusion that for the most part they need to be treated as separate entities— their art stands or falls on its own accord, NOT whether the artist is personally a morally/ethically good or bad person, whether he/she adheres to the same political/religious/social beliefs as I do or don’t. If I were required to judge the artist on his/her politics/religious beliefs/legal history/etc, the that’s a different question from whether I like some of their art. And from what little I read about the private lives of artists (primarily rock popular musicians), I probably wouldn’t like them in person, but I’m not auditioning for a new friend or a candidate for a humanitarian award, I’m just listening to their music.

    What seems REALLY over the top in this case is that it wasn’t purportedly even HER political views specifically, but an ACQUAINTANCE’S views. Sure sounds like weak criteria to get excited about— we all might run afoul on that count…

    • Penultimate
      April 30, 2022 at 18:11

      For Eddie S:

      A problem such as – out of 100 algorithms, find which two were made by the same programmer – would be very exciting for some.

      I leveled up in the skill of pattern recognition. In reality, the programmer is more of a science experiment than a superhero.

      I saw the programmer as a sharer of private/secret code among a group of elites, whereas he could also be interpreted as a public figure creating works of art.

      I engaged with some of the characters in the code to further research. My characters didn’t necessarily represent me, my beliefs or values.

      Those who think that asking to be a friend is a bigger crime than children being used as human shields, would not make good friends.

  5. Em
    April 27, 2022 at 17:45

    Tony Riley (TR) says:
    “History will remember Hitler and Arafat, but it doesn’t mean they were decent people.”
    Of course, it goes without saying, all of Israel’s leaders were/are decent people!
    Without conscience, (TR) says: “It’s the duty of all humans to call out bigots, such as Alice Walker. “
    In reference to Neta Golan, (TR) says:
    “Jewish when it suits her, but Palestinian at home in Nablus.”
    “Some mental health issues there, sadly.”
    And, here is an others’ opinion, directed to (TR):
    “Decent people” don’t make patently absurd, utterly ignorant statements; concerning other human beings’ circumstances, especially when they have no first-hand knowledge of that person’s affiliations or status; whether they be Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or other blind faith believer, unless of course the person casting the aspersions feels entitled, by self-anointed personal right; from their “Ivory Tower” of fanatical religious complacency, to do so.
    Perhaps, just perhaps, Neta Golan is married to an Arab Palestinian, and given the de facto Apartheid laws of ‘democratic’ Israel, this be the case; her spouse and she may not be permitted to live together as spouses in Israel (im)proper. Perhaps, just perhaps, you were not aware of this!
    On the other hand, if her spouse is of the same Jewish faith, they are free to choose wherever they want to reside, whether it be in illegally occupied Palestine, or anywhere else, without yours or anyone else’s permission. And more to the point, it’s none of your narrow-minded business!
    Only from such a hypercritical, racist, Judeophile, condescending, supercilious vantage point is, “It’s the duty of all humans to call out bigots” NOT obvious to them; that they do not apply the same standards when the bigots are Israeli Jews, of which “sadly” there are way too many! Unfortunately, this is not a unique Jewish/Israeli issue! Of late, it has become a global pandemic.
    “Some mental health issues (here too), sadly.”
    Perhaps TR you need to re-read Ms. Walker’s cited poem, a little more closely this time, and then take a look in the mirror!

  6. Vera Gottlieb
    April 27, 2022 at 10:55

    It is always the guilty ones who scream the loudest…The more the guilt is denied, the louder the scream.

  7. Mark Stanley
    April 26, 2022 at 22:56

    Artists need to be given a lot of leeway to express themselves, at times more than may be comfortable for some. It’s important–like a stretching of consciousness. Gee, look at Van Gogh, for example. Comedians, musicians, sculptors, writers etc.
    And of all places to be rigid: San Francisco?
    This reminds me of the story of Vivaldi–the red-haired priest who traveled around Europe with an orchestra of nuns performing his pieces–some of which were of nature themes , which the church considered pagan. They tolerated him while he brought in money for the church, but when he died they scooped up his manuscripts and tried to erase his name from history. Finally, in about 1950, a copy of The Seasons was found, and it took the classical music world by storm. The church got their nose rubbed in it big time, and they coughed up the rest of the manuscripts.
    Besides, who are these people that are judging Alice Walker? History will remember her, and no one will ever know who they are. Critics are nobodies.

    • Tony Riley
      April 27, 2022 at 07:53

      History will remember Hitler and Arafat, but it doesn’t mean they were decent people.

      It’s the duty of all humans to call out bigots, such as Walker.

  8. Cal Lash
    April 26, 2022 at 17:17

    Excellent article reverend. In my 82 years
    I have often questioned the
    existence of religious nations.
    But then the gods died when i was 14.
    And i seldom read fiction.
    Do they still put “bibles” in motel rooms?

  9. jaycee
    April 26, 2022 at 16:12

    Obviously the organizers had no issue with Walker’s positions on David Icke when they first invited her.

    A precedent for this also occurred in the Bay area in 2013 when Chelsea Manning was removed as honorary parade marshal for that year’s Pride event. The orders to do so came from a corporate sponsor.

    • Cal Lash
      April 27, 2022 at 01:03

      INSCOM was the anonymous donor?

  10. Gene
    April 26, 2022 at 14:17

    Silence when faced with questions of critical moral values equates to complicity. I believe this is a position that Chris Hedges espouses. He would be the first to point out that Israelis ,who remain silent when faced with the “question” of Israel State -sponsored racism, all complicit in that travesty. The fact that the bulk of this article describes others and situations where those who were silent were not held publicly complicit is not relevant to the issues/facts at hand.

  11. April 26, 2022 at 11:10

    There are heroes, if we want them, despite the horrible purportedly “woke”. Wonder where the BLM movement is on this, sounds eerily silent.

  12. ted markstein
    April 26, 2022 at 09:34

    stand not too close
    to your heroes
    for they are
    but human

    and they teeter
    on the quicksands
    of uncritical

    Caravaggio done murdered a man
    the horror! tear down his works, my sisters
    unworthy, unworthy, and he was white!
    and a he, as well, tells you everything
    you need to know, and Bruno, white as well
    and a fella, argumentative, stubborn pain in the butt
    delete his works immediatement, unsound, unsound
    and Bobby, rich old white male, Nobel, what cheek!
    calls himself a song and dance man,
    yes, man, you heard right, shame, shame, shame
    he’ll be wearing a sombrero next thing you know

  13. Em
    April 26, 2022 at 09:25

    So, what else is news?!
    The following is a letter published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, April 20th 2022 and forwarded to the organization, (peace-block); Israeli citizens protesting against the tyrannical maltreatment of Palestinian Arabs, by the Israeli government, ever since the establishment, in 1948, of the institutional State of Israel, in historical Palestine:
    By Neta Golan / translated from Haaretz, April 20, 2022
    I was supposed to be arrested, but I’m Jewish.
    On Palestinian prisoner day, April 17, I was supposed to be arrested in a demonstration against administrative detentions held in front of the Shin bet offices in Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, I am writing these lines from my home, because I am Jewish. The police fenced off the demonstration, and I was never a woman who liked fences. The purpose of the demonstration is to be heard, to be seen, to disturb. Time and time again I crossed the fence, lay down on the road, and the policemen who were there pushed me, pulled and shouted. And time and time again they returned me to the area they designated for the demonstration. Had they checked my ID they would have seen that not only did I disobey their instructions, but there is also a court issued arrest warrant against me.
    About two months ago, I refused to appear in court after an indictment was filed against me for activities against the siege of Gaza, so the judge issued an arrest warrant against me. I came to the demonstration thinking that I would probably be arrested and knowing that if that happened, I would continue to refuse to cooperate with the court.
    I was not arrested, but Rami Salman, a student at Tel Aviv University, was. Like us, he also demonstrated. Unlike me he did not try to block the road, but the slogans he yelled were in an Arabic accent. He was already on his way home when the cops jumped him. Since he was arrested very violently, of course he was accused of assaulting a police officer. Fortunately, the entire arrest and demonstration was recorded in a video, which was brought to court. Rami was released on bail of a thousand shekels and was banned from participating in demonstrations for 14 days.
    There is only one explanation for Rami’s arrest, while my friends and I, who blocked the road, were not arrested: he is an Arab and therefore, by his very existence, he poses a threat. I, on the other hand, even when I interfere with the regime to the best of my ability, am still merely exercising my democratic right in the “Jewish democracy.” Since the beginning of Ramadan this month, the Israeli police have arrested hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem, many of them long “preventive detentions.” This is in contrast to the isolated and brief arrests, which can be counted on the fingers of one hand, of Jewish temple activists, whose ability to agitate and create an escalation is well known.
    The demonstration in which Rami was arrested took place as part of “Israeli Apartheid Week” and against the policy of administrative detention. Against the fact that Palestinians are being arrested for being Palestinians, against a reality in which Palestinian journalists, students and activists are being held in prisons for long months, without trial, without access to evidence allegedly collected against them, without any restriction on the length of their detention. Without protection and without justice. And here the demonstration itself proved its point: being a Palestinian is a sufficient reason for arrest. After all, two million Palestinians have been imprisoned for 15 years in the besieged Gaza Strip, including about one million girls and boys under the age of 15, who were born and have lived all their lives under siege and under constant threat of deadly violence. They are imprisoned their entire lives (simply) because they were not born to a Jewish mother.
    Note: (In a self-professed ‘democratic’ state; if this is not outright religious bigotry, then what is? Besides, a state proclaiming to be a Jewish state is, in fact, a theocracy – of which the high priests are its always fanatical government. An overtly religiously intolerant government, reigning hierarchically, from the top down, cannot both be a democratic, and a Jewish state, wherein there is no separation between religious claims and governance. How much more transparently straightforward can the truth be stated?)
    I am one of about 130 citizens of Israel who have declared their intention to stop cooperating with the Israeli system of discrimination and segregation. Instead, we pledge to use the exclusive privileges granted to us by virtue of being of Jewish descent, in order to draw attention to the struggle for equality and justice conducted by Palestinians, from which those rights are deprived. Since the beginning of the year, Palestinians held in administrative detention have been boycotting military courts and refusing to appear before them in protest of their arbitrary detention. They are protesting the fact that military courts serve as a rubber stamp for illegal arrests, which lack even the slightest semblance of a fair trial.
    My friends and I have pledged that as long as their strike continues, we too will refuse to cooperate with the Israeli courts. In cases where the regime will arrest us or initiate proceedings against us following our opposition to the Israeli occupation and apartheid, we will not appear for discussions, we will not agree to representation, and we will not represent ourselves, even if as a result we are thrown in prison.
    But we are not the story here. By refusing to cooperate with the justice system we are trying to expose the blatant injustice in which we live. The racist system of policing, trial and incarceration. The separation between blood and blood. The apartheid. We refuse to cooperate with this system, so that you will hear about the arrest of the student who was arrested on his way home; so you can hear about Amal Nahleh, a boy who was abducted from his parents’ house at night, and hundreds of other detainees without rights.
    Note: The author is active in a group Israelis against apartheid and lives in Nablus with her husband, daughters and cat.

    • Tony Riley
      April 27, 2022 at 07:57

      Jewish when it suits her, but Palestinian at home in Nablus.

      Some mental health issues there, sadly.

      • voicu manolache
        April 27, 2022 at 20:39

        I think that the one with mental health issues is you , sir.

  14. Nathan Mulcahy
    April 26, 2022 at 09:24

    Enlightenment is arguably West’s best contribution to world civilization. But today, it is impossible in the west to be heard, let alone have an open discussion, if your opinion deviates from the official narrative. The West’s public sphere (media, academia, institutions, civil society organization, etc.) has become an echo chamber, where ideological purity rather than diversity in views and opinion is allowed.

    The most important process that promotes moral, philosophical, and scientific advancement in a civilization is a free and open dialogue and debate among people having a diversity in opinion, logic, and conclusions. That does not exist in the collective west anymore.

    It is stunning – the west is rotting from the core. Also stunning to see people who are otherwise intelligent are either completely unaware of what is happening or are on board, if not actively promoting this madness.

    The destruction of America (of the common people) has been a great bipartisan project – remember, both parties are funded by the same big money. But there are certain differences between the two wings of the Uniparty. Censorship is a project assigned to the Dem Party – visibly and enthusiastically supported by the Dem supporters. I say this as a onetime Dem voter.

    Now I’ll go and get a copy of David Icke’s book “The Truth will Set You Free”. On Amazon’s website the author is described as “the most controversial author in the world”. In my worldview, that’s an excellent reason to read his writings. Not because I expect to believe everything he says, but to challenge my current views to find out if and what perspectives I may be ignoring. That’s the only way to understand things – be it about philosophy, culture, politics or science.

  15. peter tusinski
    April 26, 2022 at 08:47

    A brave article full of truth though many will not like the message. Thank you Chris.

  16. JMF
    April 26, 2022 at 05:27

    “There is justification for killing babies if it is clear they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

    Astounding!! That Zionist teaching directly reflects the Nazism professed in Ukraine:

    “TV presenter calls for killing children, quotes Nazi war criminal”

    ‘… Quoting Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, Ukrainian TV presenter Fahruddin Sharafmal called for his countrymen to destroy the Russian nation by killing their children, and urged Ukrainians to “kill at least one Moskal” – a derogatory term for Russian – each. …

    ‘ “I allow myself to quote Adolf Eichmann, who said that in order to destroy a nation, you must destroy, first of all, its children. Because if you kill their parents, the children will grow up and take revenge. By killing children – they will never grow up and the nation will disappear,” he said, while a photo of Eichmann appeared on the screen. …’

    • DFH1
      April 28, 2022 at 00:35

      That book, Torah ha’melech, is not and has never been “Zionist teaching” as both this article and you ignorantly assert. The book was released in 2009 and was roundly condemned in Israel by Jewish religious leaders, and by Jewish groups across the world including the Anti-Defamation League.

      The book expresses the views of extremists, not a racism endemic to Israeli culture, an extremism with which every culture, unfortunately, is cursed.

  17. Airlane1979
    April 26, 2022 at 04:18

    Oh come now, you’re okay with David Icke? His public reputation here in the UK is as a seriously deranged conspiracy theorist and a true anti-semite. For example:

    – he states on his own site: there are “parallels between population-reduction vaccines and the current COVID vaccines, which are causing bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles, miscarriages, and pre-term births”
    – at an anti-lockdown, anti-mask protest in Trafalgar Square on 29 August 2020, he told the crowd, “Anyone with a half a brain cell on active duty can see coronavirus is nonsense’ as reported by The Independent
    – he openly promotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as asserted by Ms Parsons, yet according to Ms Walker that does not qualify as anti-semitic
    – he promotes the dangerous and discredited claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism in children
    – he is the very definition of a conspiracy theorist: “an astonishing web of interconnected manipulation to reveal that the same few people, secret societies and organisations control the daily direction of our lives” states his site.

    If Ms Walker wishes to associate herself with Mr Icke, that’s her choice. She cannot complain if there are consequences.

    • Henry Smith
      April 26, 2022 at 09:46

      If you support free speech then you also have to support the right of various nutters to have a voice. Once you start down the route of censoring stuff you don’t like, or allowing someone else to determine what is acceptable then you essentially support fascism and have to accept only what the fascists want you to hear. It’s the end of freedom and the rise of the totalitarian state.
      Freedom of speech is black and white, there are no grey areas, everything or nothing.

    • JonnyJames
      April 26, 2022 at 11:09

      You might try re-reading the article more carefully. You clearly missed the point Chris Hedges makes. Or, should CN simply ban/censor YOU because I/we/they don’t agree with your viewpoint?

    • dejudge
      April 26, 2022 at 12:18

      Nor can you complain when they come for you.

    • Wade Hathaway
      April 26, 2022 at 15:11

      To me, there is a difference between the identification and countering of disagreeable content/false information and outright censorship.

  18. Anon
    April 26, 2022 at 03:37

    Tnx Chris Hedges 4 somewhat different type article… & CN 4 running it.
    Big difference between anti-semitidm & anti-Israeli fascpol, IMO.
    Always struck by irony: Bib OT primarily doc written primarily by Same Tribal Members as NT “money lenders” & inherent anti-semitism of same.
    Contend Biblical OT appropriation from rival belief system… (used as above)…

  19. Kelly Richards
    April 26, 2022 at 02:56

    Walker is the best among us. She is one of our most gifted and lyrical writers. She stands unequivocally with the crucified of the earth. She sees her own pain in the pain of others. She demands justice. She pays the price.

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