The Pulitzer prize-winning author Alice Walker has refused to allow an Israeli edition of her classic novel The Color Purple to be published because she believes the country "is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people".
In a letter to Yediot Books, published on the website of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Walker explained her decision. Although a Hebrew edition of the award-winning novel was published in the 1980s, the author was a juror on a tribunal that met in South Africa last autumn to discuss the Palestine situation. Walker said the testimony she heard was devastating.
"I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse," she wrote. "Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long. It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation."
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