In a letter dated June 9 to the publisher Yediot Books, Ms. Walker cited her involvement in a tribunal that convened last fall in South Africa and “determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.” She added, “I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse.”
Ms. Walker’s letter was published at the Web site of an organization called the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel and reported by Israeli newspapers including Haaretz.
Ms. Walker pointed out in her letter that she did not allow Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of “The Color Purple” to be shown in South Africa until “the apartheid regime was dismantled and Nelson Mandela became the first president of color of South Africa.” She wrote that she was hopeful that nonviolent protest might resolve conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, adding, in regard to her book: “But now is not the time. We must continue to work on the issue, and to wait.”
Wendy Weil, Ms. Walker’s literary agent, confirmed in an e-mail that Ms. Walker had written the letter.