The murder of humanitarian aid workers aboard the Mavi Marmara in international waters is the latest tragic example of Israel’s relentless attacks on human rights.
But while violently preventing the free passage of medical, building and school supplies to Gaza, Israel continues to pride itself as a highly cultured, highly educated state. We therefore appeal to British writers and scholars to boycott all literary, cultural and academic visits to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government, including those organised by Israeli cultural foundations and universities. We also ask that writers, poets and British funding bodies actively support Palestinian literary events.
Israeli universities are key players in the creation and dissemination of government policy, and appearing as an international guest at all such Israeli cultural and academic events helps to divert attention from and normalise Israeli war crimes in Gaza and its recent, abhorrent military actions at sea. As Britons and British residents, we believe that we have a historical and moral obligation to support the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people in their struggle for long-denied peace, justice and self-determination.
John Berger, Jenny Diski, Naomi Foyle, Thomas Pakenham and 33 others
British Writers In Support of Palestine