Letter to PEN America: Don’t partner with Israel
Eleven organisations and 61 individuals have written an open letter to PEN America to protest that Israel limits freedom on expression and should be subject to a cultural boycott.
PEN America stands for free expression in literature. Their website says:-
For the last 90 years, PEN American Center has been working to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Together with our colleagues in the international PEN community, we have been bringing down barriers to free expression and reaching across borders to celebrate, through writing, our common humanity.
It has just hosted the 12th Annual PEN World Voices Festival. Among the “Champions” and sponsors is listed “The Embassy of Israel”.
The letter says:-
Since 2005, Palestinian civil society has called on people of conscience around the world to engage in a peaceful campaign of boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning (BDS) Israel in order to force it to comply with international law and respect the rights of Palestinians now living under Israeli military occupation, as unequal citizens within Israel, or as refugees, denied their right to return to their homeland. The union representing Palestinian writers, the General Union of Palestinian Writers, actively supports this boycott call.
The authors appeal to PEN America to refuse sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy.