Batting for Apartheid – JK Rowling stumps for Israel — what would Harry Potter do?

Batting for Apartheid – JK Rowling stumps for Israel — what would Harry Potter do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Even the young Harry might have worked this one out
One of the most interesting
things about the letter calling for cultural co-existence with Israeli Apartheid
is how few cultural figures were represented on the list of signatories.  Apart from JK Rowling, there was the washed
out feminist, Fay Weldon, the star of BT’s adverts, Maureen Lipman and a couple
of other has beens.

 What it lacked in
cultural input  it more than made up for
in members of the Conservative Friends of Israel who signed the letter.  People not normally known for their tolerance
or belief in dialogue were enthusiastic to put their signature at the bottom of
a hypocritical call for dialogue with a racist regime that has refused to
accept one single Syrian refugee, because they are non-Jewish. 

A good example of the
depths of Israeli and Zionist racism was provided by a story in last week’s Jewish
Chronicle Revealed: How the last Jews of Aleppo escaped.   
Israeli artists protesting at the lack of dialogue in Israel – as their funds are cut for not supporting the settlements and Likud’s far-right agenda
An American/Israeli philanthropist, Moti
Kahana, arranged the escape of the last Jewish family, the Halabis, in Aleppo
from under the noses of Isis, who were closing in and would have slaughtered
them.  They were taken on a circuitous
and risky journey to Turkey.  The Jewish
Agency then arranged for the family to be accepted in Israel under the Law of
Return.
Eric Pickles – Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel – his only dialogue is with an oversized luncheon
The only problem was
that one of the daughters of the 88 year old mother, Gilda, had converted to
Islam and married an Arab, Khalib.  They
had 3 children.  Because she had
converted she was no longer Jewish and could not enter Israel.  Having no funds she was forced to go back
into Syria and risk her life and that of her husband and children again.  Israel would not accept her because she was
not Jewish even though Isis would have killed her because, in their eyes, she
was Jewish.  That in a nutshell sums  up the racism of the Israeli state.  Being Jewish is a racial category, defined as
it was in Germany according to religious criteria. 
Even Dumbledore would fine it difficult to get out of this one
Eric Pickles, who is
not famous for his cultural sensitivities or input, demonstrated his belief in
dialogue by exerting pressure, as a member of the Cabinet  by successfully putting pressure on Southampton
University to cancel a conference last year on international law.  Pickles is someone whose commitment to
fighting anti-Semitism was demonstrated by his overt support for the anti-Semitic
Polish MEP Michal Kaminski.  Kaminski opposeda national Polish apology for the burning alive of up to 900 Jews in 1941 in
the village of Jedwabne. 
The fascist Polish politician Michal Kaminski who Pickles defended
Pickles is also
someone who, like Fay Weldon, is known as an Islamaphobe.  He was the moving spirit behind the judicial
coup d’etat in Tower Hamlets earlier this year when the democratically elected
Mayor Lofthur Rahman was ousted by the High Court.
Eric Pickles – the bigot at the heart of JK Rowling’s Boycott Letter
One wonders whether Ms
Rowling is enjoying the company of the supporters of an Apartheid Israel (&
Maureen Lipman for example defends any and every action of Israel including
their treatment of Palestinian children) whilst claiming that she opposes the
actions of the Israeli state in the Occupied Territories?
Tony Greenstein

JK Rowling stumps for Israel — what would Harry Potter do?

Annie
Robbins
on October 23, 2015
JK Rowling
JK
Rowling has staked out territory as a prominent face of the anti-BDS movement.
She’s signed on to a heavily
publicized
open letter in the Guardian, “Israel
needs cultural bridges, not boycotts
“, encouraging “dialogue about Israel
and the Palestinians” in a “wider” cultural and creative community.
Eric Pickles – landed Rowling in a right pickle!
The
Rowling normalization/dialogue letter, with 150 co-signers, opens with a
reference to the Artists’
Pledge for Palestine
,
published by the Guardian last February.
It is a pledge to boycott Israel culturally and
professionally until it complies with international law and universal
principles of human rights — signed by over 1,090 British artists representing
every field of the arts.

Anti Boycott letter
co-signer Sir Eric Pickles – Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel (Photo:
Joe Giddens)
The
cosigners of Rowling’s letter are also promoted as “UK
Artists
“, however the list of signatories include a slew of Tory
politicians including (but not limited to) Sir Eric Pickles,
ex-chairman of the Conservative party and current Chairman of Conservative
Friends of Israel (CFI), MP David Burrowes,
officer of CFI, MP Mike
Freer
 (who resigned his position as parliamentary private secretary to
Nick Boles in order to vote against the motion to
recognize Palestine), and MP’s Bob BlackmanGuto Bebb — all
conservative members of CFI. A regular Who’s Who list of BICOM‘s favorite UK politicians!
From
the letter:
Cultural
boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory, and will not further
peace. Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual
acceptance, and it is through such understanding and acceptance that movement
can be made towards a resolution of the conflict.
And,
allegedly they support two states. Were MP’s Oliver Dowden and John Howell (also
Vice Chairman of CFI), both conservative cosigners of the letter, promoting “greater
understanding and mutual acceptance” while only expressing “support for
Israel against terror attacks” , cited today
on CFI’s website
? Many of these politicians have been on several CFI delegations to Israel. Sorry,
this has lobby written all over it — a distinctly non grassroots vibe — and the
timing
is completely tone deaf
Maajid
Nawaz
, founder of the so called “counter-extremism” neocon think tank Quilliam
is a cosigner too.
And
guess what? A new site has been launched called “Culture for Coexistence“, the
letter’s cosigners “declare our support for the launch and aims” of the
network:
We
seek to inform and encourage dialogue about Israel in the wider cultural and
creative community. Whilst we may not all share the same views on the policies
of the Israeli government, we all share a desire for peaceful coexistence.
What
about Palestinians? There is not one Palestinian co-signer on the list.
The
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has responded to the Rowling and
friends “dialogue” initiative that condemns the boycott of Israel: 
PACBI
spokesperson:

“Some
British cultural figures, including known Israel apologists, seem intent to
revive Thatcher’s ‘constructive  engagement’, equating the colonisers with
the colonised, which in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa
proved to be downright unethical and complicit.”
“Earlier
this year, more than one thousand British cultural figures, a list of who’s who
in film, literature and performing arts, signed a cultural boycott pledge
against Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid until it respects
international law. That impressive list, which included some of the best known
Jewish writers and artists in the UK, endorsed BDS as the most effective and
ethically sound strategy to end Israel’s oppression and to stand in solidarity
with the nonviolent Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

“Earlier
this year, more than one thousand British cultural figures, a list of who’s who
in film, literature and performing arts, signed a cultural boycott pledge
against Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid until it respects
international law. That impressive list, which included some of the best known
Jewish writers and artists in the UK, endorsed BDS as the most effective and
ethically sound strategy to end Israel’s oppression and to stand in solidarity
with the nonviolent Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”
The
original letter can be found here: artistsforpalestine.org.uk.
Signatories included Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker, Kate Tempest, Roger
Waters, Richard Ashcroft and: 
Theatre
writers/directors
 Sir Jonathan Miller, Mark Ravenhill, Caryl
Churchill, Dominic Cooke CBE (former Royal Court AD), David Edgar (major
British playwright who has previously opposed the boycott), Vicky Featherstone,
current Royal Court AD, Phyllida Lloyd (theatre and film director), Mark Ravenhill,
Bonnie Greer, Caryl Churchill, David Edgar 
– Musicians Kate
Tempest (big name), Scoobius Pip, Richard Ashcroft (formerly the Verve),
Jarvis Cocker, Brian Eno, Robert Wyatt, Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner), Roger
Waters, Peggy Seeger, Dick Gaughan, Matthew Herbert
– Actors Rizwan
Ahmed, Miriam Margolyes, Sam West, Anna Carteret, Harriet Walter DBE, Maxine
Peake, Julie Christie, Maggie Steed, David Calder, Andy de la Tour, Timothy
West
– Writers William
Dalrymple, Aminatta Forna, Bonnie Greer, Mark Haddon, Hari Kunzru, Liz Lochhead
(poet laureate in Scotland), Jimmy McGovern, China Mieville, Andrew O’Hagan,
Laurie Penny, Michael Rosen, Gillian Slovo (former director of PEN
International), Ahdaf Soueif, Marina Warner, Benjamin Zephaniah 
– Film/tv
directors
 Mike Hodges (Get Carter), Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander),
Jimmy McGovern, Michael Radford, Mike Leigh (recent BAFTA fellowship award
winner), Ken Loach, Kim Longinotto, Penny Wolcock (documentary filmmaker),
Julien Temple (Jubilee), Waris Hussein, Tariq Ali, Asif Kapadia, Carol
Morley 
– Architects Peter
Ahrends, Will Alsop, 


Visual Arts
 Phyllida Barlow, John Berger, Mona Hatoum.
 Comedians Mark
Thomas, Jeremy Hardy, Alexei Sayle
What
would Harry Potter do?

 

 

 

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