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Open Letter to JKRowling regarding BDS



Open Letter to JK Rowling

In your letter and follow up you imply BDS is a general boycott against Israel and Israelis. It’s not, it’s targeted only at people and companies that profit off the occupation and denial of equal rights within Israel. So an artist, musician or author wouldn’t be boycotted simply for being Israeli, but a film festival sponsored by the Israeli government with the explicit goal to promote tourism and investment to Israel would be. That’s a clear difference, the boycott doesn’t target individuals, you should know this already, if you didn’t then you should have done your research before signing the letter.

You claim boycotts hurt ordinary Palestinians. They didn’t ask you to decide what’s best for them. They asked the world to stand in solidarity with them and boycott Israel until they have equal rights, they asked for your help, you chose to help in their oppression instead, don’t pretend you’re acting in their interests because you’re not.

They’ve chosen boycott because nothing else has worked, not protest, not diplomacy, not negotiation, not going the UN, not even armed struggle and definitely not the quaint notion of cultural exchange that you advocate. If you deny them this last attempt at non violent resolution you slam the door in their face and leave them with nothing but hopelessness.

You ask when have boycotts ever worked? Famously against apartheid South Africa. Did you support those boycotts then or did you see two sides who just needed to understand each other better?
Did you ever bother to research whether a Palestinian author of say magical fantasy novels is free to promote their work abroad, or a professor or a film maker or a painter? The fact is Israel already de facto boycotts Palestinians in the occupied territories by denying them freedom of movement.

The fact you’re so ready to defend Israelis promoting their work abroad (which they’d be free to do under a boycott anyway) but casually disregard the fact that Palestinians don’t enjoy that privilege and haven’t for half a century already worryingly suggests you value some lives more than others. I hope I’m wrong. Prove me wrong.

Respectfully. MH




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