A group of British celebrities, including JK Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, have united in an effort to fight cultural boycotts of Israel.
A large group of distinguished British artists, authors and public figures came out against boycotts on Israel and in support promoting coexistence and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, the Guardian reported.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Hilary Mantel, Simon Schama and Zoë Wanamaker are among more than 150 celebrities who have signed a letter promoting what they called the Culture for Coexistence, published by the Guardian on Thursday.
“Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory and will not further peace,” the letter says. “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.”
The signatories endorse a two-state solution “so that the national self-determination of both peoples is realised” while both peoples live “side by side in peace and security.”
The letter concludes: “Cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We wholly endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use.”
The group was established in response to a letter signed by some 700 British artist in Februarys, which called for a cultural boycott of Israel. Its supporters pledged to decline invitations for appearances in Israel and funding from any institution linked to its government.
“We do not believe cultural boycotts are acceptable or that the letter you published accurately represents opinion in the cultural world in the UK,” the anti-boycott letter said in response.
The network announced plans for further action to counter boycotts on Israel. “We will be seeking to inform and encourage dialogue about Israel and the Palestinians in the wider cultural and creative community. While we may not all share the same views on the policies of the Israeli government, we all share a desire for peaceful coexistence,” they announced in the letter.