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July 3, 2012 10:21 am

Author Loses 15,000 Euros for Visiting Israel

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Author Boualem Sansal. Photo: http://www.film-daily.com

Algerian author Boualem Sansal was denied 15,000 euros he was set to receive for winning the Editions Gallimard Arabic Novel prize due to his recent Israel visit, French24 reported.

Sansal attended the third International Writers Festival in Jerusalem this May. The Paris-based Arab Ambassadors Council said it had to pull its sponsorship of the prize because the council is “subject to the official position of the Arab League, which considers itself effectively in a state of war with Israel.”

Hamas had called Sansal’s visit to Israel “an act of treason against the Palestinian people.”

The author, who still accepted the award—without the prize money—on June 28, said Arab countries like his native Algeria “shut themselves in a prison of intolerance” by maligning his Israel trip.

“Yes, there are complicated relations with Israel, but we are not at war with them,” he said.

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  • Esther Sarah Evans

    Maybe one of our better-heeled philanthropists could help him feel the loss a little less; it would be even better if a non-Jew of wealth from any country whatsoever would declare solidarity and give him a financial boost.