Monday, March 19th | 3 Nisan 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

October 23, 2015 8:36 am

‘Harry Potter’ Author J.K. Rowling Joins British Anti-BDS Campaign

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Email a copy of "‘Harry Potter’ Author J.K. Rowling Joins British Anti-BDS Campaign" to a friend
J.K. Rowling at the White House in 2010. The creator of Harry Potter has joined in the battle against BDS. Photo: Wikipedia.

J.K. Rowling at the White House in 2010. The creator of Harry Potter has joined in the battle against BDS. Photo: Wikipedia.

letter-to-the-editor published in today’s (Friday’s) print edition of the influential British newspaper the Guardian by a group of renowned British figures, among them Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, denounces boycotts of Israel that other cultural figures in London have advocated.

The letter, signed by 151 members of the U.K.’s cultural and political elite, including 14 members of Parliament, reads as follows:

In February 2015 you published a letter from UK artists announcing their intention to culturally boycott Israel.

We do not believe cultural boycotts are acceptable or that the letter you published accurately represents opinion in the cultural world in the UK.

Therefore we are writing to declare our support for the launch and aims of Culture for Coexistence – an independent UK network representing a cross-section from the cultural world.

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.

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.

Ultimately we all believe in a two-state solution so that the national self-determination of both peoples is realised, with the state of Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.

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.

Journalist Tom Gross, who helped organize the letter, told The Algemeiner on Friday that “London is in many ways at the center of global efforts to single out, demonize and boycott the state of Israel. Many persons in the worlds of arts and culture in Britain feel very uncomfortable with these efforts, and we felt it high time our voices be heard.”

Gross, a British-born international affairs commentator and human rights campaigner specializing in the Middle East, added, “Such is the bullying tactics of some the anti-Israel activists in London, however, that some persons who privately oppose the boycotters were reluctant to sign.”

Another signatory, London-based pianist Evgeny Kissin told The Algemeiner that he had signed the letter, “Because Israel is good and its cause is right. To all unbiased people, it is as obvious as 2 x 2=4.”


Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Dante

    The Lord bless J.K. Rowling!

  • Jenny

    Thank you, JK Rowlings! I had a feeling you had anti-fascistic feelings throughout your Harry Potter series. Jewish people are very appreciative of people who discount years of stereotypes and propaganda to see through to the truth.

  • Ellen Berman

    In a country where even politics has become fictionalized, I am thankful that there are still people, such as Ms. Rowling and Mr.Kissin, who believe in a Nation (Israel) that treasures Truth.

  • Liora

    Thank you – all of you who are standing up for peace in the world. What a wonderful, sane, letter – no casting of blame or shame, just people standing up against bullying and for peace. Peace will only come when both sides are heard – no matter what side you support.

  • Sherlock Holmes

    In spite of the BBC, The Guardian and The Independent, the British Govt maintains a close alliance with Israel in science, technology, medicine and culture. The recent PA efforts to deny Jews ever lived in Jerusalem and to deny there was ever a Temple on the Temple Mount may have opened many eyes to the level of crude dishonesty of the PA. Israel’s unwritten constitution is based very much on Britain’s unwritten constitution, to wit a neutral head of state, a PM appointed by the head of state based on who can form a govt after national elections for MPs, parliamentary legislature, an established religion and an independent judiciary. Like Britain, Israel accepts a wide range of freedoms such as free speech and free expression in the arts.

  • Those who boycott Israel are biased, hostile, hypocritical and anti-Jewish. They are foolishly ignorant of the threats to their own world’s demise.

    Supporting and augmenting Muslim anti-Israel claims is sheer madness for the civilized world. How many heads need to be sawed off, people blown up or attacked in the most hideous manner before pompous elites wake up?

    Harry Potter would never have been written if female education was forbidden.

  • F. E. Chalfin

    Finally, the non supporters of BDS are standing up and being counted. Showing opposition to tactics of the antisemitic minority (I hope). Good for them.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Harry Potter was just stabbed in the neck by J. J. Rowling.


    • Dante

      If Rowling stabbed anyone of her characters into the neck, it’s Voldemort.

  • atilla

    Now I have to burn the book I have, that is written by that anti-semitic ****** under it’s pseudonym of Robert Galbraith.

    And referring to the Guardian as an ” influential British newspaper ” is really stretching credibility !

    Normally such objects are found in the form of small, white, paper rolls ……

  • Cherie

    Great that this celebrity has supported peace. More celebrities need to join the fight against terror!!

  • Marcella Wachtel

    This article comes like a breath of fresh air in the fetid atmosphere of accusations, criticism, abuse showered on Israel during this difficult time and for years before it.

    I am grateful to those who took the time to express their views and by doing so open a small window for others to look through and perhaps re-think their position.

    The United Nations is no longer a force for justice, nor it a worker for peace, and the free world counts on individuals who can unite for those purposes. To all you who are part of the U.K.’s cultural and political elite, our gratitude to you and our assurance that your faith in our motives is not misplaced. We are and always have been a democracy, striving for peace and for progress.

  • Mickey Oberman

    That these signatories are Brits and that their letter was published in The Guardian is surprising and gratifying.

    To them I say Thank You.

  • Ilbert Phillips

    I am happy to see that prominent English artists and writers are standing up for what is right. The efforts to demonize Israel in its dispute with the Arab world (which includes the Arabs in Palestine)is irrational and is based on a narrative that is opposite to what is best in England and the United States, to wit, freedom of speech, religion and association.

  • Sister M. Michele S.C.M.C.

    Thank you and God bless you for your courage and integrity. May many, many others join you.

  • enufizenuf

    Thousands of English men and women will eventually be murdered by the swine with whom they’ve sided against the Jewish people.

  • Ephraim

    I knew there was a reason I love Harry Potter! It is encouraging to see prominent people at last organizing against the B(igoted)D(og)S(h-t) movement.

  • Carl

    Thank you!! Wonderful to see moral leaders who are willing to take a public stand for what is right.

  • Absolutely and hurrah for their standing up for democracy and fair treatment of all. The divestment group, especially in England, which caused the death of so many Jews fleeing the Holocaust to Israel, is intolerable and fascist in nature. The undercurrent of anti-Semitism needs little encouragement to rear is ugly head. To J.K. Rowling and the rest, I say hearty congratulations for your courage to speak truth to the prejudiced.

  • The letter-to-the-editor of the Guardian should be copied and re-printed wherever people honour free speech.

    The BDS movement’s tactics, strategies and ideas are not new, have an old name and are a poison infecting not just the Arab-Israeli conundrum, but university campuses and international commerce.

    The western media not least in the Big Five countries where higher standards of journalism are generally expected, are partly to blame in pandering to this selective prejudice, bullying and their silence in its condemnation.

    Good on the Guardian! Good on JK Rowling!

  • Katherine Magdangal

    Book burning time….