March 30, 2010
Dear Margaret Atwood, Amitav Ghosh,
We are Israeli citizens and residents, Jews and Palestinians, who are committed to the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom. We heard with dismay that you are set to attend this spring an apartheid-complicit Tel Aviv University's symposium, where you are to receive a prize. We urge you to heed the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, reject that prize, and refrain from attending the symposium or any other Israeli academic event.
Palestinians are denied any democratic liberties and are harshly and collectively repressed when trying to struggle for their freedom, even if non-violently. They are subjected to an apartheid regime that denies refugees’ right of return, discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and implement a cruel form of occupation, including a crippling siege on the Gaza Strip. By engaging in boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) you can help raise the oppressed Palestinian voice instead of adopting a "business as usual" attitude towards the Israeli regime and its academic institutions, all of which are state-run and state-funded.
After years of attempts to change the minds and hearts of the Israeli public, we also believe that this change can be achieved now only through significant external pressure. As time passes by, we witness our society becoming more and more callous and stuck on its racist track. Since the beginning of the "peace talks" period, we witness Israel and its supporters abroad attempting to portray the oppressor and oppressed as two equal sides in a conflict to be remedied if they simply straightened out their mutual differences.
Today, many people around the world mark the 2nd Global Day of Action on BDS against Israel. BDS means power to the people in a time when world governments fail to act accordingly. We call on you to be one of those who help bring justice and freedom for the Palestinian people, by denying legitimacy to the Israeli apartheid and its institutions.
Yael Oren Kahn
Adv. Emily Schaeffer
On behalf of
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
See recent Addameer and Stop the Wall joint report http://www.stopthewall.org/downloads/pdf/repress.pdf
VTJP Letter to Margaret Atwood: Refuse the Dan David Prize
An Open Letter to Margaret Atwood from Gaza: Don’t Stand on the Wrong Side of History
PACBI: Atwood – Do Not Accept Prizes from Apartheid Israel
BRICUP calls on Amitav Ghosh - do not accept a tainted prize
Will Margaret Atwood boycott Israel? Canadian filmmaker and academic John Greyson's appeal to Atwood
Margaret Atwood, the Dan David Award, and BDS - A VTJP Perspective
Letter Exchange with Margaret Atwood
BRICUP's Response to Amitav Ghosh
PACBI to Ghosh: Do not undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom!
Fifty intellectuals call on Amitav Ghosh to reconsider accepting the Dan David prize