Sunday, October 25, 2015

Israel needs cultural bridges, not boycotts – letter from JK Rowling, Simon Schama and others

From The Guardian:

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 ofCulture 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.
Naomi Alderman
Shay Alkalay
Bennett Arron
Daniel Battsek
John Battsek
Guto Bebb MP
Gina Bellman
Michael Berg
Josh Berger
Bob Blackman MP
Neil Blair
Iwona Blazwick
Elli Bobrovizki
Gabi Bobrovizki
Melvyn Bragg
David Burrowes MP
Teresa Cahill
Colin Callender
Simon Chinn
Danny Cohen
Frank Cohen
Prof Susan Collins
Wendy Cope
Loraine da Costa
Marcus Davey
Oliver Dowden MP
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Michael Dugher MP
Brian Elias
Yigal Elstein
Allie Esiri
Michael Etherton
Moris Farhi MBE
Niall Ferguson
Stanley Fink
Larry Finlay
Amanda Foreman
Michael Foster
Andrew Franklin
Nick Fraser
Mike Freer MP
Julian Friedman
Sonia Friedman
Jonny Geller
Adèle Geras
David Glick
Taryn Gold
Amanda Goldman
Richard Goldstein
Michael Grade
Maurice Gran
Linda Grant
Miriam Gross
Tom Gross
Stephen Grosz
Peter & Martine Halban
Jan Harlan
Ronald Harwood
Noreena Hertz
John Heyman
Lilian Hochhauser
Tom Holland
John Howell MP
Judy Ironside
David Japp
Andrea Jenkyns MP
Zygi Kamasa
Jack Kirkland
Evgeny Kissin
Michael Kuhn
David Kustow
Norman Lebrecht
Sam Leifer
Teddy Leifer
Camilla Lewis
David Levy
John Levy
Maureen Lipman
Andrew Macdonald
Hilary Mantel
Stephen Margolis
Dan Marks
Laurence Marks
Denis MacEoin
Charlotte Mendelson
Yael Mer
Ivan Moscovich
Maajid Nawaz
Anthony Newman
Gavin Newman
Hayley Newstead
Paula Noble
Tracy-Ann Oberman
Matthew Offord MP
Cosh Omar
Martin Paisner
Robin Pauley
Leo Pearlman
Daniel Peltz
Andrew Percy MP
Eric Pickles MP
Stuart Polak 
Monica Porter
Gail Rebuck
Charlie Redmayne
Andrew Roberts
JK Rowling
Paul Ruddock
Prof Carol Rumens 
Marc Samuelson
Charles Robert Saumarez Smith 
Prof Robert Saxton
Joanna Scanlan
Kenny Schachter
Simon Schama
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Francesca Segal
Anthony Seldon
Rick Senat
Zaab Sethna
Jonathan Shalit
Bernard Shapero
David Shelley
Clive Sinclair
Daniel Silver
Lucy Silver
Dan Silverston
Chloe Smith MP
Karen Smith
Mark Smith
Prof Ashley Solomon
Claire Speller
Rob Suss
George Szirtes
Paul Trijbits
Kevin Tsjiuhara
Gabe Turner
Moni Varma
Rebecca Wallersteiner
Minette Walters
Zoë Wanamaker
Angela Watkinson MP
George Weidenfeld
Fay Weldon
Heather Wheeler MP
Robert Winston
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
David Young
Toby Young