Over 150 leaders from the UK arts and political world have signed a letter, published in the Guardian, rejecting boycotts of Israel, and instead calling for dialogue and coexistence. Signatories include JK Rowling, Hilary Mantel, Simon Sebag Montofiore, Lord Grade, and Simon Schama.
CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, and a number of Conservative MPs also signed the letter to support the launch of Culture for Coexistence.
The letter stated: “In February 2015 you [The Guardian] 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”.
Signatories of the declared support for the launch and aims of Culture for Coexistence, a new independent UK network representing a cross-section from the cultural world.
The letter continued: “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”.
It underlined: “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”.
Signatories expressed support for a two-state solution: “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”.
Click here to read the full letter.