10 September 2010 Amos Oz boycotts Israeli settlement policy

Three famed Israeli writers, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman and Amos Oz, support the boycott initiated by Israeli actors and directors of the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank of the River Jordan.

The appeal by the arts community published at the end of October is directly related to the plan to opening of a new cultural centre in the city of Ariel, located in the occupied territories. It will be administrated by the Habima National Theatre and other leading theatrical institutions in Israel. The organisers of the protest call for artists to “work within the territory of the sovereign Nation of Israel, in the borders established by the Green Line.” In their view, the policies of the National Theatre are aimed at strengthening the presence of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories.

The Ariel settlement was established in 1978, and, because of its location, it is illegal according to international law. On 30 August, a demonstration of about 150 people took place in front of the Habima National Theatre, demanding a halt to performances in the occupied territories.

Amos Oz, who will be a guest of this year’s Second Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival, is known for his many appearances in favour of the peace process in the Middle East. This subject plays an essential role in Oz’s books, and his 1991 novel Fima (Published in Polish under the same title in 1996) can be read as the biography of the intellectual son of a Jewish hunter and poet, supporting the peace movement.