Author Amos Oz, an Israel Prize winner, informed Israeli Foreign Ministry officials a few months ago that he would no longer participate in official events associated with the ministry or the Israeli government, Israeli news site Ynet reported on Thursday.
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"I do not feel comfortable participating now in events by the 'government agency,'" Ynet quoted him as saying. Ynet reported that his decision had been kept under wraps out of a sense of responsibility toward the country.
"Amos Oz is a responsible man. You have to assume that he understands that such a declaration can be interpreted as justifying the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement," a source familiar with his decision said. "If the greatest of Israeli authors himself does not want to appear at events in which the Israeli government is involved, what does that say?"
Responding to an enquiry by Ynet, Oz told the website: "In the wake of the current radicalization of Israeli policy in various areas, I informed my hosts that I prefer not to be invited to events in my honor at Israeli consulates abroad." Oz stressed that he does not support the BDS movement.
Oz has been at the forefront of the peace movement throughout his career, spanning five decades. He signed a petition along with 800 other prominent public figures in December calling on European parliaments to recognize an independent Palestinian state.