J.K. Rowling Defends Decision to Oppose Cultural Boycott of Israel

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British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of books, poses during the launch of new online website Pottermore in London in this file photograph dated June 23, 2011Credit: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

J.K. Rowling has defended her decision to oppose a cultural boycott of Israel in a post on her Twitter account.

The “Harry Potter” author was criticized by a number of her fans on social media after she was announced asone of the 150 British artists who signed an open letter, published by The Guardian last week, espousing the value of cultural engagement with the Jewish state over a cultural boycott.

On Monday, Rowling addressed “a number of readers asking for more information about why I am not joining a cultural boycott of Israel,” stating that she had “never heard of a cultural boycott ending a bloody and prolonged conflict.”

Rowling argued on Twitter that the impact of a cultural boycott would be felt predominantly by ordinary Israelis and not by the Israeli administration who would be able to affect change, writing that she has “deplored most of Mr Netanyahu’s actions in office,” referring to Israel’s prime minister.

“The sharing or art and literature across borders constitutes an immense power for good in this world,” Rowling concluded.

“At a time when the stigmatisation of religions and ethnicities seems to be on the rise, I believe strongly that cultural dialogue and collaboration is more important than ever before and that cultural boycotts are divisive, discriminatory and counter-productive.” The “Harry Potter” author took to Twitter to answer criticism by a number of her fans on social media.

Among the criticisms, one young Palestinian woman wrote an impassioned post on Facebook describing how she grew up reading the “Harry Potter” books and equated the experiences and struggle for justice of the main characters with the plight of her own people.

Other critics wrote:

She's sadly taking #Voldemort's side | #JKRowling and the Prisoners of #Israel | https://t.co/MLOfuJXCfV

good morning jk rowling is a zionist and my childhood is ruined

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