Writers campaign for Israel-Palestine peace

From Guardian:

David-Grossman-010Celebrated Israeli novelist David Grossman is working with Boualem Sansal, an award-winning Algerian writer who came under harsh criticism for visiting Jerusalem earlier this year, to launch a writers' drive for peace which calls among other things for a halt to the “inhuman and immoral” situation in Israel. Supported by some of international literature's most respected names, including Claudio Magris, Antonio Lobo Antunes and Liao Yiwu, the authors will present their appeal at the closing session of the World Forum for Democracy on Thursday. Their document states that there is still a “possible solution” for the Israel-Palestine conflict, where “Israel has maintained the Palestinians under occupation for more than 45 years”, but “but maybe not for long”. The writers are therefore pushing for a Palestinian state to be created next to Israel, both with secure borders, “on the basis of painful compromises for both parties … such as the abandonment of settlements or their exchange for land, the renouncement of the right of return of the 1948 refugees, the sharing of Jerusalem”.

Sansal, whose books are banned in Algeria but who has won prizes for his work in France and took the German book trade peace prize last year, met Grossman, whose son, Uri, was killed in 2006 when a missile struck his tank in southern Lebanon, in May when he travelled to Jerusalem for an international literary festival. The threats and criticism he received for going to Israel led him to the idea of gathering writers to speak up for peace in the world. “Before I went to Jerusalem I came in for a lot of harassment [but] I did not let it intimidate me,” Sansal told the Guardian. “I decided to go to Jerusalem anyway, to mobilise people. Our enemies are organised, but we are not. Our way of fighting is literature, it's meeting, it's dialogue. We need to fight with these things.”The appeal from the authors, who include Daniel Pennac, Tomi Ungerer and Peter Esterhazy, also states that it is “urgent” that the international community “intervenes firmly to bring the Iranian nuclear programme under control”, warning that Iran is accelerating “its nuclear programme to achieve its hegemonic pretensions on a political, military and religious level, and Arab countries in the region might be driven to follow a similar path”.

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