SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND A FREEZING CELL: A PALESTINIAN WOMAN IS INTERROGATED BY ISRAEL

By Amira Hass

One sentence that Lama Khater heard during the period she was interrogated by the Shin Bet security service helped her hang on. “No interrogation lasts forever,” the Red Cross representative who first saw her about two weeks after her arrest told her.

As Khater said last month at her home in Hebron in the West Bank, “Even though at that moment I felt that the interrogation would go on forever, and time in the Shin Bet ward at the Ashkelon prison stood still, the sentence I heard became an anchor for me, a key to remembering that time doesn’t stop, and it wouldn’t stop there.”

Khater was arrested on July 24, 2018, and was immediately transferred for Shin Bet interrogation that lasted 35 days. The arrest didn’t come as a surprise. Her husband, Hazem al-Fakhouri, had been summoned by the Shin Bet – not for the first time – and asked about his wife, who writes articles highly critical of the Palestinian Authority and its security coordination with Israel, and in support of the right of resistance to the Israeli occupation.

But she didn’t expect such a long interrogation period in an attempt to extract information from her and an admission of civil (not military) activity in Hamas. She didn’t expect an interrogation that included sleep deprivation, being painfully cuffed for many hours each day, being put in a foul-smelling cell with a freezing air-conditioner, and then in an even more foul-smelling cell (No. 8) where the faucet provided only rusty brown water.

“I felt intestinal pain,” she says. “I complained about the water to Dov the interrogator. He told me, ‘The Red Cross checks the water and it’s fine. Just like in prisons in Arab countries.’”

Khater, 43, from the village of Ein Siniya near Ramallah, remembers the names of most of her interrogators: “Dov, Major Yehiya, who’s the head of the interrogation section, Haroun, Marcel, Russo, Rino, Binji, Johnny, who’s Yehiya’s deputy. And there’s Colonel Itzik, who came every Sunday. He spoke to me in very threatening language. And there was also General Herzl, who said he was in charge of all the interrogation centers in the West Bank. And there was also ‘Mirol’ or something like that. Maybe I didn’t totally catch the name.”

Khater says the Red Cross sought to ensure that a woman was present in the interrogation room, as is required by law. “Yes, there was always a woman in the room,” she says. “The women were switched every two hours, day or night. All told, I think there were 10, and they took turns. They sat behind the table and looked at their cellphones.

“Once in a while one of them had a book. Major Yehiya even said once that he was bringing them just to play with their cellphones. I understood him to mean that with my silence I was making them waste resources. Sometimes there was one interrogator in the room, sometimes two, sometimes three.

“During the day the interrogation was in different rooms, on the first floor. At night they interrogated me in the basement. The interrogator would sit behind his desk and then take the chair and sit right in front of me. I would tell him to move away, that for religious reasons it wasn’t permitted for him to get that close.”

Over the period of her interrogations, she was brought to a doctor three times – once when the interrogator saw she was about to faint and twice at her request. One of those times, she says, “it was when I had my period, so maybe that’s why the back pain was more unbearable than usual.” The doctor, a man of about 60 who communicated with her through a translator, gave her pain relievers and sent her back to the interrogation room.

As Khater and I talked in her living room, her 3-year-old son Yihya ran around laughing and jumping from one chair to another, untouched by the subject of our conversation. A photograph of his mother hugging him goodbye on the night she was arrested has become another Palestinian icon.

20-soldier arrest

The arrest, which took place at 2 A.M., wasn’t particularly aggressive. Fakhouri, Khater’s husband, remembers that about 20 armed and masked soldiers came, “plus the Shin Bet officer whose face was uncovered. He asked where Lama was and also asked for her cellphone and computer.”

Despite her objections, a female soldier conducted a body search, though Khater was not ordered to fully undress. She was asked if she was pregnant and if she had any illnesses. She said she has anemia, and was permitted to take her iron pills with her.

Then there was a brief nighttime drive to a military base with a lot of soldiers, where she was allowed to pray and was brought to a clinic. In the morning, she was transferred – still not handcuffed – to another base in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. There she was subjected to another body search, and for the first time she was blindfolded and cuffed and placed in a “bosta” – the vehicle used to transport detainees between prisons and to court.

“Since then I’ve had a lot of experience riding in a bosta,” Khater said, her voice quiet and restrained as ever. “But that was the hardest time. They sit you down on a seat inside this narrow iron box. I was held there for about two hours before the car started moving. Hebrew songs at high decibels were pounding me in the head.” During the ride, the radio was turned off, but her head bumped against the iron walls.

The vehicle stopped at Shikma Prison in Ashkelon. When the blindfold was removed, she saw that the watch on a police officer’s wrist read 2:30 P.M. Again she was subjected to a “non-naked” body search, asked for her personal information and brought to an interrogation room, where she was held until 3 A.M. There she was also shown a piece of paper listing her rights: a daily shower, use of the toilet and the right to remain silent.

“They sat me on a chair fixed to the floor, the height of a chair in the lower grades of an elementary school. My hands were tied with iron handcuffs to the chair. When I refused to give my email password to the Shin Bet officer, he told me: ‘Okay, you’re only at the beginning of the interrogation.’”

He asked about her activities for Hamas and she said she had no links with Hamas. “He said he knew that I write, but ‘we aren’t arresting you for what you wrote but for what you did.’ Still, for the entire period of the interrogation, they mostly asked about what I wrote, even things from 19 years ago,” Khater says.

“I said I wasn’t disassociating myself from what I wrote, but I refused for them to attribute to me membership in Hamas. The interrogator told me I was a liar and if I continued to deny it we would go to a higher level of interrogation.

“‘I won’t let you go to the bathroom,’ he threatened. I mentioned the rights document they showed me, and he got mad and said I had no right to tell a Shin Bet officer that he doesn’t have a right to do something. He said he had worked 15 years in the Shin Bet and only four or five people hadn’t confessed in an interrogation by him. It was Dov. After him Haroun came.”

As she put it, the interrogator told her, “If you talk, we’ll let you speak with your family, we’ll put you in a better jail cell. A lot of people have tried not to confess and after 10 to 15 days they confess. Save yourself from it.”

On that first day of interrogation, she says: “Major Yehiya came too. He told me, ‘you’re an individual and we represent a state. All the intelligence agencies of the Middle East come and learn from us. The individual – his energy is limited. No matter how much you pretend to be a fighter, you will weaken. The individual cannot withstand a state.”

At 3:30 A.M., 25 hours after her arrest, she was put in isolation. “Three meters by two, maybe less. The hole for the toilet was inside and very dirty. The water from the faucet dripped for five seconds, then stopped. To wash clothes, I stood for half an hour and pushed. There was a thin mattress on the floor with three blankets: one as a pillow and two to cover with. It was terribly cold because the air conditioner was running at the lowest temperature. I felt like it was winter. The light was on all the time. I got food three times a day – dishes that were hard to eat.”

After the first night in isolation, a female soldier led her, handcuffed and with her eyes covered, back to the interrogation room. Once again came the low chair, the tying of her hands behind the back, the threats: “We’ll leave you here for six months. We’ll bring your children here if you don’t talk, we’ll ruin your life.”

Harder solitary

In the first days, the interrogation went on for 10 hours a day “and at the time I still felt that this was a lot,” she says. “They let me go to the bathroom when I asked. In principle, I could have asked to take a shower. The shower is in a separate isolation cell but doesn’t make you want to use it because it’s dirty and the water pressure is weak and the water cold. In the first days they also let me go back to the isolation cell in the afternoon and told me that ‘I haven’t seen anything yet.’”

Later, they began to question her for about 20 hours a day, and this went on for two and a half weeks – from 7 A.M. until 2:30 A.M., always cuffed to the chair.

“They brought the food there,” she says. “They opened the handcuffs when I ate and prayed. When I asked to go to the bathroom, they allowed it for up to five minutes, and if they thought I was taking too long, the female soldier opened the door. The hardest thing was during my period. It embarrassed me all the time to ask to go to the bathroom. I brought sanitary pads with me from home, but they took them and gave me others, of poor quality.”

Even when she returned to her solitary confinement cell, she couldn’t sleep. Someone outside the cell would pound on the wall, she felt dizzy, and the pain in her head and neck would wake her up.

“The interrogators would say to me, when they saw I was collapsing in the chair: ‘If you want to sleep, confess. Otherwise it will be harder. If you want to rest from all this, you know what to do.’ And so on day after day. My heart beat faster from day to day. I couldn’t walk, straighten my back. The exhaustion and pain in my back and head were present all the time,” she says.

“The hardest thing was the sleep deprivation. When I dozed off a bit, the interrogator yelled. I woke up, straightened my back, and he yelled at me that it happened because I wasn’t talking, and ‘we will take you to a harsher solitary confinement cell.’” It was cell No. 8 where for a few days she was sent during the short breaks between the interrogations.

“An interrogator named Marcel – every one of his sessions had insults and screams. ‘Your grandfather surely was among those who massacred Jews in Hebron in 1929,’ he told me, and I answered that my family isn’t from Hebron. ‘Then definitely your husband’s grandfather,’ he said. They claimed about me that I was responsible for communications section of Hamas, that I taught political courses and training on withstanding interrogations. I said, ‘How can I give training in something I haven’t experienced?’”

After 35 days of questioning, Khater was transferred to Damun Prison with other women from Hebron who were arrested before her on suspicion of being members of Hamas’ women’s committee. Her trial took a long time because she didn’t confess. In the end, in June, when the others had been sentenced and were about to be released, she reached a plea deal with the military prosecution that reduced the charges and was convicted of “serving in office for an illegal association, based on the emergency ordinances.”

She was sentenced to 13 months in prison and a 4,000-shekel ($1,150) fine. Three weeks before her release, on July 26, her son, a student, was arrested on suspicion of association with Hamas.

The Shin Bet did not answer Haaretz’s question on whether sleep deprivation and painful positions aren’t considered illegal torture.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

Israeli releases $517 million from PA taxes

A Palestinian man holds News Israeli Shekels' bills marked with stickers reading "Free Palestine" on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, as part of a campaign aimed to peacefully express opposition to Israel's occupation. [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

A Palestinian man holds Israeli Shekels’ bills marked with stickers reading ‘Free Palestine’ on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah

sraeli occupation authorities will release 1.8 million NIS ($517 million) from the tax revenues of the Palestinian Authority (PA) blocked by Israel, Israeli television Channel 13 reported on Friday.

According to several Israeli media outlets, this came following a meeting held between the PA minister, Hussein Al-Sheikh, and the Israeli finance minister, Moshe Kahlon.

Al-Sheikh stated on Friday that he had met with Kahlon on Thursday and discussed “all outstanding issues.”

“The agreement was also on transferring a payment from the #PA’s financial dues,” he tweeted.

READ: Israel transfers $560m of withheld taxes to the PA

He noted in the same tweet that the “dispute [between the PA and Israel] over the salaries of the families of #prisoners and #martyrs is still unresolved.”

However, he stressed, “we are determined to pay their dues at all costs.”

The transfers amount to some $170 million a month, and Israel is to continue withholding $12 million a month, the amount it says goes to the Martyrs’ Fund.

Israel collects some 600 million NIS ($170 million) on behalf of the PA per month, and are a key source of finances for the PA.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

Israeli siege paralyses Gaza factories

Independent Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khodari [File photo]

Independent Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khodari 

Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khodari stated on Friday that 100 per cent of Palestinian factories in Gaza have suffered partial or full damage, resulting from the 12-year-long Israeli siege.

In a statement sent to mass media, including MEMO, Al-Khodari claimed that hundreds of shops and factories have shut down due to the Israeli siege, as well as the repeated aggressions on the besieged enclave.

Al-Khodari, who was an academic and a businessman, explained that the Israeli occupation is still imposing restrictions on Gazan imports and exports, in addition to the entry of industrial materials, under the pretext of dual use.

READ: World’s worst tragic figures recorded in Gaza

The direct losses to Gaza’s economy due to the Israeli siege, according to Al-Khodari, are estimated at $70 million every month, due to aggravating crises relating to the strict Israeli siege.

In a previous press release, the MP – who is head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege on Gaza – affirmed that 3,500 factories had already shutdown, noting that the poverty rate has reached 85 per cent, and unemployment rate exceeded 60 per cent.

He concluded his statement by calling on the world to put pressure on the Israeli occupation, in order to lift the siege, stressing that lifting the siege is the solution to ending the profound suffering of the residents of Gaza.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

Israeli Forces Kill One Palestinian Protester, Injure 57 in Gaza Friday

04 OCT 11:12 PM

Israeli forces attacked non-violent protesters in different parts of the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing one Palestinian and wounding 57, including 18 who were shot with live ammunition.

The Palestinian protest organizers called this Friday’s March of Return the “Friday of 78 Children”, in honor of the 78 children killed by Israeli forces since the weekly protest marches began in March of 2018.

According to local Palestinian medical sources, 28-year old Alaa Nizar Ayesh Hamdan was shot and killed by Israeli forces in a protest east of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza Strip while participating in the March of Return protest. He was taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, where he was declared dead.

In addition to Hamdan, Israeli forces shot 18 Palestinian protesters with live ammunition, several of whom had critical injuries. 39 Palestinians suffered from other injuries inflicted by the Israeli military, including being hit with so-called ‘less-lethal’ weaponry, and reactions to tear gas resulting in hospitalization.

The Palestinian Wafa News Agency, Israeli soldiers stationed in military towers and behind earth mounds along the separation fence east of the Gaza Strip fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants, causing dozens of protesters to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

Organizers of the weekly Great March of Return in Gaza say that the purpose of the protests are to condemn the unjust siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007, and to call for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their cities and villages from which they were displaced by Zionist forces in 1948 and 1967.

In a statement in advance of Friday’s protest marches, the organizers wrote, “reconciliation is the choice of our people,” adding that the Friday protest was in honor of the Palestinian victims of the occupation, noting in particular the cases of “Mohammed Al-Durra, Fares Odeh, Fares Sersawi, Yasser Abu Naja and Mohammed Abu Khdair.” They condemned the silence of the international community in relation to the Israeli military’s direct targeting of the children of Palestine, and criticized the Israeli authorities for issuing false propaganda that claimed that Palestinians put the children in harm’s way on purpose.

The National Commission for the Marches of Return and Breaking the Siege called for unity between all Palestinian factions, especially in recognition of the dangers facing the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. The Authority condemned the U.S. administration for being “a partner of the occupation in the creation and implementation of plans to take Palestinian land.”

It also called for supporting and supporting the national vision to achieve national unity and end the division launched by eight forces as a real gateway to end the division and achieve national partnership within an equation of national unity.

The Commission called for the rehabilitation of the Palestinian national project after the damage suffered over the years of Oslo, which shattered Palestinian unity and sowed the seeds of disagreement and discord among the Palestinian ranks, and stressed the continuation of the return marches and breaking the siege in the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the Commission condemned the Israeli annexation plan for the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

It also called on Arab and Islamic countries to shoulder their responsibilities in ending and lifting the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip, in order to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right to work, trade, travel and travel without restrictions. The statement added that the continuation of the siege and closure is an ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

Miles Of Smiles Aid Convoy Arrives In Gaza

05 OCT 12:03 AM

Essam Yousef, the head of the “Miles Of Smiles” convoys in the Gaza Strip, has reported, Friday, that “Miles Of Smiles” has made it into the besieged coastal region, carrying essential medical equipment and vehicles for transporting persons with physical challenges.

Yousef said the convoy carried six ambulances, 10 buses with dedicated for transporting wheelchair users and people with special physical needs, in addition to 50 electric wheelchairs.

He added that this was the fourth “Miles of Smiles” medical convoy since May of this year, and that the aid was used in a number of charitable projects, in addition to providing supplies, which enable surgeons to perform surgeries on many Palestinians, who were injured by Israeli army fire during the Great Return March processions.

In addition, the convoys carried food supplies and financial assistance, which were given to families and individuals impacted by the ongoing illegal Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and the repeated aggression.

Yousef also stated that the health conditions in the Gaza Strip are very difficult, and require constant assistance, especially when taken into consideration the ongoing and devastating Israeli siege on the coastal region.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

ISRAELIS WERE ‘SADDENED’ TO HAVE TO KILL GAZA PROTESTERS, TO AVERT ‘BLOODBATH’

By Philip Weiss

Have you watched reports on the Chinese government’s attacks on protesters in Hong Kong? American media are outraged, and the shooting of a young man two days ago was national news here. The fact that the protesters hurl bricks is treated in the reports I’ve watched as just another form of protest.

Contrast those stories to the often-sympathetic coverage that Israel has gotten while killing nearly 200 protesters at the Gaza fence over the last year and a half, and maiming hundreds of others. The New York Times has run four columnists justifying the killings.

A new book that has gotten red-carpet treatment in the Times offers yet another spirited defense of the slaughter. In “We Stand Divided,” Daniel Gordis writes that Israel faced an existential threat from these protesters and had no choice but to kill them to prevent a “bloodbath” inside Israel.

In the summer of 2018, when Palestinians began massive protests along the Gaza border, Israeli troops were forced to use live fire to keep masses of Gazns from approaching and then trampling the fence; had the fence been overrun, hundreds or even thousands of Gazans could have spread out across the area along the border, which is dotted with dozens of Israeli towns, kibbutzim, and even cities. There were concerns that a bloodbath might ensue.

To prevent that eventuality, the IDF ordered soldiers not to let anyone approach the fence. Tragically, some Gazans, especially the young, heeded the call of Palestinian leaders to attack the fence, and many were shot. On a particularly horrific day in May 2018 (not coincidentally, the very same day that the American embassy in Jerusalem officially opened), some sixty Palestinians were killed trying to approach the fence. It was a grim day for Israelis, who were saddened by the loss of life. Nonetheless, even among Israel’s left, there were no mass demonstrations, no widespread calls for investigations of the army’s policy or its execution, and no calls for a change in government as a result of what had happened….

The tragedy of the shootings was that American liberal Jews cannot comprehend Israel’s response, Gordis says. He cites a Forward headline, “Israel’s Choice to Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify–But Not Surprise Us,” and says it reveals a misperception of Israeli Judaism. American Jews think of Judaism as a universal religion, but for Israelis, Judaism is a Jewish nation centered in Israel whose survival is at stake if any credibility is given to the right of return of Palestinian refugees. (There is never any sense in Gordis’s account that Palestinians, who make up 20 percent of Israel, have any voice in how Israel treats Palestinians.)

So it’s American “Judaism as justice” versus Israeli “Judaism-as-survival,” Gordis says, and Judaism as survival is more important.

Gordis’s book is yet another argument that American Jews should not abandon Israel, because we can’t be Jewish without Israel. American Jews cannot have “a Jewish life without an alliance with Israel at its core,” he writes. And of course Israel needs us; so the entire future of the Jewish people is at stake in that relationship.

Look what we get out of it: Israel supplies American Jews “drama, in the very best sense of the word,” an engagement with history. Because the “story of the return of the Jewish people to its ancestral homeland is one of the greatest dramas in the history of humankind.” And when we go to Israel we can experience the “magic” of being exposed to a “version of Jewish life wholly unlike their own lives in the United States.”

Gordis’s requirement that American Jews excuse the bloodbath in Gaza as the ticket price on having a Jewish identity is why so many young Jews are now turning against Zionism. His insistence on conflating Zionism and Judaism in an era when Israel has not a clue how to treat the indigenous population with anything approaching dignity or equality is doing untold damage to one of the jewels of civilization, Jewish culture.

P.S. Gordis has gotten a ton of respect from liberal Zionists, including a forum with Tom Friedman. In his review of Gordis’s book, Michael Koplow, a liberal Zionist, does not mention Gordis’s defense of the Gaza slaughter. And he says that American Jewish groups are down for Zionism; and IfNotNow and Michael Chabon are outliers…

To look at the deeply Zionist American Jewish community, where every major American Jewish organization of any significance supports Israel not only in practice but specifically as a Jewish state and where over 90% of American Jews say they have favorable feelings toward Israel, and to posit that the real problem is a rejection of the concept of Israel’s Jewish nature is 

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

IN VIDEO AND PICTURES| ‘ISRAEL’ DEMOLISHES HOUSES IN JERUSALEM DISPLACING 14 PALESTINIANS

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces demolished three houses and several commercial and agricultural structures in occupied Jerusalem and Beit Ummar, northwest of Hebron, over a 24 hour period, claiming they were built without permits.

The house demolished in Hebron was under construction.

In Jerusalem, Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday demolished two houses, a smaller house, and a barn owned by the Obaidat family.

Ali Ubaidat said that he was shocked when he found occupation forces surrounding and starting to bulldozer a stable and barn for horses, sheep and chicken without any prior warning, Arab48 reported.

The house was built in 1994, he said, adding that the Israeli forces demolished it before, allowing him to take his possessions out prior to it being razed.

The authorities also destroyed a smaller house where his son, Moataz, lived with his four children, as well as a house owned by another relative, Walid Obaidat, and built in 1992.

Walid, his wife and five children lived in the house.

Fences surrounding farmland were also razed.


(Source / 05.10.2019)

KSA sends Hamas official back to jail

RIYADH, PALESTINOW.COM— Hamas official Muhammad Al-Khodari, who is responsible for relations between the movement and Saudi Arabia, has been reportedly returned from hospital to Dhahban jail, the Twitter account Prisoners of Conscious reported.

The rights group said that Al-Khodari had been subjected to physical torture when he was first arrested.

Hamas has recently revealed that Saudi authorities arrested its representative in last April as part of a campaign targeting Palestinians in the kingdom.

The 81-year-old suffers from an “incurable disease”, the movement said, and has been a prominent ear, nose, throat (ENT) doctor. He has been living in Saudi Arabia for over 30 years and managed Hamas’ relations with the kingdom. His son has also been arrested.

“We have been silent for five months to allow diplomacy and mediation efforts, but in vain,” Hamas said.

International human rights groups has previously revealed that Saudi authorities arrested dozens of Palestinians with no charges.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Right Monitor called on the Saudi authorities to immediately disclose the identities of those it has detained, who have been subjected to enforced disappearance without charge.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

IOF Kidnaps Two Palestinians, Steals Money In West Bank

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Friday kidnaped two Palestinian citizens and stole a sum of money during a campaign in the West Bank.

A spokesperson for the Israeli army claimed the two detainees were wanted by the security authorities in the West Bank, adding that over 10,000 shekels were confiscated by soldiers during the campaign in Kafr Jammal town in Qalqilya.

In a separate incident, the IOF blocked the main entrance to Azzun town in the east of Qalqilya after a Jewish settlers was allegedly injured in a stone-throwing attack on a nearby road.

(Source / 05.10.2019) 

Kamila Shamsie: Author Stripped Of Book Award Over Support For Israel Boycott

The German jury of the Nelly Sachs book prize has withdrawn its decision to honour Kamila Shamsie with the award, due to her ongoing support for the Boycott, Diverstment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Earlier this month, the panel had decided to crown the British-Pakistani writer as their latest winner, with praise for how her writing is “building bridges between societies”. However, when they discovered Shamsie supported the BDS movement, they opted to strip her of the accolade.

“With its vote for the British writer Kamila Shamsie… the jury honoured the author’s outstanding literary work,” they said.

“At that time, despite prior research, the members of the jury were not aware that the author has been participating in the boycott measures against the Israeli government for its Palestinian policies since 2014.”

The Nelly Sachs prize is worth €15,000 (£13,000) and champions tolerance, reconciliation and improving cultural relations, with Margaret Atwood among the previous winners.

“Shamsie’s political positioning to actively participate in the cultural boycott as part of the BDS campaign… is clearly in contradiction to the statutory objectives of the award,” said the jury.

“The cultural boycott does not transcend borders, but affects the whole of Israeli society regardless of its actual political and cultural heterogeneity. Kamila Shamsie’s work is also withheld from the Israeli population in this way. 

“This contrasts with the claim of the Nelly Sachs prize to proclaim and exemplify reconciliation among peoples and cultures. The jury regrets the situation in every respect.”

Earlier this year, the German parliament passed a motion deeming the BDS movement antisemitic, describing it as “reminiscent of the most terrible chapter in German history”. 

Shamsie called the removal of her award a “matter of outrage” on Twitter, adding that the boycott should not be “held up as something shameful and unjust”.

The former Women’s prize for fiction winner also said she will not allow her work to be published in Israel “on the basis that there is no Israeli publisher who is completely unentangled from the state”.

(Source / 05.10.2019)