The PEN American Center accepted funding from the government of Israel for its 2016 World Voices Festival.
We believe it is wrong for PEN American Center to accept such funding when PEN International has criticized the Israeli government for "the killings and the reported deliberate targeting of certain journalists, media organizations, and their infrastructures” and “the practice of administrative detention against journalists and other writers."
PEN American Center is an institution with the stated aim of defending writers' freedom of expression.
Palestinian civil society has called on people of conscience around the world to engage in a peaceful campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), focusing – not on individuals – but on the Israeli government and complicit companies and institutions.
OVER 200 WRITERS have already called on PEN American Center to reject cultural sponsorship from the Israeli government, asserting that such partnership amounts to a tacit endorsement of Israel’s systematic violations of international law & human rights.
Today, we continue that call.