Cultural Boycott

Tamar-kali with her band and special guest Sonny Singh at "Palestine Calling"
Brooklyn vocalist and composer Tamar-kali with her band and special guest Sonny Singh at our "Palestine Calling" event on November 14th, 2015.

Press Coverage

The Guardian


More than 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Alice Walker, Richard Ford and Junot Díaz, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the embassy of Israel” in a furious open letter.

Sent to PEN American Center and other festival participants in March but published online on Wednesday, the letter opposes the Israeli embassy’s sponsorship of PEN’s annual World Voices Festival (PWVF), a seven-day event in New York at the end of this month.

Press Coverage

Al Bawaba


More than 100 writers have signed a letter to PEN American Centre urging it to reject support from the Israeli government.

The writers include Alice Walker, author of The Colour Purple, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Junot Diaz, and Native American writer Louise Erdrich. Poet Eileen Myles, writer Russell Banks and activist Angela Davis also signed the letter.

Press Release

PEN Refusing to Drop Sponsorship, According to a Letter to its Members

New York, NY, April 5, 2016 - In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and award-winning author Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival. The seven-day Festival takes place from April 25 to May 1 in New York City. In promotional materials, PEN lists the Israeli Embassy as among the “Champions” of the Festival, and as a sponsor of one of the Festival’s panels.

The letter asserts, “It is deeply regrettable that the Festival has chosen to accept sponsorship from the Israeli government, even as it intensifies its decades-long denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people, including the frequent targeting of Palestinian writers and journalists.” The letter was sent to PEN privately on March 29 by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, with 62 individual and 11 organizational signatories. The list of signers has since grown to more than 100 individuals.

Press Coverage

The Forward


An American writer’s group will keep the Israeli embassy as a sponsor of its literature festival, despite calls by writers to drop the endorsement.

Over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, were among those who signed the message, sent last week to PEN American Center by pro-BDS organization Adalah-NY.

Press Coverage

JTAThe Times of Israel


The literary writers’ group PEN American Center is refusing to drop Israeli government sponsorship from its annual festival, despite calls by dozens of members to do so.

According to a news release issued Tuesday by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, more than 100 writers signed onto a letter demanding PEN “reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for its World Voices Festival to be held later this month in New York.

Press Coverage

New York Post


Talk about perverse: The authors’ wing of the boycott-Israel movement has its panties in a knot over the Israeli Embassy’s support for this month’s PEN World Voices Festival here in the city.

PEN is an association of literary types; the protesters include Pulitzer-winning novelists Alice Walker, Richard Ford and Junot Díaz. But what’s truly bizarre is their gripe.

Walker complains that PEN is failing to stand up for “Palestinian writers, academics, and students who are suffering under a repressive Israeli regime that denies their right to freedom of expression.”

Press Coverage



In November 2015, Eno co-authored an open letter alongside Brooklyn-based musician Ohal Grietzer explaining the rationale for a cultural boycott of Israel. The letter was released alongside a video of 8 prominent NYC-based artists, including TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, Das Racist’s Kool A.D., and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, stating their decision to endorse the boycott.


From: Jakab Orsos
Subject: Message from PEN America
March 29, 2016 at 3:21:23 PM EDT

We are writing because, along with some participants in this year's Festival, we have received an e-mail from Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. The email asks Festival participants to sign an open letter calling upon PEN to refuse sponsorship support from the Israeli government as a contribution to the PEN World Voices Festival (PWVF). As an activist organization dedicated to freedom of expression‎, we respect the right of any group to share and advocate for their views. We want to share our approach to the challenging issues raised by the e-mail.