Why Does PEN American Center Reject the BDS Call to Refuse Israeli Gov’t Funding But Support Boycotts Elsewhere?


Israeli government threats against the well-being and freedom of expression of Palestinian civil society leaders who organize for a boycott of Israel have pre-occupied human rights organizations and made headlines in recent weeks. Simultaneously, the Israeli government is escalating attacks on Palestinian writers. It is currently detaining 19 journalists and a poet.

Given these realities, it may seem surprising that just a few weeks ago an organization that promotes itself as a leading defender of writers and freedom of expression, PEN American Center, spurned calls to drop Israeli government sponsorship of PEN’s annual literary festival that ended in early May.

Publish Date: 

May 22, 2016

Journalist Name: 

Patrick Connors

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