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JK Rowling using Harry Potter to get young people to support Israel

The author of the Harry Potter series of novels, JK Rowling, has disappointed many of her fans by signing a letter that opposes a boycott of Israel.

The letter, which was also signed by radio and TV presenter Melvyn Bragg, writer Linda Grant, popular historian Tom Holland, author Hilary Mantel and historian Simon Schama, proclaims its support for what it called “an independent UK network” called Culture for Coexistence.

Published in The Guardian, the letter is disingenuous. It claims that “cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory and will not further peace,” and that “cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change.”

As such, it ignores how many Palestinian artists are barred from taking part in any such engagements by Israeli military closures, illegal walls and checkpoints, and travel restrictions. And it fails to acknowledge the long history of “dialogues” and “cultural engagement” which ignore the huge differences in …

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