A group of 67 Icelandic writers and artists have signed an open letter boycotting the Iceland Noir literary festival that is happening right now in Reyjkavík. The reason is the inclusion of former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton as a guest of honour in this year’s festival.
Clinton has been a vocal opponent to a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, writing in an op-ed in The Atlantic on November 14 that a ceasefire would only give Hamas militants “a chance to re-arm and perpetuate the cycle of violence.” She instead had been advocating for “more limited humanitarian pauses that allow aid to get in and civilians and hostages to get out.”
Clinton will close the festival with a sold-out event at Harpa on November 19 at 16:00. There, she will join award-winning Canadian author Louise Penny for a conversation on State of Terror, a book they co-authored. The talk will be moderated by First Lady of Iceland Eliza Reid.
According to Icelandic Artists for Palestine spokesperson Salvör Gullbrá Þórarinsdóttir, protests will likely be held on Nov. 19, though the group is not directly involved in their organisation. The Iceland-Palestine Association will hold a peaceful solidarity march at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Nov. 18 at 14:00.
The full letter issued by Icelandic Artists for Palestine is shared below:
Boycotting is a simple tool we have, a democratic right that can never be confused with silencing or censorship. Therefore we, the undersigned authors of this letter, urge our fellow colleagues and ticket holders to boycott the literary festival Iceland Noir. The reason for our call to action is the guest of honour of the festival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Hillary Clinton is campaigning publicly against a ceasefire in the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people perpetrated by the Israeli army. This is in addition to the years she has spent using her huge platform to spread Israeli government propaganda and misinformation with observable damage to the Palestinian nation.
By inviting her, Iceland Noir took a stance. By keeping their invitation open, the organizers of the festival have underlined their political stance, that of standing with war crimes and genocide.
When children are impaled on spears of death, and one child is murdered every ten minutes, there is no time for speculations and sharing of opinions. There is only one valid position to take. Therefore we urge you:
– Take a clear stance against war crimes and genocide.
– Do not take part in whitewashing the Israeli government and its supporters.
– Do not undermine the Palestinian human rights struggle.
– Support the freedom of Palestine!
More information about boycotting and the political stance of Hillary Clinton:
Boycotting is a peaceful method to express moral and political disapproval of the actions of individuals or organizations that harm others. Choosing to boycott an organization or festival like this is not a personal attack on the organizers or sponsors of the festival, but rather a method to draw attention to the bigger picture and how things work together within it. It’s a method to have an effect in the world where the fewest voices are heard.
Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir
Erna Kristín Stefánsdóttir
Halla Þórlaug Óskarsdóttir
María Elísabet Bragadóttir
Pedro Gunnlaugur Garcia
Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir
Bragi Páll Sigurðarson
María Lilja Ingveldar Þ Kemp
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl
Eva Rún Snorradóttir
Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir
Davíð Hörgdal Stefánsson
Birnir Jón Sigurðsson
Díana Sjöfn Jóhannsdóttir
Arndís Lóa Magnúsdóttir
Ragnheiður Harpa Leifsdóttir
Adolf Smári Unnarsson
Þórunn Jarla Valdimarsdóttir
Elín Edda Þorsteinsdóttir
Elías Rúni Þorsteins
Jónas Reynir Gunnarsson
Björg Guðrún Gísladóttir
Kari Ósk Grétudóttir
Hildur Selma Sigbertsdóttir
Guðbrandur Loki Rúnarsson
Sonja B. Jónsdóttir
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