Monday, June 29, 2009

Al Quds as a venue of literary gathering

In today's Boston Globe, Claire Messud reports on "Palfest," a literary gathering in Jerusalem that ran into trouble with the authorities. You may find her report here. Her words are much more mild mannered than the rant Swedish author Henning Mankell published in the Swedish Aftonbladet immediately after returning from Israel early in June. For example, Messud refrains from using the word apartheid that Mankell employs prominently as a historical parallel to the situation in Israel/Palestine. Ms. Messud chose to wait and write something that is perhaps even more disturbing than a simple condemnation. Instead of emphasizing the political aspects she allows you to imagine yourself for a moment as a Palestinian. To do so she describes how difficult it is for ordinary Palestinians to enjoy a particular kind of freedom we take for granted, namely the freedom to move around in our own neighborhoods, cities, and fields.

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