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« David Saks at Thought Leader | Main | Durban 2 Won’t Be in SA »

April 30, 2008



I am sure that Gordimer will use her visit to Jerusalem to denounce Israel. Her anti-zionist views follow the gospel according to Ronno Einstein.
Is she now showing "great courage"? Not in my book. She is getting a freebie to Jerusalem and will venomously reaffirm that Israel is an apartheid state. How courageous is that??
I also think that she is one of the luckiest and least deserving of nobel prize winners.Her literary legacy is over-valued. There are loads of better writers who didn't receive the Nobel Prize!

"She reminded those urging her to boycott the festival of her endorsements of Ronnie Kasrils' 'Not in our name'" statement. The December 2001 letter by the Jewish cabinet minister and former ANC rebel was signed by "South Africans of Jewish descent." It said "the root cause" of the second intifada was Israel's occupation of the territories and urged Israel to renew negotiations with the Palestinians.

Gordimer's letter noted that she will visit Ramallah and meet in Jerusalem with students at the Palestinian Al-Quds University. She ended it by stating, "I shall do my utmost to uphold the principles and practice I have held, and still hold, at home in our country." "



Facing widespread pressure, Nadine Gordimer may pull out of Israel writers meet

By David B. Green, Haaretz Correspondent

The 84-year-old Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, is scheduled to make three appearances at the festival, which runs at Mishkenot Sha’ananim May 11-15.

Other writers slated to attend include Americans Nathan Englander, Jonathan Safran Foer and Russell Banks, as well as Israelis David Grossman and Amos Oz, the latter of whom is scheduled to share the stage with Gordimer on May 12.

“I am dealing with the issue now,” Gordimer told Haaretz in a telephone conversation from her home in Johannesburg on Friday. She refused to comment further on the controversy, except to say she would soon make a public statement on her decision.

Gordimer has received dozens of appeals, many of them posted on-line, calling on her to join a cultural boycott of Israel.

Gordimer, who is Jewish, has long been identified with left-wing causes, including her longtime backing of the African National Congress dating back to the apartheid period, when the black liberation movement was outlawed. In 2001, she publicly urged her friend Susan Sontag not to come to Jerusalem, where the late American writer was to be honored with the Jerusalem Prize at the capital’s biennial international book fair. Sontag did come in the end, and received the literary award in person.

Now it is Gordimer who is being pressed to stay away from Israel. For example an open letter earlier this month signed by British professors Hilary and Steven Rose, who have led the Jewish lobby in the U.K. campaigning for a boycott of Israeli academia, implored her not to “give the Israeli establishment, the Israeli press, the whole Israeli PR machine, the prize they want - your apparent condoning of their policies.”

Yael Nahari, the director of the Jerusalem’s International Writers Festival, told Haaretz that, following a request from Gordimer, she is trying to arrange for the South African writer to “meet the other side [Palestinians],” including students at al-Quds University in Jerusalem. Nahari was optimistic that Gordimer will go ahead with her planned appearance at the five-day meet. “I think she’ll come,” she said.


Interesting that Gordimer urged Sontag not to attend in 2001. Why is Gordimer going in 2008 ? What has made her change her mind ? Was it something that Sontag said to her?


Anthony, lets wait and see. I dont think it is fair to judge her before the event. I was just mentioning it as a possible outcome (not as certain).

I do think she has shown courage. She has defied the wishes of people whose opinion she values. That takes guts.


Acknowledging that Hamas denies "the right of Israel to exist," Gordimer nonetheless said it must be part of the solution.

(1)If a neighbouring territory is at war with a sovereign state and wants to destroy it, how can it be part of the solution?

(2) Are the political views of a novelist more relevant that the political views of an actor, film director, spin bowler or supermodel ? Don't novelists inhabit the world of fantasy? Can you really expect them to pontificate wisely on reality?

(3) Who cares what Gordimer thinks about the Israeli/Palestinain conflict?


I don't think I am "judging" Gordimer (although I don't rate her fiction.)
I just dont agree that a visit to Jerusalem is "courageous". I went there in December. Was The Blacklisted Dictator being "courageous"? I even went on busses and could have got blown up!!


British professors Hilary and Steven Rose, who have led the Jewish lobby in the U.K. campaigning for a boycott of Israeli academia, implored her not to “give the Israeli establishment, the Israeli press, the whole Israeli PR machine, the prize they want - your apparent condoning of their policies.”

I conclude that the views of British Professors are as irrelevant as those of spin bowlers and supermodels. I doubt, moreover, that Hillary and Steven (they will be soon both be after Gordon Brown's job) are teaching logic although they probably run courses on Chomsky. With language like "apparent condoning", let's hope that they aren't teaching English either!
Whilst Gordimer was living in apartheid South Africa was she "apparently condoning" the policies of " the SA establishment, the SA press, the whole SA PR machine." ??


Just for the record, whenever I go anywhere, it does not mean that I am "apparently condoning" anything.


You must relaize merely aknowledging the humanity of Israelis is anaethma to thse Israel-haters of the Left.
It is not about Israel's government or policies, they would never boycott any other country in the same no matter what their policies or government.
This is pure race hate of Israelis.


Those urging a boycott have no objection to anyone attending the Red China Olympics- DISGUSTING AND HATEFUL HYPOCRITES!


Haaretz is reporting that SA has withdrawn its application to host Durban II. Is this true?



It would be intertesting to look at the records from the 1978 and 1983 "UN anti-racism conferences".
They must have mainly focussed on SA, but I wonder if there was still a good deal of anti-Israel venom voiced there.


I agree wholeheartedly with Blacklisted Dictator, Gordimer is an Israel-hater, her previous backing of the odious "Not in my name" morons tells us everything we need to know in this respect.

Anybody endorsing Ronnie Kasrils's view on the Israel/Palestine conflict is virulently anti-Israel. Anybody who endorses or feels legitimate the views of a Hamas supporting liar like Kasrils on the Jew nation itself, is a 'fill in the blank'. She is a dhimmi and just another so-called Jew suffering from Oslo syndrome.

Jason Harper

I don’t see how “apparent condoning” is improper grammar? It is awkwardly worded, but it’s not really incorrect. It’s obvious you don’t know much about English grammar! I know this has nothing to do with Nadine Gordimer, but it bothers me when people correct others grammar and English, when they really have no idea about grammar themselves. I would rather take the advice of an English professor than some random obscure man on an obscure website who calls himself “blacklisted dictator”.

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