Arab writers denounce celebration of Israel at Mexican Fair

[Recently received:  “Below is a statement issued by Arab writers and intellectuals protesting having Israel as the guest of honor at the Guadalajara International Book Fair – Mexico, which opened on Saturday November 30……The main signatories are: Idriss Allouch (Poet) from Morocco, Abdul-Razzaq Bukubba (Novelist and Storywriter) from Algeria, Naela al-Wardi (Plastic Artist and Translator) from Tunisia, Najwan Darwish (Poet) and Rasha Hilweh (Writer) from Palestine, Mohammad Dibo (Poet) from Syria, Samah Idriss (Writer and Publisher) from Lebanon, and Jamal Naji (Novelist), Ilias Farkouh (Novelist), Fakhri Saleh (Literary Critic), Ghazi al-Theibeh (Poet), Basma al-Nsour (Storywriter), Mahmoud al-Rimawi (Storywriter and Novelist), and Hisham Bustani (Storywriter) from Jordan.” — Frontlines ed.]
Guadalajara International Book Fair
“Israel” should be boycotted and condemned, not celebrated and honored
We write to you from a region that suffers from daily oppression, oppression that is the direct result of the establishment of the Zionist movement in Europe during the late nineteenth century, its campaign to found a settler colonialist state in Palestine with the assistance of imperialist powers, and its declaration the “State of Israel” in 1948 – an event that marked a catastrophe for Palestinians, for Arabs and for humanity. This event was accompanied by massacres and ethnic cleansing, atrocities that the “State of Israel” – built on fabricated religious myths and values of isolationism, aggression, expansionism and hegemony – continues to commit until this day.
We are living in the twenty-first century and “Israel” continues to exist as a settler colonialist state. It continues to exist as a state built on imprisoning people in Bantustans and ghettos behind high cement walls. “Israel” is one of very few states in the world today that is openly based on religion, in an age that scorns isolationism, denounces religious discrimination and mocks those who claim to have a mandate from God … that is, except “Israel”.
Justice, freedom and openness are fundamental values in the creative world. They are values that cannot be realized in a settler colonial state – a state that on a daily basis commits murders and massacres, shells people, assaults them and confiscates their land. Any person – especially one from the region of Latin America, which has suffered from such colonialism in the past – knows that such a regime can only survive through complete hegemony and the systematic destruction of indigenous people, their society and culture, and by falsifying history – with the catastrophic implications this has for humanity as a whole.
Are these things that should be celebrated through culture and literature? Should we pay tribute to such actions? Should their perpetrator be considered a “guest of honour”? What honour is there in praising injustice, racism, hegemony and settler colonialism and a religious state?  
We, as Arabic speaking writers and intellectuals, condemn the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico – which considers itself to be the biggest and most important of its kind in Latin America – for hosting “Israel” as its guest of honour in 2013 and thereby promoting values that run counter to those of creativity and culture: injustice, ethnic cleansing, racism and colonialism. We thank the Mexican and Latin American writers who noted this disgrace and protested against it, and we invite writers of the world, from all backgrounds, to express solidarity with us and protest the shameful stance of the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
First round of signatures (in alphabetical order of first name)
Abdallah Bin-mhammad – Teacher – Tunisia
Abdel-aziz al-Munabbihi – Moroccan Political Exile – France
Abdul-razzaq Bukubba – Novelist and Storywriter – Algeria
Abeer Dajani – Graphic Designer – Jordan
Adnan al-Bu-ali – Cultural Activist and Engineer – Saudi Arabia
Ahmad al-Shuli – Researcher – Jordan
Ahmad Bin-mas’oud – Cultural Activist – Tunisia
Ahmad Musleh – Writer and Translator – Palestine/Syria
Al-Taher al-Mu’ez – Writer, Activist and Immigrant Worker – Tunisia/Europe
Ammar Ahmad al-Shuqairi – Storywriter – Jordan
Atef Zeid al-Kilani – Journalist – Jordan
Aya al-Musa – Activist – Jordan
Bakr Sabateen – Novelist – Jordan
Basma al-Nsoor – Storywriter – Jordan
Dana al-Sheikh – Journalist – Palestine
Eid al-Nsoor – Poet – Jordan
Eyad Kan’an – Plastic Artist – Palestine/Jordan
Fakhri Saleh – Literary Critic – Jordan
Farouk Wadi – Writer – Jordan/Palestine
Fathi abu-Sneineh – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Fawzi Bakeer – Poet – Jordan
Firas Shehadeh – Visual Artist – Jordan/Palestine
Ghazi al-Theebeh – Poet – Jordan
Hisham Bustani – Storywriter – Jordan
Ibraheem al-Tarawneh – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Idriss Allouch – Poet – Morocco
Ilais Farkouh – Novelist and Storywriter – Jordan
Ilias Mohammad Sa’eed – Writer and Translator – Jordan
Imdeiris al-Qadiri – Writer and Dental Surgeon – Jordan
Isam al-Sa’di – Poet – Jordan/Palestine
Isma’eel Noor – Researcher – USA
Jamal Naji – Novelist – Jordan
Jiad Aqel – Researcher – Jordan
Jumana Mustafa – Poet – Jordan
Kamel Nseirat – Writer – Jordan
Kawthar al-Theebeh – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Lubayd al-Sumaida’I – Writer, Activist and Engineer – Iraq
Lukman Iskandar – Journalist – Jordan
Mahmoud al-Rimawi – Novelist and Storywriter – Jordan
Mohammad al-Abdallah – Writer and Journalist – Palestine/Syria
Mohammad al-Adarbeh – Poet – Jordan
Mohammad Ali (Chex) – Actor – Jordan
Mohammad al-Ma’aita – Poet – Jordan
Mohammad al-Samhuri – Plastic Artist and Journalist – Jordan
Mohammad Dandan – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Mohammad Dibo – Poet and Writer – Syria
Mohammad Hreibat – Cultural Activist and Engineer – Jordan
Mohammad Mahfuz Jaber – Researcher – Jordan
Mohammad Nabeel al-Salihi – Poet and Storywriter – Jordan
Muhannad al-Sabti – Poet – Jordan
Muna al-Assi – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Munji Zeramdini – Professor – France
Munther Siam – Writer and Dental Surgeon – Jordan
Mustafa abu-Hannoud – Artist – Jordan
Na’ela al-Wardi – Plastic Artist and Translator – Tunisia
Najwan Darwish – Poet – Palestine
Nidal al-Zughayyer – Literary Critic – Palestine
Nidal Khouri – Cultural Activist and Engineer – Jordan
Omar abul-Haija – Poet – Jordan
Ra’ed abu-Sitta – Writer and Journalist – Palestine
Ra’ed abu-Zahra – Artist and Playwright – Jordan
Radwan Rajaibi – Teacher – Tunisia
Rami Yaseen – Poet – Jordan
Rasha Hilweh – Writer and Journalist – Palestine
Rasheed Shaheen – Writer and Journalist – Palestine
Roba Bashir – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Ruba al-Bream – Human Rights Activist – Jordan
Sa’d al-Deen Shaheen – Poet – Jordan
Sahar al-Yasiri – Writer – Iraq/Holland
Saleh abu-Taweeleh – Journalist – Jordan
Samah Idriss – Writer and Publisher – Lebanon
Samer abu-Ghoush – Cultural Activist and Dental Surgeon – Jordan
Samia al-Atout – Storywriter and Novelist – Jordan
Sarah al-Rayes – Journalist and Writer – Morocco
Sayyed Mahmoud Hasan – Journalist – Egypt
Sultan al-Qaisi – Poet – Palestine
Tayseer al-Najjar – Writer – Jordan
Thoraya el-Rayyes – Writer and Translator – Jordan/Palestine
Waleed al-Sweirki – Poet and Translator – Jordan/Palestine
Yahya abu-Safi – Researcher and Human Rights Activist – Jordan
Yahya al-Qaisi – Novelist – Jordan
Yara Ouais – Cultural Activist – Jordan
Yousef al-Khateeb – Director – Jordan
For more signatures, please refer to the electronic version:

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