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Writers Week

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I was extremely disturbed by Teresa Pirola’s article (The Southern Cross April 2023) regarding the presence of Palestinian authors at the recent Adelaide Writer’s Week. I can only assume that Ms Pirola is unaware of the state of apartheid endured by the Palestinian population in their homeland, and that she did not attend the sessions involving these authors and hear them speak about the experiences that they and their families have endured over generations for the past
75 years since the British Government partitioned their country and abandoned them to be forcibly removed, dispossessed and forced to be exiles within their own land and in the diaspora which has been created worldwide.

She speaks of a disproportionate imbalance in representation with their inclusion, yet does not seem disturbed with the outrageous amount of coverage given to the Zionist lobby in the lead-up to the event, with no attempt made to check the facts of the accusations, or to speak to the authors being accused to give context to their opinions.

She appears not to know that the poet, Mohammed el Kurd, witnessed Jewish settlers invade his home as an 11 year old, throwing his family’s belongings onto the street and moving in themselves with no consequences. She does not appear to note that there was a footnote to his poem regarding the desecration of Palestinian bodies, returned to their families for burial with organs missing.

Opposition to Israeli brutality is NOT antisemitism. There are many thousands of Jewish people who deplore the actions of the Zionists and the Israeli army.

I found the sessions involving the Palestinian authors to be incredibly articulate, unapologetically out-spoken about the desperate fate of their people and at no point antisemitic.

They rightly condemn the actions of a brutal military regime and they rightly condemn the expansionist policies of the Zionists who would see them obliterated, who regularly bulldoze homes and set fire to entire villages in their determination to create exclusively Jewish settlements, who welcome Jewish settlers from anywhere in the world, but can find no place for the Palestinian population who have been indigenous to the area for 9000 years. They also reminded us that Jews, Arabs and Christians lived together in Palestine for centuries before the British intervention destroyed the balance they maintained.

I urge Ms Pirola to look beyond the headlines of the Murdoch press before forming her opinions in future.

Susan Shepherd
Email provided


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