In a protest move against an agreement to normalize relations reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached on Thursday, several Arab and Palestinian intellectuals announced today their boycott of cultural and award events planned in the UAE.
Moroccan novelist, Al Zahra Rmeij, announced in a tweet her withdrawal from the Sheikh Zayed Book Award by withdrawing her nomination for the novel “The Waiting Hall” in solidarity with the Palestinian people “in their struggle to regain their usurped land and establish their free and independent state.”
— @palestinechron (@PalestineChron) August 14, 2020
Moroccan novelist Abu Yousef Taha has also announced his withdrawal from the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the same reasons.
Poet and writer Ahmed Abu Salim also announced in a tweet the withdrawal of the nomination of his novel “Promethana” for the Booker Prize, and his boycott of all cultural activities in the UAE, calling on all Arab intellectuals to follow suit.
Palestinian photographer Muhammad Badarneh announced that he had withdrawn his participation from the exhibition “Point of View 8”, to be held on August 29 in the UAE.
— @palestinechron (@PalestineChron) August 13, 2020
The agreement is considered a severe blow to Palestinian efforts aimed at isolating Israel regionally and internationally until it ends its military occupation and apartheid-like system in occupied Palestine.
“The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.
(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)