Further to our post last week on the coercive tactics adopted by the Irish boycott movement, Haaretz reports that Irish writer Gerard Donovan, a prominent novelist and poet, has attacked the pro-Palestinian boycott movement, IPSC, for “outright intimidation and “trying to “bully” him to abstain from visiting Israel and take part in the International Writers Festival in Jerusalem this week.
Over the last few weeks, Donovan has been the focus of a campaign against his participating in the writers’ festival. Open letters and petitions were addressed to him over the internet but Donovan, who is currently living in a cabin in New York and recovering from cancer, said he was unaware of the letters, that he had cancelled his visit two months ago due to his ill health, and that the activists were “idiots” for targeting him.
Putting his finger on the method of instrumentalizing artists and others in the public eye in the service of the boycott activists’ own narrow political agenda, he added:
“Nobody tells me where I can or cannot read my work. I’m not going to allow myself to be drawn into any political controversy for any people’s ends, I don’t care how many other writers they line up, it is completely irrelevant to me.”