Feminist Collective pens open letter condemning inclusion of Israeli speaker at KLF

Feminist Collective pens open letter condemning inclusion of Israeli speaker at KLF

The open letter circulating on social media highlights Ronya's track record of Islamophobic and Zionist propaganda
Feminist Collective pens open letter condemning inclusion of Israeli speaker at KLF

Web Desk

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17 Feb 2024

A leftist feminist platform, the Feminist Collective, has penned an open letter to the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) condemning the invitation of Israeli author Ronya Othmann as a speaker to the event. The Festival's website has removed her name from the list of speakers.

The open letter circulating on social media highlights Ronya's track record of Islamophobic and Zionist propaganda supported through her work and her involvement in Zionist platforms.

The strongly worded letter, endorsed by 427 signatories to date, points out that in an interview with the German newspaper Othmann “suggested that Muslim immigrants, including Palestinians, are “jihadists” and “terrorists” for expressing sympathy with Palestinian resistance to a 75-year-long occupation.”

In one of her article for a German newspaper, last year, Othmann targeted German-Palestinian journalist Alena Jabarine “as well as other writers of colour for pointing out that what Israel is doing to Palestinians in Gaza is a genocide”.

She also slammed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law”. Othmann signed a letter, along with several other Zionist supporters, censuring BDS, stating that it is "not a peace organization but rather part of the problem due to their anti-semitic bias”.

The open letter further mentions, “It is mindboggling that at this critical moment in history when people of conscience all over the world are denouncing Israel, KLF has chosen to invite and platform a Zionist and genocide apologist.”

Ronya Othmann's social media accounts also reveal her inclination towards Israeli propaganda, which dehumanises Palestinian resistance and labels it as an "Islamism problem.”

The Feminist Collective demanded that “KLF immediately cancel this event and issue a public apology to the Palestinian people and to all Pakistanis of conscience”. They emphasised that the festival should refrain from “engaging in ‘two-siderism’ when it comes to the 75+ year occupation of Palestine by Israel and the current genocide and refrain from inviting Zionists and giving legitimacy to Zionist discourse under the false premise of ‘neutrality’.”

“if KLF does not cancel this event, and issue a public apology, we [the Collective] will mobilise a boycott of its festival this year and in the years to come,” they added. 

While an official statement from KLF is pending, Othmann's name has been excluded from the official speaker list on the festival's website and the online schedule for the event.

 

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