Posted: 7/24/2012 11:58:00 PM
Author: Itamar Eichner
Source: This article originally appeared on the Ynet website on July 24, 2012.
Algerian author suffers boycott after Israel visit
Writer Boualem Sansal ostracized after visit to Israel; FM Lieberman tries to help
by Itamar Eichner
Foreign minister Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is trying to assist Algerian writer Boualem Sansal who was boycotted after speaking out about the need to have an open dialogue with Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
Sansal who took part in the Third International Writers Festival in Jerusalem last May was denounced by Hamas for 'betraying the Palestinian people'. The Parisian based Arab Ambassadors Council decided to revoke a literary award that was to be given to the author by the Arab World Institute.
In response a Swiss admirer of the author's work decided to donate €10,000, to Sansal anonymously. Sansal said the sum was too large and donated it to the Save a Child's Heart organization, which performs life saving heart surgery on children from the Palestinian territories and Third World countries.
The boycott on Sansal has sparked backlash from intellectuals and left wing papers in France, and now Israel has decided to act on his behalf.
On Monday, Lieberman met French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to convince the Paris to denounce the boycott of the author, who resides in France.
Sansal repeated his main message in an interview with French paper Libération: "Peace will be enabled only via dialogue between Israel and Arab states. He also blamed the Arab states with hypocrisy.
"On one hand they are not at war with Israel and even have covert relation with Israel. On the other hand they boycott him for visiting Israel. When asked if he fears for his life he replied "It can't get any worse than this."
Sansal mentioned a new initiative he was pushing with Israeli author David Grossman – an international summit of writers for peace.
He said he was flooded with letters of support for the initiative. The European council has also stated its readiness to set up such a meeting.